Starting out as a professional speaker is not a hobby – it is business. And as any business, it requires hard work and persistence to nurture and make it work. Nonetheless, great speakers are made not born. So, with the right training and practice you can become a professional speaker and earn a great living doing so. Just remember: every master was once a disaster.
Successful speakers are those who feel passionate about their message, a find a way to effective communicate it, no matter what. The point here is: take your message and turn it into cash by providing value and solution to your audience in the form of the message and subject you are passionate about. Thus every speech has a job: to solve a problem or help your audience achieve goal(s). Hence, your talk has to have content. The better the content, the more you may charge. The rule is: find people with a problem and then solve it for them in a cost effective way. Starting public speaking simple,
HOW TO FIND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT
- Your best lead to future engagement is in your audience. As such give an excellent talk each time and network with your audience before and after the talk.
- Ask for referrals, recommendation and/or testimonials from the organizers to someone else who may be interested in hiring you.
- But as a starter, do not expect people to come to you. You go and find them. Don’t bother advertising in radio, TV, newspapers, etc. all these doesn’t work at the beginning. Did you just wonder where to go find them? Find them everywhere! But first, you must clearly define your target market, and then go scouting. The following should give you a head start:
Internet: find organizations who could use your service, contact them again and again until you succeed. Expect a lot of rejections at the beginning.
Find local meetings that could use your service and volunteer – even if it is for free – for a start.
Join relevant groups and connect with people who could benefit from your speaking service e.g. LinkedIn
You may be wondering “how do I market myself as a speaker?” To start with, create and maintain a searchable online presence. For example having a website, blog, or using social media to showcase what you do.
HOW TO DETERMINE AND SET SPEAKING FEES
Speaking fee vary on a lot of factors as: your expertise on the subject, length of the talk, size of the audience, etc.
Cost (logistics, transport fares, etc.) also influence how much you could charge
As starters, it’s always a good idea to know how much your competitor is offering, then make a competitive offer. This doesn’t mean it should be lower. But you should offer more value than your competitor for the same price. This could be by offering free gifts, money back guarantee, offering to speak again or for longer, and so on.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- While negotiating, make your host see and believe you to be an expert. Be convincing.
- Never sell yourself short – under no circumstance. This may sometimes imply not saying yes to every deal.
- Know when to raise your fees. Fees equal value. As the value you give gets better, so should your fee.
- Be 100% comfortable with what you charge. If you don’t believe you are worth what you charge, why should anyone.
- Do your homework well – each time.
Make your audience feel like you are speaking to them personally.