Social media has helped buyers become
more educated about speakers, their fee
ranges, and the perceived value-add they
can bring. Buyers read blog posts and
watch video clips of speakers on numerous
social media sites where they can assess the
speaker’s audience engagement and listen
to attendees comment freely and candidly
about the speaker’s stage presence and
effectiveness. (Fact: They are more than
50-plus video distribution sites, including You Tube.) Prospective buyers also read
LinkedIn recommendations about speakers and contact existing clients to check
references before they even hire a speaker.
• What do I want to influence
them to do?
Today, internal and external influencers have a greater impact on the decision
process. First, they must see a speaker
as the definitive expert in his chosen
field to recommend him to buyers who
have a challenge he can solve. Second,
a speaker must arm the influences with
ammunition to make that connection,
because leaving this part to chance is
futile. Third, a speaker must identify and
lead buyers down a very specific, succinct
path to engage them.
“Always leave your audience wanting
more,” said Eric Chester, CSP, CPAE,
when speaking at the NSA Denver
Chapter a few years ago. Well, this is the
social media version of the same strategy.
Speaker can start by getting very
succinct about who they are trying to
date. Personally or professionally, they
cannot date everyone. So, the more
succinct they are about the profile of
their target buyers, the more fruitful
their social media efforts. Next, speakers should identify what will influence
buyers’ thinking, move their needle,
push a button, or create a sense of curiosity to further research the topic.
My recent article, titled “If You’re
Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu!”
raised a few eyebrows, and created
a half-dozen speaking inquiries from
business unit leaders who wanted their
teams to hear how to enhance performance through strategic relationships.
When I asked these executives how
they found me, they mentioned an
internal lieutenant or an outside adviser
who handed them one of my articles, or
forwarded one of my video blogs.
the Decision Process
Social media represents the rise of indirect channels of communication that
are influencer-dominated, and will
require a new approach to developing
and maintaining critical relationships.
Speakers who leverage market influence
can dynamically disrupt the current
market status quo.
So, how can speakers build relationships with prospects when they do not
know they are being considered for a
Speakers must change their mind-set from revenue to influence. revenue
is a lagging indicator of past sales and
marketing success. It is looking in the
rearview mirror. Influence, on the other
hand, is a leading indicator. It is looking
through the windshield.
Speaker should ask themselves:
• Who do I have to influence?
• Where are the centers of influence?
Top 10 Internet Marketing Best Practices
Targeted social media
Analytics and testing
The High Five*
Speakers should have a
proactive presence in:
*Based on research of 400-plus social networking sites in 22 distinct categories.
Address Challenges with
Traditional Search Engines
In my social media strategy consulting
and coaching/mentoring engagements,
I recommend a fundamental shift in
the way information is distributed via
the Web. There needs to be a transition
from a traditional direct distribution
model to an indirect version wherein
a value-based network reaches and
influences the right audience. These
distributors (influencers) are critical to
getting the “word out.” Professional
speakers need something compelling,
interesting and relevant to access that
distribution. Distributors “pay” for
the privilege of distributing speakers’
content with real currency: their priori-tized attention and market reach.
ComScore, the “Nielson of the
Web,” reports that 70 percent of people
who search will not go to the bottom
of the first page, while 90 percent-plus
will not go to the second page! If I’m
a buyer and you’re not coming up in
my search results, you’re not on my
short list. If you’re not on my short list,
you’re not on my radar for the upcoming annual convention.
Here’s another interesting tidbit.
Buyers are no longer calling speakers
to request media kits or demo videos.
They search for this information online.
An estimated 20 percent of people who
search the Web know exactly what they
want; for example, a “change domina-
tion author.” The other 80 percent search
long-tail keywords, descriptors of their
challenge: “funny speaker for mature
audience on getting change right.”
Google searches will deliver intel-
lectual results, i.e. keywords. Social
searches deliver emotional results, i.e.