A more precise question would be can you find an agent? Much like writers and actors, professional speakers seeking to bump their career to the next level reach a point where they may choose to solicit the services of an agent. Of course, this step is not necessary, and will cost a percentage of the speaking fee in commission. On the positive side, an agent with connections can boost your career to the next level. When they are able to do that, it’s almost worth any price you might pay.
What does an agent do? In general, he works his rear end off finding good paying speaking gigs which help you climb the career ladder to success, fame, and fortune. Most agents will be glad to take on a bonafide celebrity, regardless of speaking skill or experience. You, on the other hand, might be a truly gifted speaker, but you’re going to have to prove to be worth the time he would have to invest in you. Therein lies the rub, a catch-22, if you will. An agent doesn’t want to take a chance on you unless you’re popular, but how do you get popular without an agent?
The short answer is work your little bunions off to gain exposure anywhere and everywhere you can, always keeping in mind to seek speaking opportunities a little further up the food chain. Another option for professional speakers to find great speaking gigs is an organization called a speakers bureau. While slightly less picky than agents, you’re still going to have a hard time enlisting their help in finding Grade A gigs without a name and proven track record.
The truth is that, in the beginning, time spent trying to attract the attention of a speakers bureau or agent is likely wasted. A far better a use of your time would be to beat the bushes yourself for gigs, always with the goal of speaking, speaking, speaking. At some point along the way, hopefully, you’ll be so booked up with jobs that it might make sense to hire a marketing person to market your services and book gigs. They perform many of the same services an agent does but without all the connections. Still, not having to tend to all these details yourself keeps your schedule clear to take more jobs, and professional speakers should always be doing what they do best – speaking!
The Speaking of Wealth Team
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