Or at least you think that it may be a good way for you to market your business?
Well that’s great. Just like networking groups, people join Speakers Associations for many different reasons.
In my experience there are 4 main reasons why people join a networking group.
- They are a startup business. Most of this group of people are desperate for new business. They have an idea, a passion and have just started up their new business. They have more time than clients and they want to join a networking group to get new clients FAST! A lot of times they are operating out of desperation.
- They want to build their business. This group are generally more established and have a steady customer base. They join a networking group because they want to tap into other peoples customer base and even get direct referrals. Their aim is to get a steady stream of clients or business slowly.
- A third group join a networking group simply because they feel lonely and isolated. They operate a one-man business and work from home and just lack the interaction on a daily/weekly basis with people.
- The fourth group joins a networking group because they like the camaraderie and the motivation that comes from belonging to a group. They love the new ideas that are discussed and seeing everyone grow and develop within the group.
Four completely different reasons for belonging to a group and paying a monthly membership fee, but all the reasons are valid for the person who joins. They get exactly what they want from the group.
What about speakers groups? Well the same sort of thing applies here – there are lots of different reasons for joining a group like the I.S.P.A. Some of the most common are listed here for you.
- Some people want to become speakers so that they can simply build their list. They want to collect the information from everyone who attends so they can send them information after the talk and can stay in touch with them and at a later stage introduce them to the products and the services they provide.
- Some people are tired of being the best kept secret in their industry and want to use speaking as a way of becoming visable in their home town or beyond. They want to raise their credibility and their profile and become top of mind when someone is looking for their skills. They use speaking to demonstrate their expertise and their knowledge base. There is no point in being the best coach, chiropractor or interior decorator if no-one knows about you.
- Some people speak so that they can promote a specific service or product that they offer. They may use the speaking opportunity to educate their audience about a new product, new direction, new technique. Their speech will be cleverly crafted to be a mixture of valuable information and an “offer” to the people in the room.
- Some people want to use speaking to generate book sales. These days a lot of authors are self-publishing, and even the ones that aren’t need to do a lot of promotion themselves to make it worthwhile. They will use speaking to give you a “taste” of their book and then have it for sale afterwards in the back of the room or on their web site.
People join organizations and associations for many different reasons. If you want to join for the sense of affiliation and access to others experience and learning opportunities – welcome.
If however you want to build your reputation as a speaker – then have a look at the 4 categories above and decide which one you fall into and adjust your speech and your approach accordingly.