What are your top skills? As a fashion or style blogger, you might say writing, photography, graphic design, even marketing or advertising. What about public speaking?
If you are interested in growing your professional reputation as both a blogger and expert in your field, becoming a sought-after speaker is the way to go. Imagine being put up in a hotel, all expenses taken care of, and then paid thousands of dollars to get up in front of an audience to share what you know. I've done it (and yup, it's awesome) and I'm going to share with you how you can start including speaking into your blogger toolbox.
Make a List of Topics
The first step to becoming a speaker is to determine what knowledge, value or experience do have to offer an audience. Did your blog earned you enough money to spend a year traveling through Europe, or do you have a significant number of Pinterest followers? Do you believe what separates ok style bloggers from great ones is photography? And can you share some tips on how learning a few Photoshop tweaks can really improve results? Maybe or you started your blog while struggling with a health issue, or believe strongly that personal expression through dress is the key to self-love, or that the idea of dressing for your body type is total bonkers! Make a list of all the various things you could speak about, and then narrow them down to 3-5 topics that sound like an easy, breezy, giggle-fest of a good time. Topics that lend themselves easily to a presentation, workshop or panel. If you are struggling, look through your inbox and investigate what information readers are consistently asking you for more information about – there's your start.
You may want to take the next step and write out a short summary of what you plan to talk about – keeping in mind your audience, length and key benefits to your audience. Here is one of mine:
What Leading Fashion Brands Know about Digital That You Don't (Yet)
Fashion public relations operates at the intersection of print and digital media, earned and owned media, event and content marketing. Learn how leading fashion brands are utilizing six digital communication trends and how to apply them for bigger brand wins in today's complex media landscape.
Duration: 60 mins
Identify Your Audience
Now that you have a list of topics you would be super-jazzed to talk about, think about who would be most interested in hearing what you have to say. It could be other bloggers, high-school students, fashion brands, women-owned business owners, or dog-owners – who knows! The point is to come up with few different ways you could alter your original topic to appeal to a specific audience. For example, I have a lot of knowledge about how to use social media for business success. If I am speaking to college students, I might emphasize how social media can be a powerful way to land a dream job, but if I am speaking to emerging designers, I will focus more on how to set up social media accounts to build community, drive brand awareness, and ultimately sales. If I am talking to other bloggers, I might provide several different content strategies to help drive traffic. The overall message is the same, but the specific examples and recommended tactics are different.
Find Related Conferences and Organizations
Now that you are armed with a few topics and clear audiences, find out the organizations, companies, events and conferences that are a fit for you. Take note of when and where they are happening, as well as any themes for the year. Join their email list. Some conferences, like ALT Summit will put out a request for speakers, but many others will use their own networks. Find the best contact you can and make sure to carefully review any submission guidelines. You may also want to connect with key players on LinkedIn.
Create a Speaker Kit
Unlike a media kit, which is designed to appeal to advertisers and editors, your speaker kit is designed to appeal to conference organizers. It helps them to understand who you are, what your experience is, what your potential speaking topics are, and what feedback has been from any previous speaking engagements. You may have already been invited to speak on a panel about fashion blogging, or to be a guest speaker at a college class. If so, awesome! You have some experiences to add into your kit. Your speaker kit should include:
- List of suggested speaking topics
- Testimonials from previous speaking engagements (or reader accolades)
- 1 or 2 of your best articles, related to the topics you are interested in speaking about
Secure a Speaking Engagement
Now that you know what you can speak about, who you want to speak to, where your target audience gathers and contact information, your next step is to reach out to your target list and introduce yourself. Include a link to your speaker kit in your email and wait for a response. Beyond that, it's a matter of securing a date, negotiating payment, and creating a kick-ass presentation. No big deal!
If you're interested in learning more about becoming a sought-after speaker, let me know in the comments and I'm happy to share more in future posts.