Last night I got to spend a really great night of fun, casual and even directed business conversation with many of the speakers at Explore Minneapolis, which begins today. Thanks to the effervescent Jason Falls, it’s the second time I’ve had the opportunity to speak at these great events.
It also marks the last event I am speaking at this summer after being on the road much of the spring and summer. I have been fortunate that most of the folks at H&R Block realize telling our social journey story outside of the four walls of our world headquarters has value.
Having, in the past, worked for a brand that would barely let me outside of the building; it’s a big difference. And despite appearances that traveling all the time is glamorous and exciting (it’s not!), I’m glad this run is coming to an end.
But as I think about staying close to home more often as we head into tax season, I’m glad I did so many events as it was great for me and for our brand.
If you’re a professional who is working to justify with your supervisor a speaking gig, or you’re wondering why the hell you should hit the road to talk about your work, here’s a few reasons why it matters for you and your brand.
- Telling your story helps you tell your story. Sure, you sell inside and outside the company but telling your story over and over again helps. It helps you and your team with consistency but sharing your journey helps others and makes influencers aware. Some incorrectly think speaking gigs are just an echo chamber of the social intelligenica. They’re not. They help your brand with relevance.
- Learn/Teach/Learn is important for all professionals. By speaking in front of other business folks, you’re “paying it forward” and teaching what you know. Not only that, you’re giving others practical advice they can then use and they, in turn, can share with you their experiences. Because social is an emerging media and we’re still early (for some brands) in the journey, these experiences are incredibly valuable. We must continue to talk about the work and help others and listen to how they can help us.
- Influencers can impact your business. I recently had a directed conversation about the value of social influencers. Someone I know claimed we were just talking to ourselves and that speaking gigs don’t really help the business move forward. I completely disagree. Brands talking about how they’re using social to move the business forward reaches influencers and results in media coverage and mentions in publications, blogs and speeches. These influencers tell the world who is doing it well. You want them to talk about you. That trickles down to the consumer.
These are just my thoughts on three quick benefits on jumping feet first onto the speaking circuit. If you decide to take my advice and pursue it, you have to have a compelling story and the passion to talk about it. But don’t be afraid to ask for the travel funds or to make the business case.