Many of my clients, and people in my network, ask me about speaking engagement opportunities. As you know, speaking is a great way to grow your business. But WHERE are you supposed to get that experience to fine tune your pitch, build your audience and get the BUZZ growing about you & your business?
Here’s a few ideas that I used when I was teaching workshops at the Puget Sound Business Journal and since then.
Seriously, do your friends, colleagues and network know that you have a variety of topics you speak on? I’m amazed how often I talk to someone and they don’t ask for something – even when I offer. Used your LinkedIn network to find out who has a connection to that perfect group you should be speaking to!
2. Make a list
What networking groups are you currently involved with? Do they have speaking opportunities for you there? Some of the larger organizations in town have smaller networking events where they are looking for good quality speakers on a variety of business related topics.
3. Target Market groups
Where is your target marketing hanging out and networking? If you aren’t already networking with them (which is a whole other lecture I’d be happy to give you), fix that. One thing I have learned from all my speaking with the Business Journal is that there is an association or group for EVERYTHING. Don’t believe me? Check out I Love Seattle http://www.iloveseattle.org/ for a great list to get started. Reach out to them – ask what they are looking for in speakers, attend an event to get an idea, if you are providing good quality content they will want you! Again, use your network for introductions.
4. Use your Network
Make it easy for your network to introduce you and get you connected. Here’s a sample email you could send to a colleague:
I saw that you are on the planning committee at XYZ Organization. I recently spoke at (similar organization) ABC Organization and would love to get connected with XYZ. I have a couple of topics I speak about in regards to Building a Successful Marketing Plan and How to start a company so you can hangout with your dog more. Would you be able to connect me with the right person on the luncheon/speaking committee? Let me know if you need any additional information from me.
(then include your full signature with email & phone, website, etc here).
5. Again, ASK
It’s worth repeating. I’m amazed how many people don’t ASK for help. Post it on your LinkedIn, tweet it, you can even add a speaking page to your website so organizations can easily find you. List topics you’ve spoken or written on, list organizations you’ve spoken to in the past, but you can’t grow your message if you don’t communicate it!
I know I missed a lot of ways to increase speaking opportunities, please feel free to share in the comments. And if you are involved in an organization looking for good speakers, please let me know – I would be happy to help make some connections to GREAT speakers – who HAVE asked!