Mastering the basics of marketing your creative practice can take many years. Just keeping up with your content strategy, and maintaining the habit of regularly reaching out to prospects is a huge challenge. So you might not be thinking about what comes next. But if you stick with the program, after a few years you’ll have a great foundation. Strong enough that you might start building more upon it! And when you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level—start thinking about finding speaking engagements. Speaking opportunities can be extremely powerful ways to deepen your position in your chosen market.
When you have the opportunity to speak to a group of prospects, within your targeted niche, you should take it! There are compounding benefits to giving professional presentations. But what if you, like the overwhelming majority of people, are terrified at the thought of public speaking? Does the idea of getting on a stage, and behind a mic, in order to talk to a room full of strangers give you the sweats? There is so much to gain by public speaking, but you won’t experience any of those benefits, if you give into your fears.
When you speak in a professional context, to prospects clearly within your niche, not only might you find a few new clients, but the very fact that you gave such a talk does wonders to validate your positioning. When you land a speaking engagement you should immediately write a blog post about your upcoming session, as well as post about it on social media. Whether these kinds of promotional activities add to your event’s audience is somewhat irrelevant. Your position in your prospect’s mind will be significantly elevated when they learn that you’re speaking to their peers.
Of course for any of this to take place you need to overcome fear. I don’t want to minimize that. Fear of public speaking regularly finds itself listed among top common phobias. But you need to face this down. Get whatever help you can if this is a barrier for you. There are plenty of resources that can help you overcome fears, improve your speaking skills, and to help you create a clear and effective presentation.
But I want to point out one other way to overcome a fear of public speaking, which is one more benefit that comes from PinPoint Positioning. You see, when you establish your positioning and execute a consistent content strategy around it, when you commit yourself to the task of writing about your focus—it will force you to sharpen your mind, and cultivate practical insights about how your work benefits your clients.
When you first start out writing articles you might feel the resistance that comes from impostor syndrome. Maybe your first series of articles felt weak, or tentative. But overtime, as you continue to write, and as you engage in repeated projects that solve similar problems, your insights and experience will grow. And as a result your articles will continually improve. A content strategy that’s grounded in PinPoint Positioning is an upward cycle, in which the effectiveness of your efforts grows, even as it gets easier and easier for you to continue it.
The end result of persevering for a long time in the same direction is increased confidence in what you do and what you know.
This confidence in your content may not help you to entirely overcome stage fright, or conquer the jitters as you walk up to a podium, but it can be enough to get you there into the spotlight. And once you’ve given a few presentations, you’ll realize that there really isn’t all that much to fear in the first place.
As you move in this direction, be sure to look for engagements that speak to your specific market. There are plenty of occasions to talk at local business luncheons, or to peer groups, but you really want to be speaking at conferences within your chosen industry. Local speaking can be a good way to practice, but ultimately you need to aim for well-targeted speaking engagements.
Public speaking may feel scary at first. But the benefits you gain are well worth conquering your fears. And if you do, you’ll take your confidence, and your marketing, to new heights.
Until next week: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business.