Use Speaking Events as a Lead Generation Tool

Speaking to market your business.
Use speaking opportunities to generate new leads.

Speaking for groups is one of the most effective ways to get yourself out there and become known as an expert in your field.  There are always a number of community organizations and professional associations that are looking for speakers for their regular meetings.   Most often these are unpaid gigs, however, there is still much to be gained for a small business owner.   As you become well-known, you may find the opportunity to actually get paid for speaking.

In the meantime, think about the following tips to enhance your lead generation at a speaking event. 

1. Know Your Audience.  If the intent is to use speaking engagements as a method of lead generation, be sure to ask about the audience and the expected numbers so you prepare accordingly. 

2. Capture Leads.  You can have people drop their business cards in a bowl or something similar that’s labeled  “Add me to your monthly newsletter” or have a sign-up list at the back of the room.  This allows you to grow your subscriber list and ensures that they’ve opted in. 

3. Follow-up with a copy of your slide presentation.   To make a deeper connection with participants, provide your email address and offer to follow-up with a copy of the slides that you presented or a resource or white paper on a similar subject of interest for the audience.  In order to deliver the details, they need to email you and provide and provide a return email address.  And while this isn’t a license to add them to your newsletter, it is an opportunity to ask them if they’d like to join your newsletter and then you’ve properly opted them in.

4. Create an offer.  You wowed them and now they want more, so don’t leave without giving them an option to get more.  Most organizations do not want you to use their stage as a sales platform and that’s not what I’m suggesting.  You can briefly announce your offer or when people come up to you afterward, you can give them a handout with your contact details on it and perhaps some information about working with you directly or a special offer for members of that organization.  If you were good, they will want more, so you need to have something prepared.

The trick to successful speaking events is to set some goals around the number of leads you’d like to generate as a result of each event and then track the amount of money being generated from these events.  It’s unlikely the revenue will come right away, so you need to be prepared with your own follow-up campaign.  Stay tuned for our next post on follow-up campaigns.

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