If you can tell your story in a compelling way, speaker representation is probably on the way if you don’t have it already. Speaking bureaus partner up with top tier speakers that are already getting consistent bookings. Some bureaus require that you show proof of over 1 million in earnings over a year with your profit and loss statements.
Bureaus make your life easier to the point where you can simply focus on sharpening your craft as a speaker. They handle everything from your negotiations to your flight plans. However, If you don’t mind doing the legwork than you don’t really need a speaking bureau.
Bureaus serve as the middleman between you and the client and charge a commission for their efforts. Depending on your speaking fee you may not mind at all. When you partner up with a bureau you let them know what your speaking fee is and they charge accordingly. However, bureaus add their tax to it causing some professional speakers to get frustrated with the bureau, because they don’t know what the bureau actually ended up charging for their keynote.
You will not be looked down upon if you choose to self-represent. You just have to make sure that all of your ducks are in a row. Your most important asset may be your personal website. On your site make sure you have a compelling speaking bio. Not just your general corporate one, but one that speaks to event planners and bureaus about what you bring to an audience. If you haven’t had any major events, think of unique ways to articulate and brand what you have done to date.
Another thing would be to take advantage of the digital world that we live in today. Historically professional speakers have feared having their keynote material made public in any way similar to comedians. However, times are changing and you need to find ways to have an impactful presence online.
You almost have to look at yourself like a musician looking to break into the music industry. Recording labels aren’t lining up to sign unknown artist, but when they start to gain notoriety labels are lining up at their door.
Your task is to position yourself as the next big thing in the speaking industry and the world will begin to treat you accordingly. If you want to do that there may have to be some free speeches along the way. In some instances you may end up getting paid $2,500 for a speech and then give a free speech a week later just to stay fresh and build connections.
This article has pretty much been advocating for you to do it on your own but I personally recommend you to partner up with a speaking bureau as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
They provide the type of value that should not be ignored. Everything I wrote before this was to help you fall in love with the process of getting the attention of the top bureaus. My goal is to help motivation be seen in more of a mainstream light so I am all for your success. If you ever need help with content… Im your guy!