Should you go it alone or enlist the help of a speaker agency to book your presentation engagements? Unless you’re a master negotiator, have a great legal mind for contracts, or lots and lots of time to make lots and lots of cold calls and send emails then a speaker agency may be right for you.
1. What can an agency do for me?
A good agency can leverage its long-standing relationships with corporate and event management teams to get you on their radar. Because agencies are compensated based on booking speaking engagements, they want you to succeed! And an agency with a solid reputation will use that goodwill to influence prospective organizers to give you that much-needed chance to shine.
2. What will an agency not do?
Agencies have influence but they cannot guarantee you any bookings. They can only provide you with a plausible option for their clients’ needs. Should the event be interested and want to take things a step further, then it is up to you to work your magic. Once you are booked, the agency could help you manage billing and contract negotiations for your services but that is not a given. You will have to inquire as to what details the agency will assist you with like correspondence, follow-up, planning, and logistics.
3. What next?
When seeking the services of an agency, find one that fits with your core message. Agencies can and do specialize in topics like political or motivational speakers. Within the agency, ask for and find a representative who can work with you one-on-one. A rep who can get to know you and what you want to accomplish will be the most beneficial to you and your aspirations. They can help you define your goals and provide best practices for marketing yourself to potential clients.
Speaker agencies can help you overcome potential hurdles especially if you are new to the industry. It will be up to you how closely you want to align with an agency or if you want exclusive representation. For those who are booking their own events, this may not be the best route. Having said that, an agency can get you in front of unique or high-profile clients which could really kickstart your career or take it to the next level.
There are many decisions to make when deciding if a speaker agency is right for you. Think of it as one of the many tools at your disposal to get your speaking career off the ground and give it wings to fly.