I’m a little late getting up the recording for my Use Your Words show last week, where I talked about how to network to build speaking engagements. Sorry about that!
But here are some key thoughts that I gave:
1. Don’t Ignore People you Know in Real Life
Talk to your friends. Chances are they know people who are influential in large churches in your surrounding area–even if they don’t go there themselves. Make a list of all your friends and figure out who, among your friends and acquaintances, knows the most people. And then ask for introductions! The more you meet people in real life, the more likely it is that people will hire.
Speaking of real life, network with those who minister to the same niche you do, even if they don’t speak. If you want to speak to teenagers, for instance, get to know the people who run Youth For Christ in your area. Get to know youth pastors. Get to know the person who does the youth show on your local Christian radio station. Meet for coffee, and keep in touch. That helps keep you fresh in people’s minds.
2. Remind your Facebook Friends that you Speak
Every so often, put out an update announcing that you’re working on a new talk, or that you’ve just landed a speaking engagement, or that you’re looking for a speaking engagement in a particular town. The more those you know in real life think of you as a speaker, the more likely they are to recommend you.
3. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is very useful for professional contacts. If you get on LinkedIn, you can find other speakers, women’s ministry leaders, denominational leaders, Christian media personalities, and more. Those are the kinds of people it’s good to get to know. Join LinkedIn groups they’re in. Participate in conversations. Keep track of those you really want to get to know better, and when you find something online that may interest them, forward it.
There’s lots more in the actual show, so make sure to listen in!