This week on Use Your Words we talked about what goes into a speaker’s website to make it effective! If you missed that show, you can listen in to the archives right here.
Usually every Tuesday at noon EST I give a half hour long show of tips for expanding your speaking ministry! I won’t be doing it next Tuesday, but I’ll be back on the 15th of February with more! And if you ever have topics you want me to cover, just leave them in the comments.
Today let me give you a synopsis of this show.
Think of a speaker’s website as the place where organizers will go to “check you out” before they decide to contact you about a prospective booking. Rarely will conference organizers get a recommendation and then contact you first. Normally they’re going to check you out on the web before sending off that email! So think of it this way: if you want to get bookings, then you need to make sure that when someone types your name into Google, you come up.
That’s why it’s important to use your name in your web address or your blog, if you’re using that blog primarily to get speaking engagements. If you have a website for speaking, and then a blog for blogging, it’s fine to call your blog whatever you want. But the place where people will go if you want them to hire you must have your name, or else you won’t rank high in search engines. If your name is already taken as a domain name, just add the word “speaks” to the end, like janesmithspeaks.com, or something like that.
If you’re using your blog to get speaking engagements, then make sure the blog allows multiple pages (like WordPress does). Here’s what you want on your website:
1. The main landing page should announce that you are a speaker
Make it generic. If you want to speak to youth, don’t necessarily put that in bold letters when you’re just starting out, because the more generic you are, the more likely you are to get hired. Make sure your main landing page has a big picture of you!
Have a page listing your topics. If you feel called to a certain niche (like youth), let that be one of your topics. But do have some generic ones so that you’re able to be hired by churches for other events, which are important when you’re starting. It’s easier to get hired for something general (there are a whole lot more general events than specific events in churches), and then specialize in a niche once your name becomes known.
When you’re starting, three topics for single talks and one retreat package is enough. And you don’t have to have all of these written yet! Have your signature talk written, but remember that if you’re hired, you’re not likely going to speaking tomorrow. You’ll probably have a few months’ lag time. So write your topics knowing that you can fill in the talk later.
People like to actually hear you! So when you speak, record yourself. Take that audio and then turn it into a video using a video editing software. Just choose a 2-3 minute portion where you’re telling a funny anecdote, or expounding a Scripture passage, and use that as the audio. Then add still photos to it, and some text at the end about how you’re a speaker and what your website is. Now upload that to YouTube, and presto, you have a video! If they can hear you speak, they’ll be more likely to hire you.
If you don’t have audio, then arrange for a group of friends to come to church to hear you deliver a message. That way you’ll have voices in the background. We always speak differently in front of a live audience, so make sure that you have something recorded that’s live!
After people hear you speak, encourage the organizer to write you an email about what she thought of you. Or, if you have evaluations taken, use those evaluations to find testimonials. You can put these on a video, too, with text and music, or you can just write them in text on your page.
A good thing to have on your testimonials page, too, is a lot of pictures of you speaking (preferably in different outfits to stress that you’ve done multiple engagements). The more people can see that you’ve been hired before, the more they’re likely to hire you again!
That’s a low-down on the show, but you can hear details about these specific strategies by listening in. Hope to have you live at Use Your Words soon!