Entrepreneur Speaking Opportunities 101 : Why You Need to Be Speaking & How to Get Started
Set an intention to SPEAK.
Prepare yourself to be SEEN.
We’ve had requests for posts and advice on how to become an impactful public speaker and how to make money doing it. This is an area many of you want to grow in, and it’s going to be the theme for The Big Factor blog posts and videos over the next few weeks.
(Interested? Submit speaking-related questions & requests in the comments! or via social media)
Why Should Entrepreneurs Set Speaking Engagements?
People are hungry to know what you do and learn from your experiences. Speaking allows you to share your ideas and mission, in person, impacting many people at once. One hour of your time and many lives transformed.
Public speaking at events and workshops is a great way to get in front of potential customers, not just as a referral or a name on the Internet, but as a person whom can be trusted with an impressive ‘celebrity’ persona. These engagements will have an immediate positive impact on your following and create new intimate connections with people already in and entering your tribe. Those listening who share your values and appreciate your ideas will be drawn to you. They’ll feel your energy, and they’ll become your new peers, mentors and customers for years to come.
If You’re Uncomfortable with Speaking, or Unsure How to Begin…
There is a magic and deep connection when we develop in-person contact with our tribe. If you’re just beginning, start with small groups and grow from there to hundred and thousands. You know your limits, but you also know where you can push your edges to go beyond the initial discomfort of a new experience.
You’re an entrepreneur – growth and development are your veins! Speaking is just as beneficial to you as your audience.
Public Speaking Can Make You Money… Even If You’re Not Getting Paid For The Gig
Free speaking gigs are okay, in fact they are recommend when you are starting out. Speaking for free is still a potential income generators if you’re in front of an audience of your ideal clients. In fact, if there’s an event where you know your ideal clients will be gathered – you want to speak there. Even if it’s for no pay now, you will make immediate connections from the experience, and money… in the long run.
Public Speaking 101: How to Get Started
- How Do I Charge? And How Much? Do Speaking Events Have Set Prices?
Public Speaking for Free:
If there’s an upsell (ie – you’re able to promote yourself- products & services), then I say go ahead with free events. It’s also great practice if you’re just starting out, and it might be a great way to practice your pitch in front a large group. Make sure to share WHAT your message/solution/innovative tool is clearly. In addition, WHY the audience needs what you’re selling: how it can improve their lives and make things easier. Include the benefits of your offerings and client/customer examples who are thriving thanks to your company’s support.
You don’t have to feel like you’re overdoing it to get in a great upsell of your business in your presentation. Drip in those amazing testimonials. Make it a relevant part of your speech: showing off your clients and their happy results, thanks to the impactful advice you’re now sharing with the audience. During, and at the end, of your talk, let people know how they can work with you to secure these results for themselves.
- Include a call to action.
- Invite them to purchase and join you!
- Introduce them to a new possibility, receiving the offerings of your knowledge and experience on a regular basis.
The main message of an upsell is to just ask. Ask people to hire you. A big mistake of public speaking that I witness again and again – brilliant entrepreneurs present a great talk, full of wisdom and insight, and they forget to ask people to hire them!
Your hours are valuable – make sure it’s worth the time spent away from your business when you’re speaking for free.
Public Speaking for Pay:
You can charge, if you’re an expert in your field (especially if you’ve written a book or have a best selling program or product), are well known in your area and/or can establish yourself as an expert, DO IT!
Some locations or events have speaker budgets. But mostly, you’ll be setting an hourly rate (add travel & accommodations separately) or a set price per event to make an appearance and speak. Personally, I do not recommend an hourly rate. As my clients know, I am not a fan of trading hours for dollars because of the prep time behind a speech and your years of mastering your topic. It can get too complicated to calculate exact time invested.
I recommend creating a set price for your time and work to present, then build in your travel cost (flight, or gas for driving), rental car, if needed, and hotel/accommodation. Rates vary greatly – from $1,000-$20,000+ depending on your experience, the impact and anticipation of your speaking, where & to whom you are speaking and the expertise you’ve established.
- How do I get booked for speaking engagements?
PITCH YOURSELF! – Just like with PR or other types of attention and hired gigs.
Create a speaker sheet (Google it!) – a visually appealing one-sheet, with one or two photos of you. Add a short, impactful bio. And bullet point:
- What you are known for/the audiences that follow you.
- 2-3 signature talks that you can do, in your realm of expertise, representing what you are known for and the programs or services you offer to the world.
It’s best-case to be introduced to a location or event through a contact who knows your work and can sing your praises. But sending a warm letter introducing yourself and asking for a meeting to pitch your skills and speaking can be just as impactful.
For ADVANCED Entrepreneurs (with a speaking investment budget!)
Recommendation: Create a video reel of yourself speaking, highlighting what you’re known for and showcasing excerpts of your talking about your most beloved topics.
- Why Speak?
You’re a thought leader in your field – it’s important to spread your message verbally. Use your voice, your experience and your knowledge. Don’t wait until you’re an even more well-known entrepreneur to get comfortable speaking and let public presentations help you. Speaking will establish your expertise, ensure that ideal clients/customer communities know about you and see & hear you as a rockstar!
You’re ready to be SEEN.
Are you ready for a challenge? Put together your speaker sheet, and start to pitch your speaking to get a speaking engagement.
Set an intention in the comments below and keep us posted! Did you land the gig of your dreams charging thousands or did you book an awesome complimentary gig in front tons of potential customers? Share your next steps below.