The heart of any business lies in marketing. The most successful companies, big or small, depend on effective marketing.
The term "marketing" covers a lot of different activities -- all associated with selling your company's products and services. This can be tricky for a lecture agency, like the Worldwide Speakers Group, where the products and services are people and their keynote speeches.
Rahna Faddoul, Manager of Marketing at WWSG, understands the importance of determining what the client needs and creating demand, the two things marketing should encompass.
Here she shares her insights on what it takes to find marketing success at a lecture agency:
1) As the head of Marketing at a Speaker’s Bureau, what are the top ways to market a speaker?
Marketing a speaker can be very tricky. It’s important that we understand and capture the speaker’s intentions behind each topic they can address. After understanding their motives, it becomes relatively easy to put together a plan. Plans often focus on personal and professional achievements, major platforms they have addressed, and their social media activity. WWSG highlights key thought leaders every month and promotes different activities based on current events and international movements depending on the speakers that fit. Aligning the promotional plans with “what’s trending” is the most effective way to market brands, products, and speakers.
2) How do you think marketing speakers differs from marketing for other industries?
Marketing speakers is not too different from other industries. At the end of the day each speaker is selling their product. As a bureau it is our job to package this product appropriately and share it with audiences. A few things that must be taken into consideration are current professions, any news or media outlets that may get involved when marketing, and how to line up our initiatives with their public presence.
3) How does branding contribute to marketing speakers?
A speaker’s brand is essentially their product, which then in turn makes it the most important part of marketing. Everything from their areas of expertise to their social media presence contributes to their brand. The more distinct their brand is, the easier it is for the WWSG team to position and package the right way.
4) What is the biggest challenge when marketing a speaker?
The biggest challenge usually lies in positioning the speaker to be “one of a kind”. Most people want to feel like they got the inside scoop that no one else has or that they’ve met and listened to the best of the best, i.e. the “experts.” So, what happens when you have hundreds of speakers discussing innovation or business? Making sure everyone is unique and different is key when marketing.
5) What tips of you have for speakers in terms of marketing themselves?
When trying to break into the speaking industry, it’s best to have 3 key tools –
- Video content – past speeches, public interviews, tv presence, etc.
- Social media presence – branding online is absolutely the most important tool. Because everything is based online now, being “searchable” is the first step audiences can take to reach you
- Be unique – whether it be through a book, a product, a vision, an experience – a product needs to be put in place that’s never been done before.
6) Is there a difference between WWSG’s marketing and the marketing of speakers?
Absolutely, there’s a huge difference. There are two channels of marketing that we focus on. First and foremost, WWSG is a global professional services firm that represents thought leaders from all industries. We pride ourselves in being a “library” of information that our clients can choose from. Additionally, WWSG’s services include A-Z event management which is important for both clients and speakers to be aware of. Marketing for WWSG is the same as marketing for another major firm.
However, marketing for our speakers is entirely different. It takes the appropriate connection between the speaker and their personal mission to fall in line with WWSG’s brand. A lot of the time, our thought leaders fall on one side of the political spectrum, or support movements that might not be accepted yet, WWSG’s bipartisan and neutral stand makes it easier for our team to highlight each speaker and what they stand for appropriately. Most importantly, marketing speakers can have a long-term effect on their reputation and speaking careers – and WWSG makes that a priority.
The bottom-line is this: marketing increases sales, sales increase revenue, and revenue determines success. Engaging clients, growing a business and continued success all rely on effective marketing, which is the most important factor for all businesses to thrive.