So much has changed with the rise of the internet.
The way we communicate with our friends and family is different.
The way we decide on which restaurants we are going to eat at is different.
The way we travel to and from work, or around the globe, is different.
The way we consume news and choose which candidate to vote for is different.
The way we decide on who we are going to date is different.
And certainly, the way event organizers decided on who they are going to hire to speak is different.
Potential event organizers are no longer dependent on you to reach out to them and tell them all the reasons that you are a great speaker — and in fact it could be argued that this is actually a less effective way to attract event organizers.
With the rise of search engines and social media, all the event organizer needs is your name. They will then perform a search, and if they are able to find the information they need and be reasonably assured you are a good option, they will be well on their way to hiring you before they even talk to you in person.
This means that your online marketing materials are essential to helping you get booked. The materials should present the appropriate information to convince the event organizer you are a credible expert on your subject.
Shortlist of marketing materials you will need to make an impact online:
Use the links above to jump to articles which delve deeper into the specific marketing assets you can create.
We are now going to discuss the last of these: Building a speaker website.
Unlike your Twitter profile, or a video testimonial, your website is completely customizable, and how you choose to showcase yourself will tell an event organizer a lot about who you are, your style, your brand, your topics.
Many event organizers can tell immediately whether a speaker will be the right fit (or the wrong fit) for their event, simply by looking at the speaker’s website.
You don’t need to spend $20K on a custom-built site or $10K on a designer to come up with a complete branding package and style guide. Today there are hundreds of sites that will help you build a website in a matter of hours, offering thousands of pre-designed templates that you can pick and choose from.
But with so many website builders on the market, how do you know which is the right solution for you?
Today, we are reviewing the top 5 website builders. Use one of these and within a day or two you can have your own speaker website ready to go!
Wix is one of the easiest web platforms to learn. Whether you’re creating your first site or you’re a semi-pro, Wix has a ton of tools (like the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence, Wix Editor, and Wix Code) that will make creating your site a breeze. Fully customizable, the Wix ADI lets you build a unique site with professional text, images and layouts.
- Beautiful sites that are easy to make. You can make a very professional looking site in a few days, rather than pay thousands of dollars for a developer to make you something very similar
- Easy to edit on the go: With the mobile app you can add pages and content quickly and efficiently.
- Great customer service: If you run into an issue, the team is readily available and will stick with you until you get it sorted, even for the free version.
- With the free version, audience commenting is limited.
- While there is a booking page, it is not great. There isn’t a calendar option, this would have to be built or added as a plugin, which might not be ideal if this is what you need from your site.
- If you want to customize, this can be finicky. Once you switch from the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence to the Wix Editor you can’t go back, which can be a pain.
Cost + hosting:
Price packages range from $4.50 to $24.50/month
WordPress (WordPress.org) is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP & MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores.
- User-friendly CMS: WordPress is a strong content management system because of its origin in blogging. It is very easy to navigate through the pages and content on a WordPress website.
- Plugins: There are over 50,000 mostly free plugins available to WordPress users. These plugins allow you to customize and enhance any WordPress site.
- SEO: The importance of SEO best practices is at an all time high. WordPress does a good job of supporting these best practices. There are many SEO plugins available to help optimize content, meta tags, keyword focus and much more.
- Installing updates is important to the health of your WordPress site, but can be a nuisance. Premium WordPress themes are updated and improved often.
- Being an open-source platform, WordPress is attractive to potential hackers. To mitigate this risk you’ll need to be circumspect in choosing plugins and themes for your WordPress site
- Speed: Certain themes contain a lot of unnecessary generic code. This can decrease the speed of the site and cause slow load times. Without prior WordPress experience it can be hard to understand what you need and what you can do without.
Cost + hosting:
Price packages range from $7.99 to $14.99/month
3. Constant Contact Website Builder
Constant Contact is a small business all-inclusive marketing solution that offers email marketing, social media marketing, online surveys, event marketing, and a great drag-and-drop website builder. Constant Contact either be used standalone, or can integrate with your other website, for example, a “about me as a speaker” landing page.
- No setup fees, contracts, or design costs.
- Never worry about upgrades, maintenance or other technical stuff.
- Compatible with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
- Built-in local SEO tools.
- Includes hosting with unlimited bandwidth and disk space.
- Less suited for those that want to use their own design
- No phone support on the free plan
- No Android App for Mobile
- Limited subscriber list during free trial
Cost + hosting:
Price packages range from $69 to $99/month
Squarespace is a website builder designed to help creatives build their own websites and showcase their work, no matter their technical ability.
- Despite the high price, Squarespace is probably the best pick for individuals who need image-based websites. Think of photographers and wedding planners.
- Squarespace’s 200+ design templates look good — really good. They may be the most professional looking options out there.
- Squarespace sites look and feel custom. But they still have the same intuitive editor that allows you to customize things in seconds.
- Relatively expensive price plans. The main issue for Squarespace’s pricing versus non-all-inclusive solutions are their plan caps. Their plans are limited to a single website, and their lower tier plans cap the number of pages and products.
- Not totally beginner-friendly. For example, their SEO options are sort of present but require workarounds to get the right metadata in place.
- Squarespace lacks support for 3rd party apps and extensions.This approach does ensure that everything just works though.
Cost + hosting:
Price packages range from $12 to $40/month
Weebly is a web hosting service specifically oriented for online shopping. Get access to customizable webpage designs and useful tools to build your website and grow your ideal business.
- Weebly offers a limited free plan. You can try it out on a small scale before paying. They also offer a 15-day free trial.
- Weebly includes hundreds of great templates organized by type, including drag-and-drop options for eCommerce, too.
- Our favorite Weebly feature was the intuitive editor. It was very easy to customize site options and build a website.
- There are only 60 themes to choose from, and it seems as many of them could use an update.
- The least expensive packages are so limited that you will likely need to upgrade later.
- Weebly has an uptime of 99.97%, which is shorter than the 99.99% — 100%, that other sites on this list provided.
Cost + hosting:
Price packages range from $5 to $25/month
Successful professional speakers who are getting consistent, high paying speaking opportunities have informative, well-designed, helpful websites that showcase their credibility and style immediately.
As more and more event organizers’ hiring decisions are influenced by online presence, it’s important to have your own speaker website where event organizers can see exactly what you do, and displays your skills in the best light. The above platforms will help you establish just such a unique web presence.
Want to find out more about how you can get more speaking opportunities? Sign up for SpeakerHub today.
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.