It’s entirely possible to take care of your marketing without any help. You just have to invest the time and effort to do it right.
The calculation you need to make is how much is your time and effort worth?
If you get paid between $5000 and $20000 a day for an engagement, then you have to consider the cost of each day you personally spend doing your own marketing in those terms.
If you are new to speaking or make considerably less on your average engagement, then there are things you can do to market yourself more effectively without having to spend a lot of money.
Let’s start with the basics. If you don’t have a site, you’ll need one. You can save yourself a lot of time and money, if you arrange for your own hosting and domain name. The good news is that you don’t have to be a tech-head to do this yourself. A quick search for cheap hosting will bring up thousands of choices. To save you a bit of time, I’m going recommend Siteground.com because that’s the one I use. And I think they do a fine job.
But feel free to do some research for yourself. Like I said there are literally thousands of hosting companies out there to choose from. And just before you make your decision do one more piece of research. Type “domaincompany.com sucks” into Google and see what complaints show up.
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One of the biggest mistakes folks make is building a static site that is virtually impossible to scale upwards. If your goal to be successful, then a little planning now could save you thousands of dollars in the future.
For this reason alone, I recommend using a Wordpress.
It comes with thousands of free and paid extensions to make it very easy to integrate the latest and greatest tools from around the internet.
Many hosts use something called a cPanel that let’s you install WordPress with just a few clicks.
It comes with an few out of the box templates to choose from, but you can also find free templates online or hire a programmer to custom build something for you. My experience tells me that you should look through the free templates first and then hire a programmer to customize it for you.
I’m actually using an out-of-the-box solution on this site.
If you don’t like any of the free ones, you can find hundreds of Wordpress designers on Upwork.com
The next step is to define your marketing position from the viewpoint of a visitor. Too many speakers believe people care who they are. Assume that each visitor to your site is someone who doesn’t know you, but has found you through some research or a referral.
What is it you’re offering them? That’s the reason they are there and that’s the only reason they are going to hire you.
If you have a site that is all about how awesome you are, nobody will care.
Offer real solutions to real problems and you won’t have to look very hard for clients.
The good news for speakers when it comes to web marketing is most of your competitors’ sites are terrible. They might look shinny, sharp and cutting edge, but if you peak under the hood, they aren’t search engine friendly.
If your name is Johnny Speaksalot and your site comes up number one, when someone searches for you specifically, great. But it’s far more important to reach those who are looking for a keyword or phrase that relates to what you do. Johnny would be much better served if the content on his site attracted folks typing “conference speaker for widget convention.”
There are a number of ways to do this, but for this article I’ll give you two quick ways to bring in more qualified leads through search use the words you want to be found for into the actual content of your pages and have a proper site map so that Google and other search engines can easily find and index your content.
One of the first things I do when I visit a potential client’s site is look for a sitemap ie www.example.com /sitemap.xml . If it isn’t there I know there is work I can do to help them.
Site maps are so valuable and yet I’m constantly surprised by how many folks don’t have one. If you are one of those folks, here is a great free tool to generate one within a few minutes:
Once you’ve done this upload the site maps to your site and submit them to the Google, Bing, Yahoo.
Here are the links:
http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/ping?sitemap=http://www.website.com/sitemap.xml http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/updateNotification?appid=YahooDemo&url=http://www.website.com/sitemap.xml http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.website.com/sitemap.xml http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=http://www.website.com/sitmap.xml
Web marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of time and effort. Do it yourself or hire someone else. But don’t underestimate the power of the web to help you find clients from around the world.
Other things to promote your self online
Invest in a bit of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). How much is your time worth? Should you really be the one looking for keywords and trying to figure out how to get a better placement on Google? Use Scriptlance for this.??Install Analytics on your site. Find out how many folks are actually coming and set a realistic goal for improvement. www.google.com/analytics??If you have videos, create a custom YouTube Channel. How many folks come to your site compared to YouTube? Build the channel bring your content to a whole new audience. Then use a module to bring those YouTube videos to your site.??Link all your social media together. Whenever you send out a newsletter, publish a blog post or update your status – let it show up everywhere automatically. Create a podcast and update it once a month. You’re a speaker. Speak.
http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/creatorfaq.html. Try a webcast. This is a great way to engage your existing clients and even get some referals. The secret is simple. 1 hour consisting of 50 great content peppered with 10 minutes of subtle pitching.
Gotowebinar.com let’s you do this for $99 for up to 1000 attendees. Imagine the impact of reaching that many potential clients without even leaving your room. Look into POD (print on demand) services that will get your books onto Amazon sites across the world. Lightningsource.com is a great resource to get your book distributed around the world! Turn your books into ebooks through Smashwords.com. They now provide content for Apple’s Ipad, the Amazon Kindle, Sony e-reader and Barnes and Noble Nook.
You can do it yourself. So the decision is yours. Do you have the time and the inclination to do this or would you rather hire a web marketing expert to take care of it for you?
If you are looking for the latter, then please contact us and we can make this the most profitable year in your speaking career.