Social media is a place where people connect and grow their audiences. One of the most common ways marketers use social media is by pushing their content into the stratosphere, so more people see their brands and visit their websites.
Social media is also an excellent tool for building relationships and coming across new opportunities. One of the more underrated uses of social media is finding and landing speaking gigs. Landing the speaking gig is a matter of strengthening the relationship and reaching out, so let’s focus on how to find the decision makers for you to connect with.
#1: Use Hashtags
When you search for a hashtag, you’ll only see tweets with that hashtag. That means, when you use a hashtag like #MarketingConference, you’ll just see tweets about marketing conferences. This will allow you to come across additional events in your niche that you can reach out to.
In many cases, the event organizer may use the hashtag to spread awareness of the event on social media. That means some of these hashtags will lead you straight to the decision maker. You’ll also come across speakers by searching for hashtags that promote conferences in your niche. Reach out to these speakers and build a relationship. As the professional relationship gets established over time, that speaker may recommend you as a speaker to a future speaking gig.
#2: Use LinkedIn to Find Decision Makers
Not only can you find decision makers with hashtags, but you can also find them on LinkedIn. Event organizers often list their credentials on LinkedIn to attract more opportunities from people looking for someone to organize their event.
You can search “Meeting Planner” and “Event Organizer” into LinkedIn’s search engine to find people who organize events and meetings. Find people who organize events in your niche and connect with them.
Introduce yourself to the event organizers and ask them if they are looking for more speakers (almost every event organizer is looking for more speakers). Even if the speaker slots are full for the current event, many events are annual. Building the relationship now may not help your chances with that year’s event, but during the following year, when speaker slots are open again, the event organizer may keep you at the top of mind.
Don’t give up on a relationship when you hear a no. A no in this field can turn into a yes the following year if you continue to nurture the relationship.
#3: Join Facebook AND LinkedIn Groups
The most powerful capabilities Facebook and LinkedIn provide for building relationships are the ability to start and join groups. Some of the groups you can join can help you find speaking gigs. Certain events have corresponding Facebook Groups you can join to continue talking after the event.
Join these online groups and frequently show up in them. Not only are past and future attendees in those groups, but the decision makers (i.e., event organizers, but also the event founders) will be in those groups. When you meaningfully answer questions and share great tips with the people in those groups, the decision makers will take notice.
However, don’t stop with people in the groups. Chat with the decision makers and build relationships with each of them. When they decide next year on who will speak at their event, you’ll have a better chance to come to mind.
Finding and landing speaking gigs comes down to knowing the right people and building healthy professional relationships with them. Some people land speaking gigs just by submitting an application, but the majority of speaking gigs come from relationships built in advance.
The most actionable step you can take is to use the insights in this article to build one new relationship each day. As you continue to build new relationships (Important: and nurture existing relationships), you’ll have an extensive network filled with public speaking opportunities.
Marc Guberti is a digital marketing expert, entrepreneur, author with over 80,000 online students and host of the “Breakthrough Success” podcast. His latest book “Content Marketing Secrets” teaches people how they can create, promote, and optimize their content for growth and revenue. Guberti coaches business owners on how to grow and monetize their online businesses. You can contact him at Marc@MarcGuberti.com.