Finding Your Opportunities
There are a TON of ways to create opportunities to posture yourself as an expert in your field. Of course, being a podcaster myself, I’ll start with getting booked on podcast! I shared tons of tips on how to find yourself on the right shows and then have a fantastic interview in my presentation to the Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter. So, check out that audio on episode #118!
Great opportunities are also right in your own backyard. (Ok, not literally; but, almost!) Look for local conventions and conferences–particularly those that are several months out. These bigger events usually have their speakers chosen waaaaay in advance, and you don’t want to miss deadlines. However, if you find a great one, but it’s too late to submit yourself, make note of it for next year, so you don’t miss the next deadline.
Aside from applying early, it’s also good practice to expand your circle by speaking at a conference that’s not necessarily in your direct bullseye. For example, I recently submitted myself to speak at the Women’s Empowerment Expo. It’s not a conference about podcasting AT ALL. However, I aim to speak to the group about building your network, which will naturally lend itself to my mentioning my podcasting. As long as the context is adjacent and isn’t forced, expanding beyond your bullseye can keep you in front of fresh eyes.
Another point: Don’t ever be too big in your britches to go small. Find MeetUps and other event-based organizations that consistently look for speakers and try to get in front of those groups as well. Sometimes, those opportunities can create the most intimate, sustainable impressions and connections.
Creating Your Own Opportunities
The best way to create your own opportunities is by producing your own content. Think about it like engineering our own personal SEO plan for people to find YOU (instead of necessarily finding just your website). So, start blogging, vlogging, or podcasting. Stay on topic. And, stay consistent.
Once you have your content publish, don’t just leave it in a rabbit hole. Use social media to shine a light on it. While that is another conversation and topic to dive deep into entirely, yes, in case you didn’t get the memo, social media can be a fantastic platform to establish yourself as an expert and influencer. So, use the social media platforms that make sense for what you are doing and that you are comfortable with. (For example, entertainers should be on Facebook and Youtube; business professionals on LinkedIn; and techies should be able to find a good audience on Reddit.)
So, post links to your content on different platforms, staggering the dates/times to create a drip effect.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Once you are in front of your audience–whether standing in front of people, ready to flip on a recording, or prepped to start typing, take a deep breath, first. Try your best not to get nervous. Remember that you are in that space for a reason. So, think of yourself as knowing more than everyone else in the (proverbial) room about whatever it is you are about to speak on… so, you ARE the expert! Be confident in that… Then, knock it out of the park!
The students of Jesse J Mcrcray Elementary who attended the “Achieve Miami” Art Program this summer recently received a special visit from my 25th and 69th episode guest, Jason “JaFleu” Fleurant. The feedback and smiles from his visit spoke volumes.
The staff, the students, their families, and the community will remember JaFleu as a rockstar artist, because he cared enough to do a bang up job! He is the epitome of being a solid influencer!
No “Luck” Without Persistence
When trying to build up to becoming an influencer, rejection can and will be a part of the process… and there will be times when you flop. I submitted myself as a speaker to Podcast Movement, but I didn’t get it. (I REALLY wanted to land that opportunity, too. Oh well…!!) But, I haven’t let that stop my rise.
Now, I’m submitted to be one of their IGNITE speakers and have also been forming relationships with the people (WONDERFUL people, by the way) who are behind the scenes. So, if I keep doing what I’m doing–stay persistent, be kind, and make myself useful–who knows? Maybe I’ll make the big stage one year!
My recent opportunity to speak to the Mystery Writers kind of just fell into my lap; but, I wouldn’t have been asked in the first place, if I hadn’t proven myself as a person of knowledge about podcasting. And, I certainly wouldn’t have been ready to accept the opportunity had I not been working so hard to become the kind of expert they wanted to put in front of their group.
As a teaser to my next guest, Yami Avendano of Twinfinite, something she said sums this sentiment up nicely:
“I wouldn’t have even given luck a chance if I’d have given up in the first place. Don’t give up.”
Here’s the video I pulled her quote from:
And, as I have mentioned before, I am very excited to have invited James Oliver, Jr. to not only be the source of an upcoming series, but also to be Curve the Cube‘s third anniversary guest. The title of his book says it all: “The More You Hustle, the Luckier You Get.”
I can’t WAIT for you to meet James and Yami both. They are both incredible influencers.