Promote yourself to the masses by
becoming an expert speaker at your
target market's events.
It's always amazing to me
that when I speak at an association meeting,
conference or breakout session at a convention,
people always come up to me afterwards to
inquire about hiring me. It doesn't matter what
the audience size is--it always happens.
got me thinking: When I make a sales call on a
prospect or customer, I'm really making a
similar presentation--with one exception: The
audience size is one. So speaking in front of
any larger audience is basically a mass sales
call. And the best part of that is, you're able
to make your pitch at one time to an
audience made up of dozens or even hundreds of
Here's something to remember: Speaking in
front of audiences gives you instant
credibility. Why else would you be up in front
of a group unless you were some type of expert?
Remember, people love to buy from experts. They
trust experts. They have confidence in experts,
and they know experts are credible. Speaking
solidifies all of that. The number-one reason
salespeople get the sale is because of trust and
confidence. If your speaking is a mass sales
call, the same rules apply.
Let me tell you how you can start marketing
your business through speaking engagements.
Track Down Your
One of the cardinal rules of marketing is to put
your marketing message where your target market
is. If your target market consists of business
owners and organizations, a local chamber of
commerce would be an ideal audience. You can
contact your local chamber and ask them if they
have any educational sessions during their
programming year or slots open for speaking at
their breakfasts or luncheons. If they don't
have such programming, offer to help them
develop it. I don't know of any chamber of
commerce that would turn down a moneymaking
opportunity if it involved delivering quality
information and benefits to their membership.
There are also many industry associations
that may want to hear your message. Target state
and local associations at first, then move on to
national associations. Contact the executive
director or educational committee chair to gauge
their interest. Offer to speak for free in
return for contact information of those who
attend your session. If you can't make that
arrangement, give away a book or a prize at the
end of your presentation. And be sure to collect
business cards from your audience to use in
a drawing, then keep the business cards to
follow up with and market to these people over
and over and over. Remember the rules of
frequency in marketing: 5 x 1,000 is better than
1 x 5,000.
You can also offer handouts when you speak
that contain content from your presentation.
This gives your audience something of value to
walk away with that won't cost them a dime. If
you're smart, you'll also provide product
purchase information and ways for prospective
customers or their friends and associates to get
in touch with you for speaking engagements or
further contact. This is when the speaking
component of your marketing becomes viral:
having others market for you.
Another way to use speaking arrangements to
market your business is to participate on panel
discussions. Those organizations or companies
that put on panels need experts, and you're an
expert in something. So find organizations and
conferences that need your expertise and offer
yourself as a panellist.
No one can communicate the passion you have
for your product, service or company better than
you. If that's what you're speaking about, your
passion will be obvious, and audiences notice
things like that. If you're not passionate about
what you're selling or what your company is all
about, then don't get in front of an audience.
An audience can detect a lack of passion as
easily as they can detect over-the-top passion.
Speaking in front of a group puts you at the
centre of attention. So before you step into
that spotlight, make sure you're prepared:
Don't be boring.
Have solid content.
Have a message.
Audiences like to walk away with ideas to
implement immediately. Developing "sales
oriented" speaking content is similar to
developing content for a sales presentation.
Here are some topic suggestions that make
interesting speaking content:
A solution to a problem or a challenge
Top 10 steps to a goal
Seven mistakes people make when they
don't use your service
Real live examples
A review of frequently asked questions
about you, your business, your product or
Secrets and inside information on your
product, service or industry
Tips, techniques and tactics
The good thing about this guerrilla marketing
method is that it's free. It's just you using
your time, energy and imagination to get your
message to your target market.