If you look at the top of my website, it says I am an expert on all things mobile. I want to clarify first what an expert is, and what an expert is not.
An expert is NOT someone who knows everything about a topic.
An expert IS someone who has relevant experiences to share.
I think it’s important to specify that what I’m sharing on this blog is my experience, not hard and fast rules. So I want to share a few experiences I’ve had with public speaking, and it’s effect on my businesses.
I briefly mentioned an experience I had at the PRSA conference in NYC in my post, . Here’s a quick summary from that post for those who haven’t read it.
“the original idea was partially to promote my products, but mostly to give me an excuse to go hang out in New York for a while with my business partner. I didn’t think much would come of it. During my presentation an influential PR professional was tweeting about one of my case studies for the app, iAugment. Within the next 24 hours almost every major news outlet in the country was talking about iAugment. That day the app received around 125,000 downloads and hit the top selling app for it’s category in almost every country, and remained there for over a month!
I was able to repeat this success in public speaking on many of my other apps. People love sharing things they are hearing about at a conference, and there are a lot of tastemakers who attend these things.”
In addition, speaking at events like this can:
1. Lend you credibility
2. Allow you to make yourself known
3. Broadcast your products and services to an interested group
4. Create new fans, who will act as an amplifier for your message
Later on I had a similar experience in finding development talent in the video games industry. I did a short presentation (about 30 minutes) on the psychology of game design. The talk went well and there were quite a few educated questions at the end of the talk, which ended up turning in to an impromptu Q&A sessions with myself and two others involved at different cross-sections of the game industry. Doing this single talk has created so many local connections I couldn’t even list them all here. Suffice it to say it has helped find development talent, artists, and even some strategic partnerships. But most importantly, it helped create an audience interested in my work. This built-in community is personal, and will travel with me wherever I go, this means getting the word out about a new app, service, or just an idea becomes much easier.
It’s become a common way of thinking on the tech startup world that what is more important than having millions of users is just having 10 or so that are really interested in your product. Making successful products in the new internet-connected world has less and less to do with traditional advertising to massive audiences, and more to do with how likely it is that someone will share your product with others. Web marketing, social media marketing, engagement marketing, are all just terms to describe a simple idea: If I show my product to someone, what do I need to do to make them share the product with others? What makes it that unique product that will be discussed where most products go unnoticed?
My answer is that they need to be fans, whether it’s of your product or of your work in general. Doing speaking engagements builds credibility like nothing else. Fans can act as a sounding board for your work, and nothing builds that fan base better than giving them an organized presentation while holding their full attention. How long does a visitor stay on your landing page? Maybe a few seconds? A presentation gives you an audience who is ready to listen and learn, if you play it right it can be one of the biggest boosts for promoting your content.