3 Things You Need to Know if You Think You're the Only One Not Being Asked to Speak at Creative Conferences
Another conference speaker line up has been announced and you’re dealing with major FOMO. It feels like everyone ELSE is getting asked to speak at events and you keep getting skipped over. Sulking in your desk chair you scream at your computer “You forgot about meeeee!!!”
I get it, you want to speak at creative conferences but you feel like everyone EXCEPT you is getting their chance to shine. Rather than slipping into a three day netflix binge and sulking over what isn’t working…. I’m going to break down three things you need to know about how conference organizers pick their speakers AND give you action steps to finally snag your spot on the stage.
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(1) Organizers are looking for experts on specific topics.
When event planners are mapping out their conference agenda, they tend to have specific topics in mind they want covered by their speakers. Rather than saying, “I’m looking for a great speaker.” Conference organizers say, “I’m looking for a great speaker on _____ (specific topic).”
This helps them have an intentional plan of attack and clear audience takeaways.
If you want to be the first person that comes to their mind when they’re looking for speaker, make sure that YOU are working to become the go-to expert in your industry. When someone thinks of you, or looks at your website and social media accounts… is it clear what you specialize in? Are you GREAT at something or are you just OK at #allthethings.
Action Step: Get laser focused on your zone of genius. Make sure that your website and social media platforms reflect your area of expertise.
Bonus Points: If you really want to kick this up notch, increase the content you are putting out on this topic. Think: blog posts, live streams, interviews… anything to remind others that YOU are the expert on your specific topic.
(2) Event planners are just like you. They are more comfortable working with people they know, like and trust.
Guess what… event planners are human. Crazy, right? They’re business owners just trying to serve their clients. Just as you prefer to collaborate with people you know, like and trust - conference organizers feel the same when it comes to hand selecting speakers. Speakers are an extension of the organizer and their vision. They want to be able to rest easy knowing the individuals who take the stage will carry out their mission and help the vision for the event come to life.
If you’re sitting at home wondering why an organizer hasn’t asked you to speak, yet -- ask yourself these questions:
(1) Have you attended any of their past events?
(2) Have you had a personal conversation with the host?
(3) Are you following, supporting and sharing their social media platforms?
(4) Do you know the heart behind their mission and their vision for the event?
(5) Have you hired (or been hired) by someone from the event in the past?
(6) Do they know that you want to pour into their attendees?
Don’t listen to me…. Take it from Kat Schmoyer (the host of The Creative at Heart Conference). When looking for speakers, the FIRST place she looks is to her past attendees. They know the heart behind the experience and she is confident they will carry out the C@H mission.
"I love supporting our C@H family because I know these boss ladies share my passion for bringing like-minded women together! Anyone who serves as an educator for C@H represents the C@H brand, and attendees come to C@H because they are EXCITED to meet these women & learn from them!!! I LOVE that!! And I want to foster a relationship between speakers & attendees that is open, honest & safe. By choosing speakers who I have met personally or I have a personal reference for or who have attending C@H in the past, I am able to ensure our speakers will represent the C@H brand & mission wholeheartedly & best serve our attendees!!" -- Kat Schmoyer, Creative at Heart Conference
Action Step: Be intentional about connecting with hosts of the events you want to speak at. Get to know THEIR vision and mission. All too often we focus on why others should support OUR dreams but we forget to support theirs. Show organizers that you believe in and support their work.
Bonus Points: Attend the conference before you ask to speak at it. Everyone loves an alumni!!
(3) Conference organizers want to make decisions for themselves.
No one likes to be told what to do, like or say. Let’s face it… we want to make decisions for ourselves. The same thing goes for selecting speakers. No one wants to listen to you tell them, “I’m such a great speaker. Trust me, I’m going to blow your audience away. I’m the go-to expert on this topic. Pick me! Pick me!”
What they DO want is for you to help them make that decision for themselves. They want to see proof of concept and know that you are, in fact, the best fit to speak. Organizers want to get a taste for what it would be like to have you at their event. If you’re already doing action steps 1 & 2 from above, chances are event planners are already looking at YOU! The next step? SHOW them why you are exactly what they’re looking for.
Action Step: Show organizers where you have spoken in the past and how the audience/organizer was impacted. Think: videos, pictures and testimonials. Event planners are looking for proof of concept, so make it easy for them to see what it’s like to have you at their event.
Bonus Points: Create as much video and live content on your subject matter as possible. This helps planners SEE how you deliver your content, engage with your audience and your overall demeanor.
At the end of the day, conference organizers are overwhelmed business owners just trying to do their best. Make their selection process easier on them (and you) by showing up, making a personal connect and giving them a taste of your presentation style.
Want the inside scoop on how to pitch creative conferences? I hosted a free workshop with Kat Schmoyer (the brains behind the Creative at Heart Conference). Check out the replay here >>
JESSICA RASDALL // MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER + COACH
Jessica Rasdall is your secret weapon to achieving the speaking success you desire. As a professional speaker and coach for female entrepreneurs, she is dedicated to partnering with women business owner to craft stories and presentation that connect with their audience and help them stand out in a saturated market.