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What do you do when you feel like you've been doing a lot of work to put yourself out there speaking, but it's not actually driving leads? I recently got a question around whether or not guest speaking was a big fat waste of time. Today, I answer this question head on and share insights on what I learned in 2020 (including how many guest speaking events I did in 2020). Plus share specific questions to help you troubleshoot when you feel stuck.
I believe that speaking is far more than sales (though you DO want to ensure you have a clear path between speaking and revenue generating activity). But speaking is also about IMPACT.
You do not have to sell from the stage for a speaking event to be impactful, you don’t need 500 opt-ins for a guest lecture to be a success. The beautiful part of running your own businesses is YOU define success.
Speaking isn't always about directly driving leads, sometimes it's about elevating the perception your existing audience has for you by showing credibility and authority through your little piece of content. It could be sharing with them through your Instagram stories, podcast show, and all your other platforms. Remember that authority pulls your audience closer to you.
You have to understand how you'll measure success when it comes to your speaking. Are you going to measure it by..
getting paid to speak?
getting your name out there?
There are a couple of different ways to do this but what's important is each of them should have a clear strategy.
Here’s the strategy I used for my business in 2020..
These were paid speaking appearances so I collected a speaking fee for each of these.
Part of how I measured success in 2020 was all about positioning and my engagement with my audiences so I need to have activity to showcase and position myself as a premier provider for my audience.
Track your speaking using Google Sheets, Excel or use a project management tool for this.
Create a Visibility Tracker - List all of the speaking appearances that you have, you've done, and you have coming up. You can also keep track of the podcasts or the events that you are targeting to get on your radar to pitch. This will ensure that the content you deliver at that event is intentional and would help you hit your goals and track the results of those at the same time.
Sample metrics you can use to track your results
It's one thing to say you want speaking to create more leads. But if you're not tracking the results of what you do, you actually can't quantify whether or not your energy into things is serving you. And you can't answer the question, whether or not you're wasting your own time.
The easy way to improve your processes is to start measuring because now you can start asking questions around how to make it better.
Know if the audience at the event or the podcast you were speaking at did actually align with who you serve. If you wanted to improve the numbers coming out of those speaking events, you should focus around the audiences who are closer and directly correlate to your core product or service you offer.
Ask this question if you are in front of the right audience, but your numbers or your results are still not where you want them. Most entrepreneurs talk about topics that are correlated to what they teach, but they are not directly aligned to what they sell.The challenge that happens here is you do a really good job educating your audience, but then you educate them to go get help from someone else because they don't actually understand what you do.
Having a really strong signature talk is the secret to combating this issue. When you have a signature talk, you know that your content directly aligns to the revenue generators in your business. You know that you are giving enough information where you serve and add value but not too much for you overwhelming or solving all their problems where they don't need you anymore. You have to be able to find that balance when it comes to guest speaking.