You know you need to be on social media. You hear it over and over from the speaker bureau, your friends and family, other speakers, and maybe even your favorite barista. You’re a rockstar on stage, an expert in your topic. So far, social media hasn’t been worth the investment of your time or dollars. Maybe you’ve even secured plenty of gigs without a significant digital presence in the past. Does this sound like you?
Before selecting a speaker for an event, company executives look at social media, sizzle reels, and your website to evaluate your chops. Do your current social profiles showcase your expertise, confidence on camera, and personality? If not, there’s still time to raise the bar.
COVID-19 has shaken up the speaking industry in a way that we have never seen before. Events are canceled or switched to live streams, holograms, or virtual Zoom presentations. The speakers who have continued to thrive during this time are the ones that invested in social media and building a brand pre-pandemic.
We’ve worked with many keynote speakers in 2020 who are now ready to explore social media and find ways to diversify their income. The #1 question we get — where the hell do I start? Keep reading for our step-by-step guide to getting started.
Step #1 – Define Your Goals
Many people struggle to find the ROI of social media, and that is because they didn’t take the time to define clear goals. How will social media advance your business? If you can’t answer that question right now, we have some work to do.
Think of social media as another tool in your marketing toolbelt. How does your business currently make a profit? Is it exclusively keynote gigs, or do you also earn income from book sales, coaching, or consulting? Social media can complement your overall business goals and even provide new income opportunities if that’s what you want.
If your goal for social media is to have a million followers just for bragging rights, there are plenty of tactics that can get there fast if you have money to invest in advertising.
The problem is that if these followers don’t necessarily drive your business forward. If you haven’t heard the story about the influencer who couldn’t sell 30 t-shirts, it’s worth a few minutes to check it out. (Please, please, please do not ever use bots or follower apps.)
We recommend focusing your energy on the platforms and tactics that support your broader business goals. If your goal is to expand your consulting business, your social media strategy may use targeted thought leadership content and an InMail campaign to reach your audience.
If your goal is to create an online course for a new income source in your business, your social media channels can be used to market and sell the course through value-focused content and targeted advertising.
Suppose you want to show your chops as a keynote speaker but not sell additional services. In that case, social media can be used to complement your existing content marketing through value-focused videos and stills that demonstrate your expertise.
Define your goals and stick to them.
Step #2 – Pick Your Platforms
Now that you have your goals defined, it’s time to download TikTok and start posting. Right?
To maximize your time and return on investment, you’ll need to develop a solid social media strategy, and platform selection is the next step after you’ve defined your goals. For keynote speakers, we generally recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as the go-to platforms. If you’re also an author, Goodreads and Medium are two more platforms to consider.
If you’re a social media newbie and this is already overwhelming, consider launching your social presence in phases. Take a look at which platforms your target audience is using most often and start there. You’re much better off starting with one platform and doing it well than half-assing six platforms at once.
Assess which platforms you know the best and what you’ll need to learn. Can you teach yourself the basics of a new platform, or is it a better use of your time to hire a freelancer or agency? Steady social media content takes commitment, so be honest with yourself about the level of interest and how much time you want to spend. Outsource as needed.
Step #3 – Content
You’ve picked your platforms, and now it’s time to plan out your content. We recommend developing a few themes that reflect your brand and create content each week to align with those themes. If you want to promote yourself as an expert in your field, consider creating videos, writing articles, and sharing 3rd party news on your subject. Take it even further by starting a podcast, interviewing stakeholders or influencers on your topic for YouTube, or going Live with a weekly video to share your expertise.
We always recommend planning out your content in advance to avoid that “OMG, what am I going to post today?!” panic. If you’re super busy, create a content calendar and plan out your content a month in advance. We have a free Google Slides template to get you started. Click here to check it out.
Just remember, even with a content calendar, there is always an opportunity to share real-time posts, tweets, or Stories. Whether you take a selfie on-stage at an event or share a behind-the-scenes video from your Zoom conference prep, people love to see your real-life on social media.
Step #4 – Measure
Now is where we circle back to your goals. Social media is no longer about how many “likes” likes you get. If brand awareness is your goal, look at metrics like impressions, reach, and ad recall. If engagement is your goal, look at metrics like clicks to your website, and video views.
Social media is a fickle beast. One month a video might get 100k views, and the next, you may receive 1k. Short attention spans and constant changes to the algorithms are to blame. Try to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from your content performance.
These four steps are just the beginning of how you can use social media to expand your brand as a keynote speaker. When used correctly and consistently, social media can provide ample opportunities to diversify your income while also elevating you in your speaker category.
Next week, we’ll share the top 5 mistakes we see keynote speakers making on social media and how you can avoid them. Follow along on social media for the latest and greatest.
If you have questions about how to use social media for your keynote speaking business, drop us a line. We’re here to help!