Why use the web for promoting your speaking engagements?
Most people now agree that the web offers a great deal of information, if not too much. Every business should have a website, even if it is only informational as to what you sell and where you are located. You may not want to sell chocolates in the hot summer over the web, but you can tell people where your business is located and what specials you are running. I recently met a fellow that was getting married and he needed to order a cake and find someone to sing at his wedding. Instead of looking in the yellow pages, he opted to do a search for local businesses to provide what he needed. He found only one baker out of 20 in his city that had a site. He could even choose the decorations over the web. He bought from this store because they had provided a convenience for him. He also located a singer in the same manner.
It does not matter what business you are in, the web will provide you with a way to have an electronic brochure and a presence. I find that many of my clients want to know more about me before we meet; they look at my website to determine whether I have the expertise they are looking for. I, in turn, look for the potential clients' site to learn more about what they do. Do not dismiss the web if you are not savvy, there are plenty of designers that will put up a simple site for you in a couple of days. You must, however, provide them with the content.
An important advantage to having your own website is that it will allow you to have your own email address, at your own domain name. Not only does this make you look more professional, you will also never need to change email address again! Think of the savings in printing cards, never mind the consistency of the image you create for yourself.
Once you have a website, try to get links to it everywhere you can. One way is to join an organization that has a member site and will list you in the price of your membership. Chambers of Commerce are a good example of this and a good place to start.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com