Be the Expert!

old business men photo
Definition of a Home Run Presentation: When you can make these meeting attendees nod in appreciation as you speak.

When companies hire me to help with their marketing, specifically to highlight their expertise, I always offer the same suggestion: write an article or speak at an event.  But the pushback is almost immediate. “Ugh. Speak before people? Write an article? Can’t you just whip together a brochure?”  Well, yes, of course I can do that. But the power of that brochure is multiplied many times over when paired with a speaking event or, for the more reticent among us, a published article under your byline.

Putting aside the work involved in writing the article or preparing a presentation, these two activities deliver instant credibility and exposure. An article in the right publication (print or on-line) will be read by hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers.  And a presentation instantly brands you as an “expert,” with the added bonus of being able to bring a variety of “leave behind” materials for the audience, including, if applicable, branded slide show notes.

Here is a brief summary of the benefits of each. Note: all of the benefits identified in this blog post also apply to nonprofit organizations as well.

Articles

  • Publication in a print or on-line publication delivers credibility and gravitas to both you and your business. You’ll get more points if your article is published in a respected trade/association or widely circulated magazine, newsletter, newspaper, or on-line publication.
  • Article reprints can be used in a variety of ways – as  “leave behinds” after meetings or presentations, as a key piece of your marketing arsenal, or as something to mail (or email) as an item of interest to current and prospective clients.
  • Articles can and should be added to the “news” section of your company’s website. They lend more credibility and relevance than your own media releases.
  • NOTE: Articles should be about an industry issue, identification of new trends, evaluation of new tools, etc. They should NOT be about your company.  In fact, it’s best if the only mention of your company is in your brief author bio. Save mention of your company and your brilliant services for case studies and white papers.

Presentations

  • Presentations come in many guises: speaker on a panel (at a meeting or part of a webinar), convention presentation, self-hosted seminars or webinars, and presentations at local business and association meetings. All of these events require compelling content, with event planners continually seeking compelling topics to attract meeting attendees.  You can make their life easier by pitching your idea to the event planner (or association president). You can also host your own seminar or webinar. (Just make sure to offer free coffee and pastry!)
  • Presentations allow you to leave targeted materials behind, such as business cards, presentation notes, brochures, case studies, white papers, article reprints, etc.
  • Presentations make you approachable and offer you a rare opportunity to meet directly with current or prospective clients in a relaxed environment.
  • With every presentation, your company has another “event” to invite current and prospective clients and, depending on the scope and prominence of the event, another press release to send out.
  • NOTE: Unlike articles, presentations CAN be about your company and what you did to solve XYZ.  Of course, it’s always better to focus on a broader trend or issue, using your company’s experience as a supporting tool rather than the primary focus of the presentation itself.

What If

Here comes the big “what if.”  What if I’m a terrible writer or don’t have time to write an article or prepare a presentation?  It is perfectly acceptable to hire a ghost writer – a freelance writer, someone from your PR or advertising agency, or an internal marketing staff member – to write the article and/or prepare your presentation. Just make sure that the content and voice is yours. You needn’t reveal that you didn’t actually write the article. (Hence, the term “ghost.” As in, invisible.)

If you’d like more information on how articles and presentations can help your marketing efforts, please contact us at info@bottlewood.co.  We offer ghost writing and speech presentation services to both for-profit and non-profit organizations. We can also help in sending out query letters to targeted publications or meeting/convention planners.

Hey, methinks there’s a presentation in this….