Event planners also love speakers who help them put the word out about their events. When you contact groups to speak, be sure to mention if you’ve accumulated a large number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, and if your opt-in newsletter list is in the thousands, that’s also a terrific plus. Talk up the event and encourage your followers to attend for the chance to meet you in real life.
If you will be traveling, contact Meetup groups in the area and invite them to join you at your next event if the program is open to the public. If you can’t invite them to the main event, see if they would like to do a coffee get-together or fireside chat with you during time in your travel schedule that would otherwise be wasted. You can also connect with the local chapters of national organizations of which you are a member or which pertain to your topic (groups such as eWomenNetwork, National Speakers Association, NAWBO, etc.) and issue the same invitations.
Don’t forget to connect via the online groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for all of the same groups to invite them to attend and share tips related to your speech content. Talk about your upcoming programs on your own Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, not from a hard sell, but in terms of the valuable content you’re looking forward to sharing. You may find that some of your existing contacts will be in the area to attend, or have friends they can send your way.
Promote by Tweeting live from the event. Don’t just Tweet about your part—let everyone know how much fun you’re having, how valuable the speakers are, and what a great event it is. Tweet about the people you meet and the workshops you’re attending. Take photos from your cell phone and upload them right away.
Promote after the event (great for being asked back again) by blogging, Tweeting and uploading after you get home. (Make sure you’ve copied the organizer who invited you so he/she can see how much free publicity you’ve provided.) Write an article for your newsletter and then share it on your blog and in sound bites on your Twitter feed. Carry your digital video camera to the event and create a videoblog scrapbook, then post it on YouTube. Tweet the link, add it to your other social media sites and be sure to use Social Bookmarking to share it. When you send follow-up emails to the other attendees and speakers you met at the conference, include the links to your video and other promotion so they can also bask in the afterglow. Link to the organizers, speakers and attendees you’ve met on Facebook, Twitter and other sites, and choose the very best connections to add on LinkedIn.
Send a note to the speakers you met at the event extending that contact and offer to have them as a guest on your blog or podcast. Now you have another reason to talk. This can be a great way to share referrals to other possible speaking engagements or opportunities for collaboration for both of you. Of course, if you’re hosting a guest on your site, that’s yet another reason for social media promotion!
If you’ve got names for key contacts in the city to which you’re traveling, whether those are reporters, radio hosts or business contacts, look for them on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and LinkedIn and make a connection. Let them know you’ll be in the area and would like to talk or meet for coffee. You can also marshal your LinkedIn contacts near your event city and ask them for referrals to local media or connections to the kinds of people you’d like to meet. Make your travel dollars stretch further by piggybacking extra mini-events or meetings onto your events.
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