Do you love to speak? Do you often find yourself wishing that there were more opportunities for speaking engagements? If so, this blog post is for you. 7 Ways To Find Awesome Speaking Opportunities will show you how to get your voice heard and find awesome speaking opportunities!
Read the Trades
Almost every sector on the planet has its own trade publication, which is dedicated to writing about the themes and communities unique to that industry. If you’re an ad agency worker, it’s very likely that you’re hooked on publications like AdAge and AdWeek. Trade publications are a great way to find out about events and conferences that you weren’t even aware existed.
Read the Local Newspapers or Magazines
Have you ever noticed that your local newspaper and/or magazines typically have a calendar of events section? Many times, these calendars will include upcoming speaking engagements in their respective cities. Even if they don’t explicitly list conferences and other speaking opportunities, check out the event’s website for more information! If there is any way to contact someone from the organization hosting an event with questions about this type of thing, do it! You never know what might happen when you pick up the phone!
Keep an Eye on Your Clients
Who are the most important people in your clients’ lives? What events are they attending now? Remember that you don’t always have to look for the biggest and splashiest events, especially when starting out, but instead for the ones that bring together the most relevant audience for your business. You’ll probably get to know the larger (more costly) events fast, but keep your eyes open for little-to-medium-sized gatherings with excellent networking possibilities.
Follow the Hashtags
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s a good chance that hashtags are being used to track the news and major events in your field. If you see an event is taking place near where you live or work- such as #SXSW – follow it on social media for the next month, watch out for conversations between speakers and attendees before and afterwards, join them yourself when appropriate (if they ask questions), but most importantly: take notes!
Ask the Question
Once you’ve identified a few events and conferences, the next step is to ask: what’s in it for me? How can I contribute something useful or interesting that will help them achieve their goals more effectively? If they don’t want anything from you- such as your attendance at an event- then chances are pretty good that this isn’t going to be the right fit for you anyway.
It’s easy to be frightened by community members who appear to be doing figure eights around the speaking circuit if you’re new to a topic or just putting yourself out there for the first time. Don’t be. Rather of viewing it as a barrier, consider how you might use it as a topic to introduce yourself to these major players and inquire about their experience speaking at an earlier event. It’ll assist you get rid of the bad ones quickly, and it’ll give you a good reason to expand your contacts.
Build it Yourself
If you’re not able to find an event that suits your needs, then it’s time for you to create one! Either put together a group of people who are interested in the same things and host your own meet-up or conference. If there isn’t anything quite like what you want out there, take matters into your own hands and build yourself a platform from which to speak. Do you want to ensure that you get a speaking opportunity? Create a Meet up, host a fireside chat, or start a conference that you believe your community will enjoy.
Make It Happen
Most people talk about wanting great opportunities but never do much of anything to make it happen. The only way you’re ever going to find awesome speaking opportunities is if you get out there on social media, show up, speak up, etc. Go ahead and start making things happen today!
John Lawson is one of the most trusted and experienced eCommerce professionals in the industry. John is the founder of The Ecommerce Group, which he started in 2011 to share his knowledge with other entrepreneurs in the industry. It’s the oldest eCommerce group on Facebook with over 8,500 members from around the world!
John speaks at conferences all around the world, including Retail Global, South by Southwest, Etail, Digital Summit, Hubspot Inbound, Ad-Tech and more. He also writes for several international publications such as Power Retail, Small Business Trends and Disrupt Magazine.
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