Are you the kind of speaker who just wants to make people laugh and feel good? Then here’s some advice.
You will hear a lot of people in this business tell you not to call yourself a motivational speaker – that selling funny is hard – that it’s a much smaller lane – that it’s hard to find the job and get the job.
It is harder. There is less work. You do have to dig deeper to find the work.
But if you love it. You love it. And you don’t care. You know who you are.
Still here? Good. Here is my advice on how to become a funny motivational speaker.
Be REALLY Funny
A wise mentor once told me that there are a lot of women who call themselves funny in this business – but very few who really are. So be among the very few. Work on your comedy. ALL THE TIME. Make sure you are hysterical, because if you’re going to tell people you are hilarious, then they will judge you harshly according to that promise. They will expect you to deliver.
How To Know If You’re Funny?
Ask someone. And then ask someone else. Get serious feedback. Not just from your friends and fellow speakers, but from your clients and people who aren’t afraid to be honest.
Don’t worry if you get negative feedback. You know what to work on.
Have a Good Message That Really Motivates
There’s a reason they don’t just book a comedian at these events. Because they want something more and something different. They want their audience to come away feeling great. This isn’t just about your story – it’s really more about theirs.
Have Marketing Material That SHOWS How Funny You Are
Telling people you are funny is not good enough. Show them. Have a YouTube video with funny clips. Write funny articles. Do funny Facebook posts. They want to see proof that you are funny.
Create A Killer Program Title
People often buy funny titles. Make them laugh in the program title.
Write a Funny Book
…with a funny title. Books give you credibility. And, yes, the book should be funny if funny is your brand.
Connect With and Refer Other Funny Speakers
This is a word-of-mouth business, and often funny speakers aren’t asked back the next year. So refer a job you did to someone else funny, and maybe they will return the favor. Note: Don’t recommend someone if you haven’t seen them speak, and don’t expect them to recommend you if they haven’t seen you.
Reach Out to State Associations
State associations are a great place to find bookings in all different fee ranges. Most associations have a conference and most of them bring in speakers. You’ll need to do a lot of Google research or buy an expensive list.
Do Free Jobs To Get Your Name Out
If you don’t have any bookings, no email list, and no pipeline, then you need to get your name out there. Find churches, non-profits, chambers, and other places where they have small budgets and would be eager for you to come in and speak for a low fee, or to sell books.
If this is a word-of-mouth business, then you need people talking about you.
Get Programs Videotaped Consistently
Video is your best marketing tool. Take every opportunity to get your programs filmed and cut up into small YouTube videos. Share them with your social media.
Take Steve Martin’s Advice
Be so darn good they can’t ignore you. Steve Martin
Don’t Give Up
Even if you have to keep your day job, keep making people laugh. The world needs it.