Building a personal brand as a Public Speaker
The moment I decided I needed to build a personal brand, it became clear to me that public exposure was a must.
As a born introvert, putting myself out there in front of a big crowd is not my natural preference but it’s something I have worked on throughout the years.In the past, I purposely applied for jobs that required public speaking and I have hosted several events where I had to moderate in front of hundreds. It’s become a learned skill and today I am a public speaker and facilitator.
One box I hadn’t ticked though, was speaking at a Podcast. For some reason, I was always impressed by the people who were speaking at a Podcast and intimidated at the same time.
A few months ago, I decided to turn things around and become a Podcast speaker. This is how I did it:
- Identify your theme
This might sound obvious but it’s not that easy. Pick topics that you could speak comfortably about, without major preparation for 30 minutes. How many of those are directly related to what you want to be known for? Your theme should be a direct reflection of your personal brand.
In my case, my central topic is diversity & inclusion and motivation. Today, I have spoken at 7 Podcasts and although the topics varied from completing an Ironman to the cultural challenges of being in a new country, I always linked it back to my epicentre of diversity and inclusion (DEI).
Find your epicentre and gravitate around it
- Identify Podcast hosts
“Who is going to want to interview me? I don’t have a lot of experience. What do I have to offer?”.
The imposter in you will be asking these questions. It’s normal.
We all have a story, we all have unique life experiences and we all have a message worth sharing.
You can start by googling Podcasts in your topic. I used a very useful website called Matchmaker and after setting up a speaker profile, it allowed me to browse through different Podcast hosts, check out their show and send them a message. I selected around 20 and initiated my pitching journey.
- The pitch
In only a few sentences, you have to explain why you are going to add value to their show: your value proposition. Take a bit of time to check out what their Podcast is about, the type of content, etc, as a copy paste approach is unlikely to succeed. Customise a bit depending on your host and share something personal and interesting about you.
Being personable, approachable and charismatic is key to get the slot: you wouldn’t want to invite someone you don’t like or who seems stand-offish.
Set a target for how many shows you want to pitch for: I decided to send 20 in one week spread out in 2 blocks of 10.
- The matchmaking
I had a really good response rate from my pitch strategy and had 5 hosts show interest in my profile. One reason is because the shows that I picked are not huge and they are trying to grow organically the same way I am. Also, they checked my social media presence and saw I have a decent audience on Linkedin (3K followers at the time) that can benefit them.
- The Podcasts
These are the specific Podcasts I joined in my 2 months’ campaign:
- 5 Minutes for me: A Growth Mindset
Ad from Podcast 5 Minutes for Me
DreamaniacTV: “Cultural diversity & inclusion”
Ad from @DreamaniacTV
- My First Step Ever:“How to turn challenges into opportunities”
- Mindset Michele TV Show: “The mindset to succeed”
Ad from Mindset Michele TV Show
- The Crossing it Off Podcast: “Becoming an Iron(wo)man”
Everyone of them was a fantastic opportunity to improve my public speaking skills and get exposure to a new audience. It also helped me rank higher on google search and many of my shows appear there under my name.
Is it worth it?
If you are wondering whether I made any money out of those, the answer is no, I didn’t. That was never the intention though.
I want to position myself as an authority in my field, DEI and motivation, and having visibility and endorsement by third parties gives me authority.
Expertise and authority multiplied by time generate money.
I currently have 3 Podcasts in the pipeline and guess what…I didn’t pitch any of them! 2 pitched me via Linkedin and 1 through Medium.
I plan on continuing working on my personal brand and building my Podcast portfolio in 2023.
If one of your goals for the New Year is to invest in your personal brand, speaking at Podcasts is a great way to build credibility and get over the mic phobia!