How public speaking can help grow your business
When I started Slick Pivot, my pivot coaching business, I had a choice about how I would go about finding my first clients. The world of marketing options were on the table - SEO, Facebook ads, online webinars, events, PR, etc. I always say that small businesses should “go deep” into learning one marketing channel super well, so I needed to choose. I wasn’t going to spread myself too thin. I wasn’t going to do everything.
I considered the range of options briefly and chose public speaking as the best way to grow my business quickly.
Within 6 weeks of deciding this, I spoke at my own, sold out event. This first event brought me my first two paying clients, and I’m still getting referrals from people who attended 2 years on.
Here’s why I think public speaking can help grow your business...
1.Real life relationships are stronger
I get my energy from people in real life and “IRL” interactions bring out the best in me. Because of this, I can build a deeper connection if somebody spends an hour or more with me than if we were starting from scratch online. The people who have seen me speak in public are my most dedicated followers online.
2. Turbo boosts your word of mouth
Recommendations and talkability are your best friend when you have a small business. You want to build advocates of you and have them to your marketing heavy lifting If someone has seen you speak and takes a nugget or two of your wisdom, they will talk about you. They are more likely to say to a friend, “I was at an event the other day and saw X speak…” than comment about an online interaction.
3. You become a Thought Leader quickly
Speaking at an event provides a certain level of credibility, especially if you are brought in as a guest speaker / subject matter expert. As long as you deliver value to the audience, they will see you as a Thought Leader in your field. Your follow up messages (whatever online messages you send) will also grow in strength. You can also leverage the event content online to build your profile even more. Another blog to follow on this soon.
4. Short feedback loop
In marketing your business, you need to know what is working. What are your customer's problems and needs? Do they see value in your offering? Which messages resonate most? What puts people off (the barriers to purchase) about you and your business? Getting out there at events and meeting your ideal customers will allow you to get feedback in real time. You will learn loads about your formula and if you adapt based on the feedback, your business will progress more quickly.
5. You get to wear shoes and leave the house
If you work from home, this is nice once in a while.
6. Less tech faff
The joy of the internet means you can do pretty much anything with video. You can create your own online events, webinars, conferences even. However, this can be a big faff when you just want to get in front of your potential audience and build your brand, profile, community. The real-life public speaking route doesn't involve the tech faff and won't cost you much at all (if anything).
7. It leads to other things.
Because of all the points above, putting yourself out there and speaking in public can bring you the next gig. For me, it launched my business, got me my first client, got me my next public speaking gig, got me invited on podcasts, got me referrals. Now I am getting invited to speak and being paid for it. This wouldn’t be the case if I’d chosen an online channel as my core focus.
If you want to get out in the world, spread your message, meet people, make friends and wear nice shoes, this might be the channel for you to try.
Let us know in the comments if you do!