As some of the most significant events across the country are canceled or postponed until further notice, it can feel pretty tough out there if you’re dependent on income derived from public speaking engagements. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are several ways in which you can pivot to carry out bookings in an alternative manner or to boost your revenue potential for when the lockdown restrictions are eased over the coming months.
Here are five ways to get back on track in the face of the threat to your speaking business posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
1. Go Virtual
Amidst a wave of cancellations, many event hosts have looked for alternative ways to deliver their offering. One such method is by taking the event online, turning the physical into the virtual.
If you have a current public speaking engagement that may hang in the balance, then why not look at ways you could deliver your speech to virtual attendees in conjunction with the efforts being made by organizers. You may even be able to pre-record your speech, helping your clients to deliver an “on-demand” event.
While this isn’t an ideal solution, this may be where the short-term future of public speaking and events is headed. Thus, it makes sense to become acquainted with the necessary technology now, so that you can add another string to your public speaking bow.
2. Get Social
If there’s one medium that people are dedicating more time to thanks to being stuck indoors most of the time, it’s social media. That’s why this is the perfect time to both assess your current presence and ramp up your content output.
With so many eyeballs trained on cell phones at the moment, the current circumstances may provide the perfect opportunity for you to get your message out there in a way you’ve not yet been able to. Spend time on focusing on a social strategy that’s going to grab an individual’s attention. For example, what freebies can you offer potential clients to stir up interest?
3. Keep Putting Yourself Out There
If you’ve got a little excess slack in your speaking schedule, or more downtime than usual as a result of COVID-19, then use it to your advantage. Email more prospects, submit more proposals, and seek out new opportunities for public speaking.
Events that are due to take place this fall and early next year are still looking to fill their slots. Furthermore, new virtual events are springing up all the time, and they’re all on the lookout for experts to share their knowledge within specific fields.
4. Blog Like There’s No Tomorrow
Another way to attract the interest of potential patrons is to ramp up your inbound marketing strategies. Blogging is an excellent way to both increase the presence of your website within search engine results while simultaneously demonstrating real thought leadership and credibility.
But don’t restrict your blogging efforts to your own website. Reach out to other webmasters and look for opportunities to reach new audiences with genuinely valuable content. In many cases, you may not even have to pay to reach those audiences, which is excellent news if revenues are down at the moment.
5. Embrace Podcasting
Similar to blogging, podcasting is another great inbound marketing technique that can land you new public speaking engagements during this testing period. If you don’t enjoy writing out blog posts, podcasting may be the perfect antidote to showcase your skills and expertise.
Once again, don’t limit yourself to a few podcasts of your own, reach out to fellow podcasters and enquire about guest speaking opportunities. You’ll find that established podcasts with loyal audiences can have a much more significant impact on your notoriety than guest blogging, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
COVID-19 Presents You with an Opportunity
If you’ve seen bookings fall, or had many engagements canceled, while it can be concerning, this period presents you with an opportunity you’ve likely never had before. Every time you’ve thought, “I need to work on my blog” or “I really need to start that podcast I’ve always been talking about,” your public speaking schedule has probably got in the way.
Now is the time to attack those projects with vigor so that you’ve got plenty of content to release when the bookings start to trickle back in. Not only will these methods help you to gain new bookings in this current quiet period, but they will also help you to build a pipeline of speaking opportunities for months, and potentially years, to come.
- Create a template for enquiring about guest blogging or guest podcast appearances to make sure that you’re maximizing the time you spend on outreach.
- For blogging and social media, build up a bank of reusable content that you can come back to when you become too busy to create fresh pieces.
- Attach a sample video with your prospecting emails to virtual conferences and events so that they can get a handle on how you’ll come across in a virtual environment.
• Remain positive! It’s a tough period for everyone right now, but getting down in the dumps about it isn’t going to solve anything. As mentioned, look at this as an opportunity as opposed to a roadblock.
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