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Speaking is what drives you. You are clear that speaking is the vehicle through which you are going to change the world. But you long to have a partner on the journey; someone who can guide you, and who will help you strategize how to go about having the most satisfying speaking career possible. If you’re ready to take your career beyond where it is now, our Management Service will help you do that.
If we choose you to become a part of our family, it is because we connect with your message and because we see the opportunity for mutual success.
Connect with us! We’re eager to help you help us make a very real impact on the world.
If you are not in a place in your career where you feel like our management program is the best fit, please visit our Speaker Development Program page. We also may start you off in our SDP if you are not far enough along to go straight into our management service (for example, if you don’t have a website).-Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame
(And Kate’s speaker since 2005) But first, let’s talk about the zombie apocalypse
The world in general, and the speaking world specifically changed dramatically in March of 2020. Speakers must convert to virtual presentations, which most HATE. Get used to them, by all accounts they are here to stay – at least for many events.
Our treasured meeting planners haven’t known if they are on foot or horseback. So many have struggled with event cancelations, postponements, or are keeping their fingers crossed that their next event can move forward.
Luckily the AFS family has been relatively unscathed, healthwise; a couple of our partners had Covid, but they are a hearty lot and everyone is fine. Sadly, we have lost speaker colleagues and some colleagues have lost members of their own families.
The speaking industry has changed. Most likely, permanently. So we all must change with it. It is now less about reaching out and contacting meeting planners the way we did back in the olden times and is now more about having a robust website, SEO, and Social Media presence so that you can be found by the meeting planners who are looking. Not all are. Most aren’t answering the phone. Some have been told to suspend all events for a period of time. They, too, are learning how to create meaningful virtual events for their attendees.
What “they” say is true – we are all in this together.Initial Evaluation
All speakers must start out with an evaluation and strategy program. This process begins with evaluating three aspects of your personal brand: Who You Are, What People See, and You as an Industry Leader. The process also includes the evaluation of your website, marketing materials, social media platforms, videos, and current sales processes. Following our strategy program, we will provide you with a plan of action that can be implemented by the AFS team or your own. Use of the eSpeakers Software Platform
We have been using the eSpeakers software program since 2005. The eSpeakers platform is now utilized by Meeting Professionals International to populate the MPI speaker directory used by all members of MPI to locate speakers. And if you are a member of the National Speakers Association, both National and most Chapters also use the eSpeakers directory as their “Find a Speaker” function on their websites.
Because we find that the eSpeakers platform provides the most effective way for us to track your events and share updates, all speakers entering into a management relationship with AFS must subscribe separately to eSpeakers. We will also include a link to your eSpeakers profile on your personalized page on our website so that our bureau partners can easily share your information with their clients. Click here for more information about the eSpeakers service. We receive no compensation from eSpeakers; you would pay them directly. Whether we work together or not, I encourage you to become an eSpeakers subscriber.
As robust as this list is, do please let us know if you need help with something that isn’t listed. We always say that “we have people and our people have people.” We also know that you may already have a team in place that may handle some of these duties and that is perfectly fine with us; this overview just tells you about the services we can provide, but you aren’t required to work exclusively with us on any of these services.
- Frequent calls during which we focus on deepening your speaking impact
- Constantly address your branding either with your team our ours
- Platform skills coaching
- Presentation preparation and creation
- Management of your speaking schedule
- Respond in writing and/or by phone to requests for information/availability
- Negotiate the best agreement possible
- Generate agreement and send to client with fee invoices and W9
- Complete any vendor forms required by the client
- Research client’s company so you have information about them in advance
- Maintain on-going communication with client concerning event details and logistics
- Set up pre-event conference call between you and the client and/or client committee
- Make travel arrangements if requested; provide your itinerary to the client
- Distribute handouts and/or PowerPoint, if used, to client
- Thank you letter sent to the client at time of booking and following event
- Arrange for thank-you gift following event where appropriate
- Post-event telephone call for client’s feedback; request testimonial letter and referrals
- Evaluate your presence across bureau websites; work with bureaus to ensure accuracy
- Follow up on leads from your website, our website, referrals, etc. or as a result of connections made during/after your presentations
- Maintain an accurate database of all of your leads and clients (past and current)
- Matching our speakers with meeting planners who come to our website
AFS is delighted to have partnered with Deckard and Company. Brian Deckard and his web design team can handle everything from creating a new, custom website (like this one they did for AFS!) to a major re-design as well as performing ongoing maintenance, updates and providing website security. Brian is a WordPress developer and creates custom templates for all of his clients. And if you need a new domain for that book you are writing (or for any other reason), Brian can handle that for you as well.
All management speakers joining our family will have their website evaluated. If we determine that yours does not offer a smooth interface for meeting planners, it will need to be updated and we can provide you with guidance during that project. If you currently have a relationship with a website designer you are not required to work with ours; we’re always happy to work with your team. The AFS team can assist with inbound marketing and Brian is also our SEO strategist and he can also assist you with Google AdWords and PayPerClick functions.
A strong presence across the broad range of social media platforms is a crucial component in your overall success. Now, more than ever, you must be found through inbound marketing. Gone are the days of randomly calling meeting planners on the outside chance they are planning an event for which you are a good fit. You must provide relevant content across multiple social media platforms so that when a meeting planner reads your post, they say to themselves “now THIS speaker would be perfect.” Our team can handle any aspect of your social media including setup (if necessary), graphics, daily activity, strategic connections, analytics, and monitoring.
Evaluating your current social media activity is a part of the AFS onboarding process for our management speakers.
Evaluating speaker’s internal systems; make recommendations for implementation of most effective systems to help speaker scale and create efficiencies. Reviewing current CRM (and/or determining which CRM best suits speaker’s needs). Creating a plan to cut inefficiencies to achieve most effective work flow process.
We can help you create and/or distribute your blog and/or newsletter. We can also assist with creating content as well as registering your blog.
Our team of video editors can take raw footage from your presentations and create individual clips as well as a complete demo video. We also work with a nationwide team of videographers who can record your presentation throughout the US.
Whether you want to write more books, create webinars, virtual training programs, or develop additional products, our experienced staff and allies can take these ideas and turn them into useful tools.
We can help you take your book from your brain through rough manuscript through completion of a finished book published via traditional, self-publishing, E-book and print-on-demand methods. We provide support for all areas of book publishing including research; fact checking; ghostwriting; book shepherding; editing and proofreading; as well as securing ISBN, copyright, and permissions. If you need a printer, we work closely with a book printer that not only provides book warehousing and fulfillment, they deliver a top quality product for a very reasonable price. We have developed a program that utilizes electronic media (blog book tours, reviewers, directories, etc.) to promote your books and we also have relationships with PR firms and book distributors who can coordinate activities surrounding your book release. We can create a video book trailer and our professional voiceover artists can create audio books for you as well. We provide eBook conversion services and we can set you up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We also have our own in-house HeartBridge Press publishing imprint which you may use, at no charge, if you would like.
In addition to using your social media platforms, we use our own social media outlets to promote our speakers’ activities. AFS team members can handle article and press release distribution, set up interviews on internet and broadcast radio, broadcast TV, and print media.
We can design your logo and business papers, one-sheet, PowerPoint/Keynote slide templates, specialty items and other print projects. We also work directly with printers and can produce your printed materials including business cards, brochures, and display signage.
We can set up a standard or toll-free number for you that rings into multiple locations, e.g. your office, cell phone and/or the AFS offices.
There are several software options that will allow us to handle your accounting. We can use QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Freshbooks, or other software programs that you prefer.
- Generate client invoices for fee, travel reimbursements, and product pre-sell
- Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Aging reports
- Maintain and reconcile checking accounts and credit card statements
- If applicable, calculate and process payments for payroll taxes; process quarterly and/or annual payroll and/or sales tax reports
- Process weekly/month/quarterly and/or annual Income Statements, Balance Sheets and other financial reports as requested
- We do NOT provide year-end tax return services. We can, however, provide year-end reports for you or your CPA to use to complete your annual tax return
Kate has submitted thirty-nine successful CSP applications. We can process your application from start to finish or we can step in and consult after you have completed the initial input process to make certain your application meets NSA standards.
- Consult with you throughout the process to discuss best practices and answer any questions
- If you have already completed the input, we will evaluate it to make certain it meets all of NSA’s criteria
- If needed, we can handle input of past events into eSpeakers or on to NSA-approved template
- We will help you with the on-line portion of the application and help you with the necessary business model narrative
- Gather all documentation and spreadsheets and submit final application to NSA
- Continue with you until you receive status of your application so that we can answer any questions you or NSA may have