How to get Your First Speaking Engagement in Just 3 Weeks

successIntroduction

This is how I got my first speaking engagement in just 3 weeks. I am a very small fish in a very big pond. Today I was invited to give my first speech at a large networking group. I will be the only one speaking at this event. I am not telling you this to brag but to prove to you that if you follow just a few golden rules of Social Media Marketing then you can get speaking engagement yourself.

Just like everybody else wants to get people’s attention in Social Media so do I. Once you have attention people will start to engage with you which will lead to interaction and eventually lead to sales if you know how to convert opportunities.

Goals For This Post

  • To show you how I got my first speaking engagement
  • To show you how it can be done without spending a dime

Social Media Marketing is not about the tools. I have said it before and I will say it again and again until you’re sick of it. Having all the tools in place just allows you to publicise your content and to be more efficient but it doesn’t differentiate you from anybody else. It doesn’t differentiate you from anybody else.

Anybody can put all the tools in place. I did it for free. I have a Facebook Page, a LinkedIn profile and Company Page, a WordPress blog, Twitter account, StumbleUpon account and Reddit account.

Only a little customisation has been done to my Facebook Page, Twitter account and blog. I basically have the minimum required set up. I use two other tools namely Hootsuite and Buffer. Both of them are the free version.

When I started my Social Media Marketing strategy 3 weeks ago I had 4 likes (friends) on my Facebook Page, 14 followers (friends) on Twitter and I had made two blog posts. Yes, 4 likes, 14 followers and 2 blog posts.

Blog

My blog is the core of my Social Media Marketing strategy. Without it I would be nowhere. From day one I recognised that providing quality content is the only way to get people’s attention in Social Media. I spend an inordinate amount of time writing each blog post.

I spend so much time partly because my English is crap and partly because I want to make sure each blog post is well structured and easy to read. My blog is very focused on Social Media and Social Media Marketing for the simple reason that I want to be known as an authority on Social Media and Social Media Marketing. I’m no authority by far but that’s my goal. I also try to make my content newsworthy and interesting. I probably spent 1 – 2 hours writing each blog post. This blog post has taken me almost 2 hours to write. I have published 16 blog posts so far.

I get my ideas about what to write about from listening to influencers. I have a RSS feed and I constantly monitor it for interesting news. I do watch my Twitter feed and the Facebook Pages I have liked but my RSS feed is the most valuable source for me. It is probably the simplest way to get latest news from influencers. I currently have feeds from 21 sources.

All my blog posts are automatically published to LinkedIn and via Twitter. I have just started to upload to StumbleUpon and Reddit two days ago. I post manually to my Facebook Page because I want to write something in the Status Update to give it a more personal touch. It’s part of my strategy to humanise my brand and my Fans deserve more.

I pick my picture very carefully and think about the headline as both are directly correlated with how many people wants to read more. Writing something you really want people to read and get no readers because you have picked a bad picture or your headline is not getting any attention must really suck.

I also, try to provide factual information to support my statements in order to increase the trust level of my reader.

I also use the same template for every blog post – Introduction, Goals For This Post, Conclusion and Call To Action.

Twitter

In the beginning I had nothing to contribute so I just listened, commented and shared. I started to follow influencers and retweeted their most interesting and relevant tweets to my followers. Slowly people started to follow me. Yesterday I got 43 new followers and it’s going up every day. People don’t follow you because you retweet other people’s stuff. They follow you when they see that your content can add value. Quality content is again proving its value.

I then began to include the influencers’ Twitter handle in some of my tweets and some have started to follow me.

Why did they decide to follow a very small fish? Because they read my quality content and decided that I might be interesting. What other reason could there possibly be? It comes back to quality content again.

Why is it so important to have influencers following you? The two main reasons are that people listen to them and that they have a huge number of followers.

Their retweets are much more likely to be read and many people probably have them in one of their Twitter lists. Through the influencers I can potentially reach millions of people. Some of these influencers have more than 250,000 followers so if they retweet one of my blog posts my blog stats are going to sky rocket. I have 246 followers and each follower has on average 50,000 followers. I never asked any of them to follow me. They decided to follow me.

Two days ago I was invited to join an invitation only network where everybody retweets each others blog posts. The total numbers of followers of the members in my two groups is 1.8 million.

Every single blog post I make now goes out to up to 1.8 million people. I basically just increased my followers from a measly 246 to 1.8 million.

How did I get invited? Somebody on Twitter retweeted one of my tweets and somebody in the network read some of my blog posts, liked it and invited me. If I start to post junk then I will get kicked out – deservedly so. This has again happened because I provide quality content.

Facebook Page

My strategy for my Facebook Page is slightly different.

As I mentioned before I post my blog posts manually to give them a personal touch. I believe you have to prove to your Fans that you are a great lover. Once they love you they will be your brand ambassador forever if you stay consistent and continue to provide quality content. If you want somebody to love you then you have to give them special attention. I probably post 4 to 8 times a day.

I have never tried to sell my services on my Facebook Page and I believe it is fatal if you constantly try to promote your products and services on your Facebook Page. Try at your own peril.

In addition to posting my own blog posts I also post interesting and current information with links to the sources. I always include a picture because Status Updates with pictures get more attention.

I have recently made a few posts about Google+ and Google+ Company Pages because I know that people and companies want to be on Google+. I also made a post recently about a really cool Facebook app I am using myself. Around New Year I also posted some year in review links from YouTube and Google. I try to mix it up to avoid coming across as being too serious and to humanise my brand.

My RSS feed is my most valuable source. As soon as interesting tools, tutorials or other relevant information is published by influencers it will go into my RSS feed.

If I share it instantly I will be the first to tell my Fans and they will share it and pay more attention to my next posts. In 3 weeks my ‘likes’ have gone up by 1,650% excluding Facebook Pages which have liked my Facebook Page because Facebook Page likes from other Facebook Pages doesn’t count in the likes stat shown on your Facebook Page.

LinkedIn

I am a member of relevant Social Media discussion groups and blogging groups. I’m an active participant but I never promote myself for reasons stated above.

I believe that people on LinkedIn discussion groups are more advanced in Social Media and they will check you out and link up with you via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, my RSS feed or by connecting with me on LinkedIn if they find me interesting. I also provide links to valuable information as a way of showing my willingness to share.

Influencers

Connecting with influencers has probably been the second most successful strategy besides providing quality content. I offer to help, share their content, comment on their blogs, Facebook Pages and share interesting content with them.

Just recently I became one of 500 beta testers for a new forum run by one of the biggest Social Media influencers.

How did I become a beta tester? Again my RSS feedback proved its value and I hope my quality content played a part too.

As soon as I saw they were looking for beta testers in my RSS feed I signed up. I am sure that thousands of people signed up. I don’t know if I was chosen because I was one of the first and/or because they checked out my social profile. Yes, I spent Christmas Eve testing their new forum.

I can now communicate with these influencers and normally get a response within an hour.

Monetary results

So how much money have I made so far? NOTHING.

But I have had people from all over the world asking me if do a webinars, lots of local businesses have asked me to come and help them, I have been approached by two local newspapers and somehow I think that my upcoming speaking engagement is going to result in more work.

In fact, my calendar is fully booked with meetings with potential clients. Some of them have even told me that they want to engage me but just want to meet me first.

This has all happened in just 3 weeks.

I have NEVER sent out any solicitation emails, made any sales calls or promoted my services on any of my Social Media platforms.

If I can do it so can you.

I am fully aware that some of my readers think that my blog posts are of little quality and that the content is crap. I respect their opinion. However, this is how I do it and so far I’m happy with the results.

Conclusion

I realise that this blog post could easily be interpreted as one big self-promotion. I assure you it is not. Shameless self-promotion will get you nowhere in Social Media. People don’t want to hear about you all the time.

I simply wanted to share with you how I got started in Social Media, what my Social Media marketing strategy has been so far and what I have achieved at no cost and in no time. Yes, Social Media have taken up 95% of my time the last 3 weeks and you might call me a nutcase. It’s my choice and the next couple of weeks will prove if I spent my time wisely.

Social Media Marketing is for everybody and it works if you simply follow a few simple rules, always provide quality content and share quality content.

Take whatever you can from this post that you think is valuable and which is going to help you achieve your goals. If you implement just one thing from this blog post then I have achieved what I want.

I am not going to ask you to follow me because I don’t deserve to be followed if I don’t provide quality content. You will vote with your mouse.

Your turn. We all want to be heard in Social Media so please share your success stories with me and other readers. I’m on a very steep learning curve and I want to learn from you too so please share.

Godspeed for 2012 and beyond.

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About Jorgen Poulsen

The Catalyst Partnership provides cost effective Social Media Marketing solutions to small and medium-sized businesses. Social Media Marketing is one of today's most successful and cost effective online marketing strategies and is being embraced by millions of companies from Fortune 100 to small companies. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you implement a Social Media Marketing strategy.
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24 Responses to How to get Your First Speaking Engagement in Just 3 Weeks

  1. Jorgen,
    I’m rooting for you, hope the talk goes well. I got my first one in March last year; ended up doing 6 in 2011. From this I am now starting my own Social Media company this March and can’t wait to get going.

    Your post is spot on, let your passion shine through on stage and they will love it.

    Let me know how it goes.

    All the best
    Sean

  2. I think you made a very good point about quality content. If you consistently produce good information people will notice. Best of luck with your speaking engagement.

  3. Jorgen, this is IMPRESSIVE! I will be sharing your post on Facebook next week and I have signed up to follow you. How many hours a day are you spending on all this?

    • Hi Abigail,

      right now I spend every hour I can stay awake. Of course it will never work in the long run. Hopefully by the end of next week clients will have been signed up. I also have a bunch of interviews next week for people to do account set up and day to day management. I recognise that I can not give up on my blog stop doing what I am already doing. If I don’t get more resources I will end up with a few clients and I will never reach my goal. 2012 will be very exciting for all of us and I will contribute however I can to make it successful for all of us. Ask for my help anytime.

      Thanks for the very nice comments.

      Godspeed for 2012 and beyond.

      Jorgen

  4. Tori says:

    Wow, Jorgen, this is impressive. I definitely agree that if you put relevant content and allow people to see a bit of your personality at the same time, it makes the information that much more interesting. It’s certainly more time consuming than it seems because there’s so much out there, but you’ve done a great job pairing it down to what’s important. I look forward to reading more! Good luck at your talk.

    • Hi Tori,

      thank you very much for all the kind words. I like your short blog posts which makes mine feel terribly long. Thank you for reminding me that I need to change my backup from my external hard drive to a cloud based service.

      I like the format of your blog but also noticed that you’re using a self-hosted WordPress. There are so many really cool plug-ins for your blog and I hope you will use some of them soon to let your blog come alive a bit more.

      Jorgen

  5. myoxisamoron says:

    Jorgen, I always love a well written and easy to read blog. It is obvious that you spent a lot of time putting together your information and organizing it. It is a wonderful read. As a new blogger myself I was most interested in the information you shared and found it most helpful.

    I look forward to following your blog.

  6. Jim Tuffin says:

    Jorgen, I’m glad we made contact as I really enjoyed the content of your blog. Today we are flooded with irrelevant material and more marketing blurb than is safe for the average brain to receive. It is refreshing to read a well constructed blog that actually leave you with some basis for real thought! Well done!

  7. @knikkolette says:

    Jorgen, I’m encouraged by reading your post. I have taught social media classes, and have a few accounts, but have been wondering how to get speaking engagements. This post has been very helpful. thank you for your insights!

  8. Hi, thank you very much. Perhaps a bit of luck was involved. Here’s another suggestion. Go to your local newspaper and offer a free workshop for their readers. Great way to get exposure and get new clients. Godspeed. Jorgen

  9. Bonjour Jorgen,
    I came across your blog through our Social Media Examiner (SME) networking club, in which you had posted about Triberr. Just read this post and gotta say: wow! I am thoroughly impressed and, at the same time, comforted. Why? Well, ever since I ended my last job back in November, I have been thinking about perhaps making more of the social media landscape.

    I only recently started to blog more seriously, but just like you describe in this post, I have been serious and focused with my twitter handle, tweeting and re-tweeting quality content about social media, travel, marketing, mobile and customer loyalty, which are all fields of interest and of expertise. As someone once said, content is king. And this applies to all platforms, whether it is your blog, Facebook page, twitter handle or other online networks where one holds a presence.

    As for the speaking gig you got, bravo! Well done. I gave three speaking keynotes in 2011, but they were always related (at least, I think) to the position I held, as VP, Marketing in a medium-sized high profile travel destination. In 2012, I promised myself I would do between 5-10 speaking contracts, so I shall practice what you preach, and que sera, sera!

    Cheers,
    Frederic

    • Hi Frederic,

      what can I say? If I have managed to make somebody feel better then I’m already happy. Perhaps I have just been lucky. But as Arnold Palmer always said ‘The more I practice, the luckier I get’. I do appreciate your comments and they are all spot on. Good luck. Jorgen

  10. Pingback: 5 Important Resources Needed to Promote an eBook | The Catalyst Partnership

  11. How to get Your First Speaking Engagement in Just 3 Weeks | The Catalyst Partnership with love!

  12. Jennifer Worrell says:

    Wow! You’ve made impressive progress in a short time! Thanks for the great ideas!!!

  13. Michelle Damico says:

    Hello Jorgen, One year after you wrote this post, I would love to hear an update on your speaking opportunities? Have you had many requests? Are you being paid for them? If not, what do you think is required on your part to land speaking engagements. Thank you for this post, it’s very informative.

    • Hi Michelle,

      Yes I have done some more speaking (non-paid) but perhaps more importantly I have picked up some more clients. I think non-paid speaking engagements are fun even if you’re not being paid. Hopefully people will remember you and give you referrals if they come across opportunities.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Jorgen

  14. Hello Jorgen,
    I am very impressed by all of the information you have shared on here. Being a Nutrition Consultant is a niche field of expertise. I think I will start to blog more often on my website and figure out how to link it to the other sites you have mentioned. I LOVE to write and am good at it (so I am told) My goal as a Nutrition Consultant is to be able to reach many people all at once via speaking engagements. I am a graduate of Toastmasters and can speak to a ton of people without fear. All I have to do now is find the right fits for my type of business.
    Thanks for your awesome ideas. I will start to implement them
    Sharon Madsen
    FoodSense A to Z
    “Helping You Make Sense of Food”

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