How to Market Yourself as a Speaker – Part Two

7th February 2023 | By Charlie Whyman

Marketing yourself as a speaker is a big topic, so here is my second article on this topic. If you missed the first one, you can read it here. 

What specific Training do you need?

Too many speakers invest more time learning how to market themselves than doing the marketing themselves. There are thousands of marketing courses, training, masterminds, boot camps and programs available.

This is where setting objectives comes in handy because you can look at your objectives and then assess what skills, knowledge and confidence you need to achieve them. Once you know this, then you can make a plan around what training you need to invest your time, energy and money in. Anything else that just looks ‘interesting’ – park the idea for now and revisit it later.

Ninja Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask and be curious at PSA meetings. Every meeting is a learning opportunity, and you’ll gain far more by asking specific questions to other members, especially fellows who, in my experience, will gladly help you. Just be clear about your objectives, so the person you are asking has the context of what you’re working towards. The PSA is also a great place to find a mentor or a mastermind group to help keep you accountable, share learnings and work together to achieve a common objective.

Manage your own Expectations.

This is really really key when creating a marketing plan for your speaking business, especially if speaking is just an element of what you do.

Get really clear on how much time, energy and money you are willing to invest in achieving your objectives.

If you don’t have any time to do any marketing and want to get the speaking gigs, then you will either need to make some compromises elsewhere or invest some cash in working with someone to help you. If you decide to go down this route, make sure you and whoever is doing your marketing are 100% aligned on your objectives and expectations. Marketing is much more effectively outsourced once you have a clearly defined audience and approach that’s worked and you’ve got sales and bookings from it; sometimes, it’s better to get something working first when you start out and then outsource the running and optimisation of it.

Here are a couple of tips to help you:

  1. Plan your marketing activity in 12-week ‘sprints’ so you’re always building momentum without it feeling like an endless task
  2. Avoid endless marketing tasks such as; update website, write blog, record videos, post to social media. The more specific you can be, the better you can get into good habits – things like posting on LinkedIn 3x per week. Publish a new video once every two weeks both to LinkedIn and YouTube etc
  3. Schedule marketing tasks in your calendar each week – don’t leave marketing to when you have time or the evenings and weekends, otherwise, you’ll resent it, and it won’t be fun.

Regularly Review and Reflect

The main reason I like planning your marketing activity in 12-week sprints is that it’s a long enough period of time to give something chance to work and a short enough period of time to nip things in the bud if they are never going to work, so that you avoid wasting too much time. When you regularly review and reflect on what you’re doing, you can identify things that work well so that you can keep doing it and keep improving and things that aren’t working well so that you can either stop doing them or make some changes so that they can work.

Don’t leave marketing yourself as a speaker to chance – hope is not a good marketing strategy. If you want more speaking bookings and gigs, then set clear objectives around this and review your progress against it, schedule time to do what needs to be done and make it happen.

Because speaking was a big focus for me and my business, I volunteered to become Regional Vice President of the PSA East Midlands and, next year, will become President. Doing this enhanced my commitment to speaking and ensured I attended every single regional event and made an extra effort to attend the Spring Conference, GSS and also other regional events. The result has been that I’ve never had as many speaking bookings, I’ve been offered payment for what would have otherwise been free events, and I spoke at an event where the audience was queuing in line for 20 minutes, waiting for me to speak. So if you’re serious about speaking more and improving your speaking skills – the PSA is a brilliant place to start, and you’re always welcome to come and quiz me about my approach at an East Midlands event or a regional event if I can make it.

Who Am I?

I’m the founder of Curious B2B Marketing and the creator of the OTTER marketing framework, helping businesses turn leads into sales with easy-to-apply systems and approaches. I host of The Curiosity Key Podcast and founder of The Curious Marketing Club for ambitious businesses looking to scale.

An engineer by background, I discovered I had a talent for sales and marketing when selling my homegrown Sardinian olive oil on a Yorkshire market stall, selling lasers down one of the world’s deepest mines and moving rapidly from marketing assistant to Global Head of Sales and Marketing for a major player in the Geospatial sector.

I am also an avid adventurer, cyclist and F1 fan. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or visit my website.

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