Many business owners, especially those in the professional services or consulting space, also identify as speakers or subject matter experts. Part of their marketing and sales strategy is to get in front of their target audience and establish credibility through speaking engagements.
When speakers get to a certain level, however, it can be tricky to balance the business brand and the speaker brand. Should you have two websites and separate social media presences? Or should you keep them together as one?
The answer is… it depends. Here are some things to think about in terms of your goals for speaking engagements and how it impacts your marketing strategy.
Start with clearly identifying your goals
First, you need to identify what your goals are regarding speaking engagements. Do you want to do mostly local speaking engagements to raise awareness for your business and generate leads? Or do you want to grow your speaking engagements to be a revenue source? Many business owners speak at professional development events or conferences solely for the purpose of raising awareness for their company or to give back to the community. Keep in mind, these events aren’t usually paid opportunities. Other people want to build their speaking resume toward higher-profile, paid speaking events. If that’s the case, you definitely want to consider branding yourself as a speaker with a separate website and a focused social media presence.
Think about alignment and clarity for your audience
Will your audience get confused if you’re promoting speaking engagements on your company website or social media? If your speaking topics align with your business and you’re using it primarily as a business development effort, it likely won’t be an issue. Promoting both your consulting services and your speaking topics will probably make sense for your audience. But if the audiences who would pay for your company’s services are different than the audiences that would book you to speak, it might be worth separating your business brand and personal brand.
Be realistic about what you can manage
Lastly and most importantly, be realistic. If keeping up with two websites and two separate social media presences sounds overwhelming and doesn’t align with your goals, then don’t do it. There’s always the option to have a speaking page in the navigation of your company website and have booking forms and video clips there. If your long-term goal is paid speaking gigs, you can start with a really simple website with your name as the domain and add speaking topics and video clips over time.
With all that said, it’s never a bad idea to go ahead and grab your name (or some variation of it) as a domain name if it’s available. Annual costs for domain registration are pretty low, and it ensures you have the domain available if and when you’re ready to brand yourself as a speaker or subject matter expert.
If you need help deciding the best next steps for you, reach out to us today. We can help you develop a strategy and move forward with confidence.