Building a personal brand online takes time, effort and a lot of consistency. One way to accelerate your recognition is to take on speaking gigs. Online speaking is a great way to get started but in-person opportunities will help you gain recognition with a more engaged audience and establish your expertise on a specific topic.

This week at #SproutChat, Sprout All Star and tenured social media marketing speaker Neal Schaffer shared advice on how he’s grown his personal brand by taking on various speaking engagements.

Position Yourself as an Expert

Before you can get in front of large groups and garner the room’s undivided attention, it’s essential to build an online reputation in the subject area you plan on presenting on. Be present where your target audience is and engage in the conversations happening around your topic on and off-line. Create and publish content related to the industry you’re targeting. Remember that it doesn’t hurt to write a book on your topic either ;-).

Always Vet Your Opportunities

It’s important to know what your non-negotiables are. When you’re just getting started, it’s natural to want to proactively seek out and say “yes” to any opportunity that comes your way. As your reputation grows, it’s important to know which opportunities will help you reach your target audience and grow your recognition. Once your reputation is solidified, you should be more selective about which speaking engagements are worth your time and effort.

Keep Your Presentation Content Polished, Fresh & Interesting

One daunting aspect of securing speaking opportunities is the time and effort it takes to put together decks that are thoughtful and interesting. If your audience across gigs is similar, it may be tempting to give the exact same talk. Challenge yourself by always refreshing your decks. You can do this by incorporating recent content examples and finding creative ways to bring a new perspective to your presentation. Edit your presentation several times and practice with a trusted colleague to ensure professionalism and value.

Join us Wednesday, August 10 at 2 pm CDT for #SproutChat on using social media for social good with Sprout All Star David Pride. Until then, join our Facebook community to connect with other chatters.