This summer I was at a special event for a client where I met another entrepreneur. The gentleman mentioned during our conversation, that during this milestone year for his business, he had picked up a new service–speaking gigs. Excited about this unplanned source of additional financial revenue, he wanted to be more strategic about building his brand as a speaker. Much of his business had been via word of mouth, so it was important to him that he do more to promote this new service.
Have you ever considered launching a speaking career? As entrepreneurs, we must always find ways to increase buzz about our business. Professional speaking opportunities can provide exposure for you and your awesome expertise. If you decide to become a speaker, below are the very first 3 steps I would recommend for you, as you build your brand.
1) Establish your voice and identify your niche.
Before you accept any speaking engagements, determine what you will speak about. That may seem basic, but there are so many people who sign on for gigs outside of their area of knowledge or expertise. Building your brand is about being very clear about who you are. As a new speaker, establish which lane you belong in and make your presence known in that lane. What’s your passion? What gets you excited? As a homework assignment, write your perfect speech. Yes, pick a title and find the words to craft the perfect message.
2) Know your target audience.
As you write your perfect speech, you must know who you are speaking to. Are you speaking to women entrepreneurs, professionals in Chicago, or maybe youth? Understand who needs to hear your message and what actions you want them to take after they listen to you speak. Knowing your target audience will allow you to speak their language, no matter if your speech is informative, persuasive, entertaining, and/or technical. As you prepare your speech, set a goal on how you want your audience to feel after they hear you speak.
3) Show up to win.
As a speaker, build a strong reputation–from your arrival until you exit the building. Show up prepared, well rested, and camera ready to deliver a great message to the audience. This audience needs to hear your message; so bring it on! If you don’t feel equipped to handle the speech topic or don’t feel the audience is the right fit, don’t accept the engagement. It’s better that you present authenticity, than leave a bad impression with an audience who was ready to be fed and you left them starving.
There are many action steps that will need to be taken as you build your brand as a speaker. However, these first 3 steps shared in this post will set you on this new path.
Wishing you all the best, Business Rock Stars!
Are you a professional speaker? What would you add to this list? Leave a comment or tweet me at @bestrategicPR.
Want more info on building a professional speaking career?
Our company has had the pleasure of working with SMG Speakers, a full-service speakers bureau based in Chicago. If you are looking to launch or build your speaking business, I highly recommend contacting this organization. They offer consultations (fee required) for emerging and established speakers who are willing to invest in themselves to learn strategies to build their speaking business and learn what it takes to be a successful paid speaker. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.