For Speakers Only
Working with Us
At Nancy Vogl Speakers International we’re quite selective in the speakers we choose to collaborate with. Let’s just say we’re very picky… just like a literary house or a casting agent in Hollywood would be.
Some bureaus tout working with thousands of speakers, when in essence no bureau could possibly work with that many. Certainly, like any reputable bureau, we also have access to countless speakers and can provide almost any presenter a client may be interested in. But as we’re specifically positioned as a boutique agency, operating more as a consulting firm rather than as “order takers,” we won’t just add names to our site without the benefit of a relationship first.
We’re intent on building meaningful relationships with our speakers, as much as we are with our clients, so we really take the time to get to know each speaker we align ourselves with – certainly as a professional, but also as a human being. It’s not uncommon for us to know a speaker’s family, or what their outside interests are, or to mutually share stories from our personal lives. We think of our speakers as colleagues rather than a commodity…in essence, members of our bureau family.
Getting our Attention
With oodles of speakers seeking opportunities, it isn’t easy getting our attention. Please note: We don’t accept unsolicited marketing materials, whether it’s by snail mail or email. Permission must be granted first before sending anything, including adding us to your email marketing efforts. That is a big no-no with any agency!
The number one best way to get our attention is to be so incredible at what you do that we hear about you through the grapevine. If you’re not already an established speaking professional with the proper marketing materials (see below), you’re probably not ready to work with us. There are exceptions to this – Nancy has helped launch the careers of a number of aspiring speakers – but in most cases you should have a proven track record already.
Other Ways to Make a Connection
Join the National Speakers Association, Canadian Association of Professional Speakers or the Global Speakers Federation. This is an indication you are serious about your speaking career, are adhering to the ethics of the industry, and are intent on connecting and fostering relationships with other speaking professionals. As Nancy Vogl often attends professional speaker conferences, many of the relationships with speakers she’s developed were as a result of meeting at those events.
If you have a speaker colleague that knows and respects your work and we already have a relationship with that speaker, let them make the introduction. That’s credibility we respect.
Have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. Participate in thoughtful discussions on Facebook’s NSA Group page. Several relationships with our speakers developed as a direct result of Facebook.
If you’re in our area, be sure to let us know. We would welcome a personal visit or to come see you speak. In many cases, Nancy doesn’t work with a speaker until she’s seen them present first. In a few select cases, Nancy will travel to see a speaker present under special circumstances.
What You Must Have and Do
A speakers bureau must rely on many things to facilitate a successful connection between a client and a speaker.
Many variables determine who we propose based on the client’s specific needs or wishes, such as: expertise, topic, professional designations, speaking style, personality, gender, geographic location, fee range, availability (naturally!), theme of the event, and other pertinent aspects.
For us, the quality of a speaker’s marketing materials that effectively communicate who you are and what you do are an absolute must.
You must have a great preview video. If you’re not getting the kind of speaking engagements you feel you deserve, this may be the missing link. If most of your bookings are coming from referrals or from someone seeing you speak – not as a direct result of your marketing and marketing materials – take a serious look at your video. It is the number one way we can prove to our clients that you may be the perfect fit for their event. Without this crucial piece of marketing, the client may choose someone else.
Over the years, we’ve often referred speakers to Primeau Productions to create their preview video. They’ve served a long list of busy, successful speakers. Another producer doing very high-end, beautiful productions is Video Narrative. Wherever you go to have this vital marketing piece created, it is important you enlist the services of a professional producer who not only does stellar work but understands the speaking industry and how to best position you.
Your Brochure or One-Sheet
Are your “printed” materials professionally produced, graphically appealing, and clearly communicating what the client needs to know? In addition to being well written (almost always, you should hire a professional for this aspect), your brochure should include great photography, a concise and compelling bio, topic titles with brief descriptions, testimonials and partial client list. These are just the basics. Your brochure should be created as a PDF, making it easy for us to submit to a client via email. In some cases, we might need printed pieces; but in our technology-driven world, that is rare these days.
Does your website follow the same principles as your brochure/one-sheet – simple, clean, clear, easy to navigate, great design, great photography, etc.? Less is more. Additionally, are you pushing too many topics, or have you been wise to limit what you speak about, creating a platform that separates you from the pack?
If you are in need of a new website, we highly recommend Featherlight! Their program is very affordable, quick and customized. With personal attention to you, the designer will create your site with your vision in mind, visually capturing your talent and personality so you can capture the attention of decision makers. Navigate around their website to learn more.
If you’re looking to rebrand or freshen up your marketing materials, we love mConnextions. If you need a new logo, copywriting, graphic design, email marketing or ad campaigns for both digital and traditional publications, mConnextions is fantastic. This creative boutique marketing agency believes in collaboration to help take your business to the next level.
All This Business about “Bureau Friendly” Stuff!
This is an issue that seems to come up frequently between bureaus and speakers, meaning that a speaker’s contact information is NOT on the speaker’s materials so that a client doesn’t have the ability to connect with the speaker directly and go around the services of a bureau. We think that stance is ridiculous.
The Internet changed the entire landscape of the speaking industry, and anyone can be readily found and connected with. But, if a bureau is doing their job effectively, building solid relationships with all parties, then this information is available to the client anyway. We always send our clients to speaker’s websites. Why wouldn’t we? We’ll be letting you know when we do, and if you and your staff are doing your job, should a prospective client contact you, you’re diligent in finding out where people heard about you. So, everyone’s doing what is right.
However, we do appreciate it when marketing materials are “bureau friendly,” but not because we have angst over losing bookings. We prefer it because it helps to eliminate any confusion for the client. In their busy lives, and with people migrating in their jobs, there might be a lapse in memory as to who is handling details. That’s all. But, if your marketing materials are not bureau friendly, we don’t get all jittery. That’s because we’re a team! However, the only thing that must be bureau friendly, if you were selected to be on our website, is your video.
Are You a Willing Collaborator? We Are!
Nancy Vogl Speakers International believes in being the “connector” between speaker and client. We know that to remain in the middle impedes the process of providing great service. We feel it is our job to help our speakers build a strong connection with the client.
In that light, we always recommend that prospective clients have direct communication with our speakers, particularly before a selection is made. We want our speakers to eagerly participate in this process… that’s because we operate from a place of trust and integrity, and we expect our speakers to do the same. It’s a beautiful way to work together.