How to Bolster Your Real Estate Branding with Speaking Engagements
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Watch any TED Talk featuring luminaries like Simon Sinek or Ted Robinson and you’ll see why their speeches have been watched millions of times online. While these speaking engagements help inform their audience, they also help the speakers broaden awareness of their personal brand (remember: You are your brand).
If you haven’t added public speaking to your real estate branding repertoire, it’s time to seek out opportunities to share your knowledge and business savvy with the world.
“Being a good public speaker is like rocket fuel for your credibility,” notes Seth Price, Placester’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “Every entrepreneur — including and especially real estate agents — needs to master public speaking. Inspiring others at scale is a requirement in order to be a good leader and have a positive influence on others.”
Below are several ways you can get your foot in the door for public speaking engagements — from building relationships to seeking out specific opportunities — and how to make the most of these talks in your real estate marketing strategy.
Draw more attention to your brand by creating lots of great content.
Owning a niche is important. Make a name for yourself in one, specific facet of the real estate industry and your talking points are practically written for you. Not only can you impress buyers and sellers with your knowledge in your area of expertise, but you can use what you know to create blog posts, ebooks, reports, and other interesting types of content that will establish your reputation.
As you create content and promote it through email and social media, you’ll gain a reputation as an agent who provides valuable information — and who wouldn’t want to listen to such an experienced, knowledgeable agent in person?
When creating content, stick with what works. For instance, some agents produce regular real estate videos to get their name out there and build their reputation as intelligent, thoughtful real estate pros. Here’s a unique example from RE/MAX broker and keynote speaker Leigh Brown. It’s this type of marketing (and sense of humor) that can get you noticed by those looking to hire personalities to speak at events:
Earn speaking certifications and take courses from well-known institutions.
Believe it or not, there are actual certifications and classes for public speaking. For instance, online education resource Udemy offers more than 30 public speaking courses that can transform you into a bona fide orator. Toastmasters International is also a program many companies worldwide trust to help their employees improve their public speaking. You may consider yourself to be a self-assured, charismatic speaker, but the skills you learn via these types of resources can make you that much better.
Over time, you can even earn certification from a group like the National Speakers Association. The organization notes only 12 percent of public speakers internationally are accredited with its Certified Speaking Professional Certification (one of the best to have), as it takes lots of time and energy to earn. Build up your speaking engagement schedule and study diligently, though, and you could acquire this much-desired certification. Who knows? You could even transition from full-time agent to a part-time one who travels globally to share your knowledge with like-minded professionals.
Develop memorable freebies to offer your audiences.
You don’t need to give cars away like Oprah to get an audience on your side. Providing simple, inexpensive tchotchkes like pens, pads, hats, shirts, posters, and coasters is more than enough to get the attention of your audience before you hit the stage and stay top-of-mind afterward.
Find vendors who can cheaply produce these items, and consider hiring a graphic designer (if you haven’t worked with one already) to create branding materials for your business. Having your logo plastered on items handed out to those attending your talks is an ideal way to make a memorable impression.
Build a page dedicated entirely to your side-gig as a public speaker.
Starting your real estate speaking career is something you’ll want to promote just as much as listings and testimonials, so put together a page on your website that lists past speaking engagements, features videos and pictures from those events, details what your audience had to say about your speaking sessions, and allows people to book you for future speaking engagements. Also, provide a form on the page that allows people to inquire about your availability for conferences and meet-ups.
Here’s an example of a contact landing page for marketing speaker Andrew Davis, featuring a form that asks interested visitors to provide details about their event, and makes it known that he’s more than happy to speak with and potentially work with them:
Search for opportunities within your network and via industry organizations.
Finding speaking engagement opportunities can be difficult if you don’t have a large personal or professional network. Gradually build your contacts database (not just your real estate leads) so you have plenty of people you can turn to. Public relations firms also can be contracted to help connect you with companies, organizations, and groups who are looking for speakers. Reach out to local PR agencies and professionals to ask who may be searching for reputable agents to come speak to their following.
“Being a good public speaker is like rocket fuel for your credibility.”
— Seth Price
For certified Realtors, speak with your local association as well to determine who may be in the market for public speakers. Also, check out the real estate conference calendar for both your local market and nationally to pinpoint any events that seem like a fit based on your knowledge and experience. RE BarCamp and Hear It Direct are two excellent conference series that offer an easy way to get your public speaking career off the ground. Both ongoing events take place across the country throughout the year, so check out their websites and social media accounts to find out when local installments of their conferences are heading your way.
Contact brands with speaking engagement ideas for their events.
Outside of real estate conferences, there are dozens of other events that may not directly pertain to your field but are still possible fits for speaking engagements. For instance, the home construction industry regularly hosts meet-ups around the country year-round, so look for opportunities to relay your insights at one of these events. You could speak on topics that arise in your day-to-day business dealings — perhaps the challenges of selling buyers on green home features or convincing sellers to remodel their home.
Brands with relationships to the real estate trade may also provide options to speak publicly. Email companies you have worked with in the past, like home staging firms and photography firms, to figure out if they have speaking engagement needs.
Search the web for event listings, community groups, and local universities.
There’s no shortage of event listing websites. Sites like Eventbrite, Meetup, and Eventful update their calendars with the latest, most relevant goings-on and allow users to search for specific types of events. Even if you can’t initially book speaking gigs with those running the events you locate, develop relationships with them. Attend one or more of their regular meet-ups, engage with fellow attendees and event officials, and tell them why you’d love to speak at their gatherings.
Your local municipality is another prime resource for identifying interesting events. Your local government website is sure to include an events calendar detailing charity events, community convenings, and other get-togethers. Ask to sponsor one of these in exchange for a speaking role.
Promote your speaking engagements through your real estate marketing.
Reviews of your speaking can help you get follow-on engagements and underscore your reputation as a thought leader. Allow your audience to bolster your real estate branding for you: Ask people who have seen you present in person to provide some praise regarding your speaking skills. “Real Estate Road Warrior” Shannon King, for example, features a dozen unique testimonials on her website from a variety of Realtors and executives:
Don’t forget to use your social media accounts and take advantage of your email marketing list when promoting yourself. Too much self-promotion can certainly be a turnoff for your following on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social networks, but the occasional tweet and status update alerting your audience to future speaking engagements, and videos of past presentations, can aptly exhibit your expertise.
Have you used speaking engagements to reinforce your real estate agent branding? Do you plan to continue or begin public speaking engagements? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Published on March 31, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.