Does your consulting/professional services marketing strategy include speaking opportunities for your firm’s experts and practitioners? One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is attending conferences across various industries. These events bring together the most insightful, influential minds to share ideas on the platform and cultivate valuable contacts off the stage. It’s proven that direct engagement with audiences builds relationships and generates leads. Yet, speaking initiatives are too often first to get cut as marketers trim budgets or reallocate funds in favor of other priorities. We’ve witnessed this mindset in all markets with brands of every size, including consulting/professional services firms. We get it. But we don’t agree with it. And we’re fighting to shift it.
Consider these reasons why consulting/professional services marketing needs to prioritize speaking opportunities.
Maximize Professionals’ Time, Build Business
Consultants and professionals are busy. They can’t fly to all edges of the earth for just a few minutes on stage, right? But that’s just it. They may not be billable activities, but meetings and conferences are important to building business with potential clients and those who influence them. Chances are many of your experts and practitioners are traveling widely as it is, often attending such conferences anyway. Why not maximize their time – and your firm’s financial investment? Also, being a speaker often opens doors to private events and receptions not available to regular conference attendees.
Amplify Media Efforts
Media is an important part of consulting/professional services marketing and PR strategies (emphasis on part). But with the changing media landscape, it’s important to connect with journalists in new ways. Top media organizations like The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune have event divisions; they regularly and effectively produce live journalism. These events offer opportunities for your firm’s professionals to be part of the stories unfolding on stage. Additionally, they present built-in opportunities to meet with the journalists and editorial teams facilitating the sessions.
Fuel Thought Leadership and the Content Pipeline
We often hear clients say they want to build their thought leadership reputation. Speaker programs and thought leadership work hand in hand – putting speakers in direct contact with the audiences they most want to impact. Conferences are important places to amplify your professionals’ voices and ideas, and help audiences makes sense of the macro-issues and challenges affecting them. With livestreams and robust social media efforts behind many top conferences, we now have an even bigger opportunity to extend the reach of talks well beyond attendees. In addition, video captured from the conference (of the presentation) can provide assets to leverage in other marketing efforts.Even though technology has reduced, and even eliminated, the need for direct contact, people still seek out in-person experiences to build business.Click To Tweet
Conferences are all about connections. Even though technology has reduced, and even eliminated, the need for direct contact, people still seek out in-person experiences to build business. In fact, in a recent Forbes survey, 84 percent of business executives indicated they preferred in-person events. They believe events build stronger, more meaningful relationships, and are key to persuasion (91%) and engagement (86%). The same should hold true to consulting/professional services firms seeking to build new business and acquire new clients. How can you afford not to invest in a speaker program for your professionals?