As a speaker, you want to get your message out to the world but often speakers are not sure where to find strong leads. One of the best ways is to draw on your existing network.
And yes, you have already heard how important it is to ask for referrals before but the majority of people do not know HOW to ask in a way that gets results.
Let’s map out a strategy for you to get more speaking gigs.
Preparing to Ask
- You need to be succinct in your asking. I can’t even tell you how many times someone has emailed me asking for connections and that email was 3-10 paragraphs long. Whether you are reaching out to people like me who are powerful influencers or people in your circle, we are all busy. You need to get straight to the point!
- You need to be specific in your asking. Most people tell me their life story and then ask for a referral. Or they give me general statements like “I speak to entrepreneurs on how to de-clutter. Who do you know?”
As You Ask
When doing your ‘ask’ you need to tell me:
- WHO your market is, specifically. Of course you are very talented and can most likely speak to various groups but it is far easier to get leads if you say “sales representatives in the insurance industry” instead of “sales people.” The former example, gives an instant snapshot in the reader’s mind so they can make connections.
- WHAT you do for them – problem and solution. The key is to make it real world and not general things like “I help them feel healthy.” How about something like “I help new moms to re-balance their hormones and get back to a healthy weight.”
- WHO your perfect connections would be.
An Effective “Ask”
A great example of an effective “ask” is my friend and colleague, Tina Dietz. Now, she wasn’t asking me for bookings but I wanted to share this example so you can see how specific and targeted she was. Here is what she emailed me:
“Hi Cindy, I am reaching out ask for some connections. I work with authors. They are missing out on a huge market of people who love to listen to audio. I help them to put their books on audio so they can increase their reach and impact. Who do you know that are book coaches that you can connect me with?”
It is a great “ask” because book coaches help their clients create their books and then they can refer them to Tina to get those books on audio. I gave her four referrals right away. She made it easy for me.
If we were to alter this to get bookings instead of clients, here would be her ask:
“Hi Cindy, I am reaching out to ask for some connections. I work with authors. They are missing out a huge market of people who love to listen to audio. I help them to put their books on audio so they can increase their reach and impact. Who do you know that are book coaches that host conferences who you can connect me with?”
Right now, create a short one paragraph “ask” that includes your who you work with, what you do for them and who is a good connection. Then email five people you know that may have connections.