Saturday, June 12, 2010

Get Ready For Speaking to Generate New Leads Fast

Don't panic! If you would rather stick pins in your eyes (I know - a horrible visual) than get up in front of people to speak, you can still use this same approach to generate leads from referrals and writing articles. What you need to do to get public speaking opportunities can be used for other marketing activities as well.

Referrals and public speaking are the fastest and most direct ways to generate new leads, because it fast-tracks the time it takes for people to know you, like you and trust you.

Here's the list:

Put together your Speaker's Kit

This information needs to promote you as a great speaker who has something of interest and benefit to say to the targetted audience. It is of course a marketing document.

It needs to contain, in either physical or digital format:

- Your professional bio

It's worth having someone with a skill for copywriting look this over for you. We often 'ease back' if we have to write our own bio, but let the accoldaes fly if someone else writes it for us. Don't be shy - powerful bios beat boring bios any time!

- Your photo - professional shots - two different ones will do.

- Contact details (make it easy for people to contact you)

- Examples of audiences you've addressed before, associations or groups you've spoken to, and make sure they are of a similar caliber to the types of audiences or groups you want to target with your speaker kit. If you've only ever spoken at a low key, small network group you need to work up to very large groups.

- Testimonials from people who enjoyed your talk - full names, titles and organization are best if possible

- If you've written any books on the same topics as you plan to speak, include the details

- An overview of your top/most popular signature talks (refer below)

Signature Talks

- These are the talks that present your core messages.

- For example, my signature talks are around growing service businesses, creating the right structure for growth, and marketing strategies.

- If you were facing a room full of people, what could you tell them that they would find helpful and useful, and that would add value to their business or life in some way?

- What are the key messages/objectives of your talk for the audience

- In what subject matter are you strongest?

- Do some research into what other speakers talk about, what titles they give their signature talks, and how they position themselves.

- Now, for those of you who hate public speaking, your core messages can be used in everything you do (except speaking engagements!). Core messages can be crafted to:

* Present a keynote talk
* Present a 30-60 minute talk
* Run a workshop
* Write a feature article
* Use on your blog
* Run an introductory seminar
* Use on your website
* Turn into a teleclass

- It can also be useful to specify where you would be available to speak - eg: Regional areas, interstate, your city only

Find Your Audiences

Again, you'll need to do some research, but there are many organizations and groups that are always looking and in need of speakers. Think of:

- Professional associations
- Local business groups
- Networking groups
- Special interest groups
- Alumni groups
- Schools
- Informal groups - ask around

Make Your Approach

- Use referrals where possible to get you to the decision makers - usually a committee or group head

- Be aware of the group you are targeting, the type of members they have (eg: young female marketers in their twenties; retired male lawyers in their sixties) and the sort of information that would be of interest and relevance to that group.

- If you are already a member of the group it may help you to be invited as a guest speaker

- Ideally, it is preferable to have attended some of the target audience's events so you have first-hand experience of how they work

- Depending on the group you're approaching, and the referrals and contacts you have, you may elect to call first and speak to the appropriate person, and then send through your Speaker's Kit. Many organizations have guidelines for submitting your credentials and your approach.

At the Event - Give Away Something of Value

Congratulations! You got the gig!

Make sure you have plenty of business cards, but also have something of value and relevance to give to your audience. You can request their business cards if they wish to be sent your giveaway, or take you up on your special offer, which enables you to collect their details.

Get them on your list, make time to talk to interested audience members after your talk (and try not to let people hijack you), and follow through on the special offer.

By : Jenny_Stilwell

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