How to Use Speaking Gigs to Build Your Email List

By Cristina Roman

If you haven’t explored speaking gigs as a channel for building your email list and client base, you may be missing out on a big opportunity. Speaking gigs let you build your personal brand, showcase your expertise, and get you in front of new audiences, which can all contribute to exponential list growth.

But you can’t just show up, give your presentation, and expect people to take the time and initiative to visit your website and sign up for your email list.

I won’t bore you with obvious suggestions like provide great content, don’t read directly off a Powerpoint presentation, and be engaging. Rather, I want to introduce you to several tools and strategies to get event attendees on your list and into your pipeline.

Offer a Freebie

At the end of your presentation, give attendees a reason to opt in to your email list, just like you do on your website. It could be reminding them about your standard opt-in freebie, giving them a freebie tailored to the content of your speaking gig, or it could be something as simple as follow up notes and relevant links from your presentation.

Once or twice throughout my presentation, I generally subtly remind attendees that they can grab a copy of my slides and the corresponding notes by joining my email list. Try something like this: “If you don’t want to write everything down or if you missed something, don’t worry — you can get the slides and the notes by joining my email list at the end.”

Use MobileChimp

Let’s assume that your audience won’t remember to visit your website since they’ve probably been bombarded with information for at least an hour, if not an entire day or weekend.

Capture the email addresses of those in the room at the end of your presentation by using MobileChimp, a free service that links with MailChimp to collect email sign ups via text. Chances are almost everyone in your audience will have texting capabilities, so capitalize on technology and lock those people in while they’re still in your eyesight.

MobileChimp allows you to designate a keyword that individuals must text to a certain phone number, so use this as a final opportunity to remind your attendees of your value-add and brand. For example, I generally choose something like “productive” for my productivity seminars in order to give attendees a sense of how they’ll feel if they join my list.

Incorporate Click to Tweet

At the end of every presentation I give, I include a pre-drafted tweet — created on Click to Tweet — that I invite event attendees to send out. This expands the reach of each presentation or speaking gig by getting your name and message in front of the followers of your attendees who may have missed your session.

For example, I might create a Click to Tweet link for the following message:

Love what I’m learning at cmroman’s session on solopreneurship at #BestEventEver. If you missed it, get on the list here: http://ow.ly/xGIy8

I then shorten the Click to Tweet link in Bit.ly, customize it to make it memorable (this is yet another chance to reaffirm your branding), then add it to my last slide. I recommend directly asking attendees to share the love if they found your session valuable- you might be surprised by how many people follow through on this!

If you include the event hashtag, you also show up repeatedly and positively on the radar of the event organizers, which can’t hurt your chances of being asked back to present in the future.

And there you have it. Three strategies to take your speaking gigs to the next level and turn them into list-building machines.

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Cristina Roman
Cristina Roman is the founder and editor of One Woman Shop, a resource hub and community for female solopreneurs and freelancers. She also works with solo business owners to help them increase their productivity, build their brands, and establish awesome online presences through CMR Strategies. In her free time, she loves doing yoga, playing tennis, drinking too much (decaf) coffee, and listening to business and NPR podcasts.

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