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10 Things Successful Money-Making Speakers Always Do - Grow Your Speaking Business

10 Things Successful Money-Making Speakers Always Do

10 Things Successful Money-Making Speakers Always Do

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Based on my 20 years of experience, I’ve seen hundreds of “newbies” transform themselves into well-paid speakers while hundreds of others flounder and never make a dime. 

I have successfully owned and operated the Charli Jane Speakers Club since 2005, and I have seen all levels of success.  

What makes all the difference? 

Keep reading to find out 10 things that successful speakers do

#1 Mindset Bends Towards Success

Having the right mindset from the start. What does that mean exactly? 

That means coming in with a success-oriented mindset. 

You can’t start a speaking business on a whim and think it will happen overnight. You must understand that this is a journey, not an overnight adventure

“There will be work.” 

Perhaps a bit of blood and sweat and tears. (Just kidding, maybe sweat & tears though). You need an unshakeable can-do mindset—your inner voice encouraging you to succeed. I will touch many lives. I will be financially successful. I will roll up my sleeves and use elbow grease.

Going in with the right mindset will set you apart immediately from the rest of the pack and set you up for success! People can sense that confidence and it makes them gravitate towards you. 

#2 Clarity of Audience, Niche and Message

I’ve taught this for 20 years. You need to separate yourself from the pack. 

General speakers who are all over the place and offer many topics to different audiences without focusing on their ideal one, struggle to stay consistently booked. 

They go in circles. Start over and over. Eventually, give up. It breaks my heart, because this could have been avoided. One very important thing was not done first before moving forward in their speaking business.

Successful speakers will nail their audience and niche precisely before really seeing success. 

How about you? Do you think you are niched tightly? 

Go tighter. Become a specialized speaker. 

Nail this, and you’re way ahead of the pack.

All successful speakers have a very clear message. When a planner comes to your website, social or wherever they find you, your message needs to be crystal clear. This will entice them to learn more.

#3 Sticky Signature Talk Title

Successful speakers have one Talk. It’s what they are known for. 

At least when you first start, polishing and perfecting that one talk is key. You can tweak your signature talk for each audience if you need to, but generally, it will be the same across the board.

Let this talk be your thing

Let it follow you everywhere. Don’t try to be everything to everyone by having multiple talks, especially on different topics.  

The scattered approach is confusing to planners, and you start to fall into the sea of speakers. 

And get lost.

Build around your one talk. 

Create products from it. 

Memberships, coaching programs, courses, books, etc.

Become known for this one talk. 

This will open many doors of opportunity because you’ve set yourself up as the specialist on this topic and placed yourself as the expert in your field.

#4 Pillar Marketing Pieces 

Successful speakers have created their top marketing pieces to help build their speaker platform. These are the pillars that support their business brand and speaking platform. 

When starting, don’t get overwhelmed by this. 

Do one thing at a time.

And, remember, all marketing material pieces are always a work in progress. They change as you grow.

The most important marketing pieces will include:

Your onesheet is a key (PDF) piece that you will feature so planners can download it from your website. 

A planner page on your website is essential. In working with planners for two decades, I know their frustration when they can’t find what a speaker does. Make this a top-level navigation link so it is easy to find for the hiring decision makers. Have everything they need all wrapped up nice and pretty on your planner page. They will appreciate your saving their time.

 

#5 Always Be Growing Your Mailing List

So important. Remember, you are trying to reach not only planners, but your ideal customer who can buy your products, such as your coaching programs, courses, books, and any other products, or services, you create.

Personally, I will tell you this is one thing: I wish I had done this and paid more attention to this key pursuit when I started 20 years ago. I have learned marketing techniques that now grow my mailing list at least 30-50 new people every day!

This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give. If you’re just starting out, GROW YOUR MAILING LIST, and even if you’ve been in business for many years start focusing on growing your list even bigger. Every day.

Implement strategies that work for you. Tasks you do at least once a day. Mine include using Facebook groups. I use this strategy every single day and it takes me 15-30 minutes max.

I never leave my work day without engaging in a task that will grow my list.

My list is my greatest asset in my business. You may have heard this before as I had years ago, but still didn’t take the time to truly focus on growing it. So I’m reminding you, too. Now, it’s seamless, painless, even fun, and growing every day.

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#6 Branding

You can’t be all over the place. 

Let me say this again, you can’t be all over the place.

Successful speakers are consistent and have a clear brand that follows them.

A consistent brand is going to build trust.

Your website, social platforms and all marketing materials should all have the same branding.

That is your logo, colors, tagline, message, images, personality, voice, fonts, etc.

Let them follow you across the all the waves. 

You don’t want to have varying different colors from your website to social banners. 

You don’t want to have a message on your website but the message on your social platforms is totally disconnected.

Planners book people they trust. Consumers buy from people they trust. Trust comes from consistency, reliability and clarity – no matter the medium. 

#7 Be Consistently Consistent

The successful speakers I’ve seen over the years are consistent in everything they do. Be it writing a regular blog post, hosting their podcast, guesting on other podcasts and blogs, getting in front of the media, and implementing marketing strategies daily. 

Whatever it is, they are consistent. They have a calendar. They have a hotlist. They have an ethic. They check it off daily and get it done.

If your time is strapped, I recommend outsourcing some of this to stay on track and leverage your time.

Consistency builds trust. Consistency places you as the expert in your field. Consistency pays off. 

You can’t post on your blog one month and a few months later do another, by then you’ve lost your readers. You can’t do a podcast one month and another 6 months if you want to keep those listeners subscribed. You can’t post on social one time and maybe a few months later post and then a day later and then a month later. People are drawn to a consistent presence. 

You get my drift. Be consistent and show up. Do the work & your results will be amazing.

#8 Engaging Social Media Marketing

This is free! 

But yet, so many don’t utilize this. I get it, so many really don’t like the social media world, but there is a lot to tap into to get your positive and inspiring message out there. And you can do it on your own terms. Why not try it out? 

Successful and booked speakers get in front of their ideal customer or meeting planner that has the power to hire them. Simple math here, right? If they can find you, they can book you. 

And using social media to do this has never been easier.

The trick to this is being consistent and intentional. If there is a conference you want to get on the stage, make an effort to find them on social media.

Put on your research cap, pull up your sleeves, and get to work.

On the conference page, find the person who is hiring speakers or who you feel is the point of contact (or at least the beginning touch point).

Find them first on LinkedIn and afterwards on Facebook.

I want you to “like them”, follow them, genuine comments (no, “Nice post” or “I love it” comments. Be intentional, and authentic, about your comments and be a standout on their comment feed.  

Such as, “Hey _____ I read your last blog on _________ and really resonated with #4 because it ___________________________. Thanks for sharing that!” 

Compliment them because compliments can go far and get you noticed. Just be genuine about it. 

The goal here is first to get noticed and get on their radar.

The second is to build relationships. 

Again, this is not an overnight mini-trip. It’s a journey. You need to love the process, embrace it, and not rush it.

#9 Follow. Up.

If I got $1 for every time I told a speaker, member, client, or student, to Follow Up I would be a very wealthy woman. And if they had consistently done it, they’d be … well you know …

Listen, I know you’re busy. I’m busy. We all are busy. Who isn’t busy? 

But do you want this? 

Do you want to get booked? 

Build your speaking business full-time?

Yes? Then you need to follow up on everything!

This can mean a proposal you submitted or a comment you made on social. Don’t “post and ghost”. That does you no good and is just a time-suck.

This can also mean following up with a postcard after submitting a proposal, following up with that call, and following up with that email.

Let me tell you, I’ve seen hundreds of speakers get the gig because they had a follow-up strategic plan in place.

I’ve also worked with planners for 20 years, they are busy. 

They’re in a hurry. 

They need a speaker, possibly ten speakers. 

They get busy. They get sidetracked with other details. They lose your info and forget how to find you. It’s just the nature of the job and all the incoming info they wade through. 

It’s 3 months to event day one welcome and time to book their speakers, and they need someone clutch. 

You step in with a follow-up postcard, email, comment, call, and BAM  💥 you’re in!

Don’t overlook this and put a strategy in place.

#10 Submitting Proposals Weekly

As I said, consistency is key to getting booked. I am consistently saying to you – Be consistent! 

The successful speakers I see who are getting booked have been consistent, dedicated and have a plan in place to work their system.

They submit proposals weekly, they track everything and they follow up. Outsourcing this, or bringing on a team member can really help with this. I tell speakers to be the one to decide if a gig is potentially right for you, but have someone help you with the rest. 

Taking my Booked Gigs Course will get you jump-started and on your way to a full speaking schedule! 

If you have some marketing pieces in place, a clear and clever message, and have started to place yourself as an expert in your field, then you need to add #10 to your weekly tasks.

You can find speaking gigs online (Charli Jane Speakers Club provides hundreds of speaking opportunities to members each week). You can visit local chambers, rotary clubs or look for the conferences where you want to be on stage.

However you source your speaking opportunities, it’s essential to submit proposals weekly. I would recommend no less than 5 a week.

Be consistent with this. Don’t give up when you get tired. Don’t give up when you get some “No Thank yous”. Just don’t give up, period. 

Giving up isn’t an option, right? You want to do this because you have something important to share with the world. If you want this you have to do the work if you want to reap the results you desire. 

#11 Bonus Tip – Find A Mentor

Have a mentor and be part of a like-minded community that can help you grow. 

This is priceless.

When I started Charli Jane Speakers in 2002, I didn’t want to spend the money on a coach. 

I justified it by not only being stubborn, but because we had four daughters we were raising, bills, busy-ness and and the whole life is a lot right now circus to deal with. 

I am a bit stubborn and said I could figure it all out myself. 

And I did, but … what could have taken me not very long at all really began to drag out over time.

If I could go back and tell my stubborn self, “self, you need a mentor”, I would listen.

Now, I invest thousands yearly in coaches and programs to learn. 

This is an investment in myself, my business, and my clients and members. And the ROI is always there for me to enjoy. 

So, if you’re like me, the best advice I can give you is to invest in a program that will nurture you, and walk you through step-by-step what you need to do to reach your goals of getting on more stages and helping more people. 

If you’re ready to say “HECK YES!” to that kind of program and are ready to go all in … I have this ready for you! 

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Meet Wendi McNeill

As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.

Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi

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Signature talks are the bedrock upon which you should build your speaking business. In fact, without them, you have no real business. That’s why it’s so crucial to get them right.

Not only do you need to be able to perform them at the drop of a hat, but you also need to be able to sell them. And sell them well.

Here’s what you need to know about signature talks so that you can make the most of them.

What is a Signature Talk?

A signature talk is a presentation or keynote speech that you give on a regular basis that showcases your work or expertise in a particular area.

It’s the talk you’re known for and that people come to see you give. In a way, it defines who you are as a speaker. When people think of you and your specialist subject, your signature talk is what they’re going to think of first.

It’s also the talk you know best. You can reel it off without even thinking about it. You know all the ins and outs, all the jokes, all the stories. It’s like your comfort blanket, and it’s something you can rely upon time and time again.

Why You Need a Signature Talk

A signature talk is essential for any speaker who wants to make a living from their craft. It’s a way of packaging up your work, knowledge, and expertise into a talk that you can then sell to clients over and over again.

It’s also a way of differentiating yourself from other speakers in your field. If you can nail your signature talk, you’re one step ahead of the competition. It’s your springboard to establishing yourself as the authority in your chosen subject area. An impressive signature talk on your chosen subject will ensure no one forgets your name in a hurry.

Lastly, it’s a speech you can deliver, at any time, at any location, and with your eyes closed if necessary. But why is that important in the context of building your speaking business?

I’ll tell you why.

Because you always need to be ready to go with a speech. And I mean ALWAYS. Last-minute cancellations happen, and incredible speaking opportunities arise out of the blue. If you’re not prepared with a top-notch speech that you can confidently deliver at the drop of a hat, you WILL miss out.

A signature talk means you’re always ready to go, no matter what.

How to Create a Signature Talk That Sets You Up for Success

Creating a signature talk will take a while, as it will be your most important speech. So, it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

While I can’t tell you what to talk about, there are some general factors you need to keep in mind to give yourself the best chance of success.

Make Sure You’re an Expert on the Subject Matter

It goes without saying that you need to be an expert on the subject matter of your signature talk. But what does that mean, exactly?

Well, you don’t need to be the world’s foremost authority on the subject. But you do need to have a deep understanding of it. It should be your career, your passion, or your life’s work. You should be able to talk about it for hours without running out of things to say.

Remember, your signature talk is what you’re going to be known for. So, it’s essential that you choose a subject matter you’re comfortable with and that you can talk about with ease.

Find Your Unique Angle

When you’re an expert on something, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that people will automatically want to listen to you talk about it. But that’s not always the case. Just because you’re an expert doesn’t mean people will automatically be interested in what you have to say.

You need to find your unique angle. What is it about your take on the subject matter that makes you different from other experts? What is it that’s going to make people want to listen to you and not someone else?

Your unique angle is what’s going to make your signature talk stand out from the crowd. It’s what will make people remember you and want to see you speak again.

Create Sexy Titles That Sell

I can’t stress this enough, without a sexy signature talk title, you’re never going to pique the interest of event planners or get people to sign up to see you speak.

Your title needs to be eye-catching, it needs to be interesting, and it needs to make people want to know more. It should give them a taste of what they can expect from your talk and leave them wanting more.

Think of your title as the hook that will reel people in and get them interested in what you have to say. Forget “Become Stress-Free in 30 Days” or “How to Perfect Your Morning Routine.” You need something that hits people in the face and makes them sit up and take notice.

For instance, using the morning routine example above, a more compelling title would be “Complete 17 Tasks By 9 am Without Changing Your Morning Alarm”. Straight away, you’re giving people a taste of what they can expect (with specific numbers) from your talk and piquing their interest.

Make Your Talk Easily Adjustable

Sometimes a speaking gig opportunity comes up at short notice, and you need to be able to adjust your talk accordingly. Other times, you might find that your original angle won’t work quite as well for a specific audience or event.

For these reasons, you must make your signature talk easily adjustable. It should be flexible enough that you can change small parts of it to better suit a particular audience or occasion.

The last thing you want is to be stuck with a talk that’s too rigid to change. You need to be able to adapt, adjust, and develop to make sure your talk is always relevant and engaging.

Practice Your Speech to the Point of Perfection

Once you’ve got your signature talk nailed down, it’s time to start practicing. And I don’t just mean going over it a few times in your head. I mean, really practicing. To the point of perfection.

You should be so familiar with your talk that you could do it in your sleep. You should know it inside out, backwards and forwards. This way, when you get onstage, you won’t have to think about what you’re going to say next. You’ll be able to focus on delivering a great talk and engaging with your audience.

A good rule of thumb I have with signature talks is being able to deliver them with just 30 minutes of prep. If I needed to take a couple of hours (or longer) to prepare, I would start to overthink my material. But if I can do it within just 30 minutes, then I know I have a solid, well-practiced talk that I can deliver with confidence.

The Bottom Line: Signature Talks Are the Bread and Butter Upon Which You Build Your Business

Creating a signature talk is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and build your business. But it’s not enough to have any old talk. You need a talk that’s well-crafted, engaging, and relevant.

Your signature talk is the bread and butter of your business. It’s what you’ll use to sell yourself to event planners and get people interested in what you do. So make sure it’s the best it can be.

If you need help honing your signature talk or getting started on crafting one from scratch, why not follow my four-week roadmap to launching your speaking business?

My Launch Your Speaking Business LAB includes everything you need to get started, from finding your niche to writing and delivering your first signature talk. Click here to learn more.

 

Meet Wendi McNeill

public speaking business

As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.

Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business.

When it comes to Wendi’s clients she is very passionate and laser-focused about how they can grow their speaking business to levels of great success and fulfillment. They work together on strategies to quickly & easily position them as the top expert in their subject matter.

The results are success, financial freedom, and limitless lifestyle choices. Her primary objective is to help speakers/experts properly position themselves so they can get found easily, fill their speaking schedule and increase their income to incredible levels. Also, through the development of multiple streams of income, her clients learn how to rely on more than speaking fees alone to sustain their businesses.

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