How to get a speaker agent?
Would you like to get a speaker agent? If so, read on, because this article is going to show you exactly what to do.
What is a speaker agent?
A speaker agent’s primary objective is to create opportunities for you and handle the negotiations and contracts.
At Stellar Speakers we also help our speakers develop their careers so they can make a success of speaking on the circuit.
Why do I need to get a speaker agent?
The main reason to get a speaker agent is because you are already busy as a speaker. Being busy speaking means you also have administration and an agent who can manage contracts and negotiations, and increase exposure is an invaluable asset.
If the coaching and management aspect of working with an agency appeals to you too, this will enhance your speaking career prospects. Sometimes this help is about developing more marketable keynote topics and clear market positioning. It can also mean helping you to remodel your business model so you can scale and grow.
Who needs to get a speaker agent?
The truth is, not every speaker needs to get a speaker agent. Some speakers are just not ready to be represented, while others have someone in-house manage their speaking business for them. In house management works especially well when the manager already has connections in the event industry or in a niche the speaker speaks in.
Often, speakers want a speaker agent because they value the input and connections an agent provides. Not everyone is ready for a speaker agent.
What makes you attractive to a speaker agent?
If you want to get a speaker agent, you have to think about what a speaker agent wants and you have to be prepared to sell yourself to them.
This means putting yourself in the shoes of the agent and trying to imagine what they want and need. What you want to avoid doing, is applying to an agent too early.
If you can answer yes to the following 5 questions you may be ready to apply to a speaker agent:
1. Ready to reach a wider audience, make a greater impact and leave a legacy
2. Ready for coaching and management input that will enhance your career opportunities as a professional speaker
3. In possession of professional speaker assets that help you get booked
4. Already in demand and are looking for representation to negotiate contracts, close deals and manage relationships with bookers on your behalf, so you can free your time for other income generating activities
5.Already charging a minimum of £5,000+ per keynote
If you didn’t answer yes to the above questions, but feel you would still like to work with a speaker agent, you will need to develop 8 speaking assets that help you get taken more seriously by agents, event managers and speaker bookers.
Check out this video on being ready to apply to a speaker agent:
When should you apply to work with an agent?
We recommend you only apply if you truly ready to get a speaker agent. You can assess your readiness using this simple A-C process:
A)Download our speaker application form
B)Do not complete it! Just read all the questions first
C) If you can immediately answer all the questions by copying and pasting information from other documents, you could be ready. If you can’t immediately complete it, you’re probably not ready and we’d suggest taking a look at our Rising Stars programme.
How to apply to a speaker agency
Take your time to research the speaker agency you are applying to, and make sure it’s a good fit. Different agencies have different values and represent different types of talent.
With a little research you’ll also likely find that the agent has an application process they want you to follow. This will typically start with an application form. FOLLOW THAT PROCESS. Don’t deviate and certainly avoid the mistakes listed below.
Don’t make these mistakes when you apply to an agent…
The most common mistake we see is from the speaker who prospects us on social media. It’s not cool to send us your bio and showreel in a chat, without much more than a hi.
While we’ll always politely refer you to our website we’ll remember your name and that you didn’t use your initiative to click our contact information, find our website and use the application form provided. Being blunt, doing this shows us you are in a rush, desperate or naïve.
That said, by all means message us, tell us that you intend to apply and tell us why you picked us. If you do this we will remember you more kindly, but at the end of the day it will have absolutely no bearing on whether we take you on or not.
From time to time, we receive application forms where it looks to us as if a speaker has realised they don’t know how to answer a question on the application form.
It also looks like the next thing they have said to themselves is, ‘What have a got to lose?’
If you feel like that don’t submit your application. First correct your mindset. Don’t hit and hope. In truth, you have everything to lose! Literarily, this is your chance to get representation and if you blow it, you won’t get what you are looking for.
Take the application form seriously. Fill it out properly and take your time to give it your very best. If you don’t know how to answer a question, maybe ask your business coach, do some additional research or sit with it for a day or so.
Asking your assistant to fill in the application form is a big mistake. Take the time to fill out the application form yourself because you may decide during the application process to tailor one or two of your answers towards the interests and values of the agent you are applying to. Your assistant doesn’t have this knowledge. Again, you only have one chance at this, so make sure YOU do it well.
Similar to mistake #3, is getting a marketing assistant to blanket market us using Mailchimp or Constant Contact. If a marketing ‘expert’ suggests this approach to you, run away because they are not an expert. This is a very bad move. No speaker agent appreciates getting an email that is clearly being sent out to every agency, with no respect for the process we put in place to help us both.
What are is an agent looking for?
It’s quite simple. A speaker agent is looking for a marketable speaker. This means a speaker who is charging over £5,000 per keynote, who is already busy and has a topic that the market is hungry for.
If you can show an agent the market demand for you is high, with proof of bookings or opportunities ready for the agent to negotiate or close for you, it will count in your favour.
What are the likely steps if I’m accepted by a speaker agent?
If we like your application, it will be reviewed by our management team. After we’ve reviewed it and done our due diligence on you, we will invite you to an interview. If we take you on as a speaker, you will get to meet our team and we’ll map out your speaking career with you, looking at your market positioning, your business operations and how we sell you.
Stellar Speakers help speakers at all levels. We have:
- Partnerships with speaker trainers and coaches to help new speakers.
- A training programme that helps speakers get an agent
- Management available