How Do I Become a Paid Public Keynote Speaker?

It is more and more common these days to see people obtaining public speaking jobs. There are the informational sessions where speakers are trying to sell you information, and there is also the famed $20,000 speaking gigs and TED talks. How does someone get a paid speaking gig? It is not as hard as it seems; it takes effort and persistence, and there are some easy tips for lining up speaking gigs.


  • Establish credibility. It is not enough to claim to be an expert, you have to sound like one. Identify your audience, be it an industry, a group of organizations you want to speak for, or subject matter. Jim Harper from the Cato Institute said that if you, “…go to the events that interest you, and pretend like you know what you are talking about, pretty soon people will believe you! That’s what I did.”

  • Put Yourself Out There. Speak for free in places where there will be people who can hire you for a fee. When a person is starting out, it becomes a matter of exposure. Check your local Kiwanis, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Clubs.

Look for three events you feel qualified to speak at and introduce yourself! Find a topic that fits their event with a specific title and description. Give a brief paragraph on why you are qualified to speak. Make it an easy choice for them to select you (so study up on their event).  Ignite and Pecha Kucha events happen regularly, and those are great opportunities to cut your teeth. If academics are more your speed, H-Net regularly updates its Calls for Papers.


  • Speaker Directories. There are websites that list speaking opportunities for a fee. Speaker Services and Speaker Zone are two great resources to check out.

  • Network, network, network! Smile when you deliver your speech when appropriate, audiences always respond better to smiles. Vocal coach Jessica Poepsel says, “Even when on the phone, people sound better when they smile. I always tell my voice actors to smile when giving lines.”

Ask for referrals at the end, right from your platform. Keynote speaker Rich Fettke says this when he speaks to groups, “As you can tell, I am really passionate about what I do. If you know of a group who could benefit from this message, please hand me a business card afterwards.”


Make sure to invite prospective clients to future events so they can see you in action.

  • Create a Web Site! With a web site, clients should have a one-stop location where they can decide if you are perfect for their event. Include downloadable one-sheet brochures, testimonials, program descriptions, media coverage (if any), results gained for other clients, and your speaker video.
  • Join Organizations where people can hire you or can refer you to others. Review these memberships annually to make sure the fees are worth it.


With these tips, the jump from speaking for free and speaking for fee can be a less daunting prospect! Patience and persistence is key, here. Don’t give up if your first few attempts don’t give you the greatest results.

How Do I Get My Business in the Media?

Starting a company is not a guaranteed winner – it never has been. A company can offer a great product, but you have to get in the media to tell the world you exist in order to get the business you want or need. Obtaining media exposure is both easy and challenging. It is easier because with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, there are outlets that did not exist 10 years ago. It is challenging, because early on, generating all of your interest depends on you.


With a little know-how, getting people interested in your business will not be that difficult at all. Some patience, persistence, and these tips will get you seen in the media and get the ball rolling for you.


1. Get to Know the Media: If you want to be covered by the media, you have to read, watch and listen to the outlets where you hope to be featured. By doing so, you’ll start to gain a better understanding of what news outlets are covering. For instance, Ars Technica and Gizmodo have a much different audience than Dulce Candy does.

Reporters typically have a subject area that he or she covers. When you find a story about your type of business, take note of the reporter’s bylines. These are most likely the people covering your business or industry. Contact information for reporters is often easy to find on the media outlet’s website or by calling the general phone number. Find this information, and you can create a target media list and keep it on file.

2. Develop Interesting Stories: Now that you know your media audience, you need to identify various story angles where your business would be highlighted. Think about new developments: has the industry had a recent change? Writers care about creating interest for their readers. You need to keep this in mind when you write about your business.

3. Start Reaching Out: Once you a story idea, to get in the media put together a compelling press release. Keep it brief, but provide interesting and relevant information. Stay scarce on the details. Reporters will come to you if they want more information.

4. Stay On Top Of The Story: After getting one or two outlets to talk about you, do not let that be your only media hit. Reporters are always looking for story ideas, and if you position yourself as an industry expert, you increase the chance that reporters will reach out to you. Build and maintain those relationships to keep your exposure strong.

5. Network: Public relations isn’t always about getting your business covered by the news media. It is also about generating word-of-mouth and buzz within the community. Attending networking events, joining trade associations, and identifying groups where your customers belong is an essential part of building your business. Remember, you are the best PR representative for your brand.

It will also help to get in the media if you create a startup blog on your own website. Early on, this should be updated two to three times a week. By doing this, and being persistent, your business will begin to see media hits.

10 Steps to Becoming a Best-Selling Author

Develop an author Web site: When possible, use your first name and last name in your domain name. Example:
Use your Web site as a place where fans and readers can go to learn about you and your books and to promote your events. Keep your home page updated by keeping content fresh. Choose words from the “Key Word” list, we have provided, in your blog posts.  Include a photo of yourself on your home page to personalize it. Include lots of photos on your Web site.  Pages with photos get the most views. Create an email signature with your book info and a link to your web site. Include this signature in all of your daily emails. It’s a great way to let people know about your book(s).


Develop book/series Web site: In the months leading up to the release of a title, create a Web site specifically for your book or series; this can be a tab on your author site or a different URL.


Create activities or classroom lessons to go along with your books and post them on your Web sites.


Blog, blog, blog: This could be part of your author Web site or its own domain name (Again, use your name in the domain name). This is a great way to share content with readers and create a forum for discussion with fans, other authors, etc.

  • Write fresh content regularly
  • Respond directly to comments from readers
  • Blog about anything, not necessarily just your book; drive Web traffic and fans back to your blog with interesting, relevant content
  • Include links to: your Web site, book Web pages, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Enslow.
  • Choose words from the “Key Words” list provided in your blog post and in your tags.
  • Use Google Blog Search to find other people blogging and writing about the subject of your book(s). Interact with them by posting useful comments on their blog. Chances are they’ll reciprocate.  If someone reviews your book(s) on their blog always thank them with a comment.  The more cross-promotion you can get, the better.


Goodreads Author Profile: Create an author profile on Goodreads and use the Author Program, designed to help authors reach their target audience. This is a great place to promote your books, get reviews, and interact with readers:


Amazon Author Central: Create an Author Page. Be sure to complete the “From the Author” section with a personal note about your experience researching and writing your book. You will soon be able to integrate your Facebook page with your Amazon author page which will boost discoverability:


Jacketflap: Create an author profile with links to your Web site and blog.  Announce upcoming events, and upload photos:


  • Library Thing: Find Out “How Authors Can Use Library Thing.” Create an author profile page using a photo and link to your web site. Catalog your books, add your readings and other events, join an author’s group, sign up for an Author Chat, or a Member Giveaways program:


Facebook: Create an author Facebook page (you can also create a FB page for your book/series).

  • Post information and updates about your book(s)
  • Announce new content that will drive fans back to your Web site and blog
  • Post questions/offers/incentives to fans about your books; share content
  • Invite fans to your events
  • Tweet, Tweet, Tweet: Join Twitter under your name.  Use Twitter’s Search feature to find people who talk about the subjects your book covers. Use Twitter to interact with fans and attract followers

Ask questions, promote discussion, share content, drive readers back to your Web sites


Pinterest: Another valuable social media platform, especially for female readers. Include boards showing your work space, your events, pictures that relate to your research on your books, your favorite books, your hobbies, etc.


Face-to-Face Contact: Interacting with readers in person remains important, such as school and library visits and book signings. However, you can use these events to reach wider audiences by doing a Webcast or Podcast. When going on a school visit, broadcast it to the Web so other fans can watch you live from other locations and post the Webcast on your Web site so they can view it later.


Media: Contact the editor of your local newspaper or the newspaper from the town in your hometown.  Ask if they would be willing to do an article about you and your book(s). Contact your  local radio and television stations for an author interview.


Reviews: It is important to generate reviews for your book(s).  Solicit endorsements, praise, and reviews from well-known people, book reviewers, librarians, teachers, and other authors.  Ask them to post their review on their blog,,, and We will assist you in sending out review copies and getting them into the hands of reviewers.  Just contact us!