Professional Speakers: You Should Start A Blog
As professional speakers, we hear a lot of advice on how to get paid to speak. One piece of advice we’ve been hearing for a while now, is that we should start a blog. Some of us do, some of us are meaning to. The problem is that most speakers don’t know WHY they are blogging, and the key to being successful is knowing why you’re doing it and what you need to accomplish. So here are the reasons you should start blogging. Tomorrow.
- You’re building a list and giving your audience a resource to stay in touch. Tell them you have an amazing blog that will reinforce what you just taught on stage. Get their emails when they sign up, and you now have the makings of a list and the beginnings of a community. Your list will become your greatest asset in business.
A speaking business is built over time, more as a result of consistent exposure, than knocking on the right door at the right moment.
- Blogging makes you better at delivering your content. Trust me, you blog every week on your area of expertise, and you will become really grounded in your content – not worried about losing your place in a speech because you know what you know. Interviews now become a breeze because you have written about this topic for years.
The reason many speakers struggle on stage with notes and outlines and using PowerPoint slides to help them keep their place, is often because they don’t have a firm grasp of their content. They have knowledge, they just aren’t skilled at expressing it succinctly.
- Blogging establishes you as an expert. Just as articles give you credibility, so does your blog. While blogs seem like a dime a dozen these days, to potential clients, they are a wonderful credibility builder. I have had clients ask me to give speeches around certain blog posts they read.
When someone says to me, “I want to be a speaker,” I ask them to tell me what they want to help people do. Once they tell me, I say, “Then go do it!” They look at me confused, because they don’t where to find the bookings. “It’s not about finding bookings right now,” I tell them. “It’s about feeding the internet with your information and establishing yourself as a resource. The bookings come later.”
- IT BRINGS TRAFFIC TO YOU. Yes, I just screamed that line. Because this is the most important reason to blog. Knocking on doors and cold calling is just not that effective for most speakers. Pushing yourself on people is old school and doesn’t really work either. Aggressive sales tactics don’t work for most people anymore. This business is mostly booked by word of mouth and referrals. You need people talking about you. Many people are looking for speakers on the internet. My biggest bookings have come from internet traffic. When you blog, Google starts to pay attention. Once you have consistent credibility blogging about a specific subject, Google starts to notice. The more Google notices that you’re a trusted site for this information, the higher your blog goes in the search engine. And let me tell you, once you hit the first page, your phone will start to ring. A lot. Trust me. I know.
The reason so many speakers struggle to get work is because they are pushing when they should be pulling. Reaching out and trying to sell yourself to a stranger is a pushing action and they have all the power. Attracting people to you is a pulling action, and now you have the power. Build it and they will come.
But I don’t know how to get started, so I never really get started.
Yeah. I get it. When we’re faced with what feels like an overwhelming task, we never find the time to do it. So let’s break it down into a bite. Instead of being the person who wants to lose a hundred pounds, let’s focus on one pound. Here are some things that will help you get started.
- Don’t get caught up in giving it a catchy title, or coming up with a cool brand. Just call it “My Blog” if you have to.
- Pick a day you will write and commit.
- Don’t worry about how good it is. We don’t care. At first just write like nobody is reading it. Which is probably right. Doesn’t matter. Write anyway.
- Choose a specific topic. Don’t just blog about whatever you want. It’s too vague and you’ll keep getting stuck. Choose something really specific. You can change later if you want. Don’t have a blog that empowers women, have a blog that empowers women over 60 who need to reinvent their lives. (For example.)
- Just tell a simple story and make a point or teach a lesson. We don’t need twenty-five tips, one is enough. Or take the points right out of your speech or your book and each blog covers a different point.
- Just write the way you talk. Blogs are conversational, not articles in Oprah Magazine.
- Interview others for your blog, It gives you a break from writing. Just make sure it applies to your topic area.
- Share a video you like and comment on it. Nothing says your blog has to be anything in particular. I once shared a cartoon. Another time I shared a motivational phrase to get you through the tough times.
- Make it fun. If you hate this, you will hate this. Treat it as something fun to do in the morning as you enjoy your coffee. This is your chance to talk to your friends. Not an audition.
I can truly say that blogging was, and continues to be, the secret to my calendar staying full. The benefits far outweigh the rewards. You just need to trust that you have something worthy to say – that your story matters to the one who needs to hear it.
If you’re stuck with your story, then I’d be glad to help. Here are some ways I can help you create stories that get you booked:
- Story Impact Academy (www.StoryImpactAcademy.com)
- Story Crafting Summer Camp (www.StoryCraftingCamp.com)
- Hot Seat Shows (www.KellySwanson.Eventbrite.com)
You. Your Story. Make An Impact.