3 Ways to Get Speaking Gigs with Suz Chadwick | Podcast for Speakers
Episode #41

3 Ways to Get Speaking Gigs with Suz Chadwick

Show Notes:

As a speaker, you're always looking for ways to gain experience and land speaking gigs, right? Suz Chadwick is sharing 3 ways to qualify yourself as a speaker and get booked for speaking engagements.

Listen in as she walks us through what it looks like to call yourself a speaker, how to show your value, and where you need to start today!

Being a successful speaker is about using your story to help people in their story.

Get to Know Suz (2:41)

Three Ways to Land Speaking Engagements:

1. Practice with low hanging fruit: Podcast, FB/IG Live, Webinar, Events (3:14)

2. Create assets that qualify you as a speaker and make you credible. (7:42)

3. Start calling yourself a speaker. (16:38)
Title it on social media. Sample
Add a speaking page to your website. Sample
Add yourself as a Speaker title on your LinkedIn position. Sample

One Liner: Being a successful speaker is about using your story to help people in their story.

Links
suzchadwick.com
Suz's Webinar

Review the Transcript:

Jess Ekstrom:
Welcome back everyone. Today on the podcast Suz Chadwick, and she is the business and brand coach for doers. She wants to coach the women who want to stand out, be bold and claim their space, I love it. She believes in bold female entrepreneurs creating savvy businesses that fit their lifestyle not the other way around. But before we jump into Suz's episode about three ways to land speaking engagements, we are going to be taking a quick hiatus over the summer, coming back September 5th for season two. So if you haven't already hit subscribe so you're alerted when we're back and I'll also continue to send out my hype text every Monday. So text me the word hype to (704) 228-9495, that's hype to (704) 228-9495. Please welcome Suz Chadwick.

Jess Ekstrom:
What's up everybody, it is Jess Ekstrom and welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span so let's get started. So I want to start with a quote that I pulled from your Instagram, and it said, don't be surprised how quickly the universe moves once you have decided and I feel like that happens when you decide to become a speaker. Did you find that for you in your own personal speaking journey?

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah. I just think like with anything, when you make that decision that this is what I'm going to do, whatever it is, whether it's speaking, starting your business, going off to that collaboration you've been thinking about, whatever it is, when you make that decision, let's do this, it's amazing how you somehow manifest exactly what it is that you want.

Jess Ekstrom:
Exactly. Yeah. And I feel like that it's scary for people at first especially for women to say, I'm a speaker because they think like, oh, I have to have amounted to something or I have to have a library named after me or some other bullshit thing about thinking that you're not qualified. But as soon as you're like, all right, I'm doing this, I'm a speaker, let's go, things start happening. But let's get into three ways that you feel like you can start landing speaking engagements and I love that your first one is really just about the low-hanging fruit so let's start there.

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah, absolutely. So I always tell the story that I used to be a debate or back in school. So I started speaking when I was 16 years old, I ended up in university doing debating at state level all the rest of it and then I spoke when I was in corporate. But when I came into my own business I didn't have a brand, people didn't know me in the entrepreneurial space. I had been in that HR recruitment leadership space and so this was a whole new area for me. And so the low hanging fruit is, don't wait for people to invite you, create your own opportunities. And some really simple ways that you can do that are things like start a podcast, get on the Instagram or a Facebook live, run a webinar, all of these things, run your own events. I used to run Women in Business breakfast events and guess who the keynote speaker was Jess, me.

Jess Ekstrom:
I'm looking at her.

Suz Chadwick:
And so you don't have to do all of those things but I just think we sometimes wait for permission and we wait for invitations and you can create your own opportunities for free really like starting a podcast at the end of the day. I remember I bought a $50 Snowball microphone off eBay and just started recording to see whether I liked it. So I think that there are, especially now, so many opportunities for us just to claim our space without waiting for others to give us the opportunity.

Jess Ekstrom:
And you don't want to be controlled by which way the algorithm blows on Instagram one day or what Zuckerberg had for breakfast. You want to be able to control your own destiny a little bit in your voice and who you're meeting. And so I think by not just putting all of your eggs in a social media basket, but saying, I'm going to host a podcast or I'm going to have a virtual conference or host a retreat or an in-person conference, you're saying, you know what, I'm kind of taking this bull by the horns. And then when you do that, I feel like you're inviting speakers to speak at your event. And so many of the gigs that I have gotten have been because of the speaker relationships that I've built. So have you found that with yourself kind of teaming up with other speakers and introducing yourself?

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that once you start to do those things, you start to become seen as a leader in your industry, you start to become seen as somebody who has the guts to be able to run those events. You start to build your connections, your brand, your community. I had so many clients that I got out of those initial breakfast events, where there were 25, 30 people in a room who didn't really know me but kind of liked what I was putting out there. I was the speaker, I connected with them, I connected with other speakers that I invited to come along and really the ball just kind of rolled from there as far as new opportunities.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah. It really does. I'm thinking too about, I was supposed to have an in-person conference last year and then COVID and then so we turned it virtual and the companies that bought the virtual event to stream to their employees also ended up booking me to speak because they're like, oh shit, this girl just hosted her own conference, let's bring her in here too. And so I just think, like you said, when you put something together, when you put yourself out there, you're also just increasing your frequency. And I know that sounds like, Hakuna Matata, but you just are increasing your vibrations in the world and you're choosing to show up and it's like the person that does your lighting or your sound check... I've had someone who's done my soundcheck before put my name in a hat for another event. You just never know who's going to be that person that connects you to your next gig.

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah, absolutely. And I always say, things will come to you when you decide to claim your space, the space is there for you to claim. It's got your name on it, you just have to step into the arena and claim it and the opportunities will start to come.

Jess Ekstrom:
Absolutely. And understand that it's also not going to be perfect. I sucked, my first gig, I look back, I had a Prezi, one of those spinning PowerPoints and-

Suz Chadwick:
Same. I remember using that.

Jess Ekstrom:
So what was your first gig?

Suz Chadwick:
Well, I mean, for me it was the breakfast events that I did. But yeah, I mean, I remember using Prezi at one point and PowerPoint and now I'm obsessed with Canva obviously so yeah. Start imperfect, just start.

Jess Ekstrom:
Exactly. You just have to start. So then you say after you kind of go after that low hanging fruit create your own event or podcast or something, then you say create assets. So what do you mean by that? And how does that help you land speaking gigs?

Suz Chadwick:
Yes. I always say and as a podcast host you'll probably be the same Jess. I get a lot of pitches. Yeah. So I get a lot of people that email me, like I want to be on your podcast. And the first thing that I will do, nine times out of 10, I only have people on the podcast who I've built a relationship with. So I very, very rarely take cold pitches because I did it at the beginning and I felt like there wasn't a rapport, I didn't enjoy the interview, so I've kind of learnt from that.

Jess Ekstrom:
And we've known each other for two hours on Clubhouse so essentially we're like family.

Suz Chadwick:
We're like besties.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah.

Suz Chadwick:
Totally like besties. So the thing is that rapport, I use somebody that's going to be great for my audience. Do you have the knowledge that I feel is at the level that my listeners are at? Do I feel like you are a brand that I want to align myself with? These are questions that I always ask myself. Because I've spent three years building up an audience who are super engaged and amazing and so many of my guests have gotten incredible clients from being on the podcast. So that's a bit of a holy grail for me where I'm like, these are my peps, I'm very protective of them. And so I want to make sure that I'm bringing people on that I'm like, you know something guys, I want you to listen to this person, and I think that there's a lot of trust there. So when I talk about creating assets, sometimes when somebody will pitch me or start to build a relationship, there are a number of things that I look at.

Suz Chadwick:
Because I talk about branding and I'm a brand coach and a speaker coach, things like, do you have a speakers page? Do you have a media page with the other podcasts that you've been on that I can go and listen to? Do you have credibility? When I go to your Instagram or wherever else, are you sharing high quality information and content that I'm like, that's pretty good, that looks like somebody I want to have on? So your assets can be, your speaker page, just claiming your space, obviously things like your Instagram or your LinkedIn and putting the word speaker there or podcaster. So making sure that you've got collateral that positions you as an authority in your industry in some way. You don't even have to be Brene Brown or Elizabeth Gilbert or Amy Porterfield, but just somebody who has unique thought leadership as well. So when I talk about assets, those are some things that I look at. Is your website credible? Do you have a speakers page? Do you have other information I can go and check out in order to decide whether you're right for me and my audience?

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah. And really essentially what you're saying is, give people something to review and respond to. Just by saying, oh, I'd love to speak at your event, it's like, okay, well what can you give me that I can review? Because a lot of times the person that maybe you are communicating with as a lead for speaking might not be the decision maker. And so many times people have reached out to me and they're like, well, it's my job to get a speaker and every single person on our team is getting a speaker that we are all then reviewing together and watching video of it. And so you want to be able to give something that's packaged and say, yes, this is who I am, take it back to your team, put this video on your shared screen and this is my menu of options. Is that what you're saying by creating assets?

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah, absolutely. So for me on my speakers page, I've got testimonials, I've got my video reel, I've got what I speak about, I'm like, why you should book me? That's a really packaged way of sort of saying, you know something, once again, I'm claiming my space, here's all my stuff, check it out and then book me, like book a call. And so I think just having assets, when I talk about assets, it's stuff that you own. So while Instagram and LinkedIn and all that are great, what do you have that you own that you can give me as well? So I think that when I talk about assets, it's things that you've built and created too, so I think that's really important. And I don't think a lot of people always think about spending the time to create those things.

Jess Ekstrom:
Now what about the person that's like, I'm just getting started so I don't have anything to put on those pages. What do you say to that person?

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah, absolutely. So I've got a girlfriend, she does actually speak but her speaker page is actually just a professional image of her and then her bio and then what she talks about, and that's enough. Just start imperfectly, that is more than enough just to get you started but then once you've been on a podcast or even if you've done your own online training, like a Zoom or something like that, you could have that on the page. So that really what people are looking at is what's the content that you share, what's the quality of the way that you deliver it and what's your energy. Is this going to fit? Yeah. So those are some key things that we look at. So at the end of the day, if you've never done it before, get on Zoom, hit record, you're not even in a conversation with anybody.

Suz Chadwick:
This is something I'm doing for the podcast now because whenever I do solo episodes, I've just done audio. And so now I'm recording myself on Zoom as I record my own podcast so I can put it on YouTube. So you could go into Zoom and record yourself speaking for five minutes on a topic, you could even say welcome to my speakers page, I'm so glad that you're here. I'm Suz Chadwick, I'm a business branding and speaker coach and I love to speak to female entrepreneurial audiences. If that's you, then I would love to connect with you. The three things I talk about are X, Y, and Z and whatever else you want to say, please hit the button below and contact me. That could be your video.

Jess Ekstrom:
Oh my God. You were just so effortless in that though. My palms are getting sweaty and I do this for a living. But something about video, I don't know, I can speak to a room of a thousand people but when lights turn on and the green dot goes, I'm like, oh, my name is Jess and you should hire me. But one thing with video, I think that you're spot on creating your own, taking that into your own hands. I see a lot of people wait till they get the big stage or, oh, I got to wait till there's a videographer. But I do think video is a really key part of being booked as a speaker because, like you said, they need to be able to know your energy, your delivery, and kind of your dynamic because they look for different things. The morning keynote spots, they want someone who's super bubbly, energetic, maybe the lunch is a little bit more tactical.

Jess Ekstrom:
So they want to be able to not just see what you talk about but how you deliver it. And so some ways that I've seen other people have success, kind of taking that into their own hands is coworking spaces so shared offices, reserve something and get a videographer to come and give a talk to 20 people. And then during the pandemic movie theaters have not had a lot of seats but they have those kind of mini stages sometimes up there so reserving a movie theater. And then if you know other speakers who are also looking for a footage, ask them to do it with you and split the cost of a high definition videographer. But once you have that footage on your website, I feel like it really starts to open doors. Did you find that with footage specifically?

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah. I mean, I just think because I'm a visual person as well, that really works for me, it did take me a couple of years. And I mean, you don't need to do this, I mean, you could just have one video. But my speaker reel, I've got a couple of different speaking gigs where they did the video. And so this is the other thing as well, is that if you're starting out and you're not getting paid, I am all about getting paid as a speaker, but when you're starting out, if you're not getting paid, then you need to get the assets. So I was speaking, I did a bit of a swap for a friend but it was a massive speaking gig and she's like, I'll give you this time slot, which was a really good time slot. I'll give you the video, we'll give you all the professional photos and we will promote you this many times to our audience.

Suz Chadwick:
And so this is kind of where you've also got to make that decision around payment, I think you should always get paid either in assets or in cash. I think that when you get to a certain place in your speaker journey, I don't need assets anymore so it's only cash. So I think you've just got to take a look at the opportunity, the PR, the assets, all the rest of it. But yes, I would just say, if you just want to get started today, get on Zoom and record yourself and just get started.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah. I think that's the key here is just getting started, hit record, send the email. But the last thing that you say to land speaking gigs is a pretty simple one. You're saying just start calling yourself a speaker.

Suz Chadwick:
It's really tough, Jess.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah. I think we're all going to start doing that.

Suz Chadwick:
Not everybody we'll be able to do it. But yeah, just start calling yourself a speaker as well. And if you go to my Instagram which is @suzchadwick, there was a video that I did recently which was me recording myself on the podcast and it was about speaking. And underneath the video, it says, speaker coach, personal branding and speaker coach. Yeah. So you could literally do a video, put it on Instagram and have speaker, whatever you call yourself. So web designer and speaker, business coach and speaker, writer and speaker, you can claim that space and that title. The other thing that I did as well, which I did a little LinkedIn speakers course ages ago, and they just said, which I thought was really cool, is have your LinkedIn, whatever your job is now, but then also add another job under the same business as speaker, yeah, so that's a job title.

Suz Chadwick:
So you know how you can have multiple jobs under one company? So I will have business branding coach, and then under my business as the same company, I've also got another job that is the same period of time, that is keynote speaker. And so once again, that then comes up in the keyword search as well if somebody's looking for a speaker too. So I think I've got speaker on my Instagram, I've got speaker on my LinkedIn, I've got a speakers page on my website. Just think about where you are consistently saying that you are a speaker.

Jess Ekstrom:
What a hack and I'll link all of those so people can see them on Business on the Bright Side after this episode. But I will say one funny story just about that. Not just posting you're a speaker, I think that's step one, but finding ways to say it and own it in conversation. I was taking a cab somewhere when I was just becoming a speaker and the cab driver was like, oh, what are you doing? And I think it was St. Louis and I was like, I'm a speaker and I'm speaking at this event. His daughter ran logistics for some convention center that he connected me to and three years later I ended up getting a gig because I told my cab driver that I was a speaker. So just like you said, when you decide it, it'll happen quick.

Suz Chadwick:
Yeah. And the other thing is, I am a big community builder. And I say to my community, say on Instagram, or even my podcast listeners, guys, I want to get on 30 podcasts this year. So I've got my podcast, but I wouldn't get on 30 other podcasts. If you know somebody that you think I should be on their podcast, I want you to send them a message or tag them here in this post, let me know who you think I should be connecting with, let me know what podcast you think I should be on, just tell me at all. And my community rallies, they're like, you need to be on this podcast, this podcast, this podcast, and they'll tag somebody, they'll be like Jess, you have to have Suz on your podcast, she's amazing and my community do a lot of the work for me.

Suz Chadwick:
So I think that when you decide to be like, you know something, I'm a podcaster, I'm a speaker, I'm putting it out there. And I'm also saying, you know what guys, if you've got an event coming up and you need a speaker, connect with me. My community, if you know anybody whose podcast you think I should be on, tag them and let me know, I am the biggest Oscar in the world. My mother always taught me, you don't ask, you don't get. And so I'm like, I can just ask and if people want to jump in, awesome and if not, that's all right, I'll just keep going.

Jess Ekstrom:
And people want to help people, they want to find ways to help so tell them. After every single gig that I do, when I ask for a testimonial afterwards, I always include, who else do you know that could benefit from my message? And would you be willing to make an introduction? And they're like, actually, yeah, there's someone. And it's like, maybe they wouldn't have been thinking about that before but you've just got to give them the lab. So where can people find you, you have resources for speakers as well that we'll include in the show notes, but what's the easiest way for people to connect with you and join your awesome community?

Suz Chadwick:
Thank you. So you just go to suzchadwick.com, which is S-U-Z chadwick.com and I'm Suz Chadwick on all platforms. And yeah, if you want to get a free resource, I'm running live workshops at the moment, I'm not sure when this is going out Jess, but I'm running live workshops at the moment so you can go to suzchadwick.com/speakermasterclass. Otherwise, there's just a free workbook to get you started about what you want to be known for and what you want to speak about and that's suzchadwick.com/speakerworkbook, all one word.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yes. And we'll have to do another thing in the future about personal branding because you're crushing it. One of my favorite follows on Instagram, not just the things you say, but the color, the graphics, how you deliver it, how you always keep it fresh, I bow to your Instagram game and personal branding. So good.

Suz Chadwick:
Thanks. Lovely. I do enjoy it. I think when you enjoy something, you're like, what else can I do?

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, you can tell, there's so much spirit behind it. But Suz, thank you so much for coming on. I know it's early there and different time zones but I'm just so glad that you've come on the show and I'm so glad we connected on a Clubhouse.

Suz Chadwick:
My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.

Jess Ekstrom:
Thanks for listening to Business on the Bright Side with Jess Ekstrom. I love to send out the episodes every Monday with a quick text and a quote from me. So text me the word podcast to (704) 228-9495, that's (704) 228-9495. And you want to see what the show notes are from this episode, head to businessonthebrightside.com hit subscribe here, write a review and I'll see you on Monday.

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