Speaking opportunities–how do you find them?

This is one of the most challenging aspects of speaking on the side. Yet, speaking opportunities are all around you once you know where to look for them. More than a dozen speakers and marketing experts share their suggestions in the book:

Go to Google AdWords right now. The site walks you through the process of setting up a Google account, if you don’t already have one. (Many of us have a Google account already through Gmail, YouTube, or our Android phones.) Then, you follow a few basic steps: entering your credit card, setting a budget, writing some ads, and picking keywords that will connect searchers to your ads. If you need additional guidance, video tutorials and lists of frequently asked questions are nearby. The best part? Google pretty much tells you what decisions to make, offering suggestions about the budget you should pick,which keywords people are searching for, and even how you should write your ads. That’s one smart search engine.

Dig through LinkedIn. It’s a great place to research potential corporate speaking opportunities. A good way to start: in the “Company” search field, type the name of a company you’d like to target. Then, in the “Keywords” field, type the word “meetings” and hit the “Search” button. As you browse the results, you’ll find people worth contacting. Once you do, scroll down. Under the “Viewers of this profile also viewed” header, you’ll find evenmore people to contact. Ask them to connect and then introduce yourself! Just make it short, sweet, and intriguing.

Contact association management companies. Since many associations have small staffs, association management companies have emerged to handle the day-to-day business aspects of running a membership organization. That’s good news for you and me: it only takes a handful of contacts at these management companies to gain access to dozens of associations that may have speaking opportunities at their events. The AMC Institute has a handy list of management firms available on its website.

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