Rand Fishkin wrote a great blog post on reputation management. I’m not going to address every point, but I would like to mention just one.
Speaking at events is typically free (other than travel), promotes yourself and your brand, and almost always carries a high quality bio with links.
I can personally attest to this fact. When you are invited to speak as a guest at an event that is related to your niche, either local or on a broader scope, you’ll get reputation credit in many ways and one of those ways is in links that you attract to your web properties and social media profiles.
The most obvious way to gain links is when you have your bio published on the website of the event’s sponsor or host. Most conferences these days have websites of their own. If a conference doesn’t have its own website then it is usually a page on an existing site. Conference information typically includes guest speakers, bios and information about the people speaking at the conference. You’ll get a direct link from the conference speakers’ page.
But beyond that, there are other ways to attract attention. If you give a great presentation you’ll get the attention of people in your audience. After the conference they will look for you online and, assuming you’ve done your SEO well, they’ll find you and if you have a blog then you can typically gain new links from people who liked what you had to say.
You’ll also gain new customers if you have a great presentation. Sometimes you’ll get new business at the conference itself. Other times you may just pass out some brochures or business cards and get new business from that.
Speaking at conferences and other industry events is a good way to attract links and new customers. If your website doesn’t have a speaking engagement page then you might consider adding one.