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Finding An Audience With Zero Marketing Expense
One of the best ways to establish credibility and gain exposure is to offer seminars and workshops. You will quickly be recognized as an expert in your field when you’re in front of a group of people, giving them a piece of your knowledge. And even for those who miss the event, you can add that to your bio and enjoy the prestige of being an instructor for the rest of your career. Of course, the big challenge to this effort is the actual speaking part. Most people don’t like speaking in public and that dissuades them before they even begin. But believe me; you’re well advised to give it a shot before abandoning the idea.
You might be amazed how quickly you get used to the feeling of teaching others and those who aren’t natural public entertainers often make the best teachers. The hardest part of providing seminars or workshops is finding an audience. Just getting people to show up is an incredibly difficult task. But as it turns out, there are a number of places where you can find an audience for free. There are plenty of organizations that will effectively do the marketing for you and they’ll be responsible for putting people in the room.
Taking advantage of these opportunities can position you as an expert in your field while preserving your money for other uses. The first opportunity exists with the local Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs. These clubs usually meet at lunch time once or twice each month and they’re always looking for people to come in and give a presentation. Although you’ll get a free lunch for it, you won’t get paid and you can’t blatantly sell products. But it’s still a great way for you to get in front of professional people and demonstrate your expertise, potentially getting consulting jobs or getting other speaking engagements. The second approach involves the adult education programs that are offered by most municipalities as well as a host of companies like the Learning Annex. Whether these programs are offered as a community service or to make a profit, they represent a spectacular opportunity for those who want to hold workshops and seminars. All you need to do is put together a strong workshop proposal and send it in. If they think it will attract an audience, they’ll put you on the schedule … and you might even make a few dollars along the way. The third avenue you should consider for your workshop or seminar is that of tradeshows and conferences.
In the case of tradeshows, they usually have an education day before the exhibits open and the conferences have sessions throughout their events. Once again, you can submit a workshop proposal to the selection committee and suggest a program of your choosing. If the topic benefits their audience and the proposal is well written, you have a good chance of being accepted. All three of these strategies allows you to book speaking engagements and find an audience without paying a penny for advertising or marketing. Meanwhile, you’ll be stacking up credentials and gaining exposure for your area of expertise. So if you can get past the fear of public speaking, put a workshop proposal and a mailing list together and get send it out. You might be speaking in front of an audience sooner than you think.
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