College Tour Organization Protocol

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Step 1:

Outreach person chooses a university. Get an 'insider' to make a pitch on your behalf.

Step 2:

A list of contacts is found in the spreadsheet - [1]. Get these contacts (friends, former graduates, others affiliated with the institutions - professors and so on) to connect you with the relevant departments or speaker/lecture series organizers.

Step 3:

Outreach person writes emails with the speaker pitch. (Do not mention fee yet! Sell Marcin and OSE - mention fellowships, recognitions such as TIME, TED, press coverage, etc.)

Hi _______,
How are things going with ____________? (If I know this person - marked as Friend, asking about their work)
I got your contact from ________ , (If this is a reference from someone else, marked as Referred By in spreadsheet), who is a __________________ (describe my relationship to the referring person).

I am planning an ambitious college tour for 2014, where I will visit about 50 top universities between January and May. The goal is to recruit - primarily people for Dedicated Project Visits on site - but also a wide array of collaborators and potentially staff. My goal is to have 18 people on site full time at all times starting this coming summer, so we complete the entire Global Village Construction Set ( by end of 2015.

I would like to request your help in getting us a speaking gig at ______________ (their university) or nearby universities and venues. Do you know any student clubs, Centers, or other possibilities that could host me? I am looking for an honorarium that pays my costs, and I will be using any funds gained to support Open Source Ecology, which by the way has just received its nonprofit status from the IRS.

Thanks for your help, Marcin

Marcin can't contact the person himself or else he will have a hard time negotiating a fee. UNLESS you know a professor or a person that you know personally who could make the pitch on your behalf but make sure you send them the pitch beforehand so they know what to copy/paste for the relevant organizers (they'd be too busy to write a compelling one on their own.)

Step 4:

Wait until you get a response and if not within 7 days, write a follow up (either you or Audrey, depending on who sent the email.)

Step 5:

If Ivy League - ask for $6,000 (and mention that it includes transportation.) This depends on location - if far and accommodation is required, say $5,000 (plus transportation and accommodation.)

For smaller Universities - ask for $3,000 (inclusive of travel/accommodation.) They will probably give you something closer to $1-1.5k, but if they really want you there they can give you the full amount.

Step 6:

If they say the amount is too high - say you are going to consider doing something for less but not less than $1,500 for Ivy League (otherwise it's a rip-off.) This also depends on who's inviting you - which department and how many students are meant to attend.

Step 7:

Get an advisor (like Mary Johnson) to do the negotiating for you if they refuse to pay at all or consider calling it off if you don't feel it's feasible (school too small, unlikely to recruit students, no relevant departments, etc.) If you still think it's worthwhile regardless of whether or not they'll be paying you - go for it (for example if results include greater visibility amongst potential candidates, lots of students present at the event, etc.)

Step 8:

Once you secure a decent amount of speaker engagements, you need to set up a marketing website and allow people to book you for speaking engagements - DON'T LIST YOUR PRICES because you can spike it up for certain engagements ($15k or more for training/workshops.)

Get people to write you testimonials there (including Tom at TED for example, Shuttleworth, and other places you've spoken at.)

No need for a speaker agent right away because they might rip you off and keep a high % to themselves. It could be worth it if it's a non-exclusive agent though, who could actually secure events for you to speak at.