Your marketing strategy has to cover a lot of territory—messaging, lead generation, content development, PR, social media, events, campaigns, and more. Have you ever wondered about the true value of speaking engagements and how they fit into the overall picture?
As a business consultant, speaking engagements are a natural and important part of your content marketing toolbox. In a survey of Visible Experts℠, speaking engagements generated almost as many leads as referrals and were rated as the second most impactful marketing tool.
Speaking not only helps to increase your firm’s visibility, but it can also increase sales. Here are 5 ways that incorporating speaking into your marketing strategy will benefit your firm:
1. Creates an Opportunity for Positive PR
Speaking engagements provide an opportunity to get in front of your target audience to build trust and rapport. Most speaking engagements offer welcome receptions and other opportunities to mingle with attendees.
Beyond the PR of being highlighted at the podium, these events offer a way to personally meet current and potential clients and further build your relationship with them.
After the speaking engagement, be sure to continue to follow up with those you met. This will allow you to continue building relationships and keep your firm top-of-mind when a need for your services arises.
2. Showcases Your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Thought Leadership
The simple fact that a SME from your firm has been selected to speak at an industry conference or training helps position them (and your firm) as a thought leader or Visible Expert. Once on this pedestal, it’s easier for Visible Experts to grow their reputation, attract better business, and command higher fees.
3. Generates Content That Can Be Repurposed in Several Ways
It’s true that preparing for a speaking engagement takes a significant investment of time. But, the effort you put in to crafting your presentation can be leveraged to continue to market your firm through a variety of channels. Consider repurposing your speech and promoting it via:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- White papers
All of these outlets offer yet another opportunity to generate leads and strengthen the relationships you have with current and prospective clients.
4. Creates an Opportunity to Meet Potential Strategic Partners
In addition to meeting current and potential clients, speaking engagements provide an opportunity to meet strategic partners or to develop referral relationships.
Take the time to get to know other speakers, those that are sponsoring the conference or event, and the vendors exhibiting. Often, there will be ways to leverage your relationship with these people that’s a win-win for both parties.
5. Increases Lead Generation Efforts
As a speaker you may be able to get other perks that will enhance your firm’s lead generation efforts. Try these strategies:
- Ask to get a list of attendees. If you can get this in advance, it will give you time to do your homework. Identify those you already know and would like to connect with, see if you can schedule a time in advance to meet during the event. Identify other prospects or strategic partners you would like to meet and be sure to make these connections while at the event.
- Ask to advertise your firm in conference collateral. Similar to a paid sponsorship, conference organizers may be willing to let you advertise your firm in the conference collateral in return for speaking. If not, you may still want to consider paying to advertise if the attendees closely align with your target audience.
- Participate in networking events. Being present off the stage as well as on it is a big part of getting the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to speaking engagements. Make sure to attend other networking events where you can continue to meet current clients, potential clients, and strategic partners.
Speaking engagements remain a top tactic for allowing your SMEs to demonstrate their unique knowledge and expertise, but having your management consulting firm represented at an event also provides a promotional opportunity that could translate into increased sales, potential partnerships and greater media exposure, too.