Quite recently, I had a conversation with a colleague about offering someone an opportunity to speak at his event of which the person turned down the offer. This sparked a discussion on how many designers turn to ignore email or personal invitations sent to them on opportunities to speak at events or for interviews.
For emerging brands and even established ones, event organizers would always extend opportunities to you to showcase at their event or be a speaker at their seminar or invited for media interviews. What would you do? Would you accept simply because it is an invitation or would you turn it down because you probably aren’t ready for all the buzz that comes with having your flyers running on social media? Here are a few factors I would like you to consider when you receive such opportunities.
Not all platforms are good for your brand
Bear in mind you don’t have to be everywhere at all time. Choose where you want to be and which platforms you feel may work for you and your business. Ask the organizers all the questions you need in order to make a decision to participate or not. Questions such as who is the event targeted at? what other speakers are on board? You also need to ask yourself if accepting this opportunity will positively impact on your brand and also create other opportunities.
If it doesn’t align with your brand values and positioning, you may want to decline but in a polite way. Once you are clear the good reasons override the negative, then you may want to go for it.
You need to be ready for the spotlight
Taking up opportunities as an emerging brand for interviews and speaking engagements has the potential of generating additional brand awareness for your business. Interviews and speaking opportunities opens up new territories for your brand which has the potential of garnering new leads. It also puts the spotlight on you as people begin to connect you easily with your business.
Some may be opportunities to thrive on
There are so many opportunities emerging business owners are ignoring. This may sound crazy, but it happens more than you would imagine. For many of them, it may be fear. Fear of the spotlight, of not being able to deliver a great speech or sound like some of the smart presentations from Tedx.
There are some who receive these opportunities sitting in their email because they are overwhelmed with work and can’t even have time to respond to them. For whatever the reasons may be leaving opportunities unresponded could affect your brand in the future. Some of these opportunities are what help you grow and you need to take advantage of those opportunities which is what will separate a successful business owner from a business owner.
It’s okay to say no
Sometimes it’s okay to say No. Be sincere about it. When you are not prepared for the opportunity, humbly respond and tell them you won’t be able to take up the opportunity due to a few reasons and assure to get back in touch when you are ready. Even when you donot plan to get back or accept the opportunity at a later date, its still appropriate to respond nicely and politely for business etiquette purposes.
Keep these relationships as they may be useful to your business in the future not now.