Tony Robbins, Eric Edmeades, Tom Bilyeu, Tim Ferriss, Chase Jarvis, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Shetty… What do all of these well-known speakers have in common?
A rock-solid online presence, that’s what!
There was a time when a decent demo reel, a well-written one sheet and maybe your own book was enough to get yourself established and start booking gigs as a speaker. Unfortunately, those days are no longer.
With the rise of the internet, there has been a massive influx of speakers and the competition for your audience’s attention is at an all-time high. If you want to stand out and have your message noticed in the world, you need to have a solid online presence that will keep you present in your audience’s attention.
Take Tony Robbins, for example. Most people haven’t seen him live on stage, and if they have, it was probably only a small handful of times, yet when most people think of “motivational” speakers he often comes to mind. Interesting. So why is that? Well, I think it has a lot to do with his online presence. Tony is a frequent guest on many podcasts. He has a huge variety of online training programs. He has written books. He has an outstanding website. And he is present all over social media. His audience is able to hear from him frequently, even if they don’t often get the chance to see him speak live.
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s easy for Tony Robbins, he practically invented the coaching industry and he is one of the original personal development speakers. I can’t build an online presence like that.” It’s true, Tony has spent the better part of 40 years building up his reputation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish a great online presence of your own.
Take Tom Bilyeu and Jay Shetty, as two more examples. Only a few years ago, hardly anyone even knew who those guys were. They were just passionate people with important messages to share, like you. But one podcast interview, social media post and inspiring statement at a time, they managed to create massive audiences for themselves and get established as some of the better known speakers in the personal development space. What’s their secret?
Well, it’s really no secret at all, it just comes down to online presence. With the average person spending 24-40 hours per week on the internet, if you show up frequently online and you have a good message to share, you are definitely going to be able to capture some people’s attention!
Here are some of Speaker Nation’s tips and ideas for how you can get yourself established online.
create a website
I’m always surprised by how many speakers skip this one crucial step in establishing themselves online. Your website is your online hub. It’s a place where people can come to find out more about who you are and what you speak about. It’s a place where potential clients can learn about how to book you, and most importantly it’s a place where you can control the content. Social media platforms are great, but ultimately you are at the mercy of their rules. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy, just a landing page with some great photos and videos of you speaking and some contact information is a good place to start. But not having one at all means you’re missing opportunities and, in my opinion, damaging your credibility. When a prospective client searches you online and finds your site, they know you’re serious about what you are doing, but when they search for you and find nothing, there is a decent chance they will just move on and search for another speaker.
Use Social Media
With the average person spending about 144 minutes a day on social media, if you want to establish yourself online you really need to make sure to post content on the social media platforms where your audience typically spends time. Think about influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Kerwin Rae. They were just regular entrepreneurs, but as soon as they started leveraging the power of social media, they grew into superstars. When your audience sees you on social media, you stay top of mind for them. When you are top of mind, you have their attention. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. You can post pictures, video clips from your talks, inspiring quotes, and live streams. You can even share other people’s content that you have found helpful (crediting them, of course!). The content, as long as it is congruent with your message, is far less important than the consistency. People quickly forget about speakers and influencers who rarely post, but when you consistently post content they are interested in, you will have their attention for the long term. Using social media is one of the most important parts of establishing yourself online.
Collaborate with others online
Collaboration is a great way to get yourself established in the online space. Perhaps you don’t have a huge following yet, but you can get yourself in front of other people’s audiences, which will help your message reach even more people and help you grow your own audience. There are a number of ways you can collaborate online. You can be a guest on podcasts, you can do live videos with other people who have similar messages, you can write guest posts for blogs, you can be a guest on people’s webinars… There are so many ways to collaborate online you are really only limited by your imagination and your willingness to put yourself out there. Working together with other people will help you establish yourself online much faster than you could otherwise.
Create a lot of content. A LOT! There is no such thing as putting too much of your content online when you are trying to establish your online presence. The thing is, not everyone is going to resonate with everything you post, and that’s okay, but the more content you create the more likely it is some of it will catch people’s attention. Some people spend weeks or even months trying to perfect their content before they ever post it. The problem is, in all that time their audience doesn’t hear from them. That means there is a very good chance someone else will catch their attention and they could forget about them. Don’t worry about perfection when it comes to your online content. It’s great to try and improve it, but the imperfect content that gets posted will get way more attention than the content that never gets out there because you are waiting to get it perfect. The bottom line is, the more you create the more chances you have for your audience to notice you. When you are trying to establish yourself online, be as prolific as you possibly can. Your audience will thank you.
Create Digital Products
It may seem like the internet is flooded with people pitching their newest online course, or their latest webinar or their new e-book… The internet is filled with digital products on all kinds of different topics, and for good reason! Because they work. When your audience starts to get to know you, they find out who you are and what you are all about. There comes a point where they WANT more from you. Social media posts, blog content, and recordings of your talks are all great, but the people who are really interested in your message want to go even deeper with you. Having a digital product is a great way to allow them that opportunity. Think about it, when you find someone online whose message you really resonate with, do you just want to learn as much as you possibly can from them? I know I do, but when I have seen all of their videos and read all their posts, I often find myself disappointed when I can’t go deeper with them. Those people I follow who have digital products to offer usually keep my attention longer because I am able to dive deep into their message and it really satisfies my desire to learn from and engage with them. An added bonus for you as a speaker with an online product to offer is it gives you a way to continue spreading your message even when you’re not actively speaking, and it lets you generate extra revenue on the back end of your talks, which gives you more leverage to spread your important message to even more people.
Whether you are trying to get your message out to more people, find and book more speaking gigs, or simply grow your network, establishing yourself online is perhaps the most important step you can take to further your public speaking career. We have seen how live events can be disrupted, social media platforms can change their rules without warning, and all kinds of other factors can disrupt a speaker’s career. But the speakers who have a rock-solid online presence that spans many different platforms and leverages many different online formats are somewhat sheltered from that disruption. They have the ability to still reach their audience and continue sharing their message as long as they have an internet connection.