Have you been thinking about being a professional speaker and growing your business?
In this blog, I’m going to share three different ways that you can speak to…
Who is a professional speaker?
I'm part of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. In the US, there's the National Speakers Association. There are also many other professional speaking organizations, including the Global Speakers.
The key thing is, speakers are people who get paid to speak. Whether you are a keynoter, workshop leader, facilitator, group coach, professor, emcee, (and there are many more), you are a speaker.
For CAPS, you have to have made $50,000 from speaking, minimum in the previous 12 months to be a member. Different organizations or associations have different criteria. Plus, ethically, you have to be a good speaker.
Now, there still are professional speakers out there who are being paid to speak, who are amazing, who don't have a designation, who aren't part of an association, that's up to them.
When you are part of an association, it does give you credibility. It also can connect you with the right bureaus, the right opportunities, and you're professionally part of a group of your people, your peers, or your colleagues.
I'm sharing this so if anyone does want to go that route, there's that option. Also, if you're wanting to practice your speaking and you're new, I do suggest you go and join Toastmasters. That is something I did in order to refine my speaking ability, to be able to practice, and to get feedback in a professional setting. But that doesn't necessarily teach you how to grow a speaking business.
The 3 ways to speak without being a Professional Speaker
How can you be brought in to speak even if you are not a professional speaker? I have already shared with you about fee-paid speaking, where you would get paid to speak. Now I’m going to share more about speak-to-offer, where you don't necessarily get paid to speak, or you get an honorarium or you don't get your full fee, but you get to make an offer. There are also many opportunities where you speak and talk about yourself, promote yourself by providing education, answering questions, and maybe a presentation. Some of them are free and some of them have an investment by you to speak, but you get to make an offer or promote yourself and capture emails with a lead magnet.
Think of these 3 different opportunities as marketing and sales opportunities. When people come to my free online community, Dynamic Women Global Community on Facebook, I ask them, “What's something you want to learn about?” A lot of times, people are saying marketing, so speaking is one really amazing way to do marketing for your business.
As I go through these opportunities, I will also share some really conservative results that I got. I've had way bigger results, but I'm going to keep it super duper small so that you can think about what is realistic for you. I'm not guaranteeing these numbers, but they are possible. They are showing the reality that even if you don’t have a very big audience, there are many opportunities and really great results you can get from other people’s audiences.
#1: Speak at events
Sometimes, there are networking groups who will invite someone to come in and speak for 5-12 minutes about themselves. It might even be lunch with a speaker, but the speaker is going to be actually giving a proper talk for 45 minutes to 90 minutes. For those, you’ll want to prepare and practice, so you can build some confidence and some experience in speaking.
At these events, you can definitely have the smaller speaking spots. I'll speak about the virtual world, but know that these can definitely be done in-person. This way, if you're thinking virtually, that expands the number of people you can speak to. It also expands the number of opportunities that you have.
Here’s an example of me being given a 10-minute speaking spot:
I was talking about life balance. At the end of it, I said that I'm giving away a free audit of what you need in order to be balanced in life.
There were only 10 guests at this event. One of them was the host. One of them was me, so there were only eight guests. I had two of those people (that's 20%) ask for audits with me. Out of those two, one of them became a sale. One of them bought a program for $997.
Me going and speaking at that event got me one client at $997. That's pretty good, right? Of the 10, 20% came to connect with me. One of those, so 10% of the people, I was able to turn into a client from the lead. (Remember this was a poor result compared to numbers I have done.)
If you could make $997 from 10 minutes of your time, would you grab the mic?
Events are great because I also got to know the host better. The other cool thing is one of the people there reached out to me later about speaking to her group. It's not always about marketing to a client, it could be marketing to another host of another event, or to another opportunity. Plus, it’s relationship building with the event host.
The key thing is you want to do your best to educate them in that 10-25 minutes. You're not going to pitch to them. You're going to give them something like a gift, which is your lead magnet. It could be a report, checklist, audit, blueprint, templates, etc. Listen to this Podcast episode to learn more about Lead Magnets.
Summits can be a day, two days, or it could be longer. Think of it more like a conference where there are multiple speakers. Some of these are going to be interview style or some of these will be you taking the stage to talk about your topic. If you're not a professional speaker, it's really great when these are interviews as it takes the pressure off of you preparing a talk. Those are going to be ones to look for.
When they're interviews, you also want to look for ones where you get to provide the questions so it takes the conversation to a place you want to go and can help you to prepare better. You're not going to read your answers, but you’ll know what will be asked and what you want to share.
It’s going to give the audience the best content. For me as a host, I want my guests to be able to provide the questions so I can ask the best ones to make them look good, and my audience gets the best content.
Here’s an example of when I spoke at a summit:
In the audience for my talk (because there were multiple talks happening at the same time) there were only six guests listening to my interview. At first, I was disappointed because there were supposed to be hundreds, if not 1000s of people on the summit because every speaker was supposed to promote it and so I shared the summit info with my list.
I tried not to be discouraged by this. I gave away a lead magnet at the end, I don't remember which one it was. But from that, I had two leads. Those two leads became two clients, each of them purchasing something for about $1250, so the total profit was $2497. If there were six guests there, that was a close rate of 33%. Now, they both didn't happen at the same time. One happened pretty soon after, and then a while later another happened, which was a great surprise. (Again, remember this was a low result compared to numbers I have done.)
If you could make $2497 from a 30-min interview would you do it?
The other benefit of summits is all the other people there speaking. You can connect with them, you can go and see where they have spoken at, and you can then potentially go and speak at the summit for the next year of this talk if it goes really well. You might also have the opportunity in summits to provide a VIP gift. Now, the VIP gift is usually something you will normally charge for, but you're going to give it for free to the VIPs. The VIPs at the summits are the people who have paid to be there and paid to get the recordings, or paid to be able to get extra bonuses. These are really great people to be offering to because the VIPs are already comfortable paying for things. These are the people you want to give a VIP gift to. If you're asked at a summit if you can provide a regular gift plus a VIP gift, say yes, and figure out what to give them. I encourage you to give something that is going to be passive for you. For example, a mini course, a group session, a recording, or something really good that would position you as an expert.
#3: Podcast Guesting
The third opportunity is to be on someone's podcast and usually it’s interview style.
Here’s an example of when I was a guest on a podcast:
Since no one was there live with us, I had no idea how many guests, or how many people would listen to it, and how many potential buyers there were. No idea. Absolutely no idea. However, I gave a gift - another lead magnet. I had a bunch of people sign up for the gift.
As time went on, more people have been signing up for the gift because a podcast lives on (it’s evergreen). An event is only for the people who are there. A summit is for the people that are there and the people that paid for the recordings or are getting the recordings. But a podcast lives on and lives on.
The even better podcasts are the ones that also promote it on their YouTube channel. For example, every time I do one of my Dynamic Women podcast episodes, it also goes on my YouTube channel, Diane Rolston YouTube channel. That gives you two opportunities to be heard. If you're going to be interviewed on a podcast, wouldn't it not be amazing if you could be on both platforms, as a podcast and on YouTube?
Now just like the summits where I talked about being interviewed, that's the common way to do it, podcasts also have interviews. Now, if the podcaster has some sort of special way they do it, you want to be listening to a bunch of episodes to see:
Providing your questions for a podcast host is really beneficial. When I have people as guests on my podcast, I ask them, “What questions do you want me to ask you?” For a 25-minute podcast, think about offering maybe five-seven questions. It also depends on how long your answers are.
You want it to feel like a tennis match back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. They'll ask you the question, you give an answer, but don't drone on for 10 minutes because they're not going to be able to ask you all the questions, and the audience will get bored.
Let’s get back to my example. (Reminder: These are all super minimum examples, not my best results. I'm giving you almost the worst results so that you can just see what the opportunities are.)
Again, one of the podcasts I was on, I had no clue how many people were listening to it or have listened to it. I received one phone call from someone who left me a message and said, “Diane, I just heard your podcast episode with so and so. I'd like to talk to you about coaching.” Great. We jumped on a phone call so that was just an investment of my time. Then they signed up for one of my coaching packages. That was a value of $8,820.
Would you say yes to a podcast, then a sales call so you could make almost $9000? I’m guessing yes!
When we add this up, I did three separate talks, which you can easily do even without being a professional speaker, other than an outline or some basic questions. I did not practice them. I did not create a PowerPoint slideshow or a presentation of any fashion, no handout, nothing. I was able to bring in about $14,000, from let's say, an average of 90 minutes of being either interviewed or speaking.
There are ways to be more professional or to do a better job for sure, but I was not a fee paid speaker in this case. I made money on the back end by marketing myself very wisely in these opportunities. I have some speaking opportunities where I’ve made $80k on the back end.
What do you think? Do you think you could take on one of these opportunities? Could you go and look for events to speak at? Could you look for summits to speak at? Could you look for podcasts to speak on? You totally can, and I encourage you to do so.
If you want to be a guest on the Dynamic Women Podcast, just go to this link and apply. Now, if you want to be a speaker at one of our future events, you can apply here.
So what's the next step for you? Is it to reach out to me and my team and to be part of these opportunities? Is it to go out into the world and see what else is out there for you? I hope so because one amazing way to market your business is through speaking.
Watch out for my next blogs! I will talk more about the benefits of speaking on other people’s platforms, the myths you’ve been led to believe that are costing you speaking opportunities, and the keys for you getting off to a fast start to grow your business and build your income with speaking.
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