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"Everybody likes a quick response"

Good routines can give you an advantage over the competition, especially if you include bureau handli
Standing oration
"Everybody likes a quick response"
By Kristian from Speakers Loft • Issue #22 • View online
Good routines can give you an advantage over the competition, especially if you include bureau handling in your habits. We asked one bureau employee what made a speaker top-of-mind on their busy days.

We knocked on the door of a bureau to ask what it takes for a speaker to stay top-of-mind in workdays filled with hectic deals, busy clients, and tons of events that need to run perfectly. Here is what they told us.
Speaker relations manager, Anne B. Rasmussen of Athenas, a Speakers Bureau in Denmark, came back with the following. 
She told us that it is essential realizing, that when a client approaches a bureau, the bureau-employee probably has several speakers to choose from. As a speaker, you’ve not won when the bureau writes you - you’ve merely been asked to step in the ring.
That being said, there are ways to make sure that you have a competitive edge - these are the routines you should work into your relationship with your bureau.
“Bureau, as well as the client, appreciates quick feedback. Preferably within one business day. Your chance of another speaker getting the deal is directly related to your response time. While the speaker is checking his or her schedule, the client will be considering alternative speakers.”
Failing that, even just getting back to the bureau with an estimated timeframe for availability is to be preferred. “It helps us keep the customer warm,” explains Rasmussen. It is a minimal timeframe, sure. On the other hand, it is not any different from places like Airbnb, that requires hosts to reply within 24 hours regardless of whether the request came on a business day. If private people renting out their homes can do it, it is only reasonable to expect the same dedication from professionals. Be prompt in your responses.
In the perfect world, Rasmussen continues, speakers share their calendars. This is problematic for speakers as a calendar can be a pretty personal thing. No one needs other people to know when they’re going to the dentist, seeing their psychologist or visiting family. Some things should be kept private.
Some calendars have features that allow you to share your events in a way, where the recipient can only see if you are busy or free. Even if the bureau can’t book talks in your schedule, letting them know when you are not available will save both parties time. Besides, if the agency recognizes that it takes two minutes to check your availability, you will have a competitive edge over other speakers on the roster.
Structure, structure and structure.
Structure, structure and structure.
You need to remember to let people know that you are a public speaker. We risk becoming so incredibly used to saying that we are speakers, that it loses all meaning to us. It is still incredibly important to your potential customers.
“Whenever you attract some media exposure, participate in a podcast, or do a guest blog post on a site, be sure to label yourself a public speaker. The title is self-explanatory.”
When you do get exposure somewhere, you should also make sure to let people know what service you are providing or what problem you are solving for them. You always need to position yourself in such a manner, that when people book you, they see it as an investment rather than an expense. Likely you’re getting exposure because of the problem you are solving in the first place. The problem is your primary message; the rest follows.
Make sure to say that you are a public speaker. You don’t ‘just’ want people going to bookstores to find out more about your thoughts, and you definitively don’t want them not calling you because they think you only deal with c-suite executives in private sessions (unless of course, that is your thing).
Always give your talks an overhaul when you can.
Always give your talks an overhaul when you can.
Three quick routines
These are things that are so basic that it feels silly mentioning. Probably it is for this very reason that people often forget about them. Rasmussen gives three quick routines:
“Always remember to overhaul your talks. It prolongs the lifespan of your talks and increases your chance of getting re-booked by a client.”
“Always make sure you have the right to use the picture you send your bureau. Let them know if the photographer should be credited. Make sure the image aligns with the message you wish to convey.” 
If you want to seem capable concerning business growth, don’t wear flipflops in your photo. 
We recommend you check this with a trusted friend. He or she will tell you if the picture is too pretentious or too casual. Professional relations are more likely to sugarcoat this.
“Always make sure to let the bureau know about any activities relevant to talking. Activities could be tv-appearances, new books, or editorials.”
That’s all for now. I wish you tons of success in your business pursuits and remember that you have tons of speaker colleagues.
See you with a new edition in a week. Thank you for reading. Keep speaking.
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Kristian from Speakers Loft

Standing oration is a bonfire for public speakers. Huddle around with the rest of us, as we talk about living and working as a public speaker. We're also creating

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