Survey of How Professional Speakers and Trainers get New Business
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Here are the responses from the 100+ speakers who responded to my survey on how professional speakers and trainers get new business. You'll notice that not all answers equal 100% because in most cases, speakers were asked to select "all that apply." In other cases, people chose not to answer some questions, or answered them only partially. I simply did a straight numerical calculation, then converted the numbers to percentages, applying simple rounding rules.
How long have you been a professional speaker/trainer?
25% Less than 3 years 15% Less than 5 years 10% 5-7 years 15% 7-10 years 10% More than 10 years 20% More than 15 years 10% More than 20 years
How often do you speak or train?
20% Less than half my time 20% Less than 75% of my time 10% More than 75% of my time 50% I am a full time speaker/trainer
What percentage of your gross speaking/training income did you spend on advertising in the past 12 months?
40% Less than 5% 30% Less than 10% 10% Less than 20% 20% More than 20%
What advertising venues did you use? (Check all that apply)
50% NSA Directory 60% Chapter Directory 10% Non-speaker professional association journal 10% Yearbook of Experts 10% Radio and TV Interview Quarterly 15% Specific trade show publication 0% Meeting planner journal 60% Web sites/banner ads 60% Other -- venues listed more than once: Telemarketing Newspaper ads Seminars Trade show booth ASTD Buyers Guide ASTD Membership Directory Adult Ed Today Magazine
How did you decide where to place an ad? (Check all that apply)
20% Recommendation of another speaker 20% Demographics provided by the publication 40% It seemed reasonably priced and worth taking a risk 10% Liked the looks of the publication 20% I got to publish an article with the ad 30% I sometimes try different journals just to test the water
If you used direct mail to advertise your services, what format did you use? (Check all that apply)
50% Letter 25% Postcard 25% Fax 15% Video 5% Audio 5% Promotional item 10% Other: e-mail campaign, brochure, press kit, chamber of commerce mailing
Did you follow up all direct mail with phone calls?
10% Always 50% Usually 30% Only on request 10% Never
When you followed up on direct mail campaigns did you? (Check all that apply)
50% Personally call 25% Use a staff assistant 0% Use a telemarketing firm 5% Send another piece of mail
How many times in the past 12 months did you send direct mail?
10% Didn't sent mail 20% Only once 40% 2-3 times 5% 4-6 times 5% 7-10 times 20% More than 10 times
Do you have a Web site?
70% Yes 30% No
What percentage of your speaking business was generated from your Web site?
20% None 10% Unknown 20% Less than 15% 5% Less than 25% 5% More than 25% 5% More than 50%
What products do you sell on your Web site?
30% Nothing 30% Book(s) 25% Audio tape(s) 15% Video tape(s) 0% Workbook 15% Other: Newsletters Special reports Booklets Other company's products Specialty items
How often were articles by you published in commercial or professional journals?
30% Less than 3 times 15% More than 3 times 5% Less than 6 times 40% More than 6 times
Prioritize the top 5 ways you got NEW business in the past 12 months. (1= greatest impact) (These answers are listed in order, based on the number of mentions because not all responses included 5 answers and some responses were simply marked, rather than numerically prioritized as requested.)
1. References from existing clients 2. References from other speakers 3. References from friends 4. Responses to direct mail piece 5. Responses to a call 6. Responses to published articles 7. Responses to advertising 8. Responses to media interview 9. Other (in order): Web site Lead group/networking Bureau Reference from audience members Fax campaign
In the NEXT 12 MONTHS, will you? (Check all that apply)
50% Spend more on advertising 5% Spend less on advertising 40% Spend more on direct mail 5% Spend less on direct mail 15% Launch a Web site 50% Sell products on a Web site 60% Hotlink to other Web sites 20% Advertise on other Web sites 70% Attempt to publish more articles