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Mostly nay: Speaker directories are no easy sell

It started as a letter in my inbox, the discussion grew on our LinkedIn group - and I decided we coul
Standing oration
Mostly nay: Speaker directories are no easy sell
By Kristian from Speakers Loft • Issue #3 • View online
It started as a letter in my inbox, the discussion grew on our LinkedIn group - and I decided we could all use a sum-up because this stuff is important.

Speaker directories are like digital versions of old-school phone books. Sometimes they list north of 10.000 speakers. They are usually marketed as a “Look good, get found, make money”-type service, and most of them do pretty well in terms of the look good-part. The rest, well, we’re on the fence about it.
Last week a speaker reached out after our latest edition asking whether other speakers were getting a return on their investment with these directories. We asked our network:
And so our journey down the road of mostly nay started.
And so our journey down the road of mostly nay started.
NOT A FAN
The topic exploded into different directions. Some speakers believe the bureau-model to be obsolete, due to the internet. Others argued that it’s a logical stretch to think people will start looking for you, just because you are in a directory. 
What no one did, was tell positive or encouraging stories about what the directories had done for them. If there is such a thing as a career-Cupid, he still has all his arrows in his quiver. 
We did get some horror-stories. One speaker had been offered a listing for $2000/year without the company promising any sales. I don’t know which company was behind this, or whether their intentions were legit. They probably were. Still: if you find out that something seems scammy, let your co-speakers know. Building careers is hard enough without pouring money down the drain. 
Codified into numbers, that sentiment about the directories generally came in like this.
While not a representative survey, there is a clear indication.
While not a representative survey, there is a clear indication.
Not a lot of ‘yay’ going on here. To be fair, 'nay’ does not mean the bureaus are any better, of course. Assuming so would probably be quite a logical flaw. All I can make of it is that there is a still-unscratched (and presumably hard to reach) itch here.
THE PROVIDERS
The discussion made me realize that there was no definite list and comparison of these services anywhere. I saddled up the Google-pony to provide you with an overview. Whether you are a fan or not, they are part of our eco-system and important.
More detailed info via this link, but here are the top contenders we found (ranked by lowest price first) as well as their monthly price range (in USD):

  1. Speakersbase (free, but sells additional products)
  2. Noti.st (Free or $9 per month)
  3. Speakerhub (free - $21.5) - Hungary
  4. Speakerservices ($149/$249 start-up fee + $9.95 per month)
  5. Espeakers ($14.91 - $74.95 per month)
  6. Speakermatch (roughly $29)
  7. Gigsalad (from $29.99)
I missed your favorite site, right? I knew that would happen.
Email me about it, and I’ll add it to the list. 🤝
That’s all for now. I wish you tons of success and remember that you have tons of speaker colleagues right here.
See you with a new edition in a week,
Kristian
Questions go here
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Kristian from Speakers Loft

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