Grow Your Reputation as Blogger: Stop Writing, Start Speaking

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

Bam.

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:

  • Bio
  • Headshot
  • List of suggested speaking topics
  • Press
  • 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.

 

 

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16 Responses

  1. fly won

    Great article! I’ve been toying with the idea of doing this for some time now. I actually would like to host a webinar about starting an online ecommerce business. Or host my own class about this topic once I relaunch my online website.
    Do you have experience in webinar or know a reputable service to use that allows to charge and be paid via paypal?

    Reply
    • Crosby Noricks

      I know of several webinar services, but none that are free! Depending on what type of functionality you need, you can always do payments through paypal and then send out the link to a private phone # – like freeconferencecalls.com

      Reply
  2. Diane Taha

    Thanks for this inspirational post. I taught public speaking last spring to college students and have experience presenting at academic conferences. This is definitely something I will look into. Are there any listservs or networks that you would recommend for someone who is just starting out in the field of fashion blogging?

    Diane
    http://stylecontext.com

    Reply
  3. mindy miles greenberg

    As a former Home + Garden (HGTV) on-air personality, I would love to share my inspirational story with everyone. I have spoken in public, actually still get nervous every time, but love the idea. Haven’t thought about it in a while but TY for reminding me!

    Reply
    • Crosby Noricks

      Hi Mindy,

      Sounds to me like what you learned from being on-air could be a great credibility boost to teaching others about presentation – I could even see that as a course for other bloggers.

      Reply
  4. CynthiaCM

    I’d love to speak about body image and height, but guess what? No one freaking cares. They only want to hear about the lack of plus sizes. Size diversity should include ALL SIZES. I’ve brought this up with body image people before, and sure they “acknowledge” it, but they soon forget/dismiss these issues. Anyway, enough of my rant.

    Reply
    • Gabi Barbará

      Cynthia, I think you should speak about what you want. Even if there aren’t many people talking about the subject you should use that as an opportunity. It’s possible to have success in small niches. And if you are the only one speaking about it, maybe that’s exactly what will draw attention to you. It’s easier to do a high quality work when we like what we are doing.

      Reply
    • Elle Laurel Rose

      Yeah, I’m with you. I’m for feeling proud of one’s height, and not relegate ourselves to one type of heel (or no heel) height.

      I’m cute, damn it, and no one can deny! All heights have their own beauty and issues, I’d guess (not so sure about issues for averages or mildly petites, actually).

      I’m not a petite who’s BFF with a tailor, I’m budgeted and cranky about what I see as a “petite tax.” I also cannot find any PJ pants and I’ve desperately needed them after losing weight. My swimmy sweats are beyond ridiculous now and I don’t have all the time in the world to do that kind of un-fun shopping. There are cute tops, pants, dresses, bags and shoes to snatch and I definitely get distracted by those first and then I’m maybe out of time or even money. Phooey.

      Luckily I’ve fallen for leggings as housewear, but they won’t work allll winter or on many summer nights. Sigh.

      One weird thing is when I actually looked in the kiddie girl’s departments, I only saw like kindergarten sizes. Odd stuff! I remember wearing girls’ clothes, angrily, in Jr. high and I was my height (with no thighs at all yet, thus the sizing). I figure I might find some L girls sweats to encompass my S-ish shawty curves, but am lost. Honestly I feel weird in those racks for long, but didn’t see a somewhat-bigger-kid area. LOST.

      Sorry, rant over. ;-D

      Reply
  5. Cora Harrington

    I did my first bit of public speaking this summer at BlogHer, and I loved it! I also have a few more conferences coming up that I’m speaking at later this year. I would really like some more articles in this series, particularly about how to transition from free speaking engagements to paid ones.

    Thanks for starting this conversation!

    Reply
  6. Onianwah

    This is great. thank you so much Crosby. I usually don’t like to speak when I am in public even though I do very well online. This is something I definitely have to look into doing in addition to writing.
    I would definitely like to know more about how to be a speaker and look forward to more articles on this.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
  7. Sabina Styleblog Only in Frankfurt

    thanks so much for sharing. I was wondering if it actually gets any response not having spoken to anyone before sending an email? I would be thrilled its just usually you may want a contact or a name. Dont mean to question you or anything just clarifying. All the best!
    Sabine Styleblog Only in Frankfurt

    Reply
  8. Scott Purcell

    It’s hard when you run your blog as a side hobby to go out there and public speak I think. Once you take the plunge to quit your job though, anything would seem possible!

    http://manofmany.com/

    Reply