Professor or University Speaker?

Next week I am thrilled to be teaching a 3 credit hour course on Internet Marketing at Kent State University.

It is more work and more time for lower pay when you compare it to a normal 1-2 hour Internet Marketing Speaker gig, but it is really interesting to have the chance to spend 40 hours with a small group on students that are hungry for this kind of information.

If you are a speaker and have never done a big workshop that is longer than the normal speech you might do, here is what I learned.  Break it down into 30-60 minute speeches.  So 40 hours is basically 30 smaller speeches and some time for activities, project work, Q&A, live demos and more.

The Internet Marketing class I have designed and am going to teach is not “how to do Internet Marketing.”  It is actually how to work with different kinds of clients, assess their needs and propose the best Internet Marketing strategies and solutions to meet their goals within their budget.

Of course, I will be working with students to teach them the basics of Internet Marketing as well, but more in line with improving their ability to talk about it and plan for it.  A very valuable skill, if you don’t mind me saying.

Kent State University Students

I am a professional business speaker and my audiences are usually composed of small business owners, Internet business entrepreneurs and marketing professionals.

Last week I got to be a University Speaker again and it is truly a nice change.  In some ways, the advice you give to inexperienced (and some experienced) student entrepreneurs is a nice barometer to measure your progress.

It was a round table session at the Kent State University Entrepreneur’s Extravaganza and I found myself talking with small groups on simple things like:  What is a CRM?  Why you do not want to hire employees and get office space until after you have proven there is a market for the product or service.  Also, why it is unlikely to raise much money early on so it is better to build a business assuming you will have to self fund it.

A lot of the advice I gave was drastically different from what I would have said a few years back.  It was not that long ago I would have thought the credibility of a full time staff, office space, your own servers and your own phone system were an important part of having a business.  Now I would say that unless you really need it, those things are only for after you experience rapid growth – not before.

New entrepreneurs spend too much time thinking about having a business in the traditional sense, when they should be thinking about having a product or service with a nice profit margin from day one.

Speaking at Universities

I have been a University Speaker at many different universities and colleges, but what is a University Speaker?

This is a bit tricky because it includes everything from Speaking to a Marketing Class as a guest lecturer, teaching full University courses, speaking at university events that are open to the public, being a University Speaker to a smaller student organization on campus and even just attending some training events to help prepare students that are graduating to be ready for the workplace.

Many universities also have lecture series and entrepreneurship centers that need speakers.

Of course, university can also include college, community college and even the rare public schools.  I have done teacher training on how to pass school levies via word of mouth to many public schools.

So when I say I am a University Speaker, it is actually a much broader term.  I enjoy speaking opportunities to educational institutions and if you are looking for someone to bring it, I would love to talk to you.

Why Marketing for University Students

You may not think that a marketing speaker is the best person to hire as a University Speaker.  However, let me tell you about something I learned from my many years in business.

If you cannot market and sell a product, it really does not matter how great the product is.

This is so important for university students to learn.  The degree alone is not enough.  They have to build a great personal brand and know how to sell themselves.  I am not talking about a resume.  I am talking about building a personal brand that will make them easy to sell later on.

Your potential University Speakers should really be  Branding Speakers.  A Personal Branding Speaker.  Someone that understands how social media can help and hurt a career.  Someone that can give your university students a plan for future success.