Speaker Branding – Practices & Principles

Why bother with
Speaker Branding?

Speaker Branding activities can establish, cultivate and improve your image with clients and potential clients while also, if applied correctly, improving the profitability of your speaking business.

Your brand is part of everything you do and everything that customers & potential customers see, feel or hear.  In many businesses, a strong brand is considered as important an asset as the company’s real estate holdings or their capital equipment.  As a professional speaker, you can either hope for the best or you can make the extra effort to present yourself in the best possible light.

 

What goes into your brand?

 

Marketing Materials

Speaker-Business-Cards-by gps-SpeakerMarketing.com

Sample business card by gps-SpeakerMarketing.com (front)

These include your business card, brochure/one-sheet, postcards, handouts, banners, website graphics, promotional items, media kit and much more.  Everything that is associated with your business contributes to (or takes away from) the development of your speaker branding.  Graphic design is an important element of your brand since each piece of marketing material should use similar visual cues to indicate that it is part of a larger concept… your brand.

Product / Packaging

As a speaker, we often don’t think about how our “product” (our speeches) are packaged or presented.   Do you relate well to your audiences?  Are you dressed to an appropriate level for the impact you want to have on them?  How are you introduced, either on stage or informally?  All these are aspects of your Product Packaging.

On top of your own personal appearance, the appearance of your products says a lot about the value they offer to prospective customers.  If you photocopied and stapled together a stack of papers and called it a “book”, how many people would buy it?  What if it was written in crayon?  Obviously I’m exaggerating for effect and there are cases where a stapled stack of papers written in crayon might be very valuable (think: Ninja Secrets of a Nursery School Teacher) but in most cases, a published book is better than a handful of papers and a professionally pubished CD or DVD has more value than one created on someone’s home computer and titled with a sharpie.  What message(s) are your physical products saying to your customers?  Do they show that you are a well respected professional or someone who just threw a speech together?

Touch Points

These are the places where your customers or potential customers interact with your brand.  While the touch points include the marketing materials listed above, they also include things like customer service, follow-up, policies and more.  In short, your brand is the customer’s total experience of all your interactions, your products and marketing materials put together.  Each time you “touch” a customer or prospective customer you are building (or hurting) your brand.

What did your customer take away from their last interaction with you or someone who represented you?  How did they feel about the exchange?  Did they feel they got a good value?  Or did they feel like they were a stepping stone on your path to closing the sale?

Touch Points is an important aspect of speaker branding so don’t pass it off as being “too soft”.  Survey your customers (with very short surveys) to find out what is working and what is not.  Better yet, ask them if they would feel comfortable giving a strong recommendation for you to one of their colleagues.  This is the “Ultimate Question” and is an amazing indicator of how well you are handling touch points.  (To find out more, get the book “The Ultimate Question” by Fred Reichheld.)

 

Where should a Speaker start building their brand?

Without a clearly differentiated message, it will be difficult to create a strong brand impression because you will be overshadowed by all the other messages from other speakers and the media in general.  If you don’t stand out, you won’t get hired.  It is as simple as that.The first place to start is by defining your niche or the target audience for your message on stage.

Once you are clear on your message as a speaker and how you are different from other speakers, there are a number of places to start building your brand depending on which road you are taking to professional speaking.

Start where you are.

Speaker-Standup-Banner-on-stage

Are you speaking often to large and small audiences?  Perhaps your first purchase should be a stand-up banner that you can position on stage or at the entrance to give your audience a visual indicator of what you are all about.

Are you still looking for gigs (either paid or unpaid)?  Perhaps a professional video showing your best material on stage would be a good investment.  Once you have that, a website is another good marketing tool or you could post your video on YouTube.com or other video sharing sites.

Or you could begin to develop your community of fans by building and feeding Social Media properties online.  A Fan Page on Facebook, a Twitter.com account or a profile on Linkedin.com could all be a stepping stone towards starting a conversation with potential audience members about what they want and what you can deliver.

The important thing, no matter where you are starting, is to TAKE ACTION NOW!  Don’t wait until “the time is right”.  Start now working toward your vision of your brand and it will begin to come alive.  If you do nothing, you get nothing.  Don’t wait.

 

gps-SpeakerMarketing.com can speed up the process !

We have MBA-level strategic thinking in the field of Marketing along with thousands of dollars worth of training with some of the wealthiest Internet Marketing gurus on the planet.  Invest in a consultation with gps-SpeakerMarketing.com to access our expertise and give your speaking business (and your brand) just what it needs.

We help speakers do what they do best … write speeches and deliver them for audiences.  We understand what is needed to build a successful brand around a speaker and we can help you become more successful.

Leave a comment below if you want to learn more about what we can do to help improve your speaker branding !

 

 

 

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