A good marketing plan is imperitive to the success of any business, and that includes professional speakers. As a key component in that plan, you will want to have well-designed marketing collaterals that include a speaker kit or presentation package to promote your services to prospects and speakers bureaus. In the following article, Kathi Dunn shares 10 simple steps that you can do to ensure that your speaker kit is the best that it can be!
10 Simple Steps to Creating a Speaker Kit that Books Your Schedule Solid
by Kathi Dunn
Dunn+Associates Design for Speakers, Authors and Experts
Do you want to pack your schedule with higher-paying bookings? Do you want to become the #1 most-wanted speaker among meeting planners and speakers bureaus? Creating professional stand-out-from-the-crowd promotional materials for your speaking business is key to opening doors and building the right impression.
Whether you book yourself or you use a speakers bureau, these 10 Simple Steps will get you noticed, increase your bookings, and boost your income:
- Start with phenomenal photos. Take the time to get quality photos with a professional who has experience photographing people, especially speakers. Schedule ample time in the photo studio for a variety of photos in various poses and clothing for multiple uses.
- Use a seasoned professional copywriter. An experienced writer who knows the speaking industry will write copy that is aimed at the meeting planner and their audience, and will focus on solving their problem. Great copy will be loaded with the benefits and features of your expertise.
- Hire an experienced, specialized designer. Be sure to select a designer or design firm who knows the speaking industry and all its nuances. To increase the effectiveness of your kit, a professional designer should ask:
What is your message?
Who is your target audience?
Who is your competition and what sets you apart?
Where and how will you sell yourself?
Are there any existing tie-ins or future plans to consider?
A well thought-out speaker kit design will incorporate all of these considerations prior to its development. Your designer will think about the subliminal emotion of color and typography, and how that affects your audience. Strategic design is a very powerful marketing tool.
- Build your brand. Start with a logo which is a compact image of exactly who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best at doing it. A logo is often the public’s first visual contact with your company and therefore establishes that all-important first impression – your brand. Carry that brand into everything you do – your speaker’s kit, all of your printed materials, and online – to create a consistent and memorable image. To see some examples of strong logos, go to www.BrandLogos.com.
- Dare to be different. Certainly, there are standards you must conform to in terms of creating promotional materials that function well and can be easily stored for reference by bureaus and meeting planners. At the same time, think outside the box of ways to make a splash so your presentation kit stays on top of the heap. Remember, your kit is often viewed in a boardroom with many people. Hold your folder up and see what kind of impact it makes from across the room. Does it have visual punch? Most importantly, think about what the buyers want! For inspiration, visit www.BestSpeakerKits.com.
- You get one chance to make a first impression – the all-important folder. The visually powerful folder neatly houses all the functional components you need to market yourself. Think of the front of the presentation folder as the first impression which represents you and your message. In ten seconds or less, a prospective meeting planner is either turned on or turned off by the immediate visual impact of your folder. Be sure that all the pieces you include deliver a cohesive unified look – your brand. This can be accomplished by establishing a consistent theme in your color palette, font choices and overall design, etc. Be sure to select a compelling photo of yourself which makes an emotional connection to the viewer.
- The one-and-only one-sheet. This is one of the most important pieces you will need. If you can do nothing more, do the one sheet! It can act as a stand-alone promotional piece, be used as a leave-behind, a handout, an e-mailed response piece, or downloadable from your website. Be sure your one-sheet is specific to the topic the buyer has asked for! It’s not about YOU-it’s about what you can do for them! For detailed information on the key elements of a one sheet, check out www.SpeakerKitTips.com.
- Complete your kit specific to the target audience’s request. A basic speaker kit can be simple: a folder, one-sheet, biz card, letterhead, audio or video demo, and fee menu. Or it can be as elaborate as a multi-paneled folder with content sheets, extended bio, client list, letters of recommendation, educational materials list, testimonials, reprints of your articles, your book or other product. Ask those who represent you what they need. Some want only a one-sheet. Others rely solely on a live-streaming video clip. Technology is quickly changing the form of a standard speaker kit. Remember, meeting planners and bureaus are busy! Keep your kit simple, clean, and specific. Always customize the contents of your kit based on the specific request!
- Don’t forget your think-outside-the-box support materials. You will need a mailing label for large envelopes which houses your materials, a #10 envelope (for business letters, invoices, etc.), letterhead (for invoices, customized content sheets, etc.), second sheets, note cards and postcards. Coordinate your print materials with your website (logo, fonts, colors, background textures) to drive home your brand. After you’ve finished your knock-their-socks-off printed kit, create to generate a full-color set of PDF versions which can be emailed instantly for immediate response so you’re also ahead of the pack in more ways than one!
- Know how to get your kit from concept to print. For a winning kit, you will need strong ideas, innovative design and excellent technical execution. Thanks to low-cost, short-run digital printing, you can now deliver a high-end look, and fast turnaround. Be sure you have your speaker kit artwork on disk when you’re on the road so you can run into Kinko’s on a moments’ notice. An experienced professional designer will ensure quality results and a cost-effective process by acting as your liaison who speaks the same language as prepress, service bureaus, printers, and manufacturers. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s important to have someone do this for you or help walk you through the maze. Best of all, a professional designer takes care of all those niggling details, freeing you to do what you are really good at, which is running your successful speaking business.
Want more info? Visit http://www.SpeakerKitTips.com or call Hobie at (715) 634-4857 for a free 15-minute consultation to learn how to make your speaker kit sizzle. Kathi Dunn will be presenting “Proven Promotional Tools the World’s Top Speakers Use to Land Profitable Gigs and Build Cash-Producing Empires” at Dottie Walters’ Magnificent Marketing Symposium, June 22-25, 2006 in LA.
© 2006 Kathi Dunn