By EHM Feature Writer Katherine Mackenzie-Smith
Time and time again, articles by successful entrepreneurs pop up where they discuss the start of their business and some of the keys to their success. On top of persistence, patience, and relentless enthusiasm and optimism, another key component that often pops up is this:
Being the facilitator and/or speaker at events is a fast and effective way to start building a public profile, become an expert in your field, and give you instant credibility.
Online, it can be easy to get lost in the noise of many, many others in your industry competing for screen space. On social media, you’re competing with friend’s babies and funny cat videos for the attention of your audience.
But, put on an event, and you suddenly have an edge. You’re real. You’re tangible. Your expertise is proven because you’re not hiding behind your computer screen. And, as awesome as the digital age is, people are still addicted to real life connection.
Maybe you’ve seen this yourself, with others in your industry. They run a few events and people really start to pay attention to them as leaders in the field. Or you’ve read an article by squillionaire who started to build their influence by hosting small, free events.
You probably already know how valuable events are to your business, but you don’t know what to do?
Never fear! Here are suggestions to get you started:
- A casual ‘meet up’ event for a specific group (eg, bloggers, graphic designers, spiritual sisters, working mums). Extra points if the group happens to be your ideal clients so you’re positioning yourself in the forefront of their minds, but keeping it casual to start forming those strong connections.
- Team up with a like-minded friend (preferably one who offers a different service) and put together a workshop that showcases both of your unique skills but solves a specific problem for your attendees.
- Connect with community groups that are often looking for speakers to get in front of a new audience and practise your key speeches. They generally organise the event and you just have to show up and speak. Easy.
- Hold free or low-cost events (say, a free one-hour presentation) on your chosen topic and introduce a product or service at the end for anyone who wants more. Always give great value so your attendees can see that if this is what you give for free, imagine how good the paid version is.
- Add an event as a bonus to a high end program or service you offer to give your clients or customers an extra reason to get on board.
- Run an intensive by bringing together a very small group and teaching them your ‘best stuff’.
- Create a mastermind group in your network to come together, share ideas, problem solve and do some co-working. Try and invite people with different skills or services who can bring different opinions and ideas (instead of, say, all life coaches).
Just like with everything, running events is something that takes a bit of trial and error to discover the kind of events that are best for your business. It’s about finding that sweet spot between what you love to do and what your audience wants but, mostly, it’s about getting out there and giving it a go, mixing it up and trying a bunch of different things. But there’s no denying that getting out from behind your computer and getting in front of your potential clients or customers, in real life, will do amazing things for your business.
All photo credits belong to Kate Di Blasi Photography