If you have a startup business that you are trying to grow, then chances are that you are looking for every opportunity to get the word out there. Your startup is more than likely very small, but also probably has an amazing product that if people would just give a chance to, they would fall in love and see just how powerful it can be. Such success is every startup founders dream, but how do you get to such a point of success? The answer –you have to establish a presence.
Full blown marketing campaigns and ad placements can be extremely expensive and time consuming, and often times results in the placement before the wrong audience, which results in very little traction for your investment.
What you and your startup need is to be front and center in front of the decision makers, the innovators, and the ground breakers looking for new innovations to make their products and services that much better.
This can be done by literally planting yourself in front of them all and sharing what you and your expertise already know. This is done through the age old event known as a business conference.
Below are 5 reasons why you should be setting up and speaking at your very own industry conferences. They may seem unnerving at first, but the benefits and outcomes that come out as results will explain themselves. Read on.
It helps to establish yourself as an authority
You know your field inside and out. If you didn’t, you probably would not have set out to start up your own company, now would you? Your expertise on the subject of your startup company is what sets you apart, but if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Speaking at conferences is going to give your knowledge and expertise an audience, and that audience is what will give your startup the fresh air it needs to breathe and eventually grow.
Speaking at conferences is what establishes credibility to your name, and that is not something to take lightly. As we said just a bit ago, if you know so much but have no one or no platform to share that information on, then what good is it doing in the long run?
Share that knowledge to others, and by doing so, you are placing your name and personal brand apart from the other self-proclaimed experts out there as someone who truly knows what they are doing in their specified field.
This credibility will do wonders to you and your startup because your audience now has trust in you that you really know your field better than others. This leads to you and your startup being top of mind come time for them to find answers to problems in your field.
Bring networking to you
When you are not speaking on stage, or rather are finished speaking, that is the time to get out there and rub some elbows and see just how well received your message was. Was your audience interested? Did the knowledge you divulged to them connect successfully?
Was your attempt to establish yourself as a true expert in your field a success in their minds? Getting out there and interacting with your audience is the best way to test the waters to see if you and your startup truly do have an immediate future.
The people in your audience are more than just people looking to learn from you, but also a mix of individuals who you may want to partner with. By speaking and then networking, you are in essence creating a very polished sales pitch to any and all interested parties.
Who those individuals may be changes all the time depending on what industry you are attempting to break into, but regardless of who you are trying to target, there is always an opportunity to partner up with already existing companies.
Partnerships are the life blood of startup companies that are just starting out, so make networking and forming alliances a priority after your speaking engagements.
Iron sharpens iron
Just because you are speaking on stage, it does not mean that you know everything there is to know. For those planning conferences themselves with them as the headliner, be sure to have other speakers share the spotlight as well. Not only will your audience appreciate the abundance of knowledge and experience being shared, but you also will be better off for the experience.
There is always somebody in the room who will know more than you, so being open to learning more and more is another key to success, especially in a conference setting. Sharing the stage as well as an open mind is how you can personally and professionally grow, so be welcoming to input from other conference attenders and speakers.
In the end, what do you have to lose by speaking at a conference? Even if public speaking is not your forte, there is no downside in getting up in front of other professionals in your industry other than your nerves scaring you out of it.
Sure public speaking may be terrifying for some, but as the founder of a startup looking to grow in exposure, you are more than likely going to have to swallow those nerves and just take the leap.
By speaking out with authority in the name of your startup, you are providing a great deal of publicity and exposure for your fledgling business, which is great! Unless you come off as knowing absolutely nothing about your industry and business (which is unlikely because you have come this far), then there is only positivity that can come out from taking the leap.
Setting up your own event is not rocket science
So, how do you set up a conference? You may be thinking that a conference has to be a huge ordeal with several thousand audience members and a couple dozen speakers and a celebrity keynote giver. Not always. A conference can be as big or as small as you want to shoot for.
Best way to get the ball rolling is to start small. In Los Angeles, for example, booking business conference venues is as easy as logging on online and selecting a space that is big enough to accommodate your desired population. From there you procure seating and presentation equipment, and then of course publicize your event.
Aim small, and focus in on the guests who have come to fill your booked business conference venues. Your first turnout may result in a small audience, but plan another conference after that, and then another and another.
Over time your following and audience will grow, and eventually you can spring for the couple dozen speakers and celebrity keynote giver. Give it time, take the leap, and the results will certainly follow.