Positioning yourself as an expert and finding new clients are two things that are very important in the world of freelancing and small business. In fact, they are two things that feed on each other. The more expert you seem, the more clients you get, and the more clients you get, the more expert you seem! But is there a way you can kill two birds with one stone, here?
Well, there are several ways of bringing attention to yourself in a way that shows your expertise. Blogs are one of the most popular and effective ways of doing so. But if you want to take things a step further, then you should consider holding a seminar or a similar type of talk.
Whether you’re hosting or speaking at the event for customers or for clients, this idea can really take your business and your reputation to new heights. This is a quick guide to getting started with this endeavor!
Choosing Your Topic
So what exactly should you be talking about or instructing on? You should, of course, ensure that it has something to do with your expertise and specific business field. If you have a particular success story, then this always makes for a good jumping off point when it comes brainstorming topics.
Let’s assume you’re a freelance writer. You have loads of topics you could discuss. How to create eye-opening content, how to get more clients, how to keep sane as a home-based writer… there’s a bunch of things you could talk about in this profession that will interest others!
How does one pick a venue? Don’t make the mistake of booking one and then trying to fill it up; you should start with a rough estimate of how many people are interested in attending (and can actually attend - someone who lives in another country who displays interest probably won’t turn up!)
Creating event pages on Facebook or running polls on Twitter can be a great way of gauging serious interest. If you can find a venue in a central area that’s fairly low-cost, then this is a pretty good bet. Public places like churches and schools often have areas you can rent with relative ease. If you want something more high-class, then hotel conference rooms and restaurants may be good bets!
Getting the Word Out
That interest gauging and rough estimate of possible attendees isn’t all you should do. Once the venue is selected and you’ve got times locked down, you should make sure that word about the event is spread out as far as possible.
Free publicity can be found by taking to social media and confirming the event as booked; this can generate more interest than the initial interest gauging posts.
You can also look into paid advertisements, which will help you get the word out even further. Be sure that such marketing is targeted, however. You don’t want to spend a load of money on a vague digital marketing campaign that spreads the word out just about anywhere. If you run a freelance writing business, for example, you should be running ads in business- and writing-oriented journals and websites.
So what happens when all is said and done? Well, if you want to record the event, then this could give you even more opportunity for exposure and positioning yourself as an expert. Recording the event as a video is the best way to go about it.
You can upload the video onto the Internet for viewing and sharing; you can also look into getting assistance from print businesses such as Clone Media if you want to get it printed as a DVD that can be given away.
You can also take the audio from the video file and upload it as a podcast or a standard .mp3 on your website. Basically, you can turn your seminar or talk into web content, increasing the chances that people will become interested in you and your business! Just look at the success of TED’s online content if you’re skeptical!
Once the event is done, ensure that you know as much as possible about its impact. If you get registration data from employees in the form of email addresses, then you can keep in touch with them in the form of newsletters. If they want to send you feedback or engage in further discussion about the topic, then encourage them to do so. If you share the content online, then make sure you pay attention to the feedback you’re getting there. This can help you sharpen your focus if you feel like ever doing it again!