Marketing is hard work. Right out of the gate the challenge of establishing PinPoint Positioning presents a barrier that many creatives never get over, and so their marketing efforts end up dead on arrival. Crafting and sustaining a content strategy takes dedication and a rigorous writing process. Then you need to spend time building a list and devoting yourself to reaching out to your prospects slowly over time. Only after many months of such efforts can you expect to see results. But if you get there, and keep it up over the years, the results can be amazing.
Adding Even More?
All this is hard enough, so I’m always a bit wary of adding even more options and additional efforts to your marketing strategy. But eventually, when you’ve carved out your specialization, and produced thoughtful content, month after month, you will become an expert in your area of focus. As such you will become a strong candidate for speaking opportunities at industry events and conferences. These are golden marketing opportunities and you should take them whenever you can!
When you speak at events within positioning specific industries, you not only gain an opportunity to present to a group of prospects, you also gain significant validation of your expertise. Simply being on the speaker list does wonders, regardless of the content of your presentation.
What’s more, when you speak at events you gain at least two additional corresponding opportunities for content creation. You could, and should, write an article about the topic you will be speaking about, mentioning your upcoming session, and featuring a link to the session sign-up page. And after the event, you can write a summary of your talk, and link to any online version of it, if one exists. This extends the validation you gain from speaking, not just to the attendees, but to everyone who reads your email newsletter or follows you on social media.
Do You Have A Fear of Public Speaking?
Despite how valuable a speaking opportunity is, many creatives back away from this channel because of a fear of speaking. Public speaking regularly ranks among top phobias. Stage fright, fear of sounding stupid, and many other terrors keep people from speaking publicly. But this fear can be overcome. Here’s a link to a Ted Talk with some ideas on how to overcome a fear of public speaking, or to just improve your skills.
But another benefit of PinPoint Positioning is how it can help you overcome such fears. When you have a clear focus, and have practice regularly sharing insights through written articles, you will gain lots of confidence in what you have to say. That might not be enough to totally overcome stage fright, and you might still need some training to help reduce your “umms” and “ahhs,” but confidence in your content is a big lift to help you overcome fear.
Opportunities to Practice
While I would not recommend that you look for generalist speaking opportunities such as at Better Business Bureau luncheons, or at events attended primarily by your peers, these kinds of non-targeted opportunities can help you practice new skills and overcome fears. But keep in mind that such “warm up” speaking events lack that important element of confidence in your content that speaking within your niche will provide. But still, they can help you begin to feel comfortable in the spotlight.
Speaking Events in the Age of Zoom Conferences
Of course these days there are fewer live events and conferences. But as a result there are even more virtual conferences. And frankly, presenting from your own home on Zoom is much easier than speaking behind a podium at a live event. And while I’m personally burnt out on Zoom conferences, and find them much less dynamic than live events, speaking at a virtual conference still delivers all the benefits of the extra content you can write about your session before and after, as much as it would if you were speaking live.
So now may be the best time to begin exploring this next level opportunity of adding speaking engagements to your marketing toolkit.