Many of my clients want to up their speaking game and get paid to speak. I’m all in favor of that to increase your brand and business – but it takes time, effort and planning to do it right. The first step is to create a roadmap to get there.
Want to get Paid to Speak? Here’s How.
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of Speaking for Free. Every speaker I know has spoken for free, at least in the beginning. You need practice in front of a room, and in front of your target audience to see what works and what doesn’t. Start with a small group, gain your confidence, then set your goals higher. You’re in the driver’s seat. It’s up to you how fast you want to grow.
- You’re Not Just a Speaker, You’re the Show. Event organizers have to be sure that when they hire you, you’re not only a serious speaker, but an amazing one! To be a great speaker you have to master your topic, connect with your audience and be in command. That takes a lot of practice, feedback, and there may be setbacks too. Consider a speaking coach if you want to be top notch.
- You Deliver Results. As you build your speaking career and go from free to fee, you’ve got to add value. Have you identified your target audience? Do they have a particular problem or pain? Do you have the answer with a branded program, system or training? If you’re solving a problem and have credibility with supporting results, you’ve built value.
- Your Video Reel Rocks. If you want to be paid to speak, invest in a professional sizzle reel (video), speaker sheet, headshot and marketing collateral. Before you send out your first pitch, make sure that all of your materials are professional, well branded and showcase you at your best – speaking! You have one shot to make a good impression. Be smart, strategic and have your act together.
- Visibility Counts. Speaking frequently makes you a better speaker and also widens the opportunity for others in the audience to hire you too. You are your brand wherever you go, so make marketing a way of life. Remember, you’re in the speaking business. Use social media platforms where you’ll get attention. And, include lots of video. Launch a YouTube Channel, feature testimonials and promote your upcoming events as a way to say you’re in demand. Earned media like PR counts too!
- Get Out There. To gain experience, some speakers align with a company that’s in their industry where they can be hired as a brand ambassador. This might be an option if you want more stage time and a chance to promote your own services. Look around and see what’s happening in your field. You just might find the perfect gig and get paid!
- Sell Products from the Back of the Room. I’ve known more than a few savvy speakers who’ll speak for free to a room full of their target audience. That’s where they sell high-margin programs, products or books – even if they have to pay a percentage to the house. When you’re negotiating, remember it’s not just about hard finances. Payment can also include email marketing to a designated list, speaking at a future event, webinars, VIP workshops or sponsor mention. Be creative in how you want to be compensated.
- Speaking is a Business. It Takes Time. Like any business, getting paid as a speaker takes time to ramp up and be profitable. Your job isn’t just to build a brand, but an amazing brand that’s recognized in your industry. To master the speaking game for a big fee, you have to be committed to excellence. Get on stage. Put in your time. And, reap the rewards.