It isn’t often that an entirely new resource comes to my attention and makes me want to fangirl like I’m front row at a Beyonce concert.
This might be one of those times.
And I think you’ll be joining me in cheering this fantastic new resource:
(I know, I know, the name doesn’t exactly broadcast the thrills within. But stick with me, please.)
Here’s how the founders describe 10times:
“10times is the world’s largest service provider for business events. We are using technology to change the way our millions of users discover and experience events…whether it’s a tradeshow or conference, we have it all on a single freakishly amazing platform!”
Loose translation: 10times is a website featuring more than 250,000 events around the world. (That’s a quarter of a million.)
I don’t know about you, but those numbers get me all kinds of hot and bothered.
Plus, this site features my new favorite publicity headline:
“This Indian just made Tinder for event goers”
[Famous in your field teachable moment: that publicity headline demonstrates the awesome power of a great sound bite. People immediately understand what you’re offering AND they remember it.]
Now, let’s look at what you can do with 10times.com:
1. Look around the site.
10times.com is designed as a platform to connect conference goers and event organizers. As someone who wants to become famous in your field, you can think of it as a Giant Opportunity Database.
It boasts more than 260,000 conferences and trade shows across the globe. You can “follow” events organized across countries, cities and industries.
For example, if I click on Washington DC, I’ll see a listing of all the events in Washington DC for the current month. There’s also a calendar showing the number of event listings for each month in that city.
You can also:
- Filter by country.
- Filter by month.
2. Search by City and by Category.
Initially, the search by City feature only included 8 major US cities, but now it’s expanded to at least 100 major metropolitan areas. And using it is dead simple: just pull down the Filter by City menu.
Plus, you can filter by Category, which helps you narrow your focus to your ideal audiences who want and need what you have to offer.
Events are organized in 12 categories:
- apparel & clothing
- architecture & designing
- baby, kids & maternity
- business services
- computer hardware & software
- education & training
- gems & jewelry
- gifts & handicrafts
- industrial products
- lifestyle & fashion
- media & advertising
- medical & pharmaceutical.
3. Find events where you’d like to speak.
This is what you came for, riiiight? But, be prepared to do some #werk.
And to plan ahead. You’re playing the long game here. Most large conferences are planned 6-18 months in advance and lock in their speakers early. (In October 2015, I was selected as a speaker for a statewide industry conference being held in October 2016.) Smaller events may have a shorter planning window – say 3-6 months.
4. Dig your goldmine.
Less glittery phrasing: build your database.
But don’t fret – your database doesn’t have to be a fancy software program with dozens of features. Start simple. Open a spreadsheet and log events, dates, companies and contacts.
I know that this can feel like the most blindingly boring work ever, but you don’t have to do it yourself.
All over the interwebz, there are ambitious folks who would love to populate your spreadsheet for you, for just a few bucks. Check out sites like Upwork.com, Fiverr.com or HireMyMom.com for data entry muscle.
Database = dollars
Want to build it even faster and give yourself MOAR opportunities to spread your message? Join forces with a few other speakers and combine your databases. You’ll double, triple, or quadruple your prospects with the same effort.
By the way, your database is more than a handy place to track speaking opportunities. It’s an asset that’s worth real money!
Speaker business guru Lois Creamer of BookMoreBusiness.com suggests two ways that speakers can use their database to generate income even after they’ve left the circuit:
- Sell it outright to another speaker, a speaker’s agent or a bureau.
- Rent it and receive a percentage of all speaking engagements booked through one of your leads.
5. Subscribe to events
Keep the flow of new opportunities coming your way. 10times lets you “follow” events, similar to subscribing to a Google Alert search result.
Here’s how it works:
- Perform a search for events that meet your criteria. I chose “Business Services” filter and the “USA” filter.
- Click the orange FOLLOW button. You’ll be taken to a screen to enter your name and email address. After that, you’ll get periodic updates, straight to your inbox. That’s when you or your lovely virtual assistant can research the contact information and add them to your spreadsheet for the next step.
6. Make your pitch
When you’ve found a few conferences where you’d like to speak, it’s time to reach out to conference organizers about speaking at upcoming events. (Remember to start early!)
Some conferences may have a formal submission process. Others may “crowdsource” their speakers through their network and recommendations.
Whichever path you follow, be sure to present a strong case for how you can help their audience.
Bonus tip: If you’re local to an event, offer yourself as a substitute for any last minute cancellations.
7. Do a little detective work to increase your opportunities
What else can you do to increase your number of speaking opportunities? Become an event detective! See who’s speaking at the event. Check out their website. See where else they’re speaking. Connect with them.
Your fame boosting assignment:
If you want to share your ideas and spread your message, jump over to 10times.com and start searching for speaking gigs this week. Set your filters, hit the “follow” button and track your opportunities.
Something tells me that you are going to have an amazing year. I’m all kinds of fired up about you!