Personal Branding Case Study: Marty Van Hill, Professional Speaker

Sorry to use another professional speaker in the case studies (tomorrow it won’t be a professional speaker (for the BAD example), but this is a tactic that I learned of and thought OH MY GOSH THAT IS BRILLIANT! Yesterday’s case study on Thom Singer’s series is here.

marty_val_hillMarty Val Hill is a professional speaker who talks about… well, I really don’t know what he specializes in.  I met him at the local chapter of the National Speakers Association.

He told the audience (of speakers) that he ran a LinkedIn Group for … who?  Speakers?  NO – for the people who HIRE SPEAKERS!

Marty OWNS the Group on LinkedIn called Meeting Professionals International (MPI).  Guess who joins that Group?

His competitors, of course (well, many speakers don’t see other speakers as “competitors”).  But also people who hire speakers… meeting planners/professionals.

Marty, as the owner, has access to almost 10,000 people in his space… I don’t know how many of those are decision makers and how many are other speakers, but even if there are 1,000 meeting professionals, that is a HUGE database that he has access to, as the owner.


The point here is to figure out not who your peers are but who your audience is.  Who is it you want to impress – people who you compete against (nothing wrong with that) or people who are in a position to hire you?

And, as the owner of a LinkedIn Group he can send an “announcement,” which is essentially an opt-in newsletter that goes through LinkedIn’s system… very, very powerful.

This really is brilliant… notice he formed the group back in 2007… my recommendation to you is to look for Groups on LinkedIn that you should belong to… and if you see a gap, think about filling it!

Do you think that Marty, as the owner of this Group, has positioned himself as a subject matter expert or thought leader?

As they say in Utah: YOU BET!

3 thoughts on “Personal Branding Case Study: Marty Van Hill, Professional Speaker”

  1. Well Jason I would say that Marty has positioned himself as both a subject matter expert and thought leader (in more subjects than I think he or most people realize). Marty found a good way to build both a network of similar professionals as well as a potential list of clients for not just his business in speaking, but his brand as a Networker and “Connector”.

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