If you’re hoping to build a career as a professional speaker, then your website is one of the most important marketing assets you have. A good website functions like an always-open storefront for your stage services, and with the right information, it could become a key driver of new gigs and referrals.
Whether you’re adding a “speaking” page to your existing website, or creating a completely new site solely dedicated to your speaking services, there are a few key things you must include to ensure your speaking site is putting you in your best light.If you want to launch a career as a public speaker your website is one of the most important marketing assets you have. With the right information, it could become a key driver of new gigs and referrals. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
The most important things for event planners to understand from your website is who you speak to and what you speak to them about. While it might seem basic, it’s so easy for speakers, especially new speakers, to forget to state this information in a clear, prominent and concise manner on their website.
Your expert positioning should include both your ideal audience and what you help them achieve:
- “I teach marketers how to best leverage email to grow their businesses.”
- “I show busy moms how meditation can reduce stress and increase happiness.”
- “I give beauticians a step-by-step system for generating online reviews and referrals.”
Without a clear expert positioning statement on your website, an event planner or potential referrer has no way of knowing if you’re the right speaker for them. Your goal is to make this expert positioning so clear and specific that an event booker reading your website thinks, “Yes! That’s MY audience, and THAT is what they need to know!”
Any time we’re considering buying something online, particularly from a company or entity we’re not familiar with, we look for evidence that it is what it claims to be and that those claims can be trusted. As a speaker, you should be sure your website includes similar evidence of the quality of your content, your mastery of your craft, and your experience as a speaker.
For speakers, social proof can come in a variety of forms. One easy way to add social proof to your website is to include a list or calendar of your speaking events, both past and upcoming. This helps event bookers see that you’re actively speaking, that you’re in demand, and that you’ve been trusted by events and companies similar to their own. Adding logos of conferences or companies to these listings makes the social proof more eye-catching, and more likely to be seen.
Another way to add social proof to your speaking website is to include press or past speaker ratings that show you’re a recognized expert in your field. Noting that you’ve been featured in a list of the “Top 20 Sales Speakers” or were ranked among the top 5 speakers at a major event can help add credibility to your claims.
When an event booker comes to your website, they’re going to be looking for visual queues about what you do and where you speak. By including photos and video footage of you as a speaker, in the correct environment, you help ensure that they walk away from your site with the correct impression, even if they don’t have time to read all of your web copy.
For most speakers, this means embedding a speaker demo reel on your speaking page, but that’s not the only way to bring these visuals into your site experience. You can include photos or b-roll of you on stage as a backdrop for header images or page titles and include one or more speaking photos on your “about” page, “home” page, and even your “contact” page.
This is especially important if you’re operating a business with multiple products or services.
On pages that talk about consulting or a book, try to include at least one photo of you with a mic, on a stage or otherwise speaking to help ensure every page of your site is helping to build your brand as a speaker.
We all know, as consumers, that companies only provide us with the best information about themselves, and this is part of why product reviews are so important when we shop; we trust that others’ opinions are more objective than those of someone trying to sell us. Testimonials can serve as more third-party credibility of what you can accomplish for audiences while on stage.
Testimonials from attendees of your speeches will reinforce the importance and impact of your content, helping event organizers to see that you’re knowledgeable and engaging. Testimonials from event bookers and past hosts will help speak to the ease of working with you and the value of investing in your session. Use a mix of attendee and event organizer testimonials on your site to create the best balance of these two benefits.
While it might be useful to collect your testimonials on one page for easy viewing, the one thing you don’t want to do is hide all your testimonials on a single page that your website audience is unlikely to find. Your testimonials will be more powerful if they’re also strategically placed throughout your site in the places that viewers are most likely to be looking for information about you as a speaker: your home page, your speaking page, your about page, and elsewhere. (You can always include a “See More Testimonials” button that links to a full list to allow curious or skeptical bookers to dig deeper.)
Clear Call To Action
While it’s possible that someone might scroll through your site, decide they want to book you, and proactively find a way to reach out, you’re better off taking control of the next step yourself. At some point, and probably at several points, you need to clearly invite your website-viewing audience to move forward with the booking process.
In many cases, a default option is to simply have a “Contact” button, or “Contact Me,” and these are certainly better than having no button at all. But speakers can take advantage of editable button text to create a more clearly speaking-related call to action.
Buttons with text like “Book Me,” “Book NAME” or “Book A Keynote” make it clear that a transaction is about to take place, while something like “Inquire About Availability” or “Reserve Your Event Date” makes it clear that you’re in demand, and they shouldn’t wait to get on your calendar.
At the end of the day, your speaker website is a living document, so if you’re just starting out and still collecting all these things, don’t worry! Even once you’re established, you’ll likely be updating your speaker site regularly, making changes and revisions as you gather more assets and as your speaking career grows. With each iteration, just be sure you include these key elements to keep your website working for you.
Melanie Deziel is a Speaking Coach for The Speaker Lab, which teaches new speakers a step-by-step system for getting Booked and Paid to Speak, and helps established speakers expand their business, and their revenue, Beyond The Stage.