Leads, glorious leads! When it comes down to it, that’s what you want out of your marketing, right? Well, one of the easiest and most effective ways to get leads is through speaking gigs. I’ve been speaking within the telecom, IT, and cloud industries since 2007, and have perfected a “formula” that will ensure you get leads from speaking gigs.
But before I get to the formula, let’s cover some of the basics. In order for this formula to work, you have to have a solid foundation:
· You must be a “good” speaker. And by good, I mean engaging, enthusiastic, informative, and, most of all, confident. If you are terrified of speaking and people sense that, they won’t want to connect with you, so…no leads for you! If your speaking skills need polishing, check out Toastmasters.org to find a Toastmasters club near you. I joined back in 2004 and credit a lot of my success to the skills I learned there.
· You must present intriguing content. If you aren’t causing the audience to think, “Hmmm, I never knew that!” or “Wow, I never thought of it that way!” you aren’t going to get any leads. Make sure your presentation is packed with relevant content that makes people want to learn more.
· Your presentation must look professional. If your slides are too text-heavy or look like you threw them together over too many drinks, you aren’t going to wow your audience. And you need to wow your audience to get them to want to connect with you (and become a lead).
· You must look professional. It seems silly to have to say this, but if you are standing in front of a room, look your best. This doesn’t mean you have to don a tux or evening gown, but unless you’re Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, forget the jeans and hoodie and dress to impress.
Okay, now that you’ve got the must-haves, let’s get down to the lead-gen formula.
The Formula for Getting Leads from Speaking
It’s actually pretty simple:
1. Offer something of value for free. This could be the slides to the presentation if they contain a lot of info, or it could be a supplement to the slides. For some of my presentations, I have a worksheet or checklist to go along with the content. I’ll offer to send audience members the slides and accompanying worksheet, and all they have to do is give me their business card at the end of the presentation.
2. Weave the offer into your presentation at least three times. Notice I said weave – not hit people over their heads. I casually mention my offer right at the beginning, somewhere in the middle, and again as I’m wrapping up. This is key. If you save it for the end and only say it once, it won’t have nearly the same effect. You have to repeat yourself — without sounding too salesy, of course.
The Formula in Action
Let’s see what this looks like in action. I recently spoke to a group of telecom agents about social media. At the beginning of my presentation, I said something like:
“I have a ton of information to share with you today, so I’m going to talk really fast. But don’t worry, I’m more than happy to send you my slides. Just drop me your business card at the end of the presentation.”
Then in the middle of the presentation, during a slide that had a list of social tools on it, I said:
“I know this is a lot of info, but don’t worry, I’ll be sending you my slides so you can check out all of these resources on your own time.”
And as I was wrapping up, I said:
“Remember to drop me your business card if you’d like a copy of my slides. I’ll be back at the table for the next 30 minutes if you have any questions!”
And guess what? I always have a line of people waiting to give me their cards. And usually those people want more than just my slides – they want to have a conversation with me. So yeah, they are leads. Yay!
The Fine Print
Some conferences already provide the presentation slides to attendees, so if that’s the case, you’ll need to get a little more creative. Offer something supplemental, like a worksheet, whitepaper, or infographic that goes deeper into the topic you’re presenting.
I’ve experimented with having exclusive offers – something only that specific audience will receive – but in my case, I get just as many leads from offering the slides and supplemental material. You’ll have to experiment a little to see what works best for your audience.
Just remember: your offer should not be something that pitches your company in ANY way. No salesy-ness. That is a turn off, and will result in “No Leads for You!” Your offer should be informational, educational, and novel for your audience.
So there you have it…a simple formula for getting leads every time you speak. Have you tried this or similar formulas before? Anything you would add? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas below in the comments.