Profit from speaking gig

What’s your favorite marketing activity?

Speaking – whether webinaring or speaking live, in front of a group – is my all time favorite (and most profitable) marketing tool.

A speaking mistake that I see way too often is this: awesome, amazing, super talented and SMART business owners get up in front of an audience without a clear desired outcome and a strategy to get there.

An outcome (or results) can be in the form of new clients, new people on your marketing list, additional speaking opportunities or something else, entirely. The exact results that you’re seeking, as a speaker, aren’t “right” or “wrong.” The mistake is not having a clear goal – and a strategy to support that goal – mapped out before you walk onto the stage.

You can absolutely make money when giving a free talk.

Let me give you an example.

Last year I spoke almost monthly at networking events. These weren’t paid speaking opportunities but I always made money. How did I do this? Well, let me share what I did – and how you can do it, too.  But first, the most beautiful part of what I’m about to share is there’s zero slime, tricks, or sleeze required.

Begin with a clear goal (outcome) in mind.

Questions for this part of your process:

What’s a dream come true result that you, as the business owner, would LOVE to see occur as a result of the speaking opportunity?

What’s your dream come true result for the participants (how do you want them to think, feel, and BE differently as a result of attending the presentation)?

Even in a “no sales pitch” presentation, the event organizers always allowed me to offer a no-cost Strategy Session to participants that were interested in learning more. This was great because it aligned with my goal of attracting new clients.

If your goal is to walk away with a few new ideal clients, then structure your talk so your ideal people know they can continue the conversation with you afterwards if they’d like to. (I suggest clearing this with the organizers ahead of time, but rest assured that since it’s a no-cost offer, most organizers actually appreciate you generously offering your time).

Positioning, positioning, positioning.

From the very start, make sure that you position three things throughout your presentation (and, well, in pretty much every time you speak).

Position your ideal clients so well that each person in the audience clearly knows if he or she is your dream client

Position yourself as an expert. Share your personal stories, examples of client successes, include your training, etc., so it’s clear that you’re an expert

Position the results that your clients have achieved through your work together. You can include testimonials from clients in your presentation as long as they support the material you’re sharing. Testimonials and client stories should support the content so that it doesn’t feel like you’re being inauthentic or putting on the “hard sale.”

Always provide value.

(And then provide a little more).  

I’m slightly addicted to offering webinars and I love getting feedback about how impactful the content was or how it helped the person to better see what they can do next. Even though that person may not decide to work with me, I smile because that shows that I’ve delivered value and created an impact in the time we had together.

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Speaking is one of the most powerful marketing strategies to leverage your income, impact, and time.

That’s always one of my goals: to provide massive value (and then add a little more).

For example, I’m speaking at the ICF Global Conference in a few weeks and I’m so excited about the content that I’m sharing.  I’m excited because I’ve broken the content down into easily digestible pieces and even if a participant only takes away a few of them, I guarantee that person will have a new level of understanding about how to best “sell” their coaching services and be able to clearly see that sales is service.

Speaking is one of the most powerful marketing strategies to leverage your income, impact, and time. (Plus it can be really fun!)

To make the most of your next speaking opportunity, which one of these suggestions will you focus on first?

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