SL049: Great Speaker Websites – The Six Elements

In today’s episode of The Speakers Life I share insights into the six elements that all great speaker websites should have.

The Right Domain Name
The Right Video
The Right Button
The Right Photography
The Right Speech
The Right Testimonials

Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

This is James Taylor and you’re listening to the Speaker’s Life. In today’s episode, I thought I would talk about the six elements of a great speaker website, those elements that you always want to have on your speaker website. Now, this is an area that’s fraught with difficulty different speakers have different perspectives on what you should be putting on your website. This is my perspective, from having worked with hundreds of different speakers coaching different speakers. And also having looked at hundreds of speaker websites and finding it some of those common components and some of those things that really make a speaker website stand out. Because when we have new members that come in to speak as you who are just starting on their journey of speakers, one of the first questions they asked about is James, what should we be putting on on the speaker website? Which components do we need to have? What domain name should it be on? So here’s how I tend to think about websites more generally, and then we’ll get into speaker websites specifically. So someone like Donald Miller, who wrote a great book called The story brand, talked about something called the grunt test.

And this kind of goes back to our human brains, the brain uses use a huge amount of energy, it uses about 1500 calories a day, just to keep walking. So it’s a huge energy suck that the brain. Now one of the things that our brain and our body’s always looking to do is to try and find ways to reduce that energy reduce that calorific burn of our brain. And one way does that is when it spots patterns, it goes up. That’s what that is. This is why I need to do it. So when it spots a snake that’s going to coming out through the grass immediately knows what to do, it doesn’t have to think too difficult. And this reduces the burn rate of the calories in our brain. So we call this when it comes to websites that we call it the grunt test, being able to make decisions very quickly because you recognize where pattern is showing up previously. So when it comes to looking at websites, someone will make a decision on your website, what it means and what they should do, if or whether they should just go away with seconds. And sometimes it’s even milliseconds. So it really is important that you have a couple of things in place right from the get go. So even when I look at your website from two meters away, I can almost know instinctively, this is the button that you want me to press. This is what you do, this is what you’re about.

So these are the six elements that I believe that every speaker website should have. The first one, let’s talk about the actual domain name itself. Now you can, if it’s available, get your that’s you could argue is the ideal. In my case, James Taylor, James wasn’t available. There’s another James Taylor out there, musician. So I was able to get James I could have always got James So that’s fine. Now there’s a there’s some downsides to this. If you have a very common name, which like mine, James Taylor in the West is very quite common name, or if your name is difficult to pronounce if I was to shout your name across a crowded bar with the other person. I’m shouting it to believe We have to understand why said and be able to write it down with the correct spelling. If not, then you might want to think about not using your name for your domain, you may want to use the topic that you’re known for, for example, that are innovation speaker if you were if you’re a speaker, but innovation, or your key phrase, your keyword phrase that you built and you build everything around. So we think of someone like Simon Sinek I don’t think Simon Sinek has Simon you might have Simon settings, but actually all the traffic in he builds around his start with start with why that’s the phrase that most people know that phrase start with why and they probably know the name Simon Sinek even though it’s his phrase, the phrase that he made popular, so he bought, start with and that has all the information on that website, all the best speaking and his training and his other programs he has likewise with a good friend of mine wrote boulder Wardman, who’s a former fighter pilot.

Now he he speaks a lot about being a wingman. Man to your team and in a corporate setting. So actually made a lot of sense for his domain name to be your very memorable, because even though he’s a fighter pilot, former fighter pilot and people, there’s lots of speakers out there who have maybe served in the military on the Navy or the Army or the Air Force in one way. It’s like you sometimes think, Oh, yeah, what was that person that I remember that they were in the army and they came up and get gave a speech, but you know that they kind of blur into one another. So by really pushing forward, not so much his individual name, but this idea of your wingman being your wingman, having a wingman and making that his domain name is a very easy thing for people to start to remember. So that’s number one. And should I suggest is either a domain name should either be your name, or your topic that you’re known for, you know, such as such or the phrase that you’re want to be known for.

Next is the video. And actually before I came on this today, I actually picked up the phone To a bunch of different speaker bureaus and I asked them you know, what you like from when you go on a speaker’s website to see their, in their video show real. And I had a whole bunch of different answers to that. Some like very short two to three minute videos kind of almost like what we call a sizzle reel, which was just kind of real top highlights, they want to see a bit of you on stage something about the challenge of the problem that you solve. And ideally, maybe even a testimonial from someone I think was probably more common is on speaker websites is having a video which is six to 10 minutes in length and something that has some time of you really speaking on stage sharing a message. Now, there’s different people have different perspectives on whether you should have lots of video of your audience in there. I’m personally I’m not that keen on having lots of audience shots in there. That’s just me, but other people may may say other things, but my general preference for your main video showreel is a video that’s three to five minutes in length. You have a really strong, start to grip people to, you know, bring them into what the problem is that you’re there to solve. And ideally, you want to have you like on camera as early as possible in that as well on stage if you can, or doing a direct to camera. And then throughout that, you kind of want to be kind of calling out to different challenges your audience may have and talking about how you can solve them, or the trends that you speak about if you’re more of a futurist, for example. And then I would say peppered within that is maybe two to three real strong pieces of you speaking on stage different stages. Sharing one idea one concept in one of them can be a real strong thought, you know, thought provoking type of piece.

Another one is something we should look at more humor in your character as well. But you can basically build that little sizzle reel that show real three to five minutes in length. Now, ideally, you’re gonna want to have lots of other videos of you speaking on stage longer videos, but that’s a really good one to have. There. And you can kind of put those together relatively quickly. The third one is to have an enquiry form or button with contact information. Now, you’d be surprised if I go on to a lot of speakers websites. And I look at those those homepages or those speaker websites, I can actually see, you know, what you actually want me to do. And one of the things you probably want people to do is either to watch the video because the number one thing they can sell you, and then from there somewhere on the page pretty much at all times you want to have a book. JOHN, if your name is Charlie or, you know, inquire about dates, or check availability or something that has that kind of call to action, which is going to take people onto an inquiry form and click on a button. Now, I would say on the inquiry form, I would normally suggest have have an actual proper form. If you can, you can tie that into your CRM if you have a CRM or you can just send you an email to let you know someone’s completed that form. It means that your look it looks more professional and it also shows that you asked the potential client for analyze information. And essentially, you can see almost from the information that kind of comes in on that form, how much of is completed, whether this is a serious inquiry. And so I’m usually looking for things like they actually have a specific date in mind with a specific city and information that they’re providing. They’re giving some indication that they are a type of client that I would probably work with usually a corporate in my case doesn’t have to be could be an association, for example. And the magic words I’m always looking for is we loved what we saw on your website, we would like to see about booking you to speak at our event.

If I see other little phrases on those inquiry forms coming in, like we would like to invite you that is priced a little bit of a red flag to me because then you can start to get into was this really a paid speaking inquiry or they just looking for more of a free speaker now that’s number three, then creating that inquiry form on your website or button. And the other thing to have on that page is have your contact information someone actually messaged me yesterday, saying one things I liked about your booking form is you actually put the enquiry form. But you also had a telephone number and a direct email address for both myself and my assistant. And actually, we had different codes, we have a UK number and American number as well. And they actually really appreciated that that you could just reach out to me if they want to, they can call me actually the most people just send in an email or send to a form. But is there a little bit of peace of mind as well, but I know some speakers actually suggest putting that telephone number if you’re in America, like an eight, an 800 number right at the top of the navigation, which is another way to do it. In my case, I speak more globally and 800 is very American sales number. So because I speak more globally, that doesn’t make quite as much sense to me. Next is having some great photography and really spend some time spend a little bit of money working with a really good photographer who’s going to get some great shots. Now there’s different types of shots that you’ll need. You’ll need photos that really nice headshots, strong headshots, and I also just You have some action shots of you speaking on stage, those kind of things. And if you can try and get some shots where you’ve got lots of empty space to your left your right, even have I even have some shots of me pointing at the empty space. And what they’re useful for is a conference is putting together a program, they might put, if you’re the keynote speaker, put that picture of you there and use the empty white space to put the title of the event or the logo of the particular event. So you’re just kind of helping that and the more the better the photography that you have, the more likely that you’re going to get on to those front covers of the magazines or front covers on in brochures for particular events, or you’re going to get used on their social media as they’re promoting the event.

It’s all about the quality of the photography their fifth is having a page with actually information about your speech. So you want to have their what is the title of the speech. In my case, my title is super creativity. That’s the title of my Speech and people can get a, I’m always talking about this idea of super creativity. That’s what people gonna know me for. But then I have the subtitle, which actually provides a little bit more information. The kind of title is really that to go, Oh, that’s interesting. Tell me more. And then subtitle was going to start to fill in the blanks. So in my case, the subtitle is augmenting human creativity in the age of artificial intelligence. So this is says, Okay, this guy is about human, the human creativity, piece creativity, but it’s always got this AI thing is going to kind of futurist type of stuff. So that’s kind of a nice blend. So I like blending a subtitle, which has a mixture of the very human soft, soft skills, and the more kind of harder side or you might call out to the challenge that your client has. For example, you say, you know, adapting to using x y Zed to adapt to change, and that’s why I said might be the topic that you speak on. Then you have the description. And in the description, I usually like to kind of call out what the challenge or the problem is that people have. Maybe a very simple stat Some sought to show what that challenges a real challenge. And then talk about how you solve that problem in your speech and kind of giving people a sense of like what the experiences of that whether you’re you have a lot of humor in your speech, or you do a lot of interaction or things are really tailored for each individual client. That’s what you’d have on a description. And then I also like to put some learning outcomes, or out or kept takeaways, you might call them as well, this in the world of HR, they tend to talk a lot about learning outcomes, I see that less if you’re dealing with someone in the C suite. For example, if you’re dealing with someone that’s HR come from a training perspective, they’ll really appreciate the fact that you have these outcomes, you say, the audience will learn the five ways to Bloody Bloody blah.

That just kind of shows there’s some real kind of good content in there. And that has some kind of basis in and also actually allows you to, if you do have training that you offer in addition to your speaking it allows you to kind of open up that kind of conversation as well because you can actually take One of those pizzas as you put it into a full day’s training if you wanted to, and then finally, testimonials always be trying to collect testimonials written testimonial spoken testimonials, video testimonials any way you can get testimonial. Try and get testimonial there in this training in this particular episode, I won’t get into what to try and having those testimonials but I just want to say you know really try your best every time you go and speak at an event try and think about how you could be capturing testimonials there. So those are the six different elements of a speaker website. So you want to have thinking about your your the actual domain name, which should be your own name or your topic or the phrase that you’re known for. Number two is the video show real? Number three is an inquiry form or button with contact information so people can send that inquiry to book you. Number four is great photography. Number five is that speech title, subtitle description outcomes, what is it you’re actually selling? And then number six is the testimonials as well. In fact, a speaker website can just be one page. If you think about it, if you just had one page with all those elements, you’re ready to go to market as well. So my name is James Taylor. This is the Speaker’s Life. Thanks so much for listening today.