Speaking Your Way to the Top: Why Public Speaking Should Be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy
It’s been almost a decade since I became a professional speaker and trainer. It is my life’s joy to be able to stand up in front of people and teach about bringing the “dark arts” of influence into the light – a topic that I am passionate about and one that helps people in their professional and personal lives.
Speaking has been both fulfilling and profitable.
That is why I’m surprised that more entrepreneurs don’t leverage public speaking in their businesses. I think that many entrepreneurs see speaking as part of their services – the end product, if you will – rather than part of their marketing funnel.
In the world of online marketing, experts create elaborate sales funnels that are designed to educate their audience and build authority and credibility. Articles, videos, webinars, podcasts…all of these are designed to create a connection and build rapport in the digital space.
The psychology behind such sales funnels is sound. But when you step away from your computer, there is one arena where you can accomplish all of those things in front of your ideal target market in a shorter period of time and create a stronger connection. That’s why, for all of these reasons (and more), I highly recommend that entrepreneurs include public speaking as a part of their marketing strategy.
The second you step on that stage, you are an acknowledged authority on your subject matter. Heck, you’re an acknowledged expert long before you step on stage! When the announcements for the event go out with your picture and bio, you've instantly established yourself as someone worth listening to. Numerous studies have shown that by being in a place of perceived authority, you instantly become more influential.
One of the main focuses for many entrepreneurs is to educate their prospects on why they are facing the problems they have, how to solve them, and why working with you is the best next step. When you speak to a local association or networking group, you typically have 20 to 60 minutes to give them the most powerful and compelling presentation that will convince them they need to be working with you.
A challenge many people face in the online world is how to skillfully inject their personality into their writing and marketing. That challenge is greatly diminished when you get the opportunity to speak and directly interact with your audience. They get to see you, talk with you, ask you questions, and learn directly from you. Your connection and rapport is created at WARP speed compared to an email funnel. They will remember you because they've met you! I have people on my newsletter list who saw me speak over 5 years ago and reply with a comment saying how my article was helpful. They even tell me when and where they saw me.
People won't likely remember which landing page they discovered you on, but they will definitely remember where they saw you speak.
Let me be clear that I’m not knocking online marketing. Online marketing is essential and powerful. My hope is that more entrepreneurs will connect online and offline marketing efforts more effectively. Speaking, whether fee based or for free, is a fantastic way to build your email list with quality and engaged followers. At every speaking opportunity, make sure to have a way to gather email addresses. Offer a free download, discounted product, or you can even go old school and pass around a clipboard with a sign up form. No matter what, you want to get their email addresses because these people have seen you, connected with you, learned from you, and like you …so, now it’s your job to stay connected and keep them engaged with your brand.
If you are someone who is skilled on the platform (or want to be) and has a compelling message, then search for associations in your area that could benefit from hearing you. Stepping onto the stage could be one of your most powerful marketing techniques.