Many of our clients have a compelling story, a message that will impact others, a passion for being on stage, and a goal of being a speaker. And most of them start off speaking for free. They believe they are ‘paying their dues,’ ‘getting exposure,’ ‘testing content,’ ‘building relationships,’ and whatever else people sell them on to be true. Sometimes, this is true. There will be times in your career that you should take free gigs.
On the other hand, there is an overwhelming amount of people that are undervaluing their worth in this business. Every time you say yes to a free speaking opportunity, you are investing your own time, money, and energy in the hope of it paying off. Even when they are paying for your travel, you are still taking time away from other things that are important to your life. That can easily lead to resentment.
We have been there ourselves. And that is how we learned these 3 ways on how to ‘get paid’ even when you are speaking for free.
1. Videography and Photography
Do not underestimate the value of quality photography. Influencer & NYT Best-Selling Author, Lewis Howes, says that his secret to growing as fast as he has is through incredible photography. You need photos for your media guide, social media and website. May as well get them at these events.
You also need to have video footage of you speaking for your demo video. Demo videos are often times the deciding factor on whether or not you get booked. This can be expensive, so use this as a negotiation tool. A sample line you can alter and use is:
‘My fee is normally $3500, but I will waive that if you have this professionally shot and I can get a copy.’
Anytime you are speaking, you need to build in a way for you to capture e-mails from everyone in the audience. There are low budget ways of doing this and there are more expensive, high-tech ways of accomplishing this. Either way, if you are not using these events to build your e-mail list, then you are slowing the growth of your speaking career.
If you are writing a book, creating a course, developing a membership site, or have some other backend monetization plan in progress, use this as an opportunity to generate pre-sales. This is prime selling time for you. How many times will you be in front of an audience that just listened to you, are engaged, and want whatever you will offer them? Have an offer ready to present and you may be surprised by what happens. This is also one of the tactics that people use to hit the New York Times Best-Selling list!
The more you get to learn about us at Brand Builders Group and are exposed to our content, you will begin to understand at the core of everything we do, there is a strategy. Without a clear strategy for why you are speaking, it will end up becoming a hobby and not a business. The great thing is that the strategy itself is simple and we can help make it easy. Comment below if you want info on our upcoming event World Class Keynote Craft: The Business of Speaking.
To learn more about how to build your reputation, click here to request a free call.
Author: Elle Petrillo, Brand Strategist, Brand Builders Group