How I Use Guest Posting to Land Speaking Gigs

Sana ChoudaryBuilding Influencer Relationships, Finding Blogs, Getting Started, Pitching

Introduction

Do you want to speak at large in-person events?

But do you also want to make sure your speaking:

  • Is only at reputable events known to attract action-takers?
  • Builds your brand and your email list with your ideal audience?
  • Deepens your relationships with the influencers you admire?

What if I told you, you can achieve all of this if you use my Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post technique?

Would you be interested?

If yes, then you are in the right place because in this post I will show you the Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique step-by-step.

But first, let’s talk quickly dangerous speaking advice you need to avoid at all costs.

dangerousspeaking

Dangerous speaking advice you should avoid at all costs

Google “How to Get Speaking Opportunities” and you get over 241M hits.

googlehowtogetspeakingopportunities

Here is what most of it says–if you are just starting out with speaking, you should speak anywhere you can.

That type of advice leaves me flabbergasted.

I’ve spoken a lot, I have built two businesses through live speaking. I’ve reached over 12K people, all without speaking anywhere I can.

And not once did I try to speak anywhere I can. Not even when I was first starting out.

In fact, I would go as far as to say speaking anywhere you can is downright dangerous!

If you are speaking anywhere you can, you can forget about getting actual results.

Here is what happens when you try to speak anywhere you can.

Low reputation events fill up your time

Low reputation events are focused on filling seats-with-butts.

These are the events that respond to your pitches to speak the fastest.

But speaking at these events gives you zero brand credibility.

They also leave you with no time to pitch or speak at higher reputation events.

You don’t attract your ideal audience

Because of the seats-in-butts focus of low reputation events, no attention is paid to attracting the right type of people.

The people they attract are either freebie seekers or quick magic bullet solution seekers.

Not the type of audience you want to attract to your email list or your brand.

You don’t build relationships with influencers you admire

The influencers you admire don’t attend low reputation events.

Instead, they are spending their time either attending reputable events hosted by influencers they admire or organizing their own events with a curated quality audience.

Since you aren’t speaking at those events, you miss the chance to build relationships with them.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way. Let’s talk about the Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique.

What is the Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post- Technique?

The Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique involves using a well-positioned guest post to:

  1. Develop a long-term win-win relationship with an influencer
  2. Build your brand and your email list with members of your ideal audience AND
  3. Land speaking gigs at reputable events known to attract action-takers

This technique allowed me to get speaking opportunities at VentureBeat’s flagship conferences, even when I was just starting out. At the time I only had one guest post and almost no people on my email list.

I used the Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique at Ryan Levesque’s ASK community to get audience reactions like:

audience reactions

Audience comments like:

partialcomments

Partial comments, this post still gets comments 7 months later

And get invited by Ryan Levesque himself to invite me to speak at his ASKLive event last month:

speaking

P.S. In case you are wondering why I named this technique Amaze-the-Influencer it is because after my guest post-Ryan kept calling me amazing in every interaction. Appropriate isn’t it? 😉

What you MUST do before you use the Amaze-the-Influencer-Technique 

Address the mental gremlins that hold you back from guest posting.

mental gremlins

You know gremlins like:

  • What do I have to give the influencer?
  • Is guest posting right for me?
  • What should I pitch? They’ve written about everything!

Clearing these mental gremlins is an entire topic within itself that we won’t be covering it here.

It is the subject I cover extensively in my 52+ minute video workshop called 5 Hacks to Building the Guest Posting Habit.

For the sake of brevity, I am just going to assume you have already gotten rid of mental guest posting gremlins.

If you are lost on how to deal with these mental gremlins or are battling with lots of uncertainty and hesitation around guest posting then definitely check out my 5 Hacks to Building the Guest Posting Habit Workshop.

Here is the link:

http://sanachoudary.com/5-hacks-to-building-the-guest-posting-habit-workshop/

Once you have dealt with the mental gremlins, then come back and read the rest of this post.

 

 

Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique [4 steps]

There are four steps to the Amaze-the-Influencer-Guest-Post-Technique:

  1. Expand your definition of a guest post
  2. Listen to the audience’s biggest question
  3. Integrate quantifiable demand
  4. Create an epic actionable post

Let’s talk about each of them.

Step 1 Expand your definition of a guest post

expanddefinitionGP

I used to have a very narrow definition of a guest post. I only considered posts written for other blogs (preferably larger than mine) guest posts.

This drastically reduced my ability to use guest posting to gain potential speaking opportunities.

You see, not every influencer who has an upcoming live event will be using their blog to nurture their audience.

Many nurture their audience through non-blog channels. Channels like Facebook groups, course communities, social media platforms.

The best place to guest post to get a speaking gig is whatever platform the influencer uses to nurture their audience.

Let’s look at Ryan Levesque, creator of the ASK Method and ASKLive as an example.

If you look at the ASKMethod.com blog, you will notice Ryan blogs very infrequently–only 3 blog posts for all of 2017.

Yet, in the same year, Ryan not only had several successful launches that landed him on Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies in America but also hosted his a live event which had a thousand people in attendance (and sold out.)

The man obviously spends time nurturing his audience. It is just that he isn’t nurturing them through his blog.

With a little bit of investigation I found out Ryan nurtures his audience via Facebook groups.

ASKgroups

Quick eyeballing shows over 12K+ members who are also paying customers–usually the most nurtured audience in any business

In fact, if you are a member of any of these communities you will notice Ryan really cares about these audiences.

He:

  • Personally responds to students in these groups and has dedicated teams serving them
  • Encourages and drives member interaction through multiple threads
  • Creates unique dedicated content within these groups

So the best place to guest post to land a speaking gig at Ryan’s ASKLive event is his Facebook groups.

Big Takeaway

Do not limit yourself to guest posts on influencer's blogs. Guest post on whatever platform the influencer uses to nurture their audience.

Now let me bring it all together for you with some practical action steps.

Step #1 mini-steps:

  1. Find all the platforms the influencer uses to nurture their audience
  2. Identify the one platform the influencer is putting in a lot of personal attention and business resources

Step 2 Uncover pitch angles directly from the audience

uncoverpitchangles

In the past, I used to have to put in way too much work to uncover pitch angles.

Here is what I did:

I’d pour through all the influencer’s content for weeks. All the while keeping my eyes peeled for any topics I might be able to contribute to.

I’d try to put myself in their audience’s shoes and take a guess on what else might remain unanswered.

I’d then flatter the influencer* until they are open to hearing what I had to say.

And finally, persuade the influencer that my guesses were correct.

Not only is that way too much work, it also has lots of room for failure.

Then I discovered there is a much easier way to uncover pitch angles that also reduces my chance of failure. Going to the audience directly.

Here is how I did this for Ryan Levesque’s ASKLive event:

  1. I joined the ASK Method Community Facebook group
  2. I listened to recurring audience questions for a week

As I listened one question came up repeatedly–”how can I talk to members of my ideal audience when I don’t already have an email list” came up repeatedly.

I knew this was a problem I could solve as I had it many times across many different businesses for both myself and my friends in the past.

And since the pitch came directly from their audience’s biggest questions, I did not have to work quite as hard to flatter, convince, or persuade Ryan about my pitch.

askpitch

*For brevity I am using the word influencer to mean the influencer and/or their team. When you are working with influencers that have a large team you may be engaging with their team for some or all parts of the pitching and guest posting process.

Big Takeaway

Listening to the audience's biggest questions is an easier and more effective way to uncover pitch angles. 

 

Step #2 mini-steps:

  1. Join the #1 platform where the influencer nurture’s their audience
  2. Listen to the audience’s biggest recurring questions
  3. Choose the question that you best know how to answer

Step 3 Integrate quantifiable demand in your pitch

quantifiabledemand

One of my biggest mistakes in the past was pitching directly after finding the audience’s big question.

When the influencer is intimately familiar with their audience’s needs, this works well.

But when they aren’t, just sharing an audience question will not get your pitch accepted.

Here is an example of a pitch that did not get accepted:

imdisgusted

Even though I placed a screenshot of the audience question, it was not enough to convince the influencer and the pitch did not get accepted

What works better? Integrating quantifiable audience demand within your pitch.

Here is how I did this for Ryan Levesque’s ASKLive event:

  1. I asked the audience members if they needed help with the big question I had uncovered
  2. I received their responses showing their demand for an answer to that question
  3. I made sure to tag the influencer to ensure they saw the audience demand

You can see the exact language I use to do this in the screenshot below:

audience validation

Big Takeaway

Don’t just share your pitch with the influencer. Make sure to also integrate quantifiable demand to your pitch.

 

Step #3 mini-steps:

  1. Ask the audience if they need help with the big question you have uncovered
  2. Collect their responses to quantify demand
  3. Draw the influencer’s attention to audience demand

Step 4 Create an actionable epic post

epicpost

I used to hold back on the information I gave in a guest post.

My thinking was I shouldn’t give all the information away.

If I do I will be left with nothing for my own blog or my paid courses.

As a result, most of my guest posts were pretty lackluster.

And they rarely left the influencer feeling like I helped their audience in a meaningful way.

Not surprisingly I rarely got follow up speaking invitations after my guest post.

Then one day I discovered if my guest post helps a huge chunk of the influencer’s audience, speaking invitations become almost guaranteed.

I mean think about it, if you were an influencer wouldn’t you want to invite speakers who have already demonstrated a strong commitment to helping your audience?

Of course, you would.

For Ryan’s audience, I wrote a 800+ word post that:

  1. Walked them through what they had to do to solve their problemwhat to do 2
  2. Showed them how to do it through templates and examples
    how to do it
  3. Showed them how to apply my solution to their situation by responding to their specific questions

how to apply it

The result of all these steps was my guest post remained front of mind for Ryan for months. And when he was considering speakers for ASKLive he naturally thought of me.

ryanASK

 

Big Takeaway

Creating an actionable epic post where you don’t hold anything back increases the chances of getting the influencer to invite you to speak at their event.

 

Step #4 mini-steps:

  1. Walk the audience through what they need to do to solve their problem
  2. Show the audience how to do it through templates and examples
  3. Show the audience how to apply your solution to their specific situation by responding to their questions

Wrap up & Next Steps

There you have it. Those are the 4 steps I take to use guest posting to get speaking gigs.

Do you still have questions?

Perhaps you have questions like–> 

How can I stop feeling like guest posting is poaching? I’m asking an influencer to let me convince their readers to be my readers. I feel like I am asking to pick the fruit out of the trees in their backyard. 

OR maybe

How do I know if the influencers I’ve found are the right ones for me? You aren’t really sure if they are. But you really don’t want to find out after doing all the work of researching, pitching, and writing.

OR maybe

How can I get an influencer’s attention without wasting their time? How do I make them think–hell yes I want this person guest posting?

Luckily for you. I answer all of this and more in my 5 hacks to Building the Guest Posting Habit Workshop.

Here is the link:

http://sanachoudary.com/5-hacks-to-building-the-guest-posting-habit-workshop/

What’s in the 5 Hacks to Building the Guest Posting Habit Workshop for you?

  • Ending your poaching the influencer fears: Discover how to easily create exceptional gift-pitches packed with incredible value, so that you never feel like you are picking the reader fruit out of influencer’s audience trees ever again
  • Identifying the right influencers for you: Know what to look for to confirm which influencers are the right ones for you, so that you don’t waste time pitching and writing guest posts for influencers who will never bring in the right people to your site
  • Getting influencer attention the right way: Find out how to ethically snoop and uncover pitch angles that influencers crave so that you never have to wonder what pitches will get influencer attention ever again.

And if you buy before Dec 10 you will also get a complimentary 1:1 30 minute call (valued at $75.99) where I will help you live with your burning guest posting questions.

Here is the link to purchase the 5 Hacks to Building the Guest Posting Habit Workshop again:

http://sanachoudary.com/5-hacks-to-building-the-guest-posting-habit-workshop/