How to improve your ROI on public speaking
Public speaking has always been a very effective way for professionals to market themselves. These days instead of doing a seminar in a room full of people, it’s a webinar or meeting on Zoom or similar platform. But the rules haven’t really changed. If you want to maximize your public speaking and improve your return on investment, the first step is to develop a strategic plan. (more…)
Seven steps to being a successful virtual presenter
By Guest Blogger – Marla Seiden, Seiden Communications
When presenting online, follow the 3 P’s to be an engaging speaker: Prepare – Practice – Passion (more…)
Personal branding tips to grow your business
By Edie Reinhardt and Marla Seiden.
Do you have a personal brand? Many people don’t know what a personal brand is and can’t identify their own brand. As a result, they can’t maximize their brand to improve their career and business prospects. Your brand describes what you’re known for and what people expect from you. (more…)
Top strategies for marketing your speaking event
Do you speak at seminars? It’s a great way to market yourself, but too many professionals just focus on the event itself and forget about how it can be leveraged both before and afterwards to gain more visibility and attract clients. Whether you are presenting at your own event or one given by a third-party, use these tactics to get the most attention for yourself and the event:
1. Publish teasers. Use your email newsletter, blogs and social media to talk about the issues that will be discussed in your presentation. You want to do more than send out marketing copy describing the event. Give people something educational – information they can use, like quick tips, questions to think about, etc. Your goal is to generate interest in the event and in you. Ideally people will want to register, but if not, it still highlights your expertise and credibility in a memorable way.
2. Conduct a survey. Ask your contacts their opinion about issues relevant to the presentation. Surveys are a great way to promote the event and also will make your presentation that much better because your audience told you some of the things they are interested in hearing about. But keep it simple – only a few questions. You can promote the survey to your contacts and social media network, but also ask the organizer of the event if they can also send out or promote the survey link. By the way, Survey Monkey is a great tool for creating surveys and gathering responses online.
3. Partner with others. If it’s your own event, look to bring in other speakers or sponsors who can add value to the presentation as well as help to promote the event.
4. Leverage the marketing done by the organizer and other participants. If you are working with a third party, it’s great to pass along or “like” the marketing pieces they are putting out.
During the event:
5. Record the event (audio or video). There is so much you can do with this post-event (see below). First check with organizers to make sure you can record it, or if they are recording the event, find out whether you will be able to get a copy and how you can use it. Hire a good videographer who can create a high-quality video and edit afterwards.
6. Take pictures. Post photos to your website and social media.
7. Tweet. Have someone tweet during the event.
8. Take notes. Designate someone to take notes during the event about what questions were asked or interesting points made. This is less important if you are getting the presentation recorded.
9. Interview panelists and attendees. Ask others about their challenges, their highlights from the event, etc. It will make good fodder for follow up content about the event (see below). Remember to get their contact information so you send them your draft if you’re quoting them and links to the final version. Panelists in particular may be very happy to promote your article/post if you’ve mentioned them.
10. Ask people to sign up to get your presentation or other information. You can collect business cards or have people sign up via text message (Constant Contact and other email providers have a way to do this).
11. Repurpose the recording. The event can be made available on your website as an on-demand webinar. It can also be edited into shorter clips for your site, YouTube or other social media.
12. Post and distribute the PowerPoint. The PowerPoint can be edited and posted on your site as well as on SlideShare, LinkedIn profiles and other social media channels. If you are concerned about giving too much away, just post an abridged version. Also send your PowerPoint to attendees.
13. Create related articles, white papers and blog posts. Provide takeaways and recaps, talk about the questions that came up, comments from panelists and attendees, etc. Promote these via email and social media. Remember each piece of content provides another marketing opportunity.
Make the most of your presentation with these marketing tips.
Need help marketing your speaking engagements? Contact us for a free consultation.
Why you should give away the secret sauce
Many professional services firms I have worked with tout their superior experience and knowledge as the reason they should be hired over their competitors. Yet those same firms are concerned about truly demonstrating their expertise through public writing and speaking because they would be giving away their “secret sauce” for free. The end result is they put out a lot of bland generic information that sounds like everyone else, instead of specific helpful content that would differentiate them from the pack.
Now I agree you don’t want to give away proprietary information. However, before you produce another mediocre piece of content (or don’t produce any content at all), ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Is it really your secret sauce?
Everything you know is not proprietary. Just because you provide some helpful advice, tips, or other information doesn’t mean you’ve given it all away. For years I recruited attorneys and accountants to author 500+ page tomes, yet I never heard anyone complain they lost potential clients because they wrote a book and clients didn’t need them anymore. There are plenty of ways to provide meaningful insights without solving every potential problem your audience might have.
Your real secret sauce is being able to understand and analyze your client’s specific issues as well as the big picture. It’s putting together and implementing a plan of action to help them. Those skills are harder than you think to translate into articles or presentations. Don’t worry about giving it away for free. Focus on showcasing the underlying knowledge and unique value you bring to your clients.
2. What are prospects really going to do with your content?
Professionals fear people will take their advice, do it themselves and they will lose business. But if it was that easy for others to do it themselves, then why did you need all that extra education, training and years of experience? Okay you know they can’t handle it, but they think they can do it themselves and so now you lost the client. But did you really want that client? The one who thinks they can figure out what you do by googling their problem. Do you think they were genuine prospects for you? Most likely they wouldn’t have hired you to do the work anyway. However, when it becomes too much to handle or if they have a future problem, they may remember the useful information you provided them for free.
Educating your audience is a good thing even if it doesn’t result in immediate business. This is the essence of content marketing. Consistently producing and delivering practical and informative content is an excellent way to gain visibility and engage and retain your prospect’s attention. In the professional services world the sales cycle can be very long or very short. Either way you want to become a trusted resource so that when prospects are looking for help, you are top of mind.
3. Can your content help you bring in or solidify new business?
Publishing useful and targeted content is an excellent way to get found by search engines. In fact, content creation is the most effective tactic for search engine optimization (SEO) and B2B marketers rank SEO as one of the top lead generation tactics. (Source: MarketingSherpa) Websites with lots of real content show up higher in organic search rankings so it make sense to put out information that will help bring prospects to you.
What about where someone already knows about you? Maybe they were referred to you or met you at an event or even worked with you on another matter. Word of mouth, referrals, and networking are top lead sources. However, it’s very likely those prospects will also google you and look at your website and LinkedIn profile. Showcasing high-quality valuable information helps give you credibility, enhances your reputation and establishes you as uniquely knowledgeable, trustworthy and client-centric. The reverse is also true. In a recent Hinge survey, 52% of respondents ruled out referrals to professional services firms before even speaking with them. Many of their top reasons focused on the fact that the firm didn’t demonstrate online how they could help clients. Unclear marketing materials that were too sales-oriented and poor quality content all contributed to keeping a referral from following up with a firm.
When you’re thinking about preparing that next article or speech, ask yourself these 3 questions. Hopefully your answers will lead you towards producing the kind of content that will get you noticed and grow your business.
10 dos and don’ts for creating a great presentation
In the last few weeks, I’ve attended several seminars with lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors as speakers. Most of the time, they presented a PowerPoint or gave handouts to go along with their program. Unfortunately, too often they didn’t make the most of those written materials – a lost opportunity considering that in-person events are one of the most effective marketing tactics available. (Source: CMI) With those seminars fresh in my mind, here’s my list of 10 dos and don’ts.
1. Don’t bury your best points. Often I see great information lost within a lot of content that is of less interest. Not everything you say is created equally, at least so far as your audience is concerned. Therefore, you shouldn’t put equal emphasis on all your ideas in your written (or spoken) materials either. The real problem here is not being sure what you want to say and how to say it. Make sure you understand your audience’s interests and your message. Organize your thoughts and focus on delivering and highlighting your strongest points in your presentation.
2. Don’t go into too much detail in writing. Your slides don’t need to restate everything you want to discuss. You want this to be an outline and your speech will fill in the blanks. Remember too that if you have a lot of text, your audience may be reading it instead of listening to you. Or else they may feel they don’t need to listen to you because they’re getting all the pertinent information in the written presentation and they can read it later.
3. Do leave them wanting more. In many ways, this is the flip side of writing too much, but also brings in the point that you want to engage your audience. You don’t want to answer every question in your presentation. You want to start a conversation. Give attendees reasons to ask questions or make comments during or after the program. You also want to let the audience know how to follow up with you and about where they can look for additional resources, including your own site. This is a great way to bring people to you and drive traffic to your website.
4. Don’t clutter up your slides visually with too much text or images on a page. I know if you are doing a lengthy program, the tendency is to want to put a lot on a page to make the PowerPoint fewer pages, but it’s better to add pages. There is plenty of advice online about fonts, line spacing, number of words per page, etc. Feel free to google it and find what looks best for your presentation. You can also go to SlideShare and look at what other people/companies are doing in your field.
5. Do incorporate charts, infographics, photos and other visuals. Not only will your presentation look more appealing, but it will have more impact. Studies show that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
6. Do use handouts when necessary. One of the events I just attended had dozens of charts and graphs. The speakers showed them onscreen where they were hard to read with lots of detail and explanatory text in small print. Giving everyone a print copy during the program would have helped.
7. Don’t make everything a handout. No one wants to carry all that paper so they’ll just throw it out. Also when you provide handouts, people may focus on reading them instead of paying attention to you. Your materials can always be emailed to attendees afterward.
8. Do check for typos. You should always have someone else proofread it. Few people can actually check their own work well.
9. Do have some fun with it. I know some of these topics can be pretty dry, but try to inject your personality and humor into both the spoken and written materials. It makes it more engaging and memorable for your audience.
10. Do invest time and resources in creating good presentation materials. Too often I think slides are done in a rush. I don’t know if it’s because the importance is underestimated or if the speaker just doesn’t know better. You want it to reflect well on you at the time of the presentation. Just as importantly though, those slides can be repurposed and promoted via different channels to give you additional exposure after the event. The PowerPoint can be posted on your website, on SlideShare, on your LinkedIn profile, emailed to clients and prospects, broken into smaller chunks of content and otherwise reused and distributed. Therefore, if possible, get the help of writers/editors and designers. Ask others for their opinion on your slides.
Remember your written materials are an important part of your whole presentation. They should complement and reinforce your speech. Spend the time to do it right and make the most of it both during and after your presentation.