The truth is, without having the speaking platform that I do, I would not be as successful as I am in the Social Media and Digital Marketing world.
Being a successful professional speaker has been years of hard work, dedication and the ability to accept a knock back or two. I have, and still do approach events/trade shows and get turned down because I am not exactly what they are looking for in a professional speaker.
I have found that the best way I can reach my target audience is through “education marketing”, and there really is no better way to reach your audience if you are offering a service.
I get asked a lot about my speaking career, and how I have managed to earn 6 figures speaking at events all around the world. I want to break this down for you, and share with you HOW I became a professional speaker.
Prepare to speak for FREE
When I first started out in my journey to becoming a professional speaker, I realised that you need credibility, trust and an already existing audience to get paid. As didn’t have this 8 years ago, I had to start from the ground up, and speak at events, conferences and trade shows for free. There are certain events that I do still speak at for free as I have a long standing relationship with the organisers, and I do have other opportunities to educate their audience through webinars, online training, podcasts and guest blogging.
Have a business to upsell
Almost all of the events/tradeshows I speak at on a regular basis, I am allowed to upsell at the end of my talk. This is key to a successful business, as this is where I make a lot of revenue. If you don’t have a product/service to upsell at the end of your talk, you will lose out on valuable business. Whether it’s a book, course, or any other kind of product/service, have this ready to showcase.
Work WITH The Organisation
The best way for you to build a relationship, is to always make it personal to that niche market and either over deliver (which is always my favourite) or offer a discount on your product/service as part of a collaboration with that event. I go one step further and completely rebrand and re-write my book Think #Digital First and online training based on the industry and their target audience. I have done this with Audiologists, Mobility, Fashion, Fitness and Retail to name a few.
Run Monthly Webinars
I have found that whilst I may generate 100 leads from a trade show, it is still an uphill battle to build trust before they feel 100% comfortable to purchase a product/service of mine. I run monthly webinars completely free of charge to all of my audience so that they get to know ME and WHO I am and how I can help. This is a great way to add value, and to encourage a sale.
Offline Is Just As Important
Becoming an educator and influencer in your industry is key, and one of the best ways to do this, is to run face-to-face trainings. I don’t only just “talk” at events, I also run workshops. This will also give my audience a chance to interact with me away from Social Media and Digital Marketing.
Most events/tradeshows are offline, but because I talk about the “online world” I now offer a range of online courses for my audience to sign up to, which are completely online. After doing my research and realising that people in the audience of my talks WANT online training which they can go back to as many times they like; I solved their pain when I created Think Digital First.
Write A Book
I mentioned above that I rebrand and re-write my book Think #Digital First to give added value to the audience at an event/tradeshow. Having a book really does increase trust and because my book was nominated for “Marketing Book of the Year”, I have built a large amount of credibility.
I have spoken at various events across the world, and this has given me a platform to reach businesses internationally. As I am writing this, I am currently in Beirut lecturing at a private university to MBA students. As you can see from the picture below, they are all holding a copy of my book Think #Digital First.
I will be LIVE on Radio 1 tomorrow at 2:45pm GMT talking about educating MBAs and the importance of practical and actionable training rather than theory based advice. You can listen in here.
I hope the above will help you in your journey to becoming a successful professional speaker in your industry.
What do YOU do to be a success as a professional speaker?