You may not be invited to speak at a TED Conference, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have ideas worth spreading. And for many business owners, marketers and sales professionals, public speaking is a productive way to generate sales leads. You not only will increase your visibility within your industry or community, you also will meet prospects and alliances who could become customers.
“Becoming a speaker can establish you as an expert and increase your exposure to clients,” writes John Jantsch for the OPEN Forum. A marketing consultant, speaker, author and founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network, Jantsch offers five ways you can make the most of a speaking opportunity.
Extend your exposure.
In exchange for sharing your knowledge, could you receive an incentive? Ask the event host or marketer if you could promote your services and products after the speech or set up a table or booth with your marketing collateral.
Educate. Don’t sell.
Jantsch advocates giving a talk that educates the audience: “I think if you show them how your specific knowledge and expertise is invaluable, you won’t have to sell. The right customer will want your product or service.”
Work your partnerships.
We wrote previously about the benefits of creating marketing alliances. Another way to create value for these alliances is to offer to give an educational seminar to their customers. Jantsch outlines how: “Approach your two partners with the idea that you’ll present a great topic, they offer it to their customers, and they get to cross promote to each other’s attendees as part of the deal. You simply get referred in as the expert.”
Build your database.
Event attendees are there because they are interested in your topic. You can continue to be a resource to them by capturing their contact information. This also engages them in a sales funnel. Jantsch offers the tip of asking attendees to give you their business cards in exchange for something of value, such as a copy of the presentation, a free consultation or evaluation, or a white paper.
Make it easy to buy from you.
While you’re educating your audience, you probably will reference your products and services. Many people attend events to find resources and want to act immediately when they discover something they need. You can seize these opportunities by being ready to take orders after the event or having additional staff in attendance who can help answer questions on the spot.
One more tip: After the event, continue the momentum. Rather than reinventing your presentation for every event, think about how you might be able to reuse some of that valuable content in your integrated marketing efforts to promote yourself across multiple channels. We offer some ideas in “Content Marketing with SlideShare Gives Presentations New Life.”