Did you know that speaking is one of the most powerful ways you can use to promote your business? You can speak to promote your products, your services, as well as your expertise.
A couple weeks ago, I gave a mini-workshop for the Rough Writers Toastmasters club, my home club that helps writers become better speakers and speakers become better writers. The topic was how to use speaking to promote your book. Many of the points I make are applicable to any aspect of your business. Here are some highlights:
Why use speaking to promote your business?
Getting in front of people and talking about your business creates a stronger connection with your potential clients. It establishes your brand and showcases your expertise. Branding is important, for you want to be known for something. And speaking can help you establish that brand more deeply in the minds of your audience.
There are different types of speaking you can use to promote your business.
- How: Are you speaking in person? Or are you speaking virtually?
- Purpose: Are you speaking purely to promote? Or are you speaking to educate? Or, perhaps, are you speaking to do both equally?
Speaking in person
There are lots of different opportunities you can take to speak in person to promote your business.
- You can hold workshops.
- You can speak at conventions and trade shows.
- You can speak at meetings for corporations, clubs, and associations.
Once you’ve had enough experience speaking at smaller venues and hosting your own more intimate events, you can start to get on other people’s stages, as well. People are giving conferences and they need speakers.
When you start doing that, there are a couple of ways this is done:
- There’s the pay to play, which means you pay to be on that stage, and hopefully, you make enough sales to cover the cost.
- Or, you can have an affiliate arrangement, where you sell a product at the end of your speech, usually priced at least three hundred dollars or more, and then you share a piece of your sales with the host.
Conventions, trade shows and festivals
There’re different types of speaking you can do with these types of events.
- Keynote speeches. A keynote speech is usually something that’s motivational or inspirational. It’s not promotional. It might be educational. For example, going back to my book on public speaking, I might do a speech on, “Why would you want to learn how to speak?” Or I might talk about skill versus talent, something that gets the people in the room thinking, “Oh yeah! I want to be a speaker!”
- Be on a panel.
A lot of conventions and tradeshows have a selection of different seminars going on throughout the event. You could be giving one of them.
There are groups, clubs, and companies that are looking for guest speakers for their meetings. MeetUp groups are often looking for speakers, as well. And then there are schools: Colleges and primary schools and even adult education courses.
You can teach an adult education course at your local community college. I’ve done that on several occasions. Usually what happens with an adult education course, is you develop a curriculum, pitch it to the school, if they accept it, they offer it in their catalog. If enough people sign up, you get to teach the class and get paid a couple hundred dollars. It’s not a money-maker in itself, but it can get you speaking experience, and a little bit of a potential, future clients.
As far as colleges and primary schools go, you can be a guest speaker in a classroom. Or, remember those days when they would cart you and your fellow classmates into the auditorium so you could listen to somebody give a speech that you didn’t care about? You could be that speaker!
There are so many opportunities for virtual speaking these days. And they can be so easy to do. The obvious one is podcasts. Podcasts are growing more popular. You can produce your own podcast and be the host (I have three!). Or you can be the guest on other people’s podcasts, which actually gets you more “ear-balls” for your business.
You can get on radio and television — both internet radio and television, as well as, broadcast radio and television. Radio and television may be a little bit harder to get on than a podcast. You usually have to have something under your belt already to show to producers that you have value for their audiences. But this is something you can easily parlay, once you start doing all the other freebie stuff.
You can do what I did with the mini-workshop I told you about:
- Give a speech.
- Record it.
- Edit it.
- Upload it to YouTube and/or Facebook.
These are great ways to share your information with the world. And, if you get the keywords right — who knows? You might attract readers or clients from YouTube. Keep in mind, YouTube is one of the top search engines on the Internet today.
There’s Facebook. And, depending on how long your video is, you can upload video to Instagram, as well. There are other video platforms, too, such as Vimeo.
The types of videos that you want to do with the recorded videos are primarily tips. For example, when I was promoting 57 Secrets for Branding Yourself Online, I did a series of what I called “virtual book readings,” where I videotaped myself in a variety of locations. My mom’s backyard. A hotel. A museum. And I read one of the 57 secrets. So, it was both a tips video and a virtual book reading.
You can interview someone, or you can be interviewed by someone. I’ve done a lot of these. I use Skype to record most of these videos. You can also use Google Hangouts or even Facebook Live. I’ve also brought my video camera to conferences and interviewed people while attending these events.
Of course, if you’re going to be speaking more professionally, you’re going to want a speaker reel. Check out this article by Featured Speaker Cindy Ashton about what you need to include in a speaker reel. And record every speaking engagement you ever do.
Facebook Live is the obvious platform. But other social media sites are also doing live video. As of this writing, here are the platforms where you can do live video:
- Facebook Live is the most commonly used and the pioneer of live video on social media.
- YouTube now offers live video outside of Google Hangouts. You need to set it up and you’ll need to use Chrome.
- Twitter does live, but not in selfie mode. So you’ll need to have someone else holding the camera for you.
- Google Hangouts. This one seems to be on its way out.
- Instagram, but be aware that these are very short videos, about 35 seconds or so in length.
Podcasts, radios and television
I’ve already talked about this: the Internet. Broadcast. You can do interviews where you are interviewing other people. You can be the one who is being interviewed. You can get on talk shows, where you just sit chat for an hour about your expertise.
When you are speaking on these formats — television, radio, podcasts — you always need to be thinking about talking in sound bites. If you yabber on too much, listeners will tune you out, because they can’t see you, and often, they’re driving while they’re listening to you. They’re only going pick up on these crafted sound bites, so you want to boil down your message into short and powerful statements. Remember, in many cases, your interview is going to last a minute to a minute and a half. You need to say everything you need to say within that short period of time.
Webinars and teleseminars
Again, there are two options here:
- Host your own.
- Be a guest on someone else’s.
And there are lots of platforms that you can use to host your own webinars. If you’re just getting started and don’t want to invest money in webinar platform, you can use Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, or Zoom. Be aware that the free version of Zoom limits your webinars to 45 minutes or less.
There are many paid platforms, as well. I use Webinar Ignition, which is a plugin for WordPress and it uses Google Hangouts to host the video. I also like Webinar Jam, which hosts everything for you. These options often create all the registration and webinar pages.
It really depends on what you’re doing with your webinar, how deep you want to go into it financially.
Here is the original video from which this post was drawn. If choose to watch it, I recommend that you have a piece of paper and your favorite writing implement on hand. When I mention something that piques your interest, write that down. Then, after the video’s done, you can go and find out how to implement that particular technique for your business.
Here are links mentioned in the video:
- The Public Speaking Super Powers book teaser trailer (A like and a comment would be greatly appreciated!)
- Tim David‘s book trailer