Whether you’re an up-and-coming speaker or seasoned pro, there’s one common thread: you want to book more gigs and make more money.
The key to unlocking that vault?
Proactively building your profile and promoting yourself to your target audience.
Don’t get us wrong. This is hard work. But even with a few basic tools, you can see a notable uptick in new leads converting into more speaking engagements.
Here are seven tools to promote yourself as a professional speaker.
1. Make Sure Your Website is Top Notch
This is 101 stuff but it’s always worth reiterating: if somebody’s thinking of hiring you for a gig, they’re going to look at your website.
And if your web presence isn’t up to par, that’s going to have an impact on the way they perceive you.
Your website should be clear, concise, and direct. Don’t use 100 words to say something if you can say it in 20 words. And, most importantly, make sure you’re offering up everything an event planner, meeting organizer, or other potential client might be looking for. This could include:
- What You Say About Yourself: It’s incredibly important that you’re able to give a clear explanation of your expertise and your speaking topics.
While it’s totally fine to elaborate on yourself, your background, your expertise, and your passion in greater detail on your website, the first thing people see needs to be punchy and concise.Remember this: you have less than 15 seconds to capture somebody’s attention on your website before they leave. So, if they can’t begin to identify you as the solution they’re in search of within 15 seconds, there’s a good chance you’ll lose them.
- What Other People Say About You: Testimonials. Collect testimonials. Collect every testimonial possible. And then list them on your website. Social proof is your best friend when it comes to building credibility.
- What Your Audience Will Get from You: As a speaker, your job is to be engaging, to captivate your audience, and to convey a message that meets your clients’ goals clearly and impactfully. The best way to prove to potential clients that you can do this? With videos. Make sure you’ve got a highlight reel on your website where prospective clients can see you live in action.
2. Create (and Disseminate!) Content
If you want to build your profile, position yourself as an expert, and put yourself in front of your target audience, there’s no better way to do it than by creating and disseminating content.
This could be everything from blog articles to white papers, case studies, infographics — the list goes on.
But why is creating content important? Because it gives you an opportunity to provide your clients and prospects with value, even before they’ve hired you, and because you can use content as a vessel to showcase your expertise.
The key to creating great content is to base it in a deep understanding of your target audience. Is there a knowledge gap you can fill for them?
You can even look through forums, online communities, and social media for specific questions your prospective customers are asking and then create content specifically tailored to answer them.
Any time you create content, it should be:
- Original: Your content should be original content that hasn’t been published elsewhere
- Useful: All your content should be useful to your audience
- Digestible: Avoid jargon and buzzwords
- Interesting: Try to create content that’s a new spin on a traditional idea or a brand new and innovative idea
- Actionable: Your audience should be able to take action after reading your content using defined key takeaways
- Clickworthy: Your headline and topic should make people want to click and consume
- Shareable: Great content makes your audience want to share it with their network
And for each piece of content you create, try to think of as many other ways as possible to disseminate it, such as using social media or by way of an email to your contacts.
3. Leverage the Power of LinkedIn
If Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are social networking sites, LinkedIn is their professional counterpart.
In order to leverage it effectively, you’ll want to create a business page for yourself in addition to your personal page.
Make sure you’re listing your accolades: work experience, awards, certifications.
Once your page is set up, you’ll want to be consistent in sharing a diverse range of content, such as:
- News about yourself
- Interesting curated articles that would be relevant, informative, and helpful for your target audience
- Relevant content you’ve created
- Videos of speaking engagements
You’ll also want to identify relevant LinkedIn groups to join and engage with, whether asking questions, providing insights, or sharing content. This will help get your name in front of an even wider audience.
But remember: everything you share should be more focused on being helpful than on being overly promotional. If you’re perceived as spamming, not only will you get a bad rap, you’ll also run the risk of being removed from groups entirely.
4. Tweet, Tweet, and Tweet Some More
Twitter is an incredible place to keep up with relevant industry trends by tracking hashtags.
While Twitter only allows for 280- characters per post, you have to be concise. But since high-frequency posting on Twitter isn’t considered socially unacceptable, it’s a great way to stay frequently visible to your followers.
This is a great place to share quick thoughts, bits of expertise, or repurposed content — such as taking the key points of an article you’ve written and sharing them in a Twitter thread.
5. Make Yourself a Facebook Page
Most people have a Facebook profile. But as a professional, you need a Facebook page for your speaking business.
If you don’t already have one, you’ll want to create one. That way you’ll be able to distinguish between personal and professional audiences.
Much like LinkedIn and Twitter, your goal with Facebook should be to share a diverse range of high-quality content on a consistent basis.
Facebook also offers a ton of groups that you can participate in as well. For example, you might want to check out our karmaSpeaker Community on Facebook where you’ll be able to connect with fellow speakers and seek advice, insights, and expertise.
6. Capitalize on Instagram
Professional speaking is a highly visual profession and that’s why Instagram is such a valuable resource for speakers.
Instagram allows you to share photos and videos. This can include photos from speaking engagements and video clips and highlight reels from your best gigs.
You can also use it as a means to disseminate other content you’ve created, such as carousel posts with highlights from articles, as well as to drive traffic to your website.
7. Get Proactive in Creating Connections
As they say, fortune favors the bold. That’s why it’s important to get proactive — and persistent — in creating connections with new contacts.
Start out by researching companies having meetings or conferences in the next 12 to 18 months and identifying whether they bring in outside speakers.
Next, find the names of the meeting planners in charge of bringing in speakers for those events and dig deep into finding their contact information.
Once you’ve got that done, develop a compelling three to four sentence introductory pitch that summarizes your expertise and how you can benefit their conference or meeting (remember how concise you were on your website? Channel that here).
Last but not least, send out your pitches and then follow up persistently. This is where the boldness comes into play. Send an email, follow up with a call, then an email, then a call, then an email over the next two to three weeks.
It’s also a good idea to use a Customer Relationship Management Platform like karmaSpeaker to help you stay on top of your leads and customer engagements. That way, you can automate follow-up reminders and track exactly what your last interaction was with each lead or customer so that you can more effectively nurture that relationship into a gig.
No matter what stage of your speaking career you’re in, self-promotion is absolutely critical. And the key to getting the best return on your investment into self-promotion is to be consistent in showing up where your audience is looking.
If you’d like to learn how a customer relationship management platform can help optimize your sales process and help you book more gigs, get in touch with our dedicated support team or start a free trial of karmaSpeaker today.