Hands-down, by far, speaking has been proven to be the #1 way to gain new clients, valuable connections and referrals.
It’s all about visibility. On a big scale.
Look at it this way.
Compared to trying to get prospects to visit your website, doing one-on-one consultations, cold calling, etc., you can have a captive audience come together in one venue on the same day.
And that means you have a hot, pre-qualified group ready and eager to hear what you have to say. Plus they’re already primed to check out your topic and area of expertise and potentially the services you have to sell.
Speaking also builds your credibility faster
People who hear you speak will think of you as a thought leader and expert.
Doesn’t matter if you talk to a group of 40 or 400 hundred people, the odds of gaining new business still outweigh all the other marketing efforts that often come in dribs and drabs.
Having said that, you still need to understand what your target market’s pain points are so you can address them, offer a solution, and be very clear about what it is you offer.
The success of any speaking engagement falls in 7 key areas of attack:
1. Get in front of the right people. Make sure you seek out speaking opportunities that will have your ideal clients in attendance. While you can opt for any speaking engagement that may have a few ideal prospects, it’s really not worth your while in the long run to go down that road.
2. Pick a topic that resonates. If you don’t choose a topic that addresses the top one or two pain points of your target market, your message may fall on deaf ears. Like ensuring the right people are there, you have to make sure you will be talking about something they really want to hear about.
3. Make it memorable. Cliché? Not really…there’s nothing more invigorating for people who’ve paid to attend than to have an excellent experience with the speaker. This means changing things up with your diction, injecting humour, realism, and honesty…and never ever sound like you’re simply selling yourself and what you do.
4. Create a signature talk in your area of expertise. I recommend having a core “signature talk” that you can then modify into different versions for different audiences. Most importantly, make sure that your talk taps into the highest value you represent and can deliver for your target audience and ensure they walk away with 1 or 2 nuggets that can help them think or do something differently. In addition, tap into your colleagues for speaking opportunities. Get involved in speaker organizations. And simply reach out to organizations or companies you’d like speak for and get onto their calendar.
5. Have your one-page ‘Speaker Sheet’ ready to go. Your speaker sheet works as your concise speaking resume. Ensure the messaging is compelling! Use this when you’re invited to interviews and live speaking engagements or when you’re a guest speaker in a webinar or live conference, on radio, online or a at physical seminar.
6. Don’t forget the all-important follow-up. Yes, you can sell from the back of the room, but that’s a topic for another blog. In the beginning, it’s crucial to go for speaking opportunities where you can add VALUE, and not necessarily sell. Why? That perceived value is what will whet the appetite of your audience and prime them even further for anything you have to offer (be it a free report, consult, etc.) at other speaking engagements and potential consulting opportunities.
7. Create a speaker template you can easily follow and replicate it for each talk. Create a cheat of your own for every talk and customize it accordingly. The trick is to give yourself high-level points to keep you on track. It’s also important to ensure you clearly state at least 3 benefits participants will gain from your presentation. Then simply rinse and repeat as needed!
In my own consulting/coaching practice, I gained at least 30% more business after I started speaking to groups and offering free complimentary consultations just over three years ago. That’s a pretty great increase in market share that I don’t think I would have found any other way. I also learned from one of my early mentors that there are more speaking opportunities available than there are speakers, so this is a huge marketing strategy to consider.
Never spoken in public? Like tackling any new skill, it’s important not to get overwhelmed and panic. Try out your talk on trusted friends and colleagues. Start with small groups and build from there. Before you know it, speaking will get easier, and selling from the stage will become an integral part of your business marketing efforts!
Have you spoken in front of your target market? What impact did that opportunity have on your business? Would love to get your comments below!
© Kim Chernecki 2017
Kim Chernecki is the President and Founder of The Dream Business Creator (and parent company Freedom Street Inc). She is Canada’s leading expert who teaches consultants and small business owners on how they can strategically land and keep a steady roster of high-paying corporate clients. With over 25 years of experience as a top-rated sales performance executive, facilitator, coach and entrepreneur, Kim understands the corporate landscape from both sides of the desk. She has consulted with executives from 100+ leading North American and Fortune 1000 companies and has, herself, started up and grown eight successful, profitable businesses. Ready to create your dream consulting business? Learn more about Kim here. Or book your 30-minute complimentary consultation today!