Have you ever realized after the fact that you missed an "easy" promotional opportunity or speaking gig potential? The truth is we all have. And yet, one vital area of importance in being a successful motivational speaker is to plan and use the natural calendar of life to your advantage. Speakers must train themselves to think ahead and also be thinking, "What is a natural event, activity, or season and how can I connect and promote myself through it." So today I am going to share several practical calendaring tips.
Creating a #calendar is not a glamorous or fun thing to do for creative people like professional speakers, but until you can hire staff, get an assistant or VA, you must learn how to plan. If you do not plan, you will miss potential speaking gigs. So here are 5 important calendaring events to pre-plan for each year.
1. School Year
School normally kicks off the end of August or early September. Schools are always looking for guests to come to speak, sing, entertain, and educate their students. This is true of all schools, colleges, and universities. So a great speaker will target each school year with a fresh PR campaign that allows schools, and universities to know they have a very timely and topically talk to present. The key is to get your information to the proper staff members before the school year begins. Make contact while teachers and administrative staff are still planning their calendars and not dealing with students. Do you know when your schools are back in session? Tip: try and reach our 4-6 weeks in advance, and follow up just before school starts.
Holidays are a great chance to mark your calendar and reach out to local civic groups, churches, and charity organizations. Can you adapt a talk to speak on a specific holiday?
At the holiday's organizations leaders are planning galas and parties. Many of which need entertainment or a speaker. Create print and online content to promote your availability during various holidays. These seasonal events can also be great networking opportunities.
3. Tragic Events
When tragedy strikes people are looking for answers, hope, help, and inspiration. You do not want to seek tragic events, but there are times that you can speak in a bad situation or long term pain. 911 is one such event. Even though years have passed, 911 still brings up great pain, sorrow, and emotions. Our world changed that day, and will forever continue to change because of it. Which of your talks may be able to be adapted to speak into the moment and help? Look at the calendar, what tragic events are remembered in your community that needs a solid speaker to speak at?
Every year students graduation and most graduation ceremonies want to a have guest speaker, or expert come and inspire their graduates, families and remaining students. This happens each year like clockwork. Again, plan for this months in advance, submit your name for consideration. Often these are not long speeches, but they can be impactful and memorable for many years to come. Do you know your school superintendents? Who is on your local school board? Who are the local teachers and professors you know? Use those contacts and connections to get on the shortlist early.
Most cities have regular conventions that come to town each year. Watch the local news and online outlets to not miss when a new convention is coming to your city. Even if it is a year or more out, submit your name, bio, etc to their planning committee.
Trade shows and conventions are often booked and planned with hotels and convention sites. Convention gigs can be goldmines because they are potentially larger audiences that include smaller chapters. Each of these chapters may be looking for a speaker just like you. But you can not get that gig if you don't plan and present yourself for it.
Remember, the greats tip to PR is planning. Start creating a calendar of common events, activities, holidays and celebrations that may be in search of a speaker. Once you create that calendar, create guidelines for how early and often you are going to submit or pitch yourself to be the speaker. Make a plan, and stick with it!
Rich "Trigger" Bontrager is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, broadcaster, Pastor and UNOS Ambassador on a mission to help you, "DEFY THE ODDS in life, leadership & public speaking. You can reach Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org