Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

Free Marketing in Todays Economy

Posted by Presentation Skills on April 19, 2009

With today’s economy in a constant state of flux, it is important to get the biggest bang for your buck – marketing bucks included. You have to spend your money wisely.

The good news is, that you can get a lot of high quality, well targeted and free marketing if you want it … and this is how you do it.

Each night, literally hundreds of professional associations have meetings. These events are generally networking events for the industry and they are well attended. At these meetings, there is some ‘general business’ that the members need to hear. After this, there is the guest speaker who is there to share their knowledge on a particular topic. These guest speakers have a captive audience for 30 minutes and can set themself up as THE exert. Would you like to be that expert?

Here is an example of how it works:

You are a lawyer wanting to generate business in the Energy sector (gas, electricity etc). First, you need to find the hottest topic that the sector should know about – in this case it would be the governments Carbon Trading system. Then find the industry association that the decision makers belong too. You then simply call the associations’ President and ask if their members would be interested in an information session explaining the implications of the new legislation. It really is that simple. As most professional associations need to have a focus on member education and development, you are ideal for their needs.

Now, on the night, you are not selling anything. Obviously the name of your firm would be mentioned, and you may have some information sheets for people to take away, but that is it. You do not stand up and say how good you and your firm are. If you do this, it will kill any potential for business that you could generate.

Instead, what you do is generate lots and lots of questions in your audiences’ mind so they will want to talk to you after your presentation. Once you are talking, you can ask for their number and follow them up over the next few days. It really is that easy.

What are the benefits of this approach?

The content should not be too hard for you to come up with; after all you are speaking about what you do for a living. You are speaking to a self-selected audience who want to hear you. And because you are standing in front of the room, you are automatically seen as the expert. This is what you want.

I guarantee that this approach will work for any professional who knows their target market. The only cost to you will be your time … and you may just get a free drink out of it!

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on.

Cheers

Darren

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach

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3 Responses to “Free Marketing in Todays Economy”

  1. Chris Witt said

    Darren,

    I’ve been doing exactly what you recommend for years, and it works.

    But over the past couple of years I’ve noticed a trend — here in the U.S., at least — that I don’t like. (I think it’s in response to the fact that many assoication presidents / meeting planners are overwhelmed by the number of offers they get from potential speakers. And they may be put off by having booked speakers who gave what amounts to a thinly veiled sales pitch.)

    More and more frequently I’m required to submit a lengthy proposal, including an outline of my talk, a list of benefits that participants will receive, a list of other associations I’ve addressed, and a list of references (with names, titles, and contact information). I also have to agree to a list of statements about what I will and will not do during my speech. This process is usually on line, and I almost never get a human response. Sometimes, rarely, I get an automated “Thank you for submitting your proposal” notification. And all of this is for a speech I’m offering to give at no cost.

    All this may be necessary from their point of view, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Are you running into this? If so, how do you respond?

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      No I have not encountered the problems that you speak of – thankfully! I can’t imagine completing too many of the request forms either -too much like hard work.

      I suppose it comes down to speakers knowing their market. If they truely understand their market, and how the people buy, they will know that a sales pitch is the last thing that they want and therefore you will only be hurting your cause by pitching that way.

      Cheers

      Darren

  2. I totally agree. If there has EVER been a time when squeezing the life out of every marketing dollar, this is it! The same holds true when hiring a celebrity speaker. This is a serious investment, and so it must be a person who improves performance or helps build the brand.

    Keep up the good work!

    Steve

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