Want to gain more visibility through speaking engagements but don’t know how to get booked? You’ve come to the right place! Jackie Lapin of SpeakerTunity® helps clients get booked for speaking opportunities in various platforms. Today, she joins Susie Carder to share practical tips to help you get booked for your next speaking engagement. From events to podcasts, get all the info you need right here!
Jackie Lapin is passionate about helping authors and speakers get access to the right venues and contacts to share their messages with the world. She created SpeakerTunity Cities, a directory of listings by cities in North America. She’s a nationally recognized media expert with years of experienced, bestselling, award-winning author and personal growth and award-winning sports writing journalist. She knows how challenging it can be as a speaker and author to reach audiences. Her services range from do-it-yourself to finding speaking engagements to done-for-you services for all those that want to remove the heavy lifting.
Her goal is to help clients get their message in front of the ideal client. They give speakers, authors and writers a place and direct contact with all contacts inside the marketplace. They provide Radio Media Tours, which I’ve used myself. She has reached over 9,000 radio shows and podcasts specifically focused on personal business and spiritual expansion. Please welcome my next guest, Jackie Lapin.
Welcome to another amazing episode. You are blessed because I brought my ride or die and hook up, Ms. Jackie Lapin. I gave you your formal bio, but I need to speak from my heart of who this woman is. She has helped more speakers, authors and writers get noticed and seen, how to monetize their gift and expertise. She’s been helping leaders and coaches all over the world. Thank you for being here. I so appreciate you being here.
Susie, this is delightful. I love working with you and having you as my friend. I love to serve your community.
Why don’t you tell people who you serve and what your magic is?
I serve anybody that needs to get in front of an audience to grow a business. That could be coaches, leaders, experts, authors or entrepreneurs, anybody that finds that their next clients are somewhere either on a podcast, speaking engagements, radio show or TEDx. We figure out where all those opportunities are and then we make it easy for you to get on them. We want to make sure that there are no excuses to say, “I don’t know where to find my speaking gigs. I can’t get on those stages. I see everybody else doing it and I want it too.” We’re making it so simple for you that you cannot have any of those excuses anymore.
You know she’s good because I was talking about you to one of my clients before this conversation. She’s launching a book and I put together her launch strategy and you’re in her launch strategy. It’s part of my coaching to my clients to hire Jackie, get noticed and ramp that up. She’ll be contacting you soon. We’ve got a six-month plan for her to launch that book to leverage and monetize what they do and how they do it. With the pandemic, everybody’s been in chaos and has been clamoring. How do you help people pave that way from live to virtual? How do you rapidly increase that client base to fill their own events?
There’s never been a better time for somebody to launch into speaking to increase their speaking to get more visibility.
Here’s the thing. Before the pandemic, there were 6,500 speaking engagements in North America on a given day. Then there are 9,000 and you don’t have any borders. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re going to have to go there and they don’t have to decide if they want to give you money to get there. All you have to do is contact these leaders who run these events. Most of them are welcoming people from all over the country. If you’ve got something that dovetails or resonates with their audience, your opportunity is almost unlimited.
The good thing about this is that what we do at SpeakerTunity, which is 1 of my 2 companies, is we will then give you all the contacts either in your region and that means that those are virtual or live, it gives you both options, up to 2,000 speaker leads in your own region, 75 different directories in Western Canada or we’ll give them to you in your specialty so you can talk to the meetings, venues and associations in your specialty all across North America. Let’s say you want women’s business meetings, entrepreneurial meetings, coaches, healthcare professionals, real estate people, spiritual centers or mom groups. This makes it so easy for you to get in sync with those people who are hosting those and then you can book yourself on those.
We even make it one step further. Once you get our directory, if you need somebody else to do that, we have a referral service that we can send you to. It’s called Book For You Virtual Assistants and they’ll do it for you. It makes it easy. Virtual is the way to go simply because you have no expenses to do this. The only expense is the time that you spend booking those interviews, reaching out to those people and having those meetings so that you can get on their stages. It is a wide-open space. There’s never been a better time for somebody to launch into speaking or increase their speaking to get more visibility and turn this into an active client follow-up.
There are people still sitting on the fence waiting for this to get over. This is the new way of business. There is no getting over it. It’s get an action, not get over.
Many of those meetings are never going to go back to live because they have found it so much easier and less expensive. They don’t have to worry about whether their people are going to drive in from somewhere when there’s a traffic jam. They’re going ahead and saying, “This is working for us. We’re going to stay in this spot.”
Let’s talk about what assets we need to have ready. A lot of people are doing bubblegum, shoestring, Band-Aid, duct tape and it’s all mishmash. It doesn’t blend. You’re seeing speakers get booked on podcasts, radio and print. What do we have to have in place to make that happen to get to the yes?
When you’re talking about speaking engagements, you need a proposal letter that’s 6 or 7 paragraphs long. Here’s the key. You can’t put everything into that. It doesn’t make sense to pack it in because they’re going to get bored. What you do is you create a speaker 1 sheet which is 2 pages that has a bio on you, a couple of great testimonials and on the backside, it has the 3 presentations that you offer. If you only have 1 presentation, it’s like 1 arrow in your quiver. It’s got to be a bullseye. If you have multiples, you give people choice.
It’s valuable to have three different ones, whether they are different subject matters or reframed for different audiences or levels. That’s an important document. It showcases you as a brilliant presenter that they need to have. The last thing that you need when you’re booking yourself for speaking is some video. They need to see 3 to 5 minutes of how great you are as a presenter.
In the old days, you might have it on a stage. If your only option is to do it in one of these virtual rooms, do that but show how great you are and the responses. Either way, you can put something together that makes them know that you’d be a great presenter. That’s what your package is for pitching yourself for speaking. We do help people with their speaker one sheets over at SpeakerTunity. We make it easy for you to get them. The next thing is if you’re booking yourself for podcasts and radio shows, then you want a pitch letter and that should be about 1 to 1.5 page that defines these things.
The first is the hook. Why they should put you on the air? It could be the problem that you solve, your personal human-interest story, something that’s timely that’s going on in the world or filling a great need that it’s addressing. There are dozens of different ways that you can create a hook like a celebrity connection. Once you get past your hook, the next question is, why are you the expert that you are? The middle part of that should be about that aspect.
The third part about that is what are you going to talk about? What is your presentation on the show going to focus on? Give them 3 or 4 bullet points about what the audience takeaways are going to be or exactly what they’re going to learn. You can have that radio podcasts pitch letter or you can also do a podcast introductory sheet that’s one page. It’s like your speaker sheet, only it’s shorter. Instead, it has your bio and then 4 or 5 topics that you speak on. It’s slick and sexy.
You can either send that on its own with a small cover letter or marry the two. You can put your pitch letter married with your podcast as an attachment. Those two things are valuable in getting you booked on podcasts. If you’re going to get booked on virtual summits, I suggest you have what’s called a Mini Media Kit. What that does is it gives you a document you can send to the host if they’ve invited you to help promote you.
It gives them everything they need but in most summits, you fill in a form. You can use this as a transfer form, so cut and paste a bio on yourself that’s only about 2 or 3 paragraphs, then the description of what you’re presenting with a good snappy title, what is your free gift giveaway that they always want you to use and contribute, then your social media links and a webpage. All of those things are the tools that are going to help you get booked for all of these different aspects of which we’ll give you the contacts and you can go and start reaching out to them.
I love it because you make it so turnkey for us. You’re not telling us what to do. You’re giving us the tool and resource. You help us put it together and then we have to run. What’s the biggest mistake that you see speakers do when they’re trying to get booked on stages?
If you really listen to what the marketplace is telling you, you’re going to be guided in the direction to what products you should be bringing forward and where the audience is and who wants what from you. And then you have that opportunity to fill that void.
From my standpoint, they are focusing their pitch on themselves and their expertise, not on what the audience needs. The booker is only going to pay attention to you if they understand right off the top what it is you’re doing that’s going to improve the lives of their audience. Whatever problems keeping them awake at nights, you need to solve if they understand that from your pitch letters and one sheets, that’s going to have you a leg up over other people to get on those shows.
What I have seen and I know you’re going to add more to this when I say this, is speakers are trying to be everything to everybody. You’ll ask, “Who is your client?” They’re like, “Everybody.” It’s not everybody. Talk about that because you’re going to get booked when you’re speaking the right language to the right audience at the right time and it’s relevant to what’s happening years ago for your credibility but that’s irrelevant now. Speak to that because that frustrates me so much because they’re not focused on their niche. They’re like, “I’m smart than everybody.”
Sometimes, they want to go for the biggest podcasts and the ones with the greatest audience. One, you’re fighting the competition to get on those. It’s the same with stages. Two, you may be throwing your seed everywhere and not enough people are going to buy, so you’re wasting your time and money, especially if it costs you to get on those stages. You need to focus on the niche of audience that you know is going to be in need of and want to buy whatever you’re bringing to the table.
There has to be a match. Otherwise, you’re going to throw away your money, time and energy. Trust me. When you’re pitching yourself too, if you’re not a great match for that audience, the host isn’t going to put you on or the booker isn’t going to hire you. Stay with the low hanging fruit of what is in your niche area.
I’ve learned so much from speaking, specifically my niche and even the smaller shows first. “Let’s groom you to how to interview.” It is a skillset and a master for one. If you flop on that first big one, it’s harder to come back from that because there’s so much exposure.
The thing is, these hosts and speaker bookers talk amongst themselves. If you bomb, the word is going to get out. You need to build up so that people at the next level are saying, “She has great exposure here. People loved her. She’s not ready for my audience.”
With the economy, what’s the biggest challenge? You’re a player in the world. What I love about this show is we tell the truth quicker and faster. We’re vulnerable. I want our students to know that we’re managing the same business. We just might be managing more zeros in our database or bank account. It’s the same. What is one of the challenges? It could be a challenge that turned into an opportunity that you’re facing or tackling? How are you working through that?
When you launch a product, you hope that it’s going to be accepted by everybody. We launched our first product SpeakerTunity Speaker Leads. It serves a transformational audience, people that are out doing transformational speaking. We discovered that people who are more in the business space needed more business leads. We also wanted people who wanted more local as opposed to all over North America, which is what that product does.
What I do is I listen to the universe’s breadcrumbs. I watch where I’m being headed. What it clearly told me was I needed another product that reached that. That’s why our SpeakerTunity Cities, the regional directories and SpeakerTunity Specialties came into play. What I find is if you listen to what the marketplace is telling you, then you’re going to be guided in the direction to what products you should be bringing forward, where the audience is and who wants what from you. You have that opportunity to fill that void. That’s what I believe is the pathway that any entrepreneur should be taking.
There’s money all around you. Jackie is listening to the breadcrumbs and looking for that opportunity. Her business isn’t done and that’s where so many people miss the boat in building a business. They’re so attached to what we put together versus going, “What’s missing. What’s the opportunity? How can I serve?” You’re selling but you’re not saying it that way. I want people to know that because a lot of times, we get stuck at it has to be this way. We put something together based on what the market said then, whatever then was and then to look at where’s the market and where you are now so that we can make that pivot and change their business.
The pandemic was a perfect example. We’d been moving down the line focusing on launching our 75 cities, the pandemic hits. At the time, much of the speaking was in rooms and nobody was going to take a speaker directory when there are no room meetings. Everything transitioned over to virtual but in the meantime, we looked at this and said, “What is our next opportunity? Where should we be working if we can’t work there?” That’s when we started working to market our radio podcast tours, which is what we’ve been doing for years, where we introduce authors and leaders to 9,000 radio shows and podcasts with a minimum guarantee of 30 interviews.
Rather than sit there and bemoan our circumstance about, “We’d gotten sidetracked here,” we pivoted and pushed. We’ve had great years in radio podcast tours. It is not feeling sorry for yourself if things aren’t moving. Sit and figure out, “Where is my next step? What is the opportunity that I’m overlooking here?” Your business needs to be an evolving process. We’ve done it. This is where it is and what we have to beat to death because frankly, the market is going to change. You’ll learn more about what people want and what they don’t want. You got to be always evolving.
I’ve hired Jackie as well to help me do my podcast tour. I’m bringing you people that I write a check to. Not only is she a partner but I’m writing a check because I know the value of it. She blasts it out to 9,000 people. It’s very cost-effective. Nothing happens until you get press. You could be the best kept secret and nobody will find you, so we got to get you out there, get seen and get you some attraction. We’ve got to have you experience the media and the media needs to experience you. It’s not going to happen with you hiding behind a computer. You’ve been in business for a while. What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
I had another business prior to this. I had one of the largest sports special events in cable TV and PR agencies in the world. We had a world-class client list but the media was changing. It wasn’t much fun anymore. It was contracting. It was harder to get publicity for our clients. My heart had gone out of it. I wasn’t having any fun. They say that what you love expands. I knew that there was some part of me that didn’t want to be in this business but I kept pounding the pavement. Part of it was I was trying to fill a $70,000 a month overhead.
May you all find your stages and grow your business.
When you get to that point and you’re feeling it’s not flowing, you should get out but I didn’t because I couldn’t figure out how to extract myself with all those employees. It was an important lesson. The universe will take care of things if you don’t and sure enough, it came along. I had 3 clients declared chapter 7 in the same month leaving me holding the bag with close to $200,000 in debt.
I had to throw up the white flag, surrender and close up the agency but it was the best thing that could possibly happen, simply because my heart wasn’t in it anymore. The lesson I learned is I got to follow where my heart goes. If I don’t do that, then there will be energetic consequences that I didn’t plan for because the universe is feeling what’s going on inside of me.
I call that the cosmic boot. I never like it but in retrospect, you sit back and go, “I wasn’t listening to me.”
Fortunately, I came out of it okay because I was able to sell my assets, go to another company for a short period of time and then start back doing what I wanted to do.
It’s time to reflect. Sometimes, we’re jumping to the next or not looking at what’s next for me or what do I want to do. It’s hard with $70,000 in overhead every single month that keeps coming whether you want to do it or not. You got to make that happen. What do you want to be remembered for, Jackie?
To being in service to those people who are making the world a better place and supporting them in their journey so that we together can bring light where there is darkness in whatever aspect that is, personal, business, spiritual or health.
You’ve worked with some big players in the world like Hay House, Arielle Ford, Joe Vitale and Don Miguel Ruiz, who I love. You are living your legacy, which is exciting.
We love prizes and you have a prize for us. What’s our prize?
When you get on stages, you have to have a juicy lead magnet but if you think it’s just an eBook or a private consultation with you, you are missing the boat entirely. I have 44 ways to seduce your next client from stages, podcasts, virtual summits, virtual networking and radio shows. You can get it by going to SpeakerTunity.com/Seduce.
Every time I talk to Jackie, I’m looking at, “What am I missing?” I love it. There are not many people that get me like that. You’re a blessing and I appreciate you so much for our industry. Our industry needs you and appreciates you. Thank you for being my sister in my journey and helping me expose what I do in my book and show. You’re such a gift to the world.
Thank you, Susie. I appreciate it. If people have any questions, they can come to visit me either at ConsciousMediaRelations.com or SpeakerTunity.com. You can always reach out to me at Jackie@SpeakerTunity.com.
Can we find you at SpeakerTunity on all our social as well?
You want this woman in your back pocket. You want to put a budget together. You’ve got to have press and exposure. Let’s find the right people to help you to get the exposure that you need to get the interest you deserve so you can make that difference that you were put on this planet to do. Jackie, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you and thank you for serving our community.
Thank you, Susie. It was a joy. May you all find your stages and grow your business.
Jackie Lapin is a leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, speakers and entrepreneurs connect with their next followers around the globe. An expert at aiding them to GET BOOKED, she provides strategies, guidance and leads through her SpeakerTunity® programs, tip sheets and regional directories that get changemakers booked for speaking engagements, radio shows, podcasts, virtual summits, TEDx events and virtual networking across North America. SpeakerTunity® also offers a speaker-one sheet graphic design service and turnkey Success Booking System. SpeakerTunity® is the Ultimate Speaker’s Toolbox.
Jackie’s internationally acclaimed Conscious Media Relations Radio/Podcast Tours have helped nearly 200 luminaries, leaders, filmmakers and authors grow their businesses, sell more books, create viewership and change more lives by introducing them to up to 9000 radio shows and podcasts, including such clients as Don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Joe Vitale, James Twyman, Denise Linn, Arielle Ford, Hay House and more.