As a speaker, being asked to speak for free happens regularly.
Some speakers never speak for free, but a growing number of speakers are realizing that being offered a stage is always a good opportunity.
What are these speakers doing differently? These speakers have set up multiple streams of revenue and use their talks as their main marketing effort, not their main income source.
Their talk is a way to instantly reach out to new audiences, build influence, and meet new clients.
Here are 5 ways to make money beyond your talk.
1. Use the stage to land other speaking opportunities.
Exposure has become an “iffy” word in the speaking industry. but is it really that bad for your career?
Free access to completely new audiences can be incredibly beneficial for getting new clients and new opportunities— you never know who is in the audience.
Perhaps there is a CEO of a business in your industry or a training manager who is looking for your exact expertise for their organization.
Treat each talk, free or not, as a showcase for your speaking skills and specific knowledge, and they will generate new opportunities.
When possible, and okayed by the event organizer, make sure to drop a line in your talk letting the audience know that you are available for talks, consultation, or training.
This doesn’t mean that you repeat it over and over. Simply stating it will be enough to catch the interest of those who are curious.
2. Build a fanbase by setting up a marketing funnel.
A marketing funnel is a long-term strategy that will require patience but will have multiple benefits to your business.
Here is how a sales funnel works: you create a system for following up with your audience, stay connected to them, develop loyalty with them, and then promote your product or services.
Directly after your talk, or while networking before or after the talk, collect business cards and contacts. Then, email the contact afterward asking them if they’d like to stay in touch with you, either through social media or email, moving forward.
Even better, use SpeakerHub’s Shared content feature to collect leads when sharing your presentation or follow-up materials.
Add them to your email list and social media following. Increase your chances of generating new business and influence.
3. Write a book.
Writing a book has multiple benefits for you as a public speaker. Here are a few of the ways that having book for sale will help you build your speaking business.
- Establish yourself as an expert in a field.
- Consistently boost your income, even while you are sleeping!
- Boost your influence online.
- Go much deeper into your topic than you can on stage.
- Increase the likelihood of getting hired for more speaking events.
Imagine you are an event organizer and you are trying to pick between two speakers:
- Expert speaker #1: has a professional speaker website, good reviews, and a decent following on social media.
- Expert speaker #2: has a professional speaker website, good reviews, a decent following on social media, and has written a book on the subject.
With all being equal between the speakers, the one who has written a book on the topic positions them as an expert and is more likely to get hired.
While self-publishing can be a lot of work, you will have more control and ability to start selling your book right away. Finding a publisher can be challenging at first, but it will be easier when it comes to managing logistics and marketing.
Top tip: consider whether a series of videos, a workbook, or online training course can be added on to boost your book and income.
4. Offer training and consulting.
While the goal might be to make all your income just by speaking, this can take years to establish (if you get there at all.)
The majority of speakers supplement their income by having a diverse offering of services they can offer: from workshop training to article writing there are a lot of options.
Strategize how you can use your content and expertise to benefit businesses and organizations through training and consulting. Then, use your talks as your main marketing to tool to reach them.
Also use other mediums, like being a guest on podcasts, webinars, or blogs. In the same way, you can access new audiences to offer your training and consulting to. Sometimes, guests are paid which would be another way to monetize your content.
5. Organize your own events.
Having attended multiple events, conferences, and workshops, you are probably well aware of how they work.
By occasionally switching roles and becoming an event organizer yourself, you can earn additional income as well as gain a new perspective on how event organizers think and how to better market yourself as a speaker.
You can start by co-organizing a small conference, a workshop series, or webinar, then move into hosting and organizing your own events. Hosting events is ideal for building your influence while earning money through ticket sales and sponsorships.
While we are not advocating for speakers to only ever speak for free, there can be benefits if you have a business model set in place that does not rely entirely on speaker fees. When you are building your speaking business, boost your financial security by diversifying your sources of income.
What have you found works, or doesn’t work, when it comes to building your speaker business? We’d love to feature your advice in a future article. Contact us.