Updated: Sep 21, 2022
5 tips that will help you refine your message and speak at more conferences and podcasts
I was recently asked, how do you get more speaking opportunities or on more podcasts? This is a great question because more public speaking means more people identifying you as an expert in whatever you choose to speak on. This is not a quick strategy, but if you are will to put the work in, speaking opportunities and getting on podcasts are one of the best ways to grow your business and attract more clients who want to learn from your expertise.
So in all its glory, here are my top 5 tips for getting yourself more speaking gigs and as a guest on more podcasts.
Tip #1 - Identify what you people come to you for help with
If you find yourself helping people with the same challenge over and over, distill that challenge into a few key questions or bullet points. For example, people always ask me the following things?
What is executive function coaching?
How do you become an executive function coach?
How do I get more executive function coaching clients?
How do I help my child stop missing so many assignments?
What is it that people ask you for help with?
Write down the five questions people ask you most often.
Choose the most frequent of the five and create an answer to that question in the form of a social media post, blog article or Youtube video
Tag me in it
Tip #2 - Turn your solutions into models
When I started executive function coaching, I identified that one of the things I was helping kids with over and over was teaching them how to effectively email their teachers to reach their school-based goals. By identifying the struggle that many middle, high school and college students did not know how to advocate for themselves, I was able to turn the process of teaching them how to advocate for themselves into a model so that they could effectively communicate with their teachers. You can read the full article on how to P.I.N.G. a teacher here.
So whatever challenge you've identified that people come to you for expertise over and over -- that is what you turn into a model. But what is a model?
A model can be an acronym, a step by step process, or any way you explain something that's challenging to understand. Here is an example of a model I created for the P.I.N.G. method of communication:
This model is valuable for executive function coaches because when students go through each of these steps, they get better grades and have better relationships with their teachers.
The great part was that the model is based on the actual work I was doing over and over with students with executive function challenges. When you know the challenges of your clients and can break your solutions down into a step by step process by using some type of model, you then have the necessary information to be clear on what it is you could present at a national conference or on a podcast.
Tip #3 - Share your model widely to build interest and engagement
Once you have your model, based on the actual pain points of your clients, then you want to share that model widely to get feedback, create engagement around it, answer people's questions, and deepen the model.
Once I created the PING methodology, I wrote it up into a blog article breaking it down step by step. Then, I shared it on LinkedIn, Facebook, and on the webinars that I did when people wanted to sign up for my services. I shared it widely to get people's feedback on it, get their questions, and I also train my team members on it. By bringing that to the table, it started to spread that model more widely and I started to establish expertise because I am the creator of that model.
You’ve then established expertise in something when you can take a challenge, create a model on how to support it, share it widely, and create engagement around it. You can take that expertise and bring it to a national conference or a podcast to say “hey, look, check out this article I wrote. It's got over 200 views. It's got 20 comments on it. I've been teaching it here, there, and everywhere. And I'd love to share this with your audience”.
Turn your solution into a step by step process or acronym
Create an info-graph on Canva explaining your model
Tip #4 - Find the podcasts and conferences where your ideal clients hang out
Your next step is to find the podcasts or conferences that would be most beneficial for the audience to learn about your model. Where do the people who need your model (or their parents) hang out?
I help students, but their parents are my ideal clients. Therefore, my models and marketing materials are directed at the parents and teachers who work with the students I help.
My students' parents listen to podcasts and their parents also attend conferences like TEFOS or AETs National Conference. When you identify where the people who would support your services hang out, you can bring your model to them and say “Hey, here's a way I can help your child” or “Here's a methodology that's going to help your child”.
Applying to speak at conferences is easy because you go to their website and just apply for it. If you want to give yourself a leg up on the competition, here are a few little things you can do.
In the past, I joined volunteer committees at conferences in order to learn about what was attractive in terms of what to pitch for my presentation. That’s one thing you can do to just get more involved in the process of conference presentations and applying for them. But there's plenty of conferences you can apply to.
As an executive function coach, here are so of the most sought after conferences for parents:
AETs National Conference
The Teachers Matter Summit
Calming The ADHD Brain
There are so many conferences out there looking for enthusiastic speakers. You just have to connect with them and pitch your presentation.
Choose one conference and apply for it
Tip #5 - Find the gatekeepers for your ideal podcasts and pitch yourself
If you're trying to get on a podcast, it's a different process. With podcasts, you want to identify who the host is and find a way to contact them. You might have to look on LinkedIn, shout them out on Twitter, or find a way to connect with them through email.
Once you get their email, you want to send something describing what value you're going to bring to their show. For example, you might want to say something like:
Hi, my name is Sean. I'm an executive function coach, and I'd like to share with your audience something that I've designed, which is the P.I.N.G methodology. This methodology does x, y, z, and it helps students overcome this so that they can advocate to their teachers and get better grades.
After you described your value add, you can then say:
Check out this article below. It's got over 200 views and X amount of comments. And it's been really popular. I'd love for you to check it out so we can talk about it on your podcast.
Show them that there's some engagement around what it is that you want to bring to the table. When you do that, you’ve got a better chance of getting in front of their audience. The key is, you just have to get on one podcast. Once you get on one podcast, then you can use that as your stepping stone to getting on other podcasts.
When you get on one podcast, you can say:
Hey, I was recently featured in this podcast, we talked about x, y, and z. It was really popular based on this article that I wrote. I'd love to come on your podcast and talk about it. Can we discuss?
Your previous opportunities show people that you're a part of the community and you've built engagement around something that you're an expert on. Then you can use that as an opportunity to be featured on more podcasts.
Those are my top tips for getting featured on podcasts or pitching yourself to national conferences. I'd love to know how you pitch yourself and get featured on podcasts or other things. If you have a method I did not mention, please drop it in the comments below.
If you want to go through my step by step process for pitching yourself on podcasts, I've got all the templates which you can get by subscribing to my email list.
And if you are ready to double your tutoring income in the next six months, enroll in one of my courses and join the community!
About the author:
Sean McCormick is a parent, husband and international executive function coach. He is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business which guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.
He has also spoken about executive function at prominent venues including the Association of Educational Therapists' National Conference, at the Athenian School and on the Qualified Tutors Podcast.
And last but not least, Sean has hosted over 50 episodes the Earn More Tutoring Podcast with a mission to eradicate educator poverty. The show recently surpassed 8,000 downloads.
Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.