How do you stand out from other Professional speakers?
First impressions count beyond words – maybe before you’ve uttered any words…
Looking professional, not just your personal appearance but anywhere you are seen. It’s called building Brand Personality or as I call it building a ‘Brand-Bio’ and a ‘CLOSE-IT’ pack –
It will ‘close it’ – the booking I mean!
Here are 12 essential items Professional Speakers should create for your ‘CLOSE-IT’ pack’…
Professional Speakers Beware! the items on this list cost money. Done well it will be money well invested and to be honest you can’t afford not to if you really want to stand out.
All these items must be consistent in design, colour and branding. If you have a logo, use it, but you don’t have to go out and pay thousands of pounds creating a business name when you have your own – especially to start with. Create your identity in your own name. People book people and will search for your name if they want to find you. There are simple and cost effective ways to do this with the help of a good designer.
1 – BUSINESS CARDS
Simple, effective, the first port of interaction. It must be good quality, include your name, contact details and what you do for people. Don’t be too clever, be honest and clear. Pay a designer to create a bespoke card. Your reputation is carried on this card. It needs to make it very clear that you are Professional Speakers as well as coaches or mentors. A well designed business card can actually be the ‘seed’ to a good branding. With an attractive design implemented in the beginning the other items in this list can easily evolve from this. Use both sides, don’t use it as a brochure, clear concise information not a blog! Read a little more about business cards….
2/3 – PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS SHEET AND/OR LITERATURE, LEAFLET/BROCHURE
Consistent look and feel matching the business card. Information about you, who you are what you did /do, why and what you talk about.
To be specific, the Speaker Sheet, similar to a cv, answering questions bookers will want to know. (A précis of your literature) It may be easier to start with your Speaker Sheet then develop your literature –
- Describe your area of expertise, what are your topics?
- Who is your target audience, to whom do you give presentations and who do you work with?
- Headline benefits, how do people benefit from hearing you speak?
- What is your background and why are you an expert?
- Client list
- and above all Contact info!
Images are good. Get some professional photographs taken. Do not use stock images.
Quick note here – start building an image library from talks and presentations as you do them. Good ‘Profile Shots’ are essential. You don’t need pages of info but a few testimonials are good to include. Ideally from groups you have spoken at and people who have employed you as professional speakers.
4 – SOCIAL MEDIA
Create your business page on Facebook, your Twitter page, Instagram and your Linkedin profile. (include a Google+ page for search reasons) Use the same profile picture across all platforms. Use banners designed specifically for each platform as they are different sizes. Don’t forget to Include a banner for YouTube – as professional speakers this is the most important media platform. You need to build up your videos and showreels that can be viewed and found easily. Make it consistent, make yourself easy to identify across all platforms.
5 – WEBSITE
People will want to find you and check you out, they want validation – you need a website of some description. If you have a business which promotes your speaking career and you promote your business through your speaking, have two websites. Elizabeth McCormick shared a simple idea – have two websites with the same branding and very similar design. You will shared content between the two but specific information on one all about your business (Soar 2 Success) the other concentrating on your speaking business. With similar branding and style it can link backwards and forwards with no unwieldy design changes that confuse the viewer. Different and targeted URLs, the right keywords and content for each. Make it easy for someone to identify the difference though, and to realise they are in the right place without lots of complicated ‘clicks’! Id like to thank Elizabeth McCormick for allowing me to write about her site and her ideas!
6 – VIDEO BROCHURE
An excellent way to send out a showreel. Bookers want to see what you do, want to see you in action. With your YouTube library you can show a selection of videos but can’t choose exactly what your audience will view. However a showreel sent directly to the prospective booker will a, impress and b, give them exactly what you want them to see.
Of course this is branded like all of the above – Take a look at http://directcorporatedesign.co.uk/ (ask for Heetan) for a selection of sizes and packs. Make sure you mention this article and where you found them! Or call me and I can talk you through the options.
7 – SLIDES
At some time you will need presentation slides, don’t make the mistake of over branding them. They will look like adverts and people will turn off. Too many words and the audience will be reading them not listening to you. They want to see and listen to you. Nice touches to include is your Twitter handle – they can easily tweet while listening and makes it easy to do. Catch words and short bites or phrases are brilliant and a bespoke hashtag will always be a winner! Key words, images, short sharp messages not paragraphs and never lists of statistics.
8 – HANDOUTS
A take away, branded similar to the slides, a reminder of your presentation. Not pages and pages but one or two sheets with key messages and contact details and maybe an offer. People only want reminding not a sales a brochure.
9 – PULL UP BANNER
Absolutely essential – promotes your presence reminds the audience of your message and your contact details. Shouts that you are in the room! Read more about the importance of a pull-up banner – and yes branded!
10 – DESK TOP BANNER
Ideal for desk top displays/bumf tables. Placed behind a stack of books draws attention and does all of the above!
11 – E-BOOKS
A great way to sell your expertise, base them on a presentation.Freebies for sign ups, tasters of forthcoming or existing books. Now easy to create, branded of course, easy to promote on websites and newsletters ideal for data collection.
12 – BOOKS
Self published, print on demand etc. Lots of competition but great for publicity one step up from the ebook – helps validation, increases credibility…
With a selection, if not all of the above your personal branding ‘close-it’ will be full and ready to win any enquiry that comes your way. Professional and prompt replies returning relevant requested information will impress any booker.
However a word of warning, you can have the best information to hand but it if you don’t react quickly you will still miss your chance.
First impressions count every time.
Call me and chat about your “CLOSE-IT” pack or how to build your “BRAND-BIO”!
Thank you to Elizabeth McCormick for the use of images from her website, Heather Townsend and Jon Baker for allowing me to use design work created for The Excedia Group by A.N.G. Creative Design Consultancy.