When I launched Charli Jane Speaker Services almost two decades ago, I knew I had enough business sense and understanding already to get things set up and marketed. I had already been running another business with my husband and so I had that experience under my belt.
This time though, I had a passion for directly reaching and helping a very narrowly niched audience.
One that not only might have been too challenging to get business-sustaining attention from, but also one that was a stretch for me to try to reach in the first place. But…I knew that I could help them and what I had to offer would be of life-changing value to them.
Not trying simply wasn’t an option.
“To be successful and build sustainability, professional speakers have to be everywhere, all the time.” – Wendi McNeill
This is especially key in the beginning stages of a speaking business. It is an absolute essential foundation to building a strong speaker’s platform. But wait, Wendi, you’re saying to yourself (or maybe to your screen), there’s only one of me, how can I be everywhere, all the time?
In this post, I’ll tell you that guest blogging is an excellent way to do it. If you can write winning proposals, speeches and other articles, you can be a guest blogger.
Let me show you how to get started.
There is an abundance of blogs you could write for. Start making a list of possible blog owners to contact. You can do Google searches to find who is accepting guest bloggers or find a list gathered for you in the Charli Jane Club.
Tip: I would recommend that you don’t blast emails, rather, take a week to research 5-10 blogs which you think you could guest blog for, and then follow the next steps. As you get started with this, you’ll want to be intentional about where you post.
Go find them on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram and like a few posts and then make a comment on a couple within a few days (not the same day, it’s too spammy). When you comment, please don’t just say “Hey, great post!” Yawn. Plus, it’s just plain spammy. It has almost no value, to the blog owner or you, or the readers. It gets ignored and passed over.
Remember: You want to write for these people and their audience, so your comment is your chance to begin to demonstrate that you’ll be a good fit, offer value and insight, and increase traffic for the Blog Owner. It’s your first audition – you will want to get it right, so you’ll get that call-back.
You need to be genuine. Only tell them you loved their post if you did. Don’t exaggerate or use hyperbole. Tell them that it really helped you succeed/connect/understand/resolve/fix your issue with work/home/life/conflict/plumbing. If it’s a “How To” post, say thank you for sharing and #4 really resonated with me when it comes to A,B,C. It takes a bit longer to do it this way, but it will open the doors for opportunity. Here is your chance to start a conversation and begin building a relationship. Take the time to get it right.
After a week, reach out via email, or social media, to see if perhaps you might be a guest there. Keep it short and sweet. Do not ramble on. It should be a clear, concise explanation of how you will solve a problem for their readers. I would also recommend that you can pitch a few ideas so they have a variety of ideas to pick from.
Bonus for My Readers: I have an email template you can use to help get you started here. All you need to do is tweak it a bit and send it off! Grab it here. http://eepurl.com/dGDYpz
Write your posts, but start on smaller blogs to establish yourself.
Once you’ve gained some traction, begin reaching out to well-known publications (blogs). Have confidence in your abilities to do this. Once you are being seen on the blogs with wider readership, you’ll see how it helps to build your platform and further establish your credibility as an expert in your niche.
Add references to them on your website and marketing material such as your OneSheet. Link to a favorite which gets a particularly high amount of comments and hits in your email signature or your social media profiles.
Won’t it impress planners to see that you have posts published by well-known and admired blogs?
You bet it will!
Guest blogging regularly puts you in front of an ever-expanding audience. One which you may never have reached before branching out in this way. As I said, it builds credibility, but it also increases visibility. It leads readers right back to your website, OneSheet, freebie, or wherever you want to take them.
It’s a proven and excellent way to market your speaking business.
Don’t Start Without This Key Element to Get Right:
Your author box is one of the most important elements in guest blogging. I might even say it is the most important element because it’s all about you and is your opportunity to lead people off the blog and onto your resources.
Getting it right from the start is non-negotiable.
Before you start posting, clearly define for yourself, your intention for the site(s) that you want to blog on? Where do you want to lead the reader? My top choices: A giveaway attached to a sales/booking funnel; your website video of you speaking; your OneSheet.
Here is an example (http://bit.ly/2M0PJQg) of one I did last year, and my intention was to direct readers right to our free speakers Facebook group Grow Your Speaking Biz
It takes commitment and consistency. If you do this every week – Go ahead, schedule it into your weekly tasks right now, I’ll wait – you will be guest blogging on at least one blog a week, right?
If you’re more determined and can spend more time in this area of your business development, you will create more opportunities to turn it into 3-4 guest spots every week. It just depends on the individual speaker and her goals for her business. Don’t set goals that are unattainable for you right now.
Start smart. Put in the work and consistency and build this part of your business to 3-4 guest posts a week. You’ll leverage this work by the total numbers of readers for each blog you guest on – do the Math.
It’s pretty motivating.
Final Tip: Keep good track of all this. Use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your efforts. This way you don’t duplicate work, and you know where and when you’ve posted. Once you’ve been doing this a while, you’ll see how a simple spreadsheet will necessary and how it will become a goldmine for you.
Happy Guest Blogging!