Right now, you face one of the biggest challenges you’ve ever encountered in your speaking career.
You’re likely stuck at home. And all of your upcoming engagements are either postponed or cancelled. You have this driving desire to get your message out there. But you can’t physically get yourself out there right now.
You’re stuck at home, and it’s driving you crazy. And at the same time, you’re worried about your speaking business.
How can you maintain a business that’s built upon the idea of bringing people together to listen to you?
You fear that your influence will wane, and your audience may disconnect from your message.
It almost feels hopeless…
But there is some good news that we can share with you.
Even though you may not be able to speak at events right now, there’s still plenty that you can do. There are multiple ways to engage an audience from your own home that you can leverage.
And if you start using these techniques now, you’ll find they strengthen your business when this difficult time passes.
Tip #1 – Host Live Online Webinars
If you can’t bring an audience to your event, why not bring yourself to your audience?
Many speakers already use online webinars as a way to market themselves to clients. For example, you may have a recording of a past speech that you use as a lead magnet. Alternatively, that recording may also be a way for you to show bookers what you can offer.
But in the current situation, you may need to do more with your webinars.
The goal here is to emulate the live event feeling that you create when you go out to speak. While pre-recorded webinars can do this to an extent, they don’t get people involved.
Right now, it’s a better idea to hold live webinars.
There are several tools available, such as Zoom, that allow you to engage an audience directly online. Use these tools to encourage participation in your speeches. As you talk, your audience can leave comments in Zoom’s chat box. This provides plenty of material for a Q&A session where you interact more directly with your listeners.
You may also be able to involve members of your team in your live webinars. For example, you could have somebody who serves as a moderator to deliver important questions when needed.
The key here is that you have an interactive element.
Watching a pre-recorded webinar can be a dry experience. While the viewer may engage with your words, they know that they’re not part of the show.
But by creating a live experience, you emulate the feeling of an actual event as closely as possible. And when this is all over, you’ll also have a collection of new webinars that you can use for marketing purposes.
Tip #2 – Provide Followers with Regular Video Updates (Using Facebook Live)
You need to keep yourself in the public eye as much as possible while you’re in lockdown. Facebook offers plenty of tools to help. You can create regular status updates and pieces of content, for example.
But perhaps the most effective technique here is the use of Facebook Live videos.
These videos offer your followers the chance to react to and engage with you as you speak. Best of all, they’re simple to do and give you a chunk of content that can stay on your Facebook wall.
To ensure your Facebook Live videos reach the largest possible audience, do the following:
- Promote the live session beforehand. Your followers need to know what you have planned and when so that they can tune in and watch you.
- Keep the video short and focus it on a single topic. Facebook Lives are not the ideal platform for a full-length speech. Instead, use them to deliver quick stories and moments of inspiration for your audience.
- Don’t just launch into a video without any plan. While going off the cuff isn’t a bad idea, it’s still worth brainstorming some ideas before you go live.
- The timing of the video is very important. You’ll want to go live at a time when the majority of your target audience can watch and engage with the video.
- Keep an eye on the comments that your audience sends in and respond to any that allow you to build on your topic. On a more general level, always show appreciation for anybody who tuned in.
As for the specific topics you should cover, that’s up to you. A Facebook Live could cover a lesson you learned from a life experience. You could talk about problems that your audience raises or even simply provide an update on your situation.
Tip #3 – Encourage Social Media Conversations
Again, this is all about keeping your audience engaged when you can’t get out in front of them.
Social media offers you plenty of opportunities to get your audience talking. This could be as simple as posing a question and asking for responses in the comments. You can also hold polls and encourage your community to share content with you.
What’s key here is that you focus on topics that interest your audience.
During this lockdown period, that may involve confronting issues like isolation and loss of community. These are the sorts of things that people want to talk about, and you can set the stage for them to do so.
On a broader level, you could encourage followers to talk about the topics you raise in your speaking. Or, you can ask them to share their problems with you. This provides you with more ideas for content, as well as showing that you care about understanding your audience.
Tip #4 – Release Free Videos of You Speaking
Remember that you’re not the only person who’s in lockdown right now. Many people in your audience are going through the same thing and share the same concerns you have.
This is particularly the case when it comes to money. Even with the government’s furlough schemes, a lot of people may feel hesitant about buying your recordings.
So why not offer them for free instead?
This doesn’t necessarily mean giving away your entire library of speeches. But you could offer a single full-length speech to keep your audience engaged. Or, you could release portions of several speeches, with each portion touching on a key message.
Your audience will appreciate receiving value without having to pay anything during a difficult time. Plus, they’ll feel more connected with you, which means they’re more likely to become clients later on.
Tip #5 – Share Your Best Quotes on Social Media (To Spread Your Message)
Scroll through your personal social media pages and you’re sure to find plenty of quotes that your friends chose to share.
Now, take a look at your speeches. Are there any snappy soundbites that you can turn into quotes?
If there are, you have an amazing source of content at your fingertips. Post a quote to your audience and let them take it from there. It takes almost no effort for somebody to like or share your quote. And every time they do, they’re putting your message out to their friends as well.
The right quote expands your reach when you can’t do it physically. Furthermore, they provide you with a way of keeping your message visible – even when you’re not speaking.
Tip #6 – Use This Time to Write Your Book
We’ve spoken before about the many benefits that writing a book can have on your speaking career. But up until now, you’ve struggled to find the time to do it.
Now, you have a ton of time on your hands to get that book written up.
Writing a book offers numerous benefits during this trying time.
First, it gives you something to focus on. You can make writing your book your mission, which helps to create some certainty while you’re in lockdown.
Second, your book also serves as a source of content. For example, you could provide weekly updates on the book using your Facebook Live videos. During these updates, you can share excerpts and tease your audience with topics. This all builds anticipation for the eventual release.
And finally, your finished book provides you with a way to keep your message out there. Your audience still wants to hear what you have to say. And if they can’t see you speak, they’ll latch onto your book as a way to engage with you.
Lockdown doesn’t mean shutdown
Do not underestimate the challenges that the current situation presents to your speaking business. After all, you’ve likely lost one of your key sources of revenue. However, this doesn’t mean that your business has to shut down.
The key right now is to keep getting your message out there.
These tips will help you to do that from the comfort of your own home. And some, such as your webinars and your book, could even create additional sources of revenue while you can’t go out and speak.
At Speakers Institute, we specialise in helping people like you create successful businesses. If you’d like to learn more, we recommend that you do the following: