Recently a friend of mine from Defender Ministries asked me what it takes to be a “professional speaker.” I guess I either know a lot about conferences or am just a conference junkie (I vote for the second option). Here is my response for anyone looking to do this:
First, I refer people to Michael Hyatt’s blog post about this: http://michaelhyatt.com/2009/09/so-you-want-to-be-a-professional-speaker.html
Granted, it is more for business people but you can still glean some good tidbits of information. Renown helps. If you look at people we have brought in or even the Catalyst conference. Almost every person has written a book or is just well connected, well almost every person.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Start a blog, be annoying on posting and linking to other blogs (Google ranks you higher when you are linked from other blogs and when you link other blogs to yours). Keep up on the blog, but make sure it is simple, can be subscribed to and is updated regularly. This is something I’ve been doing for a while check out some like:
Some good examples of well followed blogs are:
2. Get your book published and promote it by giving away free copies through Catalyst, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc to get exposure. Make sure it is listed on Amazon first so people can learn about it as well as on its own site. (i.e. http://www.defenderministries.com/amazingsuperawesomebookwrittenbycoolpeople)
3. Start small, offer to speak with accolades from others for free (just ask for travel money, or even give that for free). Offer to sponsor conferences with free swag.
Hope this helps someone.