Speak Up: Using Public Speaking to Grow your Business

Gone are the days when the only way to market your business was to use traditional marketing techniques like posters, magazine ads and flyers. These methods still work, but these days you can use social media to spread the word about your products and services and quickly grow a customer base. However, here we are going to look at a great way to promote your business.

Away that many people overlook, and that is public speaking.

Public speaking
photo credit: Crystal Hendrix Hirschorn / Flickr

Why it works

Now I can hear you scratching your head and asking how on earth can public speaking help me to promote my business? Well the answer is in lots of ways. Here are a few of them:

Get in front of industry movers and shakers

The majority of the time you will be speaking at industry events and conferences. This means that important people who work in your industry will become aware of you and your brand.

Speaking at conferences is a great networking opportunity. You will find that people will reach out to you and speak to you after the conference and via social media. Many of them will be potential partners or customers who will help you to grow your business.

Mentions in the press

The press reports on most conferences and the speeches given. In most cases, it is the trade press, but this is still very good exposure for your company, and of course it is free exposure.

On occasion something you say will be picked up via the trade press and work its way into the mainstream press, when that happens you will be inundated with new queries.

Bear in mind that in certain industries potential customers read the trade press and magazines. Speaking at conferences is a great way to gain free exposure and pick up new customers.

Extra capital

Business speakers can earn a lot of money it takes time to build up a reputation, but once you do, you will find yourself in demand. This means that you can ask for a fee when you speak. In some industries, you will be paid thousands. You can take those windfall funds and use it to buy additional marketing.

Gary Vaynerchuk speaking in a conference as a keynote speaker
photo credit: Silicone Prairie News / Flickr

Free promotional content

Once you have given your speech you can use it as the basis for a range of materials that you can use to promote your business. Here are a few ideas of how you can do this:

White papers and giveaways

You can turn your speech into a white paper, which you can hand out to the press, organisations and potential customers. In addition, you can use that same white paper as a way to grow your email list. The way it works is that when potential customers come to your website you offer them the chance to download your helpful white paper and ask them for their email address to send them the link. Once you have their email address you can legitimately send them marketing materials.

Of course, you will not be able to do this with all of your speeches, but you can certainly do the following with every speech:

Podcasts and videos

Turning your speech, or sections of your speech, into a podcast or YouTube video is relatively easy. You can post these on your website and social media to generate interest in you and your company. This virtually free marketing is amazingly effective.

Press releases

Remember if you speak at an event to release your own press release about the fact that you have done so. Press releases are an extremely cheap way to spread the word about your business and they provide great links for your website, which will help you to rank high in the search engines.