We truly believe that public speaking is a marketing method that small businesses can’t afford to ignore. Learn more about our company philosophy here.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you have a small business that you want to grow. You’ve probably tried a few marketing activities with mixed results, and are looking for new ways to raise your profile.
SucceedUK is a solopreneur operation, and I know the constant struggle to get more clients all too well. Forging meaningful business relationships can be really hard. But in fact there is a relatively easy way to get your face in front of loads of your dream clients. The solution? Public speaking.
I know it’s not the answer that you might have liked to hear, and that it’s a prospect that strikes fear into the hearts of many; but with guidance and practice – even the shyest wallflower can become a successful and confident speaker.
Speaking in front of audiences has transformed the way I look at marketing and networking. Think of the last time you went to a business event that had a speaker from another company; if that person hadn’t presented, they would have just been another face in the crowd. But because they spoke in front of the whole group, they effectively introduced themselves to the whole room in one go. When was the last networking event where you were able to do that?
I’m going to level with you here – SucceedUK isn’t my first attempt at business. Without boring you with the details, my previous ventures had solid business ideas, but got lost in the revolving door of “new shiny thing” marketing strategies.
After realising that nothing I’d tried was moving the needle, I set out to overcome my lifelong fear of public speaking. I’ve spent countless hours training, and I’ve transformed my attitude towards public speaking from one of fear and revulsion to one of excitement and eagerness. It’s a great feeling, and one I’m passionate about sharing with my clients.
Before We Begin
Before you start planning any kind of talk, you need to think about who you’re talking to. I have a mentor over in the US, who made an essential point about public speaking – you need to match your market to your message.
This might seem like wishy-washy marketing speak, but it hides a sincere truth. You should seek out audiences who explicitly need what you are selling. For example, if I were to prepare a presentation about business growth, it wouldn’t be much good if I presented it to undergrad uni students. They’re at the wrong stage in their journey. But the same presentation given to businesses in their first few years of operation is likely to achieve a totally different result.
Public speaking therefore boils down to getting in front of the right people at the right time, and presenting them with an offer they can’t refuse.
This is the first thing we cover when you work with SucceedUK – defining your ideal client niche, finding events where your ideal clients are going to hang out, and how to communicate effectively with those groups.
I know that public speaking can be a nerve-wracking experience, for businesspeople doubly so. A bad public speaking experience can cost a businessperson more than just pride; it can damage your reputation and credibility – in turn, impacting your bottom line.
There’s also the problem of competitive advantage. Though speaking publicly may seem like a big risk, it can also be risky not to do it. Your competitors could be out there right now, speaking in front of your ideal clients and building tangible relationships.
Though content marketing channels like blogging and social media are great, public speaking provides an opportunity to bypass the noisy online landscape and address people face to face. Unfortunately the convenience of the internet means that real life interaction can sometimes seem like a bit of a novelty! Getting in front of people and sharing your expertise helps you to stand out, forge meaningful relationships, and build strong interest in your brand.
Put it this way: if a trusted business contact called you next week and said “Hi, I have a great opportunity for you to give a 30 minute talk in front of 1,000 people from your ideal target audience tomorrow morning. I’m sure many of them will be very interested in what you provide!” How many of you would be able to speak at the drop of a hat like this? At SucceedUK, I will help you build your confidence and craft a flexible signature talk that you can deliver at short notice with credibility and confidence.
Our Awesome System
I like to be transparent about my methods, and SucceedUK’s unique programme covers 5 intuitive sections:
1. Expert Positioning – Our 7-part positioning strategy will help establish where you are in your market, the ideal kind of audience you’d like to attract, and how to reach them.
2. Speaking Opportunities – We look at the audience you want to reach and help you find the best speaking gigs that suit your business and your needs.
3. Signature Talk – This is the meat of the programme. I’ll coach you through creating a flexible and engaging signature talk that you’ll be able to deliver time and time again at short notice.
4. Making an Offer – The talk you create will explain what you do, who you are, and what you offer. It will ease the listener towards a sale without sounding like a cheesy sales pitch.
5. Dynamic Delivery – Non-verbal cues are crucial; I will coach you on body language, posture, gestures, vocal projection, and a handful of key delivery secrets to make you appear confident on stage (even if you don’t feel it!).
Get on Camera!
As well as speaking in person, I also feel it’s crucial to publish takeaway content online, and that public speaking should be carried out alongside other content marketing practices. Publishing regular blogs and offering free ebooks can achieve great results, but getting in front of a camera and sharing your thoughts on video is more important than ever before.
Tech giants Cisco have predicted that video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, so you may as well stake your claim. When you work with SucceedUK, I’ll help you create an initial video that positions you as a reputable and approachable expert – hopefully your first video of many!
Though I’m making it sound quite easy, I’d hate to give anyone false hopes. Becoming a good speaker takes work. There is no overnight solution to speaking greatness, it takes practice and patience. It is therefore one of the most underutilised marketing channels, and I am confident it’ll help you grow your business.
This article has only just scratched the surface of how public speaking can help your business’s visibility. From a business growth perspective, we feel that public speaking is a skill that small business owners simply can’t afford to ignore.
So head over to our contact page and drop us a line to find out how SucceedUK can help you raise your company’s profile through speaking.