If you’re building a professional speaking business, you know there are many social media outlets and opportunities for sharing your content. While you don’t have to be on all of them, you do have to be on a few of them for maximum impact for your professional speaking business. Here’s how to pick the most profitable ones, get started and save time along the way.
I spoke with Jeannie Walters, Global Customer Experience, Patient Experience Keynote Speaker, Trainer & Workshop Leader about how to share your expertise through multiple channels to grow your professional speaking business faster.
You should always have a clear reason for leveraging different channels, this is your “Why.” You DON’T need to be on every social media channel. Jeannie started blogging for intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It was a way to organize her thoughts and share what she cared about in the customer experience world. When she started her current company in 2009, blogging was the only marketing she did. That has changed dramatically.
How can your blog drive your professional speaking business?
Your blog builds your credibility over time. When people find Jeannie’s professional speaking business on social media outlets, they often check out her blog. When they see that she’s been writing for a long time they see her as an expert and want to work with her. They feel like they already know her when they pick up the phone for that the first-time call after reading her blog.
If you’re in a broad category, like leadership or customer experience, pick niche themes within the industry to write about. This will help you get focused. Over time you can create a more formal content calendar and stick to big ideas and themes from your niche industry.
Make blog posts conversational! People aren’t there to read academic papers or sift through industry jargon. Here’s what you can do to get started with blogging…
Don’t be afraid to write a crappy first draft! Those can become some of your best work once the ideas are flushed out over time. There’s another advantage: Jeannie has a lot of half-written stuff because she doesn’t want to lose ideas as she thinks of them. If you wait for perfection, you’re leaving a LOT of ideas and content on the table.
You can also blog and write articles for clients, not just for yourself. These can be internal communications and employee newsletters, or external marketing, such as for the resource section for their site.
With all the social media noise you NEED to be on more than one platform for outreach. Let’s look at a few of them.
Podcasting as a Business Driver
Three years ago, on a whim Jeannie said to her friend, Adam Toporek, fellow NSA member in Florida, “let’s start a podcast”. They created the “Crack the Customer Code” podcast. There wasn’t much out there at the time explaining customer service and customer experience the way Jeannie and her friend were looking at it. They found a gap in the market and filled it. They do interview shows, “duo shows” where they talk about trends in the market with each other and “solo shows” where one of them will riff about the latest happenings in their market.
Jeannie told me that she had no idea what she was doing when she started podcasting for her professional speaking business. They started by finding a producer and a studio. As technology became more readily available, they started recording from home.
One big podcasting tip: Know WHY you’re doing it. What is the goal of your podcast? Doing it to get sponsors for your podcast is different than doing it for new business development. If you don’t know what your goal is it’s difficult to make decisions about the podcast and it’s easy for quality and value to get lower.
Many people in the professional speaking world interview people that they want to be future clients. Jeannie had an additional approach. They also focused on education and content to establish themselves as industry experts.
The interview approach comes with an added bonus: Your interviews provide you with additional industry specific stories to share at your speaking gigs.
Talking About Webinars
What else is Jeannie doing to share expertise? Webinars for clients. They bring in a third-party expert (like you) when they don’t have the experience or credibility to speak on a topic themselves. This can be done for their internal staff or for their customers. This method gives you the opportunity to share your genius with a built-in audience. The client brings the audience, you bring the expertise.
Another variation of the traditional webinar is the Q & A format. The expert does a very short presentation and then the attendees get to ask questions. This creates a personal touch.
What makes a good webinar?
Get rid of the bulleted slides and call it a day. Some people still create webinars by just reading their slides, which makes it boring for everybody watching and listening. For a successful webinar Jeannie recommends being VERY visual. Show a picture and talk over it, by telling a story, just like you would in a live presentation. Use storytelling. Leading people along a storyline with you will help keep their attention.
For a successful webinar be VERY visual. Show a picture and talk over it, by telling a story, just like you would in a live presentation.
When you really want to expand your brand, you can aim for…
LinkedIn Learning Courses
How do LinkedIn learning courses (formerly Lynda.com) work? LinkedIn hires you as a course creator and presenter. You write the course and then you go out to their studios in California to film the course on their campus. You have a professional director, professional hair and makeup, etc. When it comes to creating successful courses, LinkedIn knows what works. They have rich data about how people consume online courses and that knowledge helps to design your course so it will be successful for their audience. All the content and information comes from you and then LinkedIn packages and produces it.
How did Jeannie get that gig? She was referred by a LinkedIn author. Another reason to create meaningful, helpful content in multiple places. Let people see it and share it.
One client saw Jeannie’s learning course, sought out and found Jeannie online, read her latest article and picked up the phone and called her. Key point here: It wasn’t enough just to watch the course. It’s never enough just to have that one thing. People need to check you out from many different angles, especially if you’re in a saturated marketplace.
How to Leverage “Crossover Content”
DON’T post the exact same posts on all of the platforms. DO point back to a blog post or a podcast. On LinkedIn get into a longer explanation of WHY people might like a blog post or podcast. On Twitter just share what you talked about and a link back to the post or podcast. How people consume content and comment on LinkedIn is very different than how they consume content and comment on Facebook or Twitter.
Cross pollinate your crossover content!
You can turn webinars into blog posts and blog posts into webinars, podcasts, speeches, etc.
The LinkedIn article platform is under-leveraged by many speakers. Jeannie updates or rewrites blog posts and publishes them to LinkedIn as articles.
This is where writing even crappy first drafts of blog posts can help. Jeannie has drafts that she knows will never be published in the form she’s writing in. That random idea blog post could turn into a webinar or podcast or vice versa.
People NEED to know that you know what you’re doing before they call you. The power is in giving them multiple places to find you proving that you have industry expertise. When you do that, you’ll increase your influence and grow your professional speaking business faster.
To further grow your professional speaking business, check out Strategies To Build Your Speaking Brand.
About The Guest
Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience.
Jeannie is an international keynote speaker and has a TEDx talk all about microinteractions, those small and often overlooked moments in the customer journey that have a huge impact on customer emotions. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), a member of the CXPA’s CX Expert Panel, and a LinkedIn Learning Instructor.
Jeannie was named in the Huffington Post as a “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and the Online Marketing Institute’s “Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists,” and recognized as “One of the Top Customer Experience Influencers To Know” on CX Day.
Jeannie has co-hosted the top rated podcast, Crack the Customer Code, since 2015, and is an active writer. You can find her work on CustomerThink, The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce, and Forbes, as well as in university-level textbooks.
Jeannie lives with her husband and 2 growing boys and a spoiled dog, spending her free time cheering on young athletes and choir singers alike, and spoiling the dog.
Jeannie invites every audience member to join her on her mission: “To Create Fewer Ruined Days for Customers.”™
Learn more about Jeannie! www.experienceinvestigators.com
About The Interviewer
Mark Carter has 15+ years’ experience in the Chicago events industry. He was a member of Meeting Professionals International, Chicagoland – the world’s largest chapter at that time – where he served as the Marketing Co-Chair, Director of Marketing and eventually Vice President of Marketing. While with MPI he also booked top level speakers for their conferences and managed negotiations for the speakers. He currently serves as co-chair of the NSA Illinois marketing committee.
Mark has a passion for helping speakers and authors. A couple of his favorite projects in those worlds were running book launches and tours for New York Times Bestselling Business authors and building a conference with the founder of TED where he managed logistics for 50 world class speakers.
Outside of the event space Mark follows his other passion, mentoring and has created mentoring programs for undergraduates and graduate level students at major universities and is currently working on programs for entrepreneurs.
Learn more about Mark! www.MarkJCarter.com