speaking as a marketing strategy – brand you


Cindy Ratzlaff, Keynote SpeakerPublic speaking is a cost effective marketing strategy and an excellent way to build your personal brand.

Speaking is like grocery store sampling – you reach your ideal audience at exactly the time and place when they are most interested in the services or products you offer. When you speak at an event, someone else does the work of gathering a crowd most likely to be interested in what you have to say.  You glean “authority” from the event host as they present you to their attendees as an expert in your field with valuable information to share. And, then you give them a powerful, delicious sample of what you’re all about. The key is to make sure that the sample you give out is valuable, memorable, and information rich. You repay the event host for their confidence in you by over delivering to their attendees. You honor the time of the attendees by giving them exactly what they hoped to receive when they chose to give you their time and attention. When you deliver the goods, your exact perfect target market client knows that what they just received was only a sample and if they want more, you are the answer to their problems.

Speaking is to personal branding what in-store sampling is to new grocery items.

But how to start is always a challenge.  Here are some suggestions that have worked for me and might work for you:

Chamber of Commerce: Your local Chamber of Commerce most likely sponsors educational or informational sessions for local business owners. If what you offer can be valuable for local business owners, offer yourself as a speaker and present a topic that fills a need for the target audience.

E-Women’s Network: A wonderful nationwide organization of women entrepreneurs and business owners that hosts local speakers monthly in most markets. Find your local chapter and consider offering your expertise.

University Alumni Organizations: Alumni and university clubs meet regularly and are frequently looking for speakers for business luncheons. A little research might be required here to find the club or professional association that’s right for what you offer.

Professional Trade Show Organizations: Every industry has a trade show or several regional meetings every year. Think about which industries are the right fit for what you offer, visit their website and find out when and where they host educational meetings for members.

Toastmasters is a wonderful organization not only for learning the skills needed to hit a home run once you are on stage, but also for networking with like-minded professionals who will know about other local speaking opportunities.

Let’s support one another here. If you have suggestions of beginner speaker resources or organizations that host speakers, let’s start a list in the comments below.


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10 Responses to “Speaking as a Marketing Strategy – Brand You”

  1. Deb Dorchak says:

    Excellent tips, Cindy and a few I wouldn’t mind trying. The start is definitely the challenge, but oh, after you take that first step, it’s a marvelous adventure!

  2. Cindy, great ideas. I will have to check out the e-Women’s Network. Love the idea of getting out there and planning for more visibility to bring in more clients the last half of the year. Some other places depending on your location in the country and target market are YMCA, Lion’s Club Chapters, Apartment associations (larger ones), and then looking at local clubs meeting in your area at http://www.meetup.com/find/ It all depends on who your target market is.

  3. Excellent suggestions Teresa. Thank you so much. Hadn’t thought of Meetup as a resource and it’s such a good idea.

  4. You’re so right Deb. Starting is the challenge. I found that by creating one talk with a particular focus in mind, I was able to start and branch out from there.

  5. I think I’m the only person in business who simply has no desire to speak on a stage. Is that weird? Is it my way of dodging the spotlight? I truly don’t think so…It really feels as if speaking to a large audience is just “not my thing,” but I also don’t want to let myself off the hook if it’s a cop out. I’m going to set out to explore this more for myself:) Thanks, Cindy!

  6. Pamela Wills says:

    Applause, Cindy! Speaking is one of the best ways to get your brand across to potential customers. Feeling comfortable in front of any audience is so vital to our success in business! Whether we’re entrepreneurial or corporate, speaking with confidence is huge.
    I love your suggestions for places / organizations to speak at. Another idea is to attend networking group meetings (like BNI, BIG, AWBA) as a guest — you almost always get 60 seconds to pitch your elevator speech. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

  7. LOVE those suggestions Pamela. Thank you so much.

  8. You made us smile, Kerry. We used to feel the same way until we figured out that speaking doesn’t have to be on stage. Speaking can be in small groups or even one on one. But we really believe that getting out there, publicly, is part of an overall strategy to help the people who need what you create to find you. You blog and by blogging you are creating an audience. Would that audience be interested in meeting with you in person? Would they benefit? If the answer is yes, then I’d love to see you “on stage” with them. :)

  9. These are great suggestions and I will check them out. Public speaking is something I used to do a lot of, and it has fallen to the back burner as our business has taken off, and I really miss it and want to get back to it. It is high on the list as we move forward so this is very helpful. Thanks!

  10. It’s time to take a good look at whether you’re creating content with your target audience in mind. Many business owners make the mistake of writing for their peers as opposed to their customers.

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