Consultants, Attract More Clients with Public Speaking
You chose to be a consultant so you could help people overcome obstacles and achieve their objectives, and that’s a worthy and lofty goal. But, if you’re like many consultants (dare I say most consultants), you struggle to consistently acquire high-quality, high-paying clients.
So, what do you do? How do you ensure that you don’t join the throngs of consultants who ultimately feel unfulfilled, consistently worry about revenue, or even close their businesses?
A sure-fire way to build a consulting business, and many other businesses for that matter, is to implement the concept of one-to-many. The idea is to do something once and have it impact many people. This strategy includes, but certainly isn’t limited to, public speaking and writing. Although these two specialties and their intended results may be similar, I will focus on public speaking in this article.
Think about how effective it would be to speak to audiences made up of your ideal prospects. It would be similar to a singer singing to an audience. When people hear the singer, some enjoy the experience, and that is enough for them. Others, however, become raving fans and buy the singer’s music and other products. They go to the singer’s website and sign up for notifications about future appearances. They’re the ones who tell others about their experience and share the music.
When you speak in front of your target audiences, similar things happen. Some people will appreciate the knowledge you share with them. Others may become fans and visit your website to learn more or sign up for notifications from you. Yet others will go even further and self-select to do business with you.
If you’re with me this far, you’re probably thinking one of three things. 1) “I am nervous about speaking in front of groups.” 2) “I am not very good at speaking in public.” 3) “I have no idea where I would speak.”
If you’re nervous, you’re not alone; everyone is anxious to some degree when it comes to public speaking. Thankfully, speaking in front of others is like most things in life that frighten us; the more we do it, the more comfortable we become with it. So, speak as often as you can, even to small groups.
No matter how much fortitude you have when it comes to speaking in public, if you don’t know how to craft and deliver presentations that resonate with your audiences’ wants and needs, getting in front of your prospects may do more harm than good. Don’t let this dissuade you. There are many resources available to help you become an effective – if not powerful – public speaker. They range from free training, such as Toastmaster, to online courses, to personal coaching.
Determining where to speak is relatively easy. If you’re new to this idea or want to try out your material, speak at a local chamber of commerce, Rotary club, or similar group. Eventually, you’ll want to speak at organizations made up of your target audiences. For instance, if you consult manufacturers, you would speak at the various manufacturers associations and similar organizations. You could also produce your own events, such as webinars or presentations, where you invite members of your target audiences to attend.
I encourage you to follow this three-step process of developing your message and delivery, determining public speaking opportunities, and building a steady flow of clients that you may have otherwise never experienced or perhaps even thought possible.