A lot of advisors are talking about thought leadership or becoming a key person of influence as a way of getting your message out there. The idea is that you write books, blogs, posts, tweets and white papers and get these published.
Sure, if that is your thing, you like writing (I do!) and it comes easy to you (It does), then you should do this. But what you need to be aware of is that you are just putting it out there - broadcasting your experience, viewpoint or opinion.
Now as a way of growing your business, broadcast is one of the most dangerous things you can do especially if you are interesting.
It makes people want to communicate back to you - to discuss your ideas.
The trouble is that you have no idea who they are, their motivations and if they will ever spend money with you. In the car trade, they are called tyre kickers, people who just are checking you out to see if you are sound. (People who kick tyres when looking around a car they are looking to buy...never buy that vehicle).
These tyre kickers take up your time, probably one of the key limiting resources in your life.
The more you broadcast, the more tyre kickers, the less time you have to do the business. Ever posted on Facebook?
Now one thing we can all do well is talk.
Whether is explaining our product or service to others or discussing our market or debating our business strategy. We should know what we are talking about.
This is one of the most under-utilised assets in a person led business because packaged well, it can be used to influence others to do something different and improve their lives.
So let's talk about speaking and putting your words on stage.There are fewer more powerful ways of building your profile than standing up in front of a group of people who have preselected themselves based on the title of your talk, allowing you to demonstrate your expertise in a subject.
In today's google it economy where information is biased by commerciality or simply too much to take in or too inaccurate, the opportunity to sit and listen to a fellow human being, who has dedicated time to filter out the good stuff, is one rarely to be missed.
And that could be you.
I'm not talking about public speaking; I'm speaking about giving talks. Simple recounts of what you have learnt or what you believe in, all based on your unique experience. If we were at a dinner party or in a bar, you'd happily tell me. It's just the same.
Yet as a way of marketing your Value Proposition there is nothing better than giving a talk. The audience is prequalified, they are interested in what you have to say, and all you have to do is to tell it well.
Do approach it stage by stage.
Start small, do a 10-minute talk at local network groups, move up to Chamber of Commerce meetings and masterminding groups e.g. Vistage. Then go for local business shows and if you really take to it, go for bigger conferences and national events.
Be prepared though.
As you get better, the audience will want more of you and start coming up at the end to see how they can spend more time with you.
Now if that is not the highest form of qualified prospect you can ever get!
Make sure you are ready to give them more time: meet for a coffee or glass of wine, visit their workplace or invite them to your shop or office. Keep a track of the numbers e.g. 25 in the room, 4 conversations at the end, 3 follow up meetings: 1 new customer. (That's from taking to the stage once).
Then you really can build your business stage by stage.