One of the quickest ways to grow your business is through speaking. I love being a guest on other people’s webinars and podcasts. What I love best is the fact that all I have to do is show up and talk when requested from the comfort of my home office. I’m responsible for none of the marketing and promotion and registration involved with sponsoring a webinar or a podcast.
Best of all is that I don’t have to schlep all over town to do these guest speaking gigs. I’m presenting my expertise to my target market from the comfort of my own home office. However, these same tips also apply if you are speaking to groups in your local community, as well.
How can you grow your business with various speaking opportunities?
1. Create 3 info-packed 50-minute speeches. Have at your disposal at least 3 information-packed signature speeches that you can present at a moment’s notice. So many of the webinars that I have attended recently are nothing but thinly disguised sales pitches for a very expensive live event, product, or mentoring/coaching program. I don’t object to being sold to — after all, I’m a business owner, and I realize that others can’t simply give away their time at no charge solely for the joy of doing a presentation.
However, what I do resent is wasting my time listening to 45 minutes of sales pitch and 5 minutes of questionably valuable information. Ensure your listeners receive great value each and every time that you present and provide information that they use today in their businesses.
2. Craft your description and learning bullet points. Write a one-paragraph overview of your program and include 3-7 bullet points outlining what the participants will learn as a result of participating in your event. Your host will love you, as you’ve just provided the bulk of the text she’ll need to market your program.
3. Write your bio and have your headshot available. Hosts like to begin with a short introduction of the guest and often post the guest bio to their websites or send it out as a part of the event promotion to their lists. In this version of your bio, craft a succinct description of who you are and what you do that includes any certifications you may hold, authorship of books, and your unique selling proposition. Then provide a very short overview of your background and your current company. The goal is to have a short, compelling bio (around 150 words) that takes the host about 20 seconds to read to introduce you. Include a small version of your headshot and logo to help your host add graphical interest to the event promotions.
4. Determine your call to action/sales pitch. Prior to the call, determine your most desired action from the participants. Is it to buy a particular product? Sign up for a complimentary consultation? Send for your free gift and be added to your newsletter list? Your call to action depends on whether you are speaking at a one-time webinar with a specific date and purpose or on a podcast or webinar that will be evergreen, or has no set deadline, and may be available for listening 3 months or more in the future.
Include your call to action in the promotional emails as appropriate, in your handout, and within your PowerPoint slides. In order to create a sense of urgency, you should set a deadline that falls 24-48 hours after your presentation, which serves as the cutoff point for your special pricing offer, as appropriate. If participants are encouraged to register even if they can’t participate in the live call (i.e. all registrants can access a recording of the call), create a special offer available only to those in the live class to increase live participation numbers.
5. Create a landing page on your website for participants. If your call to action involves special pricing on your product or service, create a landing page on your website that greets the participants by name, i.e. Welcome XYZ Conference Participants. Customize your page several more times to refer to the participants by name, and be sure to include the deadline for the special pricing offer in the text of the page as well as in the PS of your sales page.
I simply take my traditional sales page and customize it for the group for which I’ll be speaking and update the deadlines for special pricing. In order to make this most effective, you have to remember to remove the sales page on your designated deadline and replace it with a page that indicates the visitor has returned after the deadline but can still purchase your product or service at its regular price.
If your talk will be an evergreen event, you'll still want to personalize your landing page, welcoming the listeners from the particular webinar or podcast. In this case, you'll want to make an evergreen offer, like inviting listeners to sign up for your free lead magnet.
6. Design a PPT and handouts. Even if I’m doing an event with no visual component, I still put together a PowerPoint file of my presentation. I provide that to the host if I’m doing a webinar or presenting in an audio conference room. Many times I turn my PowerPoint file into a PDF that serves as a handout for the participants. I add a first page that contains my contact information as well as resources mentioned during the call and my call to action. Talk to your host to determine if she will be distributing the handout via email or on her website prior to the call or if you need to have it available for download from your website.
7. Determine your guesting requirements. When I’m a guest presenter, at a minimum, I request a recording of the event that I can use in whatever way I want in my business. I may place it on my site as a free download, send it out as a podcast, make it a members-only benefit, or sell it or include it as a part of another product available on my site. If the host is providing a transcript of the session, request a copy of that as well to use in your business. Lastly, inquire if the host is sending out a follow-up email to participants after your presentation. If so, ask to have your contact info and special offer sent to them again.
8. Research venues offering webinars and request to be a guest. Most of the invitations I’ve received to be a webinar and podcast guest have resulted from articles I’ve written in professional and trade publications, from someone visiting the speaking page of my website, or from having been heard speaking to another group. However, don’t wait for people to contact you. Start to research companies sponsoring webinars, podcasts, or workshops for your target market and ask to be a guest. In your request, be sure and provide detailed info about the topic on which you’ll be speaking, as well as a copy of your handout. You want to make it as easy as possible for the host to pick you as the next guest.
Here's a great article on How to Locate Speaking Engagments - Free and Paid.
9. Repackage your talk for different markets. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you speak to a different target market. With a few changes in your materials, you can usually change the focus of your presentation and make it appear customized for the target market to whom you’ll be speaking. Many times just changing the title and inserting the name of your target market is all you have to do to create a seemingly customized presentation.
10. Ask for a testimonial to add to your website. Once you’ve completed your presentation, don’t forget to ask for a testimonial from your host that you can place on your website. In order to be valuable to you, the testimonial should include info about how much value you provided in the presentation, a sample of positive feedback from participants, or how your presentation enabled some type of change or ability to take action from the participants.
Spend a few hours designing your signature talk and begin to offer to present it to various groups. You’ll grow your business as you see both your list and sales numbers grow from this easy-to-implement marketing strategy.
Planning your signature talks is a necessary part of your marketing, but navigating the process may be a bit confusing. If you need help or want to explore how to find speaking gigs or crafting your signature talk into your everyday marketing practices, we would be glad to speak with you. Schedule a Brainstorming with Donna Session to explore the best options for you.
I help seasoned small business owners create marketing ideas and strategies that raise their visibility, broaden their reach, and grow their revenues.
As a business owner with 24 years of experience, I am the cure for you if you have run out of marketing creativity. I have a unique ability to sense or see the underlying scheme of things, whether it's like a blueprint to build something or an x-ray that shows hidden connections, and connect the dots at a deeper level. I make it really Easy. Enjoyable. Effective. Just like your marketing will be.