2019 UPDATE: Since writing this article, we’ve actually found that speaking at events online to be a much more effective method of generating leads and sales appointments with your ideal clients. It takes less time, it’s more automated and it can get you even better results. If you’d like to learn how, watch this short video here. 

And if you want to see the original article, keep reading…

We all know that respect in any profession requires hard work. Indeed, some of the best ways to build a reputation often involve things we’d rather avoid. For example, speaking in front of an audience, putting your face and voice out there on the internet, or positioning yourself as a leader can all be daunting acts for someone who just wants to get on with their actual work.

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One thing we know is really worth your time is speaking at business networking events. “What, me? And people will listen to me?” Yes. Let me tell you why.

1. You’ll establish yourself as an expert and thought leader

With a well-prepared talk about something you’re already confident and passionate about, you will inevitably look and even feel like an expert in your industry.

It’s also hard not to think of someone headlining a speaker event as someone who’s not an authority. People will automatically assume you must have made your mark in your profession to have qualified as a “speaker”!

2. It builds trust in what you do

One of the things you can do when giving a talk is to educate and show people how to do something they don’t already know.

This is a great way to build up trust with those in your audience and it proves to them that you are an expert and really can do the things you say you can.

Don’t be afraid of giving too much away.

In fact, give people the best and most valuable information you can. Most people don’t actually want to do it themselves. They just want to see that you know what you are talking about and then chances are they will higher you to do it anyway.

This brings us neatly on to the third point….

3. It’s a way to win potential clients over

As you position yourself as an expert and build trust with people in what you do, you will start to win over potential clients. This happens in two main ways:

1) People who heard about you for the first time become a lead and ask more about your services

2) A lead who has heard about you before but doesn’t yet trust you enough to buy from you will convert from a lead to an actual sale

4. It’s a way to make existing relationships stronger

If you’re a key speaker at a networking event, what would you do? I know I’d invite existing clients and ask them to bring along a friend or business contact.

Why?

Because it’s a great way to reinforce and grow your relationships with your clients so they’ll stay with you longer. And who knows – maybe your client, their friend, or yourself will get new business from this thoughtful gesture!

5. It grows your network on social media

You can use events you speak at as a way to generate leads and invite those in your audience to join in. You can also further connect with those who attend the event by having them interact with you on social media and share what they are listening to.

For example, when we speak at events (whether online or face-to-face), we always encourage our guests to share what they are listening to on social media and to tag us in the posts. It’s a great way to build up more visibility for our brand!

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Now you know that speaking at a business event is seriously worth considering, you might already be imagining what you could be talking about.

To this I have to say: Focus on giving value, not a sales pitch.

People at an event will come to see you because they want to learn from you. Appearing like everything you say is an attempt to sell your products will make the audience inclined to distrust your statements.

On the contrary, genuinely wanting to share valuable content will create a lasting impression for the audience members. If they really want to buy from you, you can then absolutely trust they will come to you. All you need to do is to give your contact details or call-to-action at the end of the talk.

In other words, positioning yourself as an authority with tools or useful ideas to share will make others aware you’re their hero if they let you be. That in itself is the best way to sell.

In the webinar, you will see first-hand how we use events to provide as much value as possible to our audience, while at the same time building a stronger brand for ourselves.