I recently had my first paid speaking gig.
Okay, well it technically wasn’t my first paid gig. I’ve had my tickets comped and I’ve been paid for doing webinars for companies. But, seeing as how I got a check and it was an in-person gig, I’m considering it my first paid speaking gig.
I’ve been speaking publicly offline and off for years, and people always ask me how people like myself convert speaking gigs into paychecks. While I feel like I’m just getting started in this arena, here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Believe the money is out there.
The first step in being able to convert speaking gigs into paychecks is the ability to believe that there’s good money out there for speakers. I recently had a friend and colleague announce on Facebook that he got his first $35,000 check for a speaking gig.
A lot of people would look at that and think it’s insane. I look at that and realize how much money is out there and fiercely believe it’s available to me too.
Sure, you might be speaking for free for a while, but know that those big checks are out there as you build your reputation as a speaker. I find that even believing that kind of money is out there and attainable is sometimes difficult for people to comprehend.
Sell your products.
At my most recent speaking gig, I sold copies my book and workbook in the back of the room. This made the check for my speaking gig extra nice because I earned more money on top of it. In fact, I almost made more money selling books than actually speaking.
Here are the exact steps I took to sell my products:
- I showed them on IG stories as I was promoting the workshop a couple of days leading up to the event.
- I have a Square. I’m well aware that one one carries cash anymore.
- In addition to physical copies, I have digital ones if someone prefers it.
- I used my book during my presentation. This gets people thinking about it.
- I showed the workshop participants what I do. I did live on-the-spot coaching right then and there.
- I unapologetically mentioned they were for sale at the end of my presentation.
- I gave them a deal because they were buying it directly from me and not Amazon. I made it extra enticing by bundling the book and workbook together and giving them a discount.
By the way, I also have books on me when I speak at conferences. I may not be selling them in the back of the room, but I make it known that I have copies available should anyone want one.
Turn the audience into clients.
Another way to convert speaking gigs into paychecks is to turn the audience into clients. In my case, one to three people in the audience usually turns into coaching clients. Additionally, depending on where I’m speaking, the clout that comes with being a speaker makes it easier for me to land writing gigs.
There are several ways to convert speaking gigs into paychecks. That’s why so many people do it. For more on this subject, I highly recommend checking out “World Class Speaking” by Craig Valentine.