How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Speaking Platform by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Your Profile Should Showcase Your Speaking Accomplishments
Even though you may primarily be an author, your speaking skills and experience must be prevalent in your LinkedIn profile or people will not take you seriously enough to book you for their event. Keep in mind that you only have 120 characters to use in the initial headline. Then in the Background/Summary section, including a paragraph bio and then list topics or headings of what you speak on.
People who are looking for speakers browse profiles for an idea on what topics speakers have experience presenting and in what venues their presentations were made. Therefore, use the add video links, images, documents or presentations to your LinkedIn profile. It's easy to include a Youtube link of your most recent speaking engagement or a link to a presentation on SlideShare. These links can be included in the Background/Summary section, as well as in the Experience section with each job listing you have created.
Ask friends and former co-workers to provide a recommendation for you from various work experiences and projects. This will layer your profile with more credibility throughout your background so that it isn't too heavy in one place.
In the Publication section, be sure to include your published books and/or articles with a link to the publication. Include the publisher and publication date. You may also drag and place your publications in order and add additional authors you might have worked with.
Become a Recognized Name in your Target Market
Most published authors, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, have carved out a niche in the market on their areas of expertise and genres. Use this to build your speaking platform. Everyone has to start somewhere and this is a great place to start. Promote your writing themes and topics as your speaking themes and topics. Your success as a writer in your area of expertise lends credibility to your knowledge on those subjects.
Determine where your target market gathers and be there--conferences, seminars, trade shows, trainings and retreats. After you have attended some of these events and become familiar with the format and networked with the leaders in charge, submit speaking proposals and follow these events on social media platforms. Engage by posting and sharing their updates. Join LinkedIn Speaking Groups Take a few minutes to join speaker groups and network with others on groups regarding your topics and genres. Discover what they are doing to land speaking gigs. Networking is not only about making connections, but sharing and learning from the best. In spite of this, keep in mind that not every group will be beneficial. Do your homework and make sure you join the right discussion groups that are relevant to you. Some of these groups will have rules on NO advertising, so check out these rules before posting anything about what you do or inviting people to upcoming events. Concentrate on posting things that facilitate good discussions and will generate comments. Posts with a higher number of comments will stay at the top and be more visible to the entire group. This increases your exposure to potential prospects. Create a Professional Speaking Page on LinkedIn Under the heading Company Page, you can add a speaking page or author page for your business. First, you will need to create an email with your domain.com. LinkedIn will not allow users to create company pages with standard web email addresses through Yahoo, Gmail or other services. Once your company page is created, you will be prompted to add more videos, describe your services, list your workshops and keynotes, sell your books, and add special offers and promo codes. Are you on LinkedIn? Are you active and taking advantage of LinkedIn? What other ideas and tactics have worked for you?