How I chose the speakers for Courageous Content Live
Episode 15726th May 2022 • The Courageous CEO • Janet Murray
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Do you ever wonder what event organizers look for when they're booking speakers? Maybe either prior to be a speaker at an event and you got turned down or maybe you didn't even get a reply. It could be that you're just a bit nosy and curious. I'm Janet Murray. And in this episode of the courageous concept podcast, I'm going to share how I chose the keynote speakers for my upcoming live event,

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courageous content live. I think it will give you a really good insight into how an event organizer thinks I have booked hundreds of speakers over the years and what they might be looking for. And if you're thinking of coming along to the event, it will give you an idea of what to expect. So I'll start by telling you about where I found my keynote speakers and why I booked them.

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And I'll pop back with a summary at the end. So who's speaking at courageous content live. Who are you going to hear from? Well, as I'm recording this, we now have books. All of our keynote speakers. We also have about a couple of dozen experts, speakers, and I will be announcing those over the coming weeks, but I'm really excited to be able to tell you about this

year's keynote speakers.

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And I do take a lot of time to go out and handpick people who I think can provide real value and fresh faces, fresh voices, people that you may not have heard from before, but are doing an incredible job to build that audience on a specific content platform or to do something that I know delegates at the event would also be keen to do so very excited to have David Bennett,

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piano talking about how to grow and monetize a YouTube channel. His channel has 639 subscribers. And what's so cool about it is that he has a very niche topic. He talks about music theory in relation to pop songs. And even if you're not remotely interested in that topic, that's not the point here. The point is that he's built a really big following on YouTube for a very niche topic.

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He does a lot of stuff on analyzing Beatles songs, in fact, and he's also monetizing it. So he uses Patrion and also he has sponsors who advertise on his channel, and I'm really excited for him to be able to share all of that with you. Then we've got Karen Arthur, who is a speaker, and she's the author of the podcast menopause while black Karen can bring so much to the table.

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But one of the things I really want her to talk to you about is about being brave and courageous enough to really claim your niche and to claim a very small niche menopause while black, you know, that's a really, really tight niche, but it's works brilliantly for Karen and her business. And she's helping a lot of people through that content niche. And I can't wait for her to share that with you this year.

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I also wanted to bring on board somebody who was a really, really good at creating viral content. There's lot of content marketing people who will tell you that they can create viral content, but it's rubbish. But I know there's a social media site that I follow, or I should say a site, a page I follow where they genuinely do create viral content,

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everything they post gets tons of likes, shares comments, and it's Lad Bible. So I've invited one of our senior writers, Dominic Smithers to come and talk about how they do it and how they use breaking news to create this really viral social media content. What can we learn from that as business owners, then we've got Helen Perry. So Helen is a podcast host.

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She's the host of the just buddy post-it podcast and Instagram specialist she'll be coming up as well. Most of them actually in future podcast episodes, you'll be able to find out more about them. Now, Helen is a former client of mine and was very proud to be able to say that because she's launched this amazing podcast, just bloody post it. And it's all about exactly that just bloody posting it,

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getting on with it, getting over yourself, just getting on with it. She's also a specialist on Instagram. She's built up a really strong Instagram following. She's a course creator and she sells online courses. That's how she makes her living. And I'm really excited for her to share with you how she got over herself and just got on with it and has created this really amazing podcast.

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And believe me, when you have a client of yours, who, when you check it on the podcast charts and theirs is above your sometimes, sometimes below, but when you're kind of like, you know, playing snakes and ladders with each other, well, that's something that feels really proud to me. I can't claim to take responsibility for all her success,

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but I feel really proud to be part of it and to be able to then invite her to come and speak how courageous content live next up there's John experience. So he's a, self-confessed LinkedIn nerd, also a technical copywriter. Now there's a great story here. I have been begging John Espirian to speak at my events for years. And the very first email that I sent him was look,

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John, I'm getting a bit desperate and how I'm not going to ask you again, please, will you speak at my event? And he said, yes, why have I been so desperate to get John to speak at my event? It's because he has built this amazing following on LinkedIn. People just love him. Everything he posts gets tons of comments and shares and likes.

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And obviously that helps to monetize his business. I'm sure he talk about that at the event, but he's so himself, he never jumps onto any content trends. You won't see him on TikTok or Instagram rails or anything like that. He stays in his lane and he does it so well. He provides such great value. That's why I'm so excited to have John at the event.

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And he said, yes, next up Steve Folland. Steve is the founder of an amazing Facebook community being freelance. Maybe you're part of it. I know a lot of people who are, and Steve is a video and audio editor who has just completely nailed how to create a really engaged online community. What kind of content to post, when to post it,

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how to keep the community really thriving. And when I was booking Steve, I remember saying to him, I love you to talk about your Facebook group strategy. You probably don't even think it's a strategy, but it is. And we want to know how you do it, how you've done it. And he came back and said, yeah, I suppose I don't think of it as a strategy,

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but there is. And he's going to share that with you. And finally, I'm really happy to have a man, is Mel talking at the event, she's going to be talking about how to make more sales from your email marketing. She said conversion strategies. And I found her because I was listening to another podcast and she was being interviewed by someone probably haven't even heard of,

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but that's something I do as an event organizer, I listened to lots of different podcasts. I asked people for recommendations, who should I listen to? Who should I follow? Who should I watch? And the Karen also is the same, actually, she was recommended to me by somebody and I don't just go off and book them. I usually binge on their content,

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but actually I just listened to one interview with Emma and I loved her story. I loved the advice that she shared. I went to her website. I saw how she worked with people and I thought, yeah, I need to book her. She seemed absolutely brilliant. So that's our keynote speakers. I'll also be keynoting as well. And we also have a ton of expert speakers to announce over the coming weeks.

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I can tell you about some of them. So we've got Mike Morrison and Kenny willows, they're going to be running a session on how to build or grow a really successful membership site. They are the membership guys and they, there is nothing that Mike doesn't know. I have had the pleasure to be a friend of Mike's for many years, and sit with him over breakfast,

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over drinks and grill him. I've learned a heck of a lot from him about building a successful membership site. Kelly I've met less frequently at events, but she is also amazing, full of amazing advice. They want membership guys together and I'm so glad that they will be there. We're also going to have another specialist session on email marketing and Robin Kennedy,

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email marketing heroes. There'll be on that panel along with Kate PC and another to be announced later. So if you're looking for email marketing tactics to up your game to improve your conversions, that's another chance for you to find out more and learn from more people. Sasha. Lydiard on my team who does my famous messenger bot and we have a amazing messenger bot that we use for the event,

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which we'll keep you updated with when the sessions are starting and finishing. And it will remind you about all sorts of things. So clever, she'll be talking about chat marketing. And if you follow me on social media, if you've ever asked to listen to one of my podcasts or download one of my freebies, you'll have use my messenger bot. So you'll know just how brilliant it is.

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Ian Anderson, gray as ever will be my live event producer. He'll be looking after the live streaming to the delegates who are watching from home and I've partnered with Andrew and Pete and in ads and great offer an amazing theme. One ticket. They're running a couple of fringe events the day before mine, their atomic killer mastermind, Halloween themed. And by the way,

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this Halloween drinks on the 31st as well, the first drink is on us. And Ian is running a confident live video workshop and last, but by no means lease my co-host for the event will be Ant McGinley. If you've attended any of my courageous content live online events you'll know that he has been our host for the fringe events. And I will need a co-host to help me because it's a lot for one person,

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because I'm usually the host of the events myself. I do all the intros of the speakers, but with a bigger event as this one, we'll be having a second person to support you, I think is really important. And that's why I've got an again, Lee supporting me the big beardy guy, if you've ever been to. And if my online events before he's actually spoken at my in-person events as well,

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he's a voiceover artist and podcasting hose. So I hope that's given you an idea of what to expect. If what I've shared has made you feel like you're really wants to be at this event, then please don't delay booking your ticket because we usually do sell out way before the event. And I would hate you to miss out if you're key. So you found that useful.

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And if I was to summarize my strategy or approach, I guess I'd say that number one, it's about finding experts and it's finding the right experts to deliver my audience, the content that they need. Most event organizers have a really clear idea of who their ideal event delegates are, particularly when you've run an event in the past or for many years. Like I have,

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you have a really clear idea of who is going to be in the room, what they need to hear and who they need to hear from. So, number one, for me, it's always about finding those experts. And for me, it's about proven expertise. Anyone could say they were a YouTube expert, for example, but have they proved it by building up a really engaged audience on that platform?

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Anyone could pitch a talk on how to monetize a YouTube platform, but have they actually done it so expertise, but proven expertise is really important. Something that may not have come across in that description. There is diversity for me, it's really important that I am being diverse, both in terms of the male and female split in terms of color. I don't want to have all of my keynote speakers to be white males.

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For example, it's something I'm very conscious of and it can make the selection process quite tricky because you're balancing your wishlist in terms of the content, but also making sure that your lineup is always balanced and it can be quite a tricky thing to get, right? Especially when sometimes people take a little while to get back to you. Somebody says, yes,

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which means that you're now not going to be able to approach someone else. Then you'd have too many women or you'd have too many white people or whatever it might be is a bit of a juggling act with diversity is very important. And not just in the areas that I've mentioned, but also for me in that diversity of voices, it's why I go the extra mile to try and find people that are not on every speaker,

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knowing that you see in their content marketing space, they're not on every podcast. I want to introduce my delegates to new voices and new people and new perspectives. And I think they really appreciate that, which is why I tried to do that every year. Another thing that you might have picked up is topic. It's just so important. I recently gave feedback to people who responded to my call for speakers.

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And in those cases, it wasn't about whether they were a good speaker or not. It was about whether they were a good speaker and could deliver on the topics that I needed. A lot of people don't really take the time to look at the event. I always give quite clear instructions when I send out a call for speakers. And I say, what kind of things I'm looking for?

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A lot of people don't take the time to come to the event if they can, so they can get a feel for the community and really understand the content because yes, you can look at an event schedule and see what's being covered. But actually I think being at the event, speaking to the organizer, getting to know people at the event, getting to know the team,

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all of those things that can help you to really understand what kind of content you should be pitching and finally experience. So when somebody pitches to speak and actually none of my keynote speakers this time round, when people who pitched to speak, I will be booking speakers who pitched just not for the keynote slots. The speaking experience is so important. So ideally for keynote Scotts,

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I'm looking for someone who can hold an audience for 20 minutes and not just create a bunch of slides and talk over them. Someone who could tell a story, someone who understands a little bit about stage craft. And I typically want to see evidence that they can speak. It doesn't have to be a recording of a keynote talk. I just want to see some videos.

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So when someone pitches themselves to speak, or when somebody mentioned somebody that could be a good speaker, I go and have a look at their social media. And I look to see if I can find a video of them. A great example is Janine Cummings who spoke at my events actually the last two years running. She's also been a guest on this podcast.

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There's a great episode. I'll link to it in the show notes about removing Instagram followers. But Janine was somebody that I was just searching online for video experts. And she came up. I had a look at her Instagram. I had to look at some of her videos and I immediately thought, she's great. I can tell she's going to be really,

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really good just by seeing her on camera. So if you are somebody that's looking to get booked to speak, have a think about that. If an event organizer checked you out, what would they find? Would there be any video of you? It doesn't necessarily have to be a video of you doing a keynote talk, but I can usually tell within seconds whether somebody would be good.

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So if you've got some video somewhere, then that's going to help out an event, organize it a lot. So how that's been helpful. And if you'd like to know more about getting booked to speak, I have another podcast episode, which I'll link to in the show notes, which is on how to pitch yourself as a speaker. And of course,

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if you want to join me at courageous content live, if you're as excited as I am to hear from some of those people, then the link to come to the event is in the show notes. It's courageous content live.