How do you sell yourself online?

I mean you personally or your company. In this digital always-on age buyers can make a decision in the first 90 seconds. In recalling a recent buyer journey of my own, it emphasised how important that digital first-impression is.

I speak for a living, so what I am “selling” is a mix of knowledge, theatrics and 30 plus years of business experience.

Typically in the professional speaking industry, a prospective client will contact a speaker bureau such as Speakers Corner, JLA, Scarlett Entertainment, Raise the Bar, Speakers in Partnership, Maria Franzoni, VBQ Speakers, The Right Address, or London Speaker Bureau to name a few.

In my case, the client will have asked for a “Futurist”. As this is one of the hottest segments at the moment, there will be any number to choose from.

In this particular instance, I was one of four Futurists put forward to the client. At this stage, I still had no opportunity to influence the client personally.

What will happen next is the bureau will send the biographies of each speaker along with their showreel along to the client as their recommendations.

Many people approach me when they hear I am a speaker and have an agent and ask me how to get started.

“You need a showreel” I say. This is the one tool that you have to get absolutely right.

I have evolved my showreel – if you like my “1 pager”, as to why you should hire me instead of one of the other speakers.

Three years ago, my showreel was over 6 minutes long. In my eyes, prospective clients would want to see a LOT of me.

Sound advice from Michael Levey at Speaking Office and Maria Franzoni in one of her excellent workshops at a recent PSA London event was that it needs to be concise – no more than 2 minutes and show you at your best, not endless shots of you being on BBC News or worse still, some obscure TV channel no-one has ever heard of. What the client needs to see is what they are likely to get ON STAGE if they select you.

So what happened when this prospective client watched my showreel?

He told me when we met in person that he sent all 4 showreels to the three most cynical people he could think of in his office and asked them which one they would like to watch.

The feedback was unanimous. Apparently my energy and passion for the subject came through instantly on the video so much so that the 3 cynics wanted to know “what did he say next?”

The first 90 seconds in front of a prospective client are critical – make them count!

If you’re interested – below is the showreel that clinched the deal.