3 Steps to Book Your First Paid Speaking Gig
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
There are many elements to a successful business. Two important strategies are having multiple revenue streams and passive income. The goal is to create consistent revenue and a backup plan in case one revenue stream is not performing well. One way to add revenue is through paid public speaking gigs. It's not an area that works for every entrepreneur, but for those who can overcome their fear, it's a global revenue stream that can add some serious dollars to your bottom line.
Paid speaking is on my mind as I just back from Tokyo and Hong Kong. While in Asia, I got paid to give a three-hour presentation on the basics of digital marketing. I was able to bring my fiancé and oldest son on this trip because of the fee I negotiated. After the three-hour training, I had nine days to explore two great cities with my family. The whole time, my lifestyle business continued to generate revenue in multiple ways.
You may not realize this, but you have the knowledge, skills and expertise conferences and events would pay to utilize. What you teach in your business is what you could speak about on stages all over the world. The fear of public speaking is real for most people, but we're entrepreneurs. We tend to do the things that are well outside of our comfort zone. Here are three steps to book your first paid speaking gig.
1. Establish a foundation that shows your expertise.
It doesn't take much to lock in clients these days. You can be a great salesperson and convince someone to hire you without them bothering to look at your website or social media presence. Getting on a call and selling is still an effective strategy. That doesn't work with booking paid speaking gigs.
Conference organizers are looking to book experts. They will want to go through your website, social media platforms, look at any media exposure you've gotten and consume your content to get a sense of your skill and knowledge around a topic. They will do all of this before getting on a call with you.
It's important to have an established platform with a website that has clear branding and messaging and solid content that demonstrates you know what you're talking about. There should be videos -- even if they are self-made in your home -- of you training and speaking on a topic. They have to see that you have the ability to present. There should be testimonials and visuals that show people are receptive and interested in what you teach.
2. Hone your skills and build social proof in these places.
Once you have a foundation (website, social media presence and content in multiple places), it's time to build your ability to speak. You can watch great speakers and model what you see working for them. You can learn through organizations such as Toastmasters. You can hire a speaker coach or take an online course about public speaking.
You can also build your skills while getting social media and credentials as a speaker. You can speak at local Meetup events about almost any topic. These won't be paid, but it's a great way to get practice and video of yourself speaking that you can put on your website. You can also get video testimonials.
Another great route is to speak at Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Clubs. These are business organizations. You can get video and testimonials, and you can walk away with business when you do a good job. It's a great way to build skill, get exposure and start adding some revenue.
3. Target these industries that pay.
There are industry conferences that pay a few speakers and the keynotes. That's where most speakers try to book gigs without much success. Instead, a great place to book your first gig is by targeting industry associations and their events.
Since these are executives, you could speak on a wide variety of topics. You could teach personal development, productivity, wellness, etc. These are all topics that will help them as executives and topic they pay speakers to learn. There are a ton of different types of industry association events covering every topic. You can find one that fits what your business teaches.
You can also target conference directory websites to find events happening all over the world and pitch the organizer. There is no shortage of conferences happening daily. In either case, you can find and book your first paid speaking gig through these two places.
It's a great time to be an entrepreneur. Take your skills and knowledge to stages all over the world and add another revenue stream to your business. You also have the ability to sell from the stage or in the back of the room after your presentation. It's a great way to travel (if you want to) and get paid. Use this opportunity to expand your business!