You would never guess it now, but as a child and into my teens, I (Stephanie Inglis) was painfully, cripplingly shy. Luckily I was also horse crazy and had parents just insane enough to support me in my equestrian pursuits. Years of training and moving up the competitive ranks were enough to prove to me that I could perform in front of an audience.
Today, I actually enjoy public speaking, be it a boardroom presentation, an in-person seminar or a live webinar. I get a rush of adrenaline that’s almost as good as stepping into the ring to point my horse at jumps in competition. Will I be good enough to convince the judge that I should win? Will I be persuasive enough to convince my audience that my ideas are sound advice they should adopt as their own marketing best practices?
Public speaking is one of the best ways to showcase thought-leadership-based, high-value content. Take an idea, educate your audience and build a business case for adoption. Tell the audience something they didn’t know before and demonstrate how effectively it works. No hard sales, just an ‘Aha!’ moment that gets them to begin imagining how they can use the concept for themselves.
It really does work. I’ve recently done two live presentations in one of our client industries: home performance and weatherization. The first was a live seminar at the ACI National Home Performance Conference in May, the second a live webinar for our client Efficiency First in August. Lo and behold, that same week in August we received two solid leads as a direct result of those appearances. One lead came in before we even got to the Q&A portion of the webinar!
We use this tactic with our clients, too. Recording on-demand webinars or hosting live webinars are a really cost-effective way to engage with an audience and begin a lead nurturing process. In fact, earlier this summer we used an on-demand micro-webinar to launch a drip campaign targeting architects for one of our clients. That campaign directly resulted in the sales team being invited to come in and present to a prospect that, if the deal is closed, could represent hundreds of thousands—perhaps even millions—of dollars over time.
The examples and opportunities I’ve used here are still too fresh to provide a closed-loop report on the ROI of the specific speaking appearances in terms of sales, but I’d say they make a convincing case for including webinars and seminars in the content marketing and lead nurturing mix.
Want your phone to ring? Talk to us about the ways we can help you engage with your audience.