Do you want to know how to find easier ways to get yourself booked to speak on more stages?
Listen as Jackie Lapin shares powerful ways to get your message out to the world faster.
Do you want to know how to find easier ways to get yourself booked to speak on more stages?
Listen as Jackie Lapin shares powerful ways to get your message out to the world faster.
Jackie Lapin is the founder of SpeakerTunity, and helps leaders, authors, coaches, and speakers get booked to share their expertise.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Find Easier Ways to Get Yourself Booked to Speak" you will discover...
Why using multiple platforms to share your message and value is essential for first-time authors
What you need to know about the differences between a speaker and podcast one-sheet
How to circumvent the "catch 22" dilemma of getting testimonials when you're just starting out
And a whole lot more...
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is Jackie Lapin, the founder of SpeakerTunity the speaker and leader resource company. Jackie is the leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, and speakers get booked. She provides direct leads through her SpeakerTunity programs, tip sheets, and regional directories that get change makers booked on stages, radio shows, podcasts, virtual summits, TEDx events, and virtual networking across North America. SpeakerTunity is the ultimate speaker's toolbox. Well, Jackie, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Jackie Lapin: Well, I'm delighted to be here as Susan. Authors are my favorite people because I am one myself and I love to work with them. It's a joy to be able to see if I can contribute here.
Susan Friedmann: Well, Jackie, you offer such incredible services and I know that so many of my authors are looking for opportunities, as you say, to get booked on stages, radio shows or podcasts, particularly because that's, as we know, a big thing in these virtual summits. Absolutely. Let's talk about ways in which, let's say, I know we've talked about speaking so often on this program with other experts, but speaking is such an important aspect of the book and being able to share your message and your value with your target audience. Talk to us more about that and just the importance of speaking for authors.
Jackie Lapin: Speaking is the single most effective means to sell a book, Susan. When you are in a room with people or even on a virtual, but especially when you're in a room, the conversion rate is higher than almost anything else. When people hear you speak, that is the most likely scenario for them to actually buy your book out of a bookstore or off online. You really want to be in as many places as possible where your ideal speaker is. It really will bump your sales. Obviously, part of that is getting to the right audiences. But you don't want to just speak anywhere. You want to speak where your key audience, your key client, your key reader is. You need to search for the right opportunities and be on the right stages so that you can actually motivate them. And obviously, speaking, it's intimidating for a lot people, but without speaking, you're cutting off a significant part of your opportunity to get your book into the hands of the right people.
Susan Friedmann: And one of the tactics I know, or even strategies, you can call it, a meeting planner might even buy copies of the book for everyone in the audience. Have you seen that?
Jackie Lapin: Yes, but I often talk to, when I'm speaking to leaders and experts, we're so locked in to the print on demand world, that everybody assumes that readers are just going to go there to buy the book. Well, that is true to a large extent, especially when you're doing podcasts. But you could get somebody all of a sudden in a local meeting say, "Hey, I've got three people and a spot that just opened. Why don't you just come and do this?" A big mistake that leaders often make is that they don't have enough stock on hand. They figure, "Okay, well, I can get it off of Amazon. I'll buy my stock." But if somebody calls you on a Tuesday and says, "I've got a spot on a Thursday," and you think, "Oh my God, I don't have enough here." It's going to take you another two or three weeks to get whatever you've got from to reprint it and stock in back to you by mail. Don't wait, always have a stock of at least a hundred books on hand. So if you get a sudden and unexpected speaking engagement, you're not caught shorthanded.
Susan Friedmann: Jackie, our world, in terms of speaking, presenting has changed enormously, obviously in the last year plus, going from live to virtual. I know that live speaking engagements are becoming more popular again, but talk to us about the virtual versus the live environment.
Jackie Lapin: I think actually that there's a little bit of pushback against live right now with the resurgence of the virus. So I think that what you're really looking at is for, at least the next six months, you're looking at mostly virtual because people are skeptical to get out into a live environment right now. Virtual has taken on a more significant role and I think it will continue to be. A lot of people found that they actually drew more audiences this way. They can get people from other regions and it creates sense for the author and the speaker a much bigger pool of speaking opportunities. If you don't have to get on an airplane, you can go speak to a chapter of a membership organization in New Jersey as just as well as you can in Los Angeles if you're sitting in Denver.
The nice part about it is it's really up to your ability to get, especially with meetings, venues, and associations. Then, of course, with some conferences. It behooves you to get your skills up, to make sure that you've got the proper background, the proper lighting, and that you're comfortable in front of a Zoom screen doing any kind of a presentation. And of course, podcasts and virtual summits are the beneficiaries. They have grown immensely. There are over a million podcasts today and the virtual summits are just continuing to proliferate. They had sort of hit a dead space and then all of a sudden with the podcast, they just took off again. And so, summits are a great way to market your book and get people into your opt-in community as well.
Susan Friedmann: Talk to us about summit. That's actually a topic that we have not really covered in any depth in these interviews. Talk to us more about them, how they work, and what are the real advantages to a speaker, obviously, other than selling books.
Jackie Lapin: The first thing is, a summit is a collaborative effort where one person hosts it and invites others who have topics within a certain range of what the subject matter of the summit is, to come and collaborate as guest presenters. As a guest presenter, you get anywhere from a 35-minute to an hour long interview to talk about some valued information. In other words, you're giving information. It's not just a sales pitch. Then, in the end, somewhere through there, you get to talk about your book. And in the end, you're going to have a little sales pitch. They enable you to either talk about your book and tell people where they can find it.
This is more with if you're selling a coaching service or product or so on, you can't go into a sales pitch. They can't make an offer most of the time, but you can make a free offer. So it's always beneficial to not only give them where they can get your book, but some free gift that is absolutely irresistible, that is online, that they can get with an easy and simple URL, not something elongated, so that they can come in and grab it and you get their email information. Now, the corollary to this is for the privilege of letting you do this, you have to do the promotion. You have to tell your community about this. You as a guest presenter are going to receive the benefit of new people that you've never been in contact from in the past, coming in from somebody else's list. Now you're exposed to hundreds of thousands, sometimes a hundred, sometimes hundreds of thousands, of new people that are interested in your topic. You get an opportunity to submit them into your list with something that's just really exciting and they want to grab.
Now, it's also, you can do this very often with product giveaway collaborations. The nice part about that is that some summits do have a minimum list guarantee. If your list doesn't yet, the numbers don't match up with a lot of the summits, the more you build your list through gift giveaways, the more than you qualify for more summits. That's one of the reasons why on our resources, SpeakerTunity Summits, one of our monthly service subscriptions where we could tell people about summits that are coming up, we also give them giveaways so they can enter them as well. Because we want to make sure that they are getting accepted into more and more summits as they participate.
Susan Friedmann: That's something that I know that I'm doing more and more of because I see that value of just being seen out there in the marketplace even though this obviously is something that I'm doing for free, but it's giving me this incredible exposure. What you're saying is dynamite information for our authors to consider being more visible. And this is a great way to get on stages and to be seen and to be seen as an expert in your area. And of course, podcasts. I know that podcasts are a significant service. Finding podcast opportunities that you offer, talk to us more about that, about being a guest on a podcast.
Jackie Lapin: Podcasts are a great way to market your book. The benefits of podcasts is they really have a very directed audience. When a host invite you, you know who that audience is, and they're interested in what you have to offer. It's not like radio where you have no idea who's listening and you kind of just throw it out there and you might get five minutes. With a podcast you're going to get anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to really state your piece. We're big believers in creating a media kit that makes it where you have 20 questions in it that you give the host so the host actually follows those questions 90% of the time. It takes the pressure off of you with thinking, "What are they going to ask?" You give them a roadmap so that you can use that roadmap to answer the questions you want to answer and drive people into your book. It's a way of making sure that the interview is productive on your behalf. It's a really critical element of that.
Podcasts, the nice thing about these hosts, is they want to help you sell something. They love to support the author and majority of them will actually read your book. Isn't that a surprise? Whereas in radio shows, they might, but the likelihood is very limited. And even so, today, there's more longer radio shows than there used to be when you got the five and 15 minutes segments. But these guys are deeply engaged in the process of helping you market your book.
Now, here's another little interesting thing that you should know about podcasts today and radio shows as well, is you may think this is a digital era where everybody wants to read an e-book. Wrong. They all want a physical copy, 99% of them. You shouldn't start pitching yourself to them until you've literally have copies of your book, whether they're galley copies, or whether they're final copies, you need to have enough books so that when you're talking to a host, when you're pitching a host, you can send them a book. Don't send it beforehand. Send it after you get the interest, because that's when they're going to want to read that so that when they're talking about you on the air and talking with you, they can speak from the experience. And some will want to read the book before they actually give you an opportunity to be on the show.
Susan Friedmann: That's so true because if I have a guest who I don't necessarily know that well, the first thing I do is I go on to Amazon and look at their book. I like to look at the table of contents. Sometimes I buy the book if I really feel that it's of value to adding to my library. But I do. I look at, I want to know as much as I can about the person or the person's subject matter before I actually interview them. I hate to come on cold and not know anything about a person. That makes me really nervous. I want to know which direction I'm going to go with this person on the interview.
Jackie Lapin: Really, a key to this is when you're going to be pitching yourself to a podcast, there's two tools you can use. But you have to have a really good pitch letter in my estimation. When we do our Done For You podcast radio tours, we send about a page and a half worth of copy. It is just pack full of why this person is a compelling interview. It comes in three parts. The first part is: What is the problem this person solves? Why are they newsworthy? What is their story that makes it interesting?
The second part is: What are their credentials? What makes them an authority in this subject matter? The third part of this is: What is the listener going to hear? Including a description of what the content is going to be; then, four or five bullet points that point to exactly what the takeaways are for this audience. When you can put a pitch letter together like that, you already told the host an awful lot about you, and that's what's going to get you in the door and that's what's going to get you booked.
But there's another tool today that a lot of people are using and that is a podcast introductory sheet. They aren't going to the extent of writing a full pitch letter. They send a one-page podcast introductory sheet that has a little bio on them and then the subjects that they speak about. And a slick beautiful thing with a couple of testimonials is really a nice presentation. And what we often recommend is that people combine the two. You use the pitch letter and then you can attach the podcast introductory sheet. We over at SpeakerTunity help you do your speaker one sheet or your podcast introductory sheet. We make it really easy. You can pick from templates and colors and then fill in the form and you don't even have to think about, "What do I have to give them?" because we tell you exactly what to give us.
Susan Friedmann: That's interesting. I have done over 290 episodes of this podcast and there's been only one guest who did exactly what you just recommended in all of that time.
Jackie Lapin: Wow.
Susan Friedmann: That really makes it stand out. I often get pitches from PR companies, "Oh, my client has got this great book and they're launching it and they'll be a great fit for your podcast." I'm like, you don't know what my podcast is about if you pitch me a book because I'm not interested in books. I'm interested in subject matter and how this person can help my audience be better. Practical information that they can use. It's not about me pitching a book for them.
Jackie Lapin: We really tell you to drill down and find the right people. Don't just send it broadly to everybody. Find the audience that's right for you from the standpoint of podcasts. We also have a training program that teaches people how to write this pitch. Because it's not easy to write. You really have to be adept at putting things in the right order in the right way. And so, we just put it all on an e-course that makes it really simple for people.
Susan Friedmann: Well, and that's critical because I think one of the hardest things to do is to write about yourself and what you do. I recall one of my first jobs at a PR agency. They said, the first exercise, was write a press release about your starting at this company, this agency. I agonized over this. I could have written one about any other person in that office. But to write one about myself, oh my goodness, it was painful.
Jackie Lapin: I used to make that my first assignment when I taught journalism to students and watch them suffer.
Susan Friedmann: You would have had me in agony because writing about yourself is really, really hard. Talk to us more, I know you talked to us about a podcast one sheet. Now, I know that speakers have one sheets as well. What difference is there between those two?
Jackie Lapin: Well, the speaker when she ... It's actually two pages. On the front is a bio and it speaks to what is the problem you solve in the world. That is the most important point that you can make to any speaker booker. Your headline should also speak to that. You want to have testimonials from people who have booked you previously. That's your ideal testimonial. People who heard you speak a second or your clients, the second or third, you really need to get people who booked you. Now, you can use the others as a space holder, but your ultimate sheet should have people who have booked you in the past, in the same genre you're trying to get booked from.
The backside of this is where this gets really different. On a podcast sheet, you only have to have a line or two about the subjects you speak on, and you can do anywhere from three to five of those. But on the backside of a speaker one sheet, you have three full outlined presentations. They have to meet, they need snappy titles, they need a description paragraph, and then they need takeaways of what that audience is going to come away with when they're hearing you.
You need three because, as I say, if you only have one arrow in your quiver, you better be a bullseye. Because a lot of these bookers, they'll look, "Oh, well, that's not for us, but that one is." You can sparse them in different ways. Different skill levels, one for a business audience, one for a personal growth audience. You can do them a lunch and learn, a workshop, and a keynote. There's just lots of different ways that you can sort that, but you really should give them three choices. That's the biggest thing. That second page is devoted to the actual presentations, as opposed to a one-page podcast, which is much briefer.
Susan Friedmann: You talked about testimonials, and there's a bit of a catch 22 here, especially for speakers who are starting out, that they may not have those testimonials, but yet they may not be able to get hired unless they have something that other people have said about them. How do you get around that?
Jackie Lapin: You can use reader comments and reviews until you have some of that. Just as long as you have some kind of third party endorsement. I'm sure you've got reviews that you can use at the very least. You can just basically upgrade your testimonials as you get new ones. But here's the real key. Don't wait to ask somebody six months later to give you a testimonial after you've gotten off stage. Get it that night or day or the next morning. When they're hot, they're excited, they're thrilled. Just jump on it right then. "Hey, would you mind giving me a testimonial?" I spoke at a major conference two weeks ago, and the next afternoon while the conference was still going on, I found the organizer and I said, "Would you be willing to give me a testimonial?" He gave me a beautiful little video testimonial. I can strip it for print and I can now use it as a video.
Susan Friedmann: That was my next question actually. Is there any benefit to having it in writing versus audio versus video? Does it matter?
Jackie Lapin: Well, first of all, if you can get video, get it because you can use it on your website. If not, then you can also just strip it for print. If not, then print is fine and you can put it everywhere. Video is just so much more moving to a lot of people. Get it any way you can, but if you can get it in video, then you get two for one.
Susan Friedmann: Our listeners love learning about mistakes, Jackie, and I'm sure you've got a few up your sleeve that people have made in this environment since you cover so many different areas for authors, speakers, coaches. Give us, let's say, the top two or three.
Jackie Lapin: The biggest mistake is not doing their speaker outreach or their podcast outreach, because I don't have time, I don't know where it is, I hadn't known how to research it. There's two things. One, you have to make time in your schedule to do this. And I'm saying, book at least three hours a week in your calendar. Block it off as if you were having a meeting with somebody else to do your pitching. Two, if you're going to do you're pitching to, we have some great resources. There's no excuse anymore to say, "I don't have the time to do this" because we have done all the research for you. At SpeakerTunity, we do directories where, for speaking engagements both local in the U.S. and Canada, we've got 75 regional directories. Or just in your niche, we've got 60 niche directories. So if you just want to reach a specific marketplace, including bookstores, then we have all of those.
Then, we've got podcasts. We've got one just for life enhancing podcasts, which are anything from personal growth and spirituality and health and wellness and relationships and success principles. Anything to improve one's life, business, or planet. Or the other one that just gives you B2B podcasts and radio shows every single month. And we give you 40 each month so you can keep sending to them. Then, we have the virtual summit. So those are all great things that you shouldn't overlook when you're saying, "I don't know where they are" because we're going to give you the contacts for them and get that problem off you.
Now, on the other hand, if you don't want to do it yourself, we also have aligned with a service called Book For You virtual assistance that'll take those directories and outreach for you. That makes it so easy you don't even have to worry about it. The whole point of that is stop saying you don't have the opportunity to do it, the time, et cetera. Jump on the bandwagon. Go over to SpeakerTunity. We'll take care of you. You don't have to do that.
The next failing of people, I think a lot of time, is the fear of getting on stages. Now, the problem here is that most people think, "They're judging me." They're always thinking about themselves. I got news for you. Get over it because the audience doesn't care about you. They care about what information you're giving them. If you can offer them something that changes their lives, that's all that matters. That's all they want from you. So, if you're standing on a stage, thinking to yourself, "I'm afraid to get on stage," that's not the attitude. What you need to do is think from this standpoint: these people need what I have. I am here to be in service to them. If I step on the stage, as long as I give them valuable information, they're going to welcome me. If you step on stage from that standpoint, your butterflies should disappear. Stop using the excuses, "I'm terrified of speaking." They need you and you're doing a disservice by not speaking up and helping people.
Susan Friedmann: That reminds me, Jackie, one of my colleagues in the National Speakers Association talks about, "Serve, don't shine." I always remember that because it's so meaningful. Because yes, if you're looking to shine, you're not servicing. Then, it's all about you. Whereas, like you said, when it's all about the audience and the value that you bring to them and how you can serve them, it's coming from a whole different standpoint.
Jackie Lapin: And the other thing, Susan, that we haven't mentioned is that if you're looking to do podcasts, we do a radio podcast tour where we will introduce you to 9,000 radio shows and podcasts with a minimum guarantee of 30 interviews. We've been doing that for 12 years. That's the other side of my business. We're really known for that. We serve anybody whose books improve one's life, one's business, the planet. It's not for fiction, but it is for nonfiction and anybody that has something that is an influence in helping people find a better path forward. We have three different versions of that. We try to fit it so that it's affordable for almost anybody at any level. That's another thing.
And so the third mistake that a lot of people make is that they don't have a real call to action. When you're speaking and when you're on a podcast, you need to be really clear about what are the benefits of getting whatever it is that you have, your book, your coaching program, whatever it is, and then basically inviting people to take advantage of it. I mean, you don't want to step all over the host, but you also don't want to wait until the very last minute to say, "Here's what we have." And you don't want to do it in such a way that's like you're almost afraid to step in. Have a clear nice invitation for people to take advantage of what you have in a way that serves them.
Susan Friedmann: Fabulous. Well, you've talked a lot about your services and what you can do for authors, but how do we actually get hold of you? What's the best website or the best email? What do you want our listeners to do to contact you?
Jackie Lapin: Well, thank you for letting me do my call to action, Susan. Yes, I want to invite you to come on over to SpeakerTunity.com. That's speaker and opportunity put together. SpeakerTunity.com. Take a look. We have a wonderful homepage that's got lots and lots of different resources. Don't feel you can get a little overwhelmed there. There's some of them, we can actually combine for you, but we make it really easy for you to find exactly what you need. So, peruse. And if you've got questions, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can set meetings with me at schedule.jackielapin.com. That's how to set up a meeting with me. I've got other folks here to help you. And hey, there's a little robot on that page. If you have a question about something right then, Jeff, my right hand will respond back to you right away. And one of the things that we really pride ourselves on is really helping people in a way that gives them confidence that they're well taken care of. That's really what we mean to do in the world.
Susan Friedmann: That's so exciting. I'm just blown away with all of the things that you offer with those services. I know that it's going to be part of what I'd refer my authors to because there's so many incredible services that they couldn't even go out and find that for themselves, or it would take them a long time. Jackie, we always end off, if you could leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?
Jackie Lapin: Don't hide your light under a bushel. Authors can get so caught up in other things that they're not putting themselves forward. And the truth be told, if you're starting a book project, you need to put some money in the budget for the marketing upfront. Don't wait until the end and think, "Oh, I need to spend a little money on helping getting this out and getting my speaker leads or hiring somebody to help me," and then go, "I'm out of money." You calculate that into the budget when you're going forward. It's not an afterthought. And you really need to make sure that you're being visible about your book. You're not so caught up in Facebook and other forms of online marketing and client services and writing the next book that you're not taking care of the book that you have right now. Get out. Get some traction on it. Start the movement going. Then, really start to build a fandom for yourself and people who are going to buy your book and this one and any others that you write to.
Susan Friedmann: That's fantastic. I know that we're going to jump over into the premium member site shortly with some more juicy information. In the meantime, thank you, Jackie, for sharing your wisdom on this side and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.