"I need more clients!" wails Steve, a 32 year old Boston-based financial planner, echoing a familiar refrain. Poised and well spoken, Steve is after the same high net worth individual as others in his field. How can he rise above his competition?
One of the more innovative yet inexpensive ways of building buzz for your business is to consider inviting members of your target audience to a complimentary talk. For example, Steve could invite people to his nicely furnished office for a brief talk on financial planning, and follow up with complimentary consultations.
To Steve's delight, the idea worked.
Why is public speaking such a great promotional tool?
First, it reinforces the perception that you are an expert in your field. Second, advance notice of your speaking engagement brings you free publicity as hundreds of potential clients will see your name and picture on postcards, glossy conference brochures, in the newspaper, and on the Internet.
Many professionals speak for the publicity alone. Diane Darling, CEO of Effective Networking, Inc. and the author of The Networking Survival Guide, likes to speak at the Los Angeles Learning Annex because her picture, company name, and the cover of her book jacket goes out to a mailing list of 100,000 and offered free in hundreds of locations around the city. "It's the best form of free advertising you can get," she says.
Public speaking is also valuable in terms of creating top of the mind awareness of your services among existing clients and colleagues, helping generate referrals and further establish you as the expert of choice.
Speaking to Generate and Refine Book Ideas
Attracting clients is just one reason to consider public speaking.
If you are thinking of writing a book, you can use public speaking as a way to test the market for a new book or product, or refine the development of a book in progress. Penny C. Sansevieri gives talks related to publishing, and used her class at the San Diego Learning Annex to refine the manuscript that turned out to be her book, Get Published Today.
Ken Lizotte, CIO (Chief Imagination Officer) of Emerson Consulting Group, Inc., speaks before a variety of associations as members are in the position to use his article writing and book development services.
How to Find speaking opportunities
Speaking opportunities are all around you. Just look in the Calendar section of your local business journal and city newspaper to see the various events hosted by local chapters of national associations, business and civic organizations (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, etc). Also, check your mail, email, and trade association publications for announcements of industry meetings and conventions.
The next time you hear yourself saying you need more clients, look no further than the nearest podium.
Complimentary articles and ebooks available at http://www.BuildingBuzz.com
This article is adapted from Marisa D'Vari's book Building Buzz: How to Reach and Impress Your Target Audience.