How to use LinkedIn as a launchpad for your speaking career
When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is the undisputed champion. With over 700 million users, it's a treasure trove for anyone looking to boost their career – and for aspiring speakers, it's no different. However, the question remains: How can you utilise LinkedIn to take your speaking career to new heights? Let's explore.
- Optimise Your Profile for Visibility: Before you start networking or sharing content, ensure your profile stands out. A few key elements to focus on include:
- Profile and Cover Photos: Use a high-resolution image where you look professional and approachable. Your cover photo can showcase you in action, speaking at an event.
- Headline: Instead of just your job title, use the space to hint at your speaking aspirations. For instance, "Marketing Expert | Passionate Speaker | Helping brands grow organically."
- Summary: Here, share a concise story of your professional journey, your expertise, and your interest in speaking events.
- Showcase Speaking Engagements: Under the 'Experience' or 'Projects' section, highlight past speaking engagements, panel discussions, or workshops you’ve led. Include details like the event name, location, topics covered, and any notable feedback or accomplishments.
- Share Relevant Content: Start by sharing content that aligns with your expertise. This could be articles you've written, videos of your talks, or even curated content from other industry leaders. By sharing consistently, you position yourself as a thought leader in your domain.
- Engage Actively: Engagement is a two-way street. Don’t just post your content; interact with others. Comment on relevant posts, join discussions, and offer value. This not only boosts your visibility but also helps you build genuine connections.
- Join and Participate in Speaker-centric Groups: LinkedIn hosts a plethora of groups dedicated to public speaking, event management, and industry-specific seminars. By being an active member, you can:
- Gain insights about upcoming speaking opportunities.
- Network with event organisers or other speakers.
- Share your experiences and learn from others.
- Use LinkedIn Articles to Your Advantage: The LinkedIn Articles feature allows you to publish long-form content directly on the platform. Consider writing about topics you'd like to speak on, recap past events, or share speaking tips. This not only showcases your expertise but also your skills as a communicator.
- Seek and Showcase Recommendations: After every speaking engagement, reach out to the organisers or attendees for a LinkedIn recommendation. These testimonials act as social proof of your abilities as a speaker. Over time, a collection of glowing recommendations can make your profile stand out to event organisers scouting for speakers.
- Leverage LinkedIn’s Native Video Feature: Video is an incredible medium for speakers. Record short snippets of your talks, behind-the-scenes from events, or even testimonials from attendees. LinkedIn's algorithm currently favours native videos, offering a greater chance of visibility.
- Network Strategically: Identify and connect with event organisers, fellow speakers, and influencers in your industry. When sending connection requests, always include a personalised message. This increases the likelihood of acceptance and lays the foundation for a meaningful professional relationship.
- Utilise LinkedIn Ads: If you're ready to invest, consider running LinkedIn ads to promote your speaking profile. Target event organisers, HR professionals, or anyone related to conference and seminar planning. This can be an effective way to get in front of the right audience quickly.
LinkedIn, with its vast professional network and resourceful features, is a gold mine for aspiring speakers. But, as with all things, consistency is key. Regularly update your profile, share valuable content, engage with your network, and stay persistent in your approach. By effectively leveraging LinkedIn, you not only establish yourself as a credible speaker but also open doors to numerous opportunities that can propel your speaking career forward.
Remember, every post, comment, or connection brings you one step closer to that next speaking gig. So, optimise, engage, and shine!