Recently a woman who has started taking some of my online training wrote to me with a question.
I sent out a one sheet to pastors here where I live, with my business card and a letter about a year ago. We’ve only lived here for about a year and a half. I got absolutely NO response from these churches. I do intend to try the other places you mentioned at the end of the module—great tips! Should I try to contact the pastors again though, or just move on since they expressed no interest? A professional speaker told me once that unfortunately, churches are some of the hardest places for a Christian female speaker to break into for speaking —– especially if you’re not well known. Your thoughts?
First, female speakers can make a dent in churches–though it tends to be talking to other women! But there’s a lot of demand for female speakers, so don’t fret and don’t give up!
But let me also say that I am not surprised by this story in the least. As I’ve said in other blog posts, it’s word of mouth that matters when it comes to getting bookings, not slick advertising materials. So don’t spend the money on one-sheets right now! Instead, invest in a good website.
Here’s another tip I gave her:
When you’re just starting, the best thing is to create your own type of engagement. Contact the churches and ask to talk to the women’s ministry leaders who run women’s Bible studies or monthly lunches or dinners. See if they want to have you speak—for free! I know it’s not fun to speak for free, but when you do, you get your name out there. And then you can get a recording of a live event. If you collect email addresses to build up your newsletter list, you now have potential people that can recommend you to others.
You may have to do a few free events for a while, but you’ll find your name does get known. The two groups that I have found it most useful to break in with are stonecroft.org, which runs the Christian Women’s Clubs around the continent, and MOPS. They only pay about $50 an engagement, if you’re lucky, but it’s easier to break in, and you get a variety of women from different churches who then start to know you.
Just about every speaking engagement I have ever been given has been from word of mouth. It hasn’t been from sending around my business card or media kit. So the trick is to get word of mouth flowing! Do some free engagements to introduce yourself to the community. Put videos of your speaking up on YouTube and Facebook, and start befriending as many female Christians on Facebook in your community as possible. Talk about speaking on Facebook. They’ll see your videos, and then you’ll start to generate some buzz!
Remember that videos don’t have to be hard: you can record yourself speaking, and then create a video on Windows Movie Maker with the audio in the background and some still pictures as the visual. It doesn’t have to be an actual “video” to be posted as a video. And it doesn’t have to be long! In fact, it shouldn’t be. 2-4 minutes is perfect.
Make it long enough that they get a sense of who you are. That’s so much more effective than an advertising one-sheet, and more likely to get your bookings!