Conference Speaker Homework and Pre-Work
The biggest single opportunity for any freelancer is to be found on stage. When you are invited to speak, there will be plenty to preparatory work to get on with. It is not just about getting your presentation in tip-top condition for maximum impact and return. There is content creation, marketing and relationship warming, ahead of your gig, to consider too.
Here are 8 things to concentrate upon when you have received that special call.
- Your profile for the event (and on LinkedIn too.) Most people will have a medium to long list of institutions, qualifications and achievements for the poor conference delegate to wade through. THIS MISSES THE POINT. Your speaker profile can be a brochure not just your CV. The opportunity here is to market yourself to get known. Why not connect to your audience ahead of time with a pitch that is authentic and penetrating. Something like…
PITCH PROFILE “I help (specific target audience within the general conference audience) to achieve (their specific desired and needed outcome / result) by providing (unique and differentiated services with personality, power and a twist). I have worked with (global customer 1, regional customer 2 and local customer 3) and worked (in a way that is unique, exciting and positive).
- Honing Your Content to Post On-Line – You will have, at the heart of your experience, extraordinary solutions, methods and ideas that can really accelerate the progress of your customers. Now is the time to dig out and re-write the best of your past published efforts and re-purpose them for your fresh conference audience. What do these new prospects fear, lack or not know? What do they need to do, know or change? Get that content out there on social media and, particularly, on the channel where the event is being actively promoted.
- Database – I have said this many times – “If you don’t have a database then you don’t have a business.” Do you have a database? Are they all opted in, legal and GDPR compliant? AND, have you segmented them into HOTS, warms and colds? Now is the time to do that.
At the conference itself, you can meet people, collect their cards, if they qualify, and ask permission to send them a P4P – Product4Prospect – An informational gift that is brief and of perceived value to your new contact. This ticks the box for opting in, creating a sense of reciprocity and helps establish you as a generous expert. There are two forms of doing this – the product and the newsletter.
- P4P Product – This might be in the form of a helpful tips sheet, a white paper, a tick sheet (have you done the following?) or a link to a film or resource bank that you control. It should be brief, relevant and have your mark and contact details on it, along with suggested next steps i.e. A Call To Action – CTA.
- Newsletter – The majority of people I work with do not START out with a newsletter and I understand why. It appears to be a lot of work. And, they will only have 10 people to send it to, etc. etc.
Now let’s get down to content creation. Do we really have to make such a big deal out of it? From conversations you have held in the last 90 days, what were the topics that revved up your passion levels? What did you read that set you alight? These are the topics to write 250 or 500 words on. Just two posts will be fine for now. Turning the top tips sheet accompanying your speech into the a meaty first newsletter post makes a lot of obvious sense too.
- Fill Your Table – I have written elsewhere about filling your blue velvet event table with content, if you have been allocated one. This will help establish you as credible, an expert and being ready to deliver.
- Share specialist content. As with point 2., you need to fill the right channels with quality content. It does not, however, all have to be your own. When you curate the content of other people, you gain a little reflected glory from these other specialists and their magical words. And, you gain brownie points for saving people the bother of looking it up themselves. Simply find the best material out there, add some intelligent analysis on top and post it. You will then be seen as better by association.
- Capture your assets. The first time you do this before a conference speech, it will seem like a lot of work. Find the golden hour slot in your day, when your brain works at its best and block out that space, EVERY day for one, two or three weeks until your preparation is complete.
And, do create a space where you can store all of the IP and marketing collateral that you have just created, to be adapted quickly and used next time. The next time you run through this process before a conference speech, it will take only HALF the time and your materials will become richer and more focused, serving the needs and gaps that your audience are crying out for you to help them with.
So what will you do now?
Call Matthew on 0754065 9995 for a 15-minute coaching session (no c ost and no obligation) if you are serious about making the most of your next conference speaking invitation.