Many consultants, coaches and advisors trying to build their business have decided they need to be at the podium to increase their visibility. They chase keynote opportunities—often unpaid—and spend countless non-billable hours crafting their speeches.
A worthy investment if being a professional speaker is part of your revenue strategy or you are hawking your (profitable) new book. But what if your real goal is to grow your core consulting, coaching, advisory business?
Then there may be an easier way. It’s not about how many keynotes you make. It’s about how you connect with the clients who will “buy” you and the professionals who will refer you. Consider some alternatives:
Attend as a participant. Come pre-loaded with questions/a point of view on the agenda topics so you can engage your new contacts one-on-one. Be clear on your brand (who am I, what do I uniquely do and why does it matter) and link it to the key topics. If the link isn’t obvious, take a pass.
Lead a workshop for a group rich with clients and prospects (or referral sources). You’ll touch fewer people, but your impact on each can be huge. And, chances are high they’re attending because they have a strong interest in the subject. The payoff: they experience you in action and hiring you becomes a simpler next step.
Moderate a panel of experts on a compelling topic related to your expertise or industry. The agenda is yours to lead and you can have a major impact with a lot less prep than a full-blown keynote. Great moderators are memorable–if one of your talents is bringing diverse opinions to the table, you can score big.
Keynotes are impressive. But they may not be key to your growth.