Back in the good old days, public speakers didn’t have to worry too much about marketing because their reputations did a lot of the hard work for them. Sure, it was tricky to break into the public speaking industry, but once you started to build yourself a reputation, you became the go-to person who was asked to speak at every event under the sun.
These days, though, the marketplace is much more crowded, and conferences and event organisers are often looking for speakers who have an existing audience that they can bring with them to the events they speak at.
Personal branding is now more important than ever, and public speakers need to be willing and able to deploy marketing campaigns and social media marketing if they want to stay relevant. The good news for you is that we’ve pulled together some of our top tips to help you out with your marketing efforts. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Regularly update your website
Search engines love fresh content, and so it’s a good idea to commit to updating your website once a week if you can spare the resources. As well as feeding the search engines and showing them that your site houses fresh content, it also gives human visitors a reason to come back often to see what’s new. And of course, it can feed into your social media marketing, which brings us on to the next point.
2. Be active on social media
Being active on social networking sites will help keep you front of mind when people are looking for speakers for their events, and it’s also a great way to stay in touch with those people who saw you speaking in the past and thought you were interesting enough to follow. It should be easy for you to think of things to say because if nothing else, you can share your thoughts on the latest news in your industry.
3. Use calls-to-action
Calls-to-action are essentially short messages that go at the end of your content and ask people to take a certain action. They’re one of the secret weapons that marketers rely on and are surprisingly good at getting people to do what you want them to do. The calls-to-action that you use will depend upon what actions you want people to take, but common calls-to-action include to follow you on social media or to sign up to your mailing list.
4. Adopt video and podcast marketing
Video and podcast marketing are a solid choice when you’re promoting yourself as a public speaker because they put all of those hard-earned public speaking skills front and centre. They basically give people a feel for your public speaking abilities without actually having to go and see you speak, and they broaden your appeal and open you up to international followers who are separated from you by distance. They are also a great way to show event organisers what you’re made of.
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5. Use professional photography
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but you should make sure that your pictures are telling the right stories. Think of the images you use as an extension of your personal brand and try to use only professional photography and quality stock images. If you can, arrange for professional photographers to attend some of your public speaking gigs so that you can get a versatile range of images of you in action. Organizers will often employ a professional photographer to cover their events. Ask for permission to use these photos.
6. Use email marketing
As well as marketing specific events you will speak at, you can cover past events, topics of interest in your industry, and try to drive visitors to your website and social media accounts. Use email marketing to bring developments likely to be of interest to your audience to their attention, and establish yourself as a reliable source.
7. Go old school
Just because digital marketing is all the rage, it doesn’t mean that the older approaches are no longer relevant. At the very least, you should have decent business cards printed, and ensure that they include all the information people will need in order to find you online and connect with you on social networking sites. You can also consider making printed prospectuses that you can hand out at meetings so that people get to know better what you offer.
8. Contribute to industry publications
Many industry publications are desperate for subject matter expert contributors. Consider drafting a shortlist of all of the publications that you read on a regular basis and then reaching out to them with your pitch for an article. You can even write the articles first and then pitch them when they’re already completed – if your first choice doesn’t make it, move on to your second choice, and so on. And if writing’s not your thing, consider outsourcing it to an expert freelancer.
9. Collaborate with influencers
Working with influencers has a number of benefits, perhaps the most obvious of which is that you’ll be exposed to their audiences. If you’re able to work with someone with hundreds of thousands of followers, that’s hundreds of thousands of people who’ll be exposed to your messages. It also opens you up to potential new types of content. For example, if you work with a TikTok creator, you might find that you’re a natural at short-form video.
10. Have fun
This might sound counterintuitive, but if you’re able to have a little fun with your marketing and the content you’re creating and sharing, it will come across to people and they’re more likely to enjoy consuming it. Don’t be afraid to be playful or tongue-in-cheek, but this is also definitely a case of knowing your audience. It’ll work great if you work in entertainment, but maybe not so much if you’re in a highly regulated industry like finance or healthcare.
Now that you know just a few of the marketing tips that we’d recommend to public speakers looking to grow their businesses, it’s time for you to take what you’ve learned and put it into practice. If you’ve already got a marketing plan, go ahead and revisit it. If not, it’s time for you to create one.
While you’re at it, be sure to leave us a comment to let us know how you approach marketing as a public speaker so that we can keep the discussion going. You can also follow us on your favorite social media sites for more. We’ll see you soon!