This is about a new strategy, not just about a new website
During the first decade of the 21st century new web technology allowed people worldwide to organize themselves. Under the auspices of social networking, alternatives to existing speakers associations gradually arose. People could register for free within minutes, share knowledge and help each other identify leads. The low barrier to entry facilitated the steep rise in popularity of these new online communities. It was expected that they would soon organize their first events, build real-life networks and mechanisms for building reputations as speakers. For the first time in its history, the Federation experienced some competition.
To respond to these developments, the Federation decided to build a website that would serve as an alternative to these competing communities, and by using its existing positioning, reputation and network, perform more successfully than these alternative networks.
The positioning of the GSF brand
- Share: It’s all about the willingness to share experiences, knowledge and ideas without any expectation of something in return. ‘Share’ is so prominent on the homepage because it’s the heart of the Federation.
- Maturity: We are experienced. We know what is important in public speaking and how to work with clients. We share a code of ethics. We believe that it is important to promote new talent.
- Reinventing: We have a succesful past and we have an amazing future. We’re continuously improving services for our members. This website with all its social media integrations is but one example.
- Friendships: The Federation is much more than a high quality network of specialists. It’s a network of real people meeting in real life. In this community members find peers and people with similar interests who are fun to spend time with. It’s not just business, within our network people find true friendships for life, worldwide.
- Industry relationships: We have established relationships with agencies, meetings planners and existing national and international bodies in the speaking industry across the world. And we’re committed to work with them, no matter what changes are ahead. Roles will evolve, the nature of speaking might change but the knowledge shared in front of audiences will be everlasting.
- Designations: Only the Federation and its Associations issue designations like the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) which is a well-known and respected qualification; an achievement awarded in many countries that helps speakers receive more bookings.
This website has the following objectives:
- To act as a platform for existing Federation members to share knowledge and experiences.
- To generate leads and identify potential members, for our member associations.
- To enable people in non-Federation countries to set up their own Associations.
- To create revenues for the Federation.
- To create a GSF experience that matches the GSF brand.
- To facilitate related groups like the GSN (Global Speakers Network) and conferences such as GSS (Global Speakers Summit).
The member hierarchy
We’ve created synergy between this website and social media by designing a membership hierarchy.
It’s our intention to facilitate steps upward from the lowest entry barrier. The width indicates the group size.
The Twitter feed is our lowest entry barrier. Articles, books and sponsorship contributions posted on our site will be fed via RSS to our Twitter feed. Tweets by members are shown on their profile and we follow members these as well (as long as they write about public speaking). All events on this website can have a Twitter hashtag (#). All tweets thus tagged appear automatically on the event detail pages. Twitter should stimulate interest in the Federation, its Associations, and its members.
The second level is our LinkedIn group. People need to join the LinkedIn group by request before they become group members. These requests are approved using the following criteria: affinity with professional speaking, training or coaching. Furthermore, a profile needs to be completed. One needs to upload a photo with visible eyes, a detailled bio and to attain a significant number of connections. This is to prevent wannabes from joining the group and disrupting discussions with advertising for example.
The social networks should bring new people to our site and we’ll invite them to register for free as a GSF website member.
GSF Website Members, by using the website, receiving feedback on their comments, learning about Association events, should grow convinced of the added value of Federation membership and benefits of joining one of our member Associations.
Finally, after years of experience, seasoned speakers can obtain internationally recognized speaking designations, such as the CSP that will enable them to participate in senior speaker meetings.
The online community, comprising the website and its related networks is managed by volunteers. Like everything in the Federation, it’s all about helping each other move forward. Volunteer! It’s fun to be part of this exciting community!