There was a time when I dreaded speaking in front of an audience. In fact, there’s been a time or two when I was asked to speak publicly that may have met the Geneva Convention’s definition of torture, for both me and my audience.
One time, in college, one of my professors asked me to attend a convention in her stead, and to deliver the presentation she’d prepared for the event. I don’t think I exhaled once through the entire presentation. It was awful!
Yet now, I find I look forward to presenting through webinars, teleconferences, and even in person when I have the chance. So, what changed?
Well, the first thing that changed was that I realized what a benefit public speaking could be to my career. When you present on a topic to an audience, three cool things happen:
- Everyone in the audience, with few exceptions, will assume you’re an expert.
- You have an opportunity to gather valuable contact information from people who attend.
- And, if the event is recorded, you have something you can use over and over to market yourself.
So, as a fellow freelance web writer, I highly recommend public speaking as a marketing tool. If the idea terrifies you, here are three things you can do that will make it easier. (I use these tricks and they help immensely.)
- Do a lot of research. The better you know your topic, the easier it will be to speak about it.
- Use note cards rather than trying to memorize a script or speech. When you’re doing a presentation, the main thing is to hit the key points and then to talk naturally about each of them. Put your key points on note cards or in your slide show. Then, just talk about what you know.
- Allow yourself to speak according to your natural cadence and rhythm. I’m a fast talker, and one of the things that always made me nervous about speaking publicly was that I might talk too fast. Turns out, thinking too much about slowing down was the main source of my discomposure. I’m careful to enunciate and to speak up, but I talk how I talk. I usually give my audience a warning that I tend to be pretty speedy, and it all seems to work out.
If you haven’t done public speaking before, I highly recommend you make a plan to start. It’s a powerful marketing tool and will also help build your reputation as an expert.
Don’t Miss These Great Articles
There is lots of great new content on the Wealthy Web Writer site this week. Here are a few of the highlights.
First up, make sure you read Mindy’s post about enlisting the support of family and friends. Not to do so is akin to sabotaging your own success. Read what Mindy has to share on this important topic.
Then, take a moment to read Christina Gillick’s article on Accountability Partners and how to choose someone who is a good fit for you.
Finally, don’t miss John Torre’s post on why greed so often plays an important role when you’re writing to sell, and how you can use it effectively in your own promotional copy.
This week, Pam Foster joins us to share the hottest niche markets for web writers right now. From market size to income potential, Pam reveals web-writing specialties that can pay off big time. This event is Wednesday, October 5th, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
You’ve Found Some Great Keywords … Now What?
Okay, so last week, I talked a little bit about how to go about finding keywords that people are searching for that have low competition. If you followed the steps in that post, then you should have a good, solid list of potential keywords you can use to inspire some of your website content.
So, exactly how do you do that? Well, let’s have a look …
Articles and Blog Posts: This is the obvious one. Look at your keywords and think of topics for articles and blog posts that will tie in well to individual keywords on your list. You want to be able to use your keyword phrase within the headline and copy without making your writing sound funny, and at the same time, write something of value to your visitors.
Videos: Look for potential video topics. Three-to-five minute video tutorials can draw a lot of traffic. Position your keywords in the video title, the page’s title, and the page’s description, and video will help you place better in search engines.
Press Release: Are any of your keywords related to something potentially newsworthy? Then, consider writing a press release on that topic and share it through a press release distribution service.
Reports: Create a white paper, report, or case study around a topic inspired by one of your keywords or phrases.
Interviews: Some of your keywords or phrases might suggest a question that your target audience is asking, or even multiple questions. Find an industry expert and do an interview to answer those questions.
Remember, keywords and phrases can help guide your content creation, making it easier for an interested audience to find. But, ultimately, it’s up to you to make your content clear, useful, relevant, and easy to read. Also, write to the visitor, not to the search engines.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!