You will NOT make money as a speaker…at least not at first.
You will NOT make money as a speaker…regardless of what those Facebook ads you’ve seen say.
Stop me if you’ve read this Facebook ad before:
“Make millions speaking! Check out my Ferrari. Become an overnight success with no talent or effort required. Just a pulse!”
🤣 🤣 🤣
The truth is you will NOT make money as a speaker.
At least not at first.
I’ve been a full-time, professional (and yes paid) speaker for over 20 years now.
It’s hard. It’s not easy. It’s not for everyone.
You’ll cry. You’ll wanna quit. Your first speeches won’t be very good. You’ll spin your wheels. You’ll have to actually invest some money (before you even get paid – gasp). And you do need to have some talent.
Not scared yet? Still with me?
Here’s the straight-up, honest-to-goodness truth about what it takes to be an IMPACTFUL (should be your #1 goal) and SUCCESSFUL (should be your #2 goal) speaker…
THE 7-STEPS TO BUILD AN IMPACTFUL AND SUCCESSFUL SPEAKING BUSINESS:
1️⃣ Choose your AUDIENCE.
Who do you want to be in your audience? High school students? Teachers? Parents?
2️⃣ Identify your BUYER.
Who will book you (and eventually pay you) to speak to that audience? Sometimes these are two different people. Example: You wanna speak to high school students. Your audience (therefore your speech) is high school students. But your buyer (therefore your marketing materials) are for principals, counselors, and leadership advisors.
3️⃣ Craft your SPEECH.
It’s not hard to write a speech. It is, however, INSANELY hard to create a standing-ovation-holy-cow-that-was-amazing speech. Aspiring speakers overlook the importance of this. But you have to deliver that speech DOZENS of times before it’s any good, let alone standing-ovation-holy-cow-that-was-amazing. Each time you present it gets 1% better. You don’t write a great speech ‒ you earn it through relentless iteration and practice.
4️⃣ Create your DEMO VIDEO.
Y’know how you decide if you’ll see a movie based on the trailer? Your demo video is the “movie trailer” of your speech. It’s a five-minute version that gives us a preview of the emotions conveyed and the practical takeaways you’ll provide to your audience.
5️⃣ Launch your WEBSITE.
As a speaker, your website is a glorified piece of real estate for your demo video. Once you have it you can start marketing yourself by linking people to your website/demo so they can see for themselves what you do and what you speak about. People hire speakers because they are convinced they are good speakers. By either seeing them in person or watching their video. You rarely get hired to speak because you wrote a good blog post or an amazing infographic.
6️⃣ Consistently generate your LEADS.
You could have the world’s most impactful message, but if you aren’t getting booked ‒ no one will hear it. This is tireless and frustrating, particularly, when your new. Your first ten paid gigs will be significantly harder to book than your next one-hundred. As you endure through the frustration you’ll better understand who your buyer is, what they are looking for, your message will be sharper, and therefore you’ll be more compelling of a speaker either in-person or on video.
7️⃣ REINVEST your impact & income.
When things are going well, you’ll want to reinvest a portion of your impact (influence) and income (money) into ways to reach more people with your message. Meaning, the more you speak, the more influence you’ll have and the more you’ll get paid. It’s important to reinvest both back into growing your speaking career and giving back. This could include writing a book, creating a video course, certifying other people to teach your methods. Think Marie Kondo of the KonMari method or Blake and Dave’s My Life Online program.