How I Landed my First Speaking Invitation

Recently, I was invited to speak at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Lethbridge Region Expo in February. I’ll be presenting the benefits of social media through personal experience and industry case studies.

I’m extremely excited and have been thinking about why I’ve been given this great opportunity. I’ve concluded that it came down to two factors.

1. Be a Thought Leader

Before anyone would consider having you speak, you need to be recognized as a thought leader.  People need to believe that you have something to offer – that you can bring value and know what you’re talking about. There are a few ways to recognized as a thought leader in social media.

  • establish a strong presence on social media platforms
  • give away your knowledge through whitepapers and blog posts
  • write articles for local newspapers, online magazines, etc.
  • submit proposals and speak at conferences

2. It’s Who You Know

The old adage, “it’s all about who you know”, is so true. My name was passed on to the coordinator for the expo by a colleague of mine. That being said, my name wouldn’t have been passed on if I hadn’t established myself as a thought leader. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to have your brand (personal or corporate) spread. Here are some ways to get your name out there:

  • attend local meetups
  • participate in online communities
  • serve on advisory boards
  • volunteer your time for non-profits

Not only have these two factors contributed to my presentation opportunity, but I have also been offered to teach a non-credit social media course at Lethbridge College.

Are there other factors or tips that I’ve missed? Please share them below.

  • Dwayne Schnell

    what's more important than “who you know” is “who knows you”

  • Mike McCready

    That's a very good point. It really did come down to the fact that my colleague knew me and recognized me as a thought leader in social media.

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