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.
Don’t limit your purview of speaking engagements to only live, in-person keynote addresses. Online events – webinars, podcasts, virtual conferences – are just as impactful speaking opportunities, and a great way to allow clients and prospects to experience your expertise.
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. And they are a proven way to establish your firm’s credibility and thought leadership.
Most in-person speaking engagements offer welcome receptions and other opportunities to mingle with attendees. Beyond the PR of being highlighted at the podium, these networking opportunities 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 Firm’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Thought Leadership
The simple fact that a SME from your firm has been selected to speak at a virtual industry conference or in-person 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 or preparing for your podcast appearance can be leveraged to continue to market your firm through a variety of channels. Consider repurposing your remarks and promoting via:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Executive Guides
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 or Deepen Relationships With Strategic Partners
In addition to meeting current and potential clients, speaking engagements provide an opportunity to meet or deepen relationships with strategic partners and referral sources. A guest appearance on an industry association’s webinar can solidify the relationship between your two organizations and improve the overall strength of your relationship.
And if the speaking engagement happens to have a variety of speakers from different organizations, take the time to get to know them. You never know when there will be an opportunity to leverage your relationship with these organizations in the future that’s a win-win for both parties.
5. Increases Lead Generation Efforts
As a contributing speaker, you may be able to get other perks that will enhance your firm’s lead generation efforts. Try these strategies:
- Ask for a list of registrants/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. 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 take advantage of all networking opportunities outside your speaking slot. This will amplify your presence and allow you to 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.
How Hinge Can Help
Hinge has developed a comprehensive plan, The Visible Firm® to address these issues and more. It is the leading marketing program for delivering greater visibility, growth, and profits. This customized program will identify the most practical offline and online marketing tools your firm will need to gain new clients and reach new heights.
- Download Hinge’s Content Marketing Guide for Professional Services Firms for more tips on creating content that builds credibility and demonstrates expertise.
- Get a copy of our Online Marketing for Professional Services book to learn techniques that will generate more leads and increase awareness of your firm.