How To Get Paid To Speak At Conferences
Would you like to know how to get paid to speak at conferences? The Speaking that I do? I don’t really get paid for. So I wanted to invite somebody who does and who I like to hear from. So Michelle, you take it away. As a highschool debater, I often fretted that many of my friends in track or football, or basketball, can go on to serve professional careers. Yet there was no professional debate team. And I remeber lamenting about this one time to my fellow team mates when I said, “Why isn’t there professional debate? cause I would really rock at that”. One of my friends said, “Well you can be an attorney.” Truth be told, I don’t really love school. So the thought of going to an additional degree, passed even a bachelor’s, was more than what I really wanted to take on. And then, another friends said, “Well you can be a motivational speaker” and I thought, maybe someday. And I remembered in the back of my mind, always thinking, someday, I’m going to be a professional speaker.
Now I went to school in marketing and advertising and through the course of that experience, had a lot of opportunities to do professional speaking on marketing and social media and, I really loved that. And, while it came as kind of a bi-product of my consulting and one on one coaching with clients, I really enjoyed the time that I was invited to speak. And I remember, thinking to myself, “Wait a minute, I really wanna do more speaking. I want that to be bigger. I want to get paid to speak on bigger stages and better audiences and travel all over the country” And, I’m so excited that I’m fulfilling a dream that I talked about with friends in my old highschool 20 years ago. So today I wanna share with you, how you can get paid to speak.
And, there are four steps to creating a killer speaker platform and I wanna share each one with you. The first one is building experience. Now as much as I had experience in highschool and even debated through college, it had a fair amount of speaking experience, I still needed to experience in the professional world. So when I first started, and made this 100% goal, I started speaking in free and local opportunities. Things like Koana’s clubs and Rotary clubs, Local chambers of commerce and even individual groups within the chamber of commerce. Where I can share my message, share my story, share the content that I have in an audience where I got to learn about what works and what didn’t, what jokes they would laugh at, what jokes they thought were lame, and I really needed to pull out of there. But the experience really helped me. Understand my message, understand what was important to share, and also helped me get feedback on what work and what didn’t. But experience also got me speaking engagement. Everytime I went and spoke, I had an opportunity for people to refer their business to me and I often got paid speaking engagements from the opportunities I spoke for free. And from that, I’ve been able to build my business. Over the course of the last 9 years, 97% of my speaking business comes from referral. And it’s come from being willing to speak at free engagements that got me paid speaking engagements as well. Now the second part of building a expert speaking business is expertise. And making sure that you have expertise and experience in the subject matter that you want to speak in. Now, my background is in marketing and advertising and I’ve done a lot of work with social media, I have a lot of one on one clients. So, it’s natural for me to speak on marketing and social media. I’ve also done a fair amount of work on the subject of productivity and peak performance and people often ask me to come and share messages on success principles, how they can get more done in less time. Because of the experience that I’ve had growing businesses, raising a family, and trying to juggle how to get all of that done and so people are often interested in the story as well. But that came from experience. It didn’t just come from me saying, “You know what? I wanna go be a fitness instructor.” which we all know I would never be really great at. Fitness speaking? you can tell that it’s not my thing, Now doughnuts on the other hand, I can probably share a fair amount of experience on. But the message for you is that while you need experience in speaking, you also need to build some expertise.
So share messages that you know, that you understand, and that are important to you. And then from that, the third step is building what we call a platform. Sharing your message in a bigger and a more strategic way by understanding and building that platform for yourself. As you build a platform, you’re establishing a foundation of the expertise and experience that we’ve already talked about. But the platform is how people get to know you and a platform is every single piece and part of your brand. It includes your website, it includes that domains that you pick, it includes how you show yourself online. And every piece of your platform from a blog post, to a social media status update, exists in helping you build a foundation for expertise in your business and helps people understand where you have spoken, what you’ve done, what kind of expertise and experience you have and it all comes into your platform. Now, as a member of the nation speakers association, one thing that they teach you in a really fundamental level is that, you need to pick a lane. That it’s really hard to speak on a 27 different subjects to establish the experience and expertise that are really important. And that, part of your platform can’t be a message of confusion that you speak on so many things. Now for me, while I talk about marketing and motivation, it’s important that my platform and the messages where I share that platform are clear about the different audiences and the different messages where those two topics will resonate. And so, I have to make sure that my platform is clear.
That I’m building out content on each of those different area. And while they are different, they also play hand in hand and show how they cross, to help people know that they’re motivational skills, their time management, will also help them better with their marketing. While I don’t always cross paths, I want people to know that those messages work together. But one of the most important pieces of your platform is your, I am statement. And whether you share the publicly or if it’s something that you use as a foundational principle, you need to know what your foundational platform is. For me, mine is, I help thriving businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs, grow thriving careers without sacrificing the meaningful personal life. I help people with systems, strategies, and tools to do work that they love without sacrificing their relationships or their hobbies. That is clear to me and so everything that I produce that supports my platform, goes into creating and supporting that message. So there’s a meeting planner happens to stumble on my sight or if somebody recommends me, that they can go to my website and that supports their message. In fact, I had an experience that I wanna share with you of just a few weeks ago. A really great friend of mine in the speaking business referred me to a client in Oklahoma.
Now I didn’t know this person. He mentioned to me that he had referred me and I was excited about the possibility of the being an opportunity for me to speak and to get paid to speak. But, many time a friend will refer you but it doesn’t always associate into checks and to bookings. But what was interesting is I happen to be working online in social media on facebook one day and I notice somebody who popped up as a new like on my facebook page. Let’s call him rich for example. And so, I saw that rich liked my facebook page a little bit later, I was working on my instagram and I noticed that rich liked my instagram page. And it showed up to me because I remembered that they were the exact same name both on facebook and instagram within about 15-20 minutes of each other. I didn’t know who rich was, but I just made a note that, oh rich found me on two different places. 2 days later, I received a call from rich saying, “Hello my name is Rich. You were referred to me by Brad Barton and I am interested in having you come speak at this event. He told me that you’d be great and I’ve checked you out online.” And I remembered him, I remembered his name and thought, “oh. Interesting”. So what happened was, I was referred. But before he actually wanted to do business with me, he went to make sure that my online platform supported the referral he received from Brad. And because it did, he then called me.
Now, I might have never heard from Rich. If Rich liked me from my facebook page and liked me on my instagram page to see if my messages were congruent with what Brad had said. But if they weren’t, he would never have called me and wouldn’t have known the end to that story. But I’m grateful that my platform supported the referral. I am grateful for all of the things I had online that supported that recommendation. That ultimately got me a booked, paid, speaking engagement for a few months from now. So what does your online presence say about you? what kind of platform had you built for yourself that will help people know that you have experience and expertise and that your messaging resonates with what their looking for, for their business. The fourth part of getting paid to speak is building a marketing strategy and plan. My speaking engagements come from a number of different places while I told you that 97% of my speaking engagement come from referral, my most important marketing job is to make sure that I’m speaking on a regular basis. If I look forward on my calendar and I notice I don’t have a lot of speaking engagements, I would go out and speak for free even though I’m a paid to speak speaker. Because I know that, that would lead to more opportunities. But I also know that I need to be sharing other messages. Part of my marketing strategy is having a solid focus and message through social media. Part of my marketing strategy is making sure I have content through my social media channel. Part of marketing strategy is making sure that there are videos available of me and a speaker reel but also sharing content that are congruent with my messages. But you need to create the marketing plan that’s right for you. I know that audiences are the ones that get to experience me but I also know that meeting an event planners are the ones who book me. I know that assistants to CEOs are often the ones who’d call and get the information but someone else is paying the bill and as a result, I’m making sure that my marketing messages reach the right people. So consider that. Who’s your target audience? because it’s not just those sitting in the seats. It’s the ones that are writing you the paychecks. Also be aware that you can get paid to speak by selling products and services from the back of the room. I built a great business on speaking to sell. Now, whether or not this is appropriate in every single engagement that you go to, make sure you’re in alignment with the meeting planner before you sell. But initially, I created CD and audio programs then eventually wrote a couple of books and also created some video series and private coaching and consulting. That in appropriate places I could sell each of those. And sometimes, I make more money selling my product and services than I do for my keynote speaking fees. So consider the best outlets for you. As long as it’s in alignment, that can be another sense of revenue for you and your business and also a great way for the audience to take you home. So hope you’ve gotten some strategies and tools available for you as you go out in your journey to get paid to speak and I wish you all the best! Happy speaking!
Thanks for watching hero TV today. I hope you enjoy this episode. Michelle it was really valuable. I learned a lot so I appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe. I put a lot of details about Michelle down at the description below. We always like it when you like this video. And remember to live on purpose, make a difference, and be the hero! Yeah! you got it!