Influence is the new currency. Micro influencers are the new rock stars, and micro influencers have enormous currency to a sponsor looking to get in front of a target audience. Celebrities with a large following are great for big corporations. Ask Kim Kardashian who makes $10,000 for sending out a single tweet.

But Speaker Sponsor is more focused on small business sponsors and large corporations doing local and regional sponsorship. In that case, Kim Kardashian’s  millions of followers is too much. And it’s also too expensive for local or regional small business sponsorship, and doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better return on investment. Just being famous or semi famous isn’t enough for a small business.

I’ve been preaching this for a while now, but a recent roundtable event put on by Eventopedia and Bold with a group of event professionals may prove what I’ve been saying to be true. Even Ad Age is talking about how the micro influencer market is booming. Recent research shows that micro influencers have about as much credibility as family and friends do.

Recent Instagram research found that micro influencers had more engagement, which shows that it’s more about quality vs. quantity. Micro influencers had several times more engagement with followers than celebrities did. This makes sense since you are reaching a much more targeted audience.

One thing small businesses are looking for, even over the big corporations, is sales. And sales are more likely to happen when customers are more engaged. People buy from people they like and trust. The more positive engagement there is, the more sales a small business will get. Small businesses usually don’t have money to waste on people who aren’t interested in their products. Big corporations can spend millions on TV ads that reach a lot of people who aren’t interested in buying from them. Small businesses can’t do that. They need to be more targeted and efficient.

This is all great news for you as a speaker. When you are hired to do a speaking job, you are instantly a micro influencer. You have a targeted audience for a small business, who wants to get in front of them. You have at least an hour of face to face time with that audience who is looking at you as an expert. If you do your job right and give them great information, you are also gaining their trust. And if you show them your sparkling personality, which you should be doing as a speaker anyway, you are also getting them to like you. This is all extremely valuable for a small business.

If you are asked to speak for free, which is about half of all of the speaking jobs out there, you have an opportunity to use that time to help a small business get in front of their target audience at the same time you get paid. It’s a win-win for everyone!

As a speaker, the time is right for you to take advantage of this new trend and start making really good money as a sponsored speaker by being a micro influencer. What are you waiting for?

 

I just arrived home after delivering a keynote speech to 700 executives at the Mega Conference in Austin, TX on the future of newspapers. Part of the speech was about how live events and small business sponsorship are going to be a big part of the future for local newspapers.

The newspaper industry has seen a sharp decline in their small business advertisers in the past few years and have been looking for alternatives to their current business model. Enter… live events.

It wasn’t just me who was talking about live, local events for newspapers. It was a buzz that permeated throughout the conference, and is starting to be seen as a new, additional revenue stream for newspapers.

This is incredibly good news for speakers who are looking to partner with local and regional media for a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s also good news because small businesses are literally an untapped area for sponsorship.

Many small businesses don’t even know about sponsorship. In my experience, small businesses often think that they have to invest millions of dollars to play in that game. But a small business could sponsor a speaker or small, local event for very little. And their return on investment is good because they are reaching a very targeted audience.

The big corporations of the world have been involved in sponsorship for several decades, but small businesses are the new frontier. Big corporate sponsorship has become a very crowded field, making it difficult to break in, especially for a beginner.

I’m encouraged and excited about the direction small business sponsorship is going. Right now, it’s in it’s infancy. But that’s good news for speakers who want to get into a multi-billion dollar industry on the ground floor before it becomes too overcrowded.

Disruption is occurring in all industries. The newspaper industry, like the speaking industry, has had the same business model for many years. And that’s worked just fine… until now. If you don’t learn how to innovate within your industry, you risk being made irrelevant.

But the good news is that opportunities are everywhere. Even in the speaking industry.