While building a speaking business is a great opportunity and career path, there’s an unavoidable time and work investment to make it a reality.
Only one in a million speakers will give one or two talks and suddenly become a viral sensation commanding tens of thousands of dollars for their speaking services.
For the rest of us, there will be years of work, including speaking for free in the early stages to get your name out there. But budding speakers I work with are often shocked by how much money can be made without ever collecting a dime in speaking fees.
In fact, some prefer speaking for free as it broadens their potential audience and allows them to hone their skills before charging.
During this early period, when you’re just starting out, you can make a lot of money by speaking at events for free.
“How?” I hear you ask.
In short, you can make money by selling products and services related to your niche and skill set. So let’s look at what forms these extra income streams can take.
6 Ways Speakers Can Make Money Without Charging a Speaking Fee
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode:
#1:Workshops and Training Courses
(4:18) A natural progression as a speaker is to offer specialized workshops or training sessions for both individuals and organizations to learn specific skills centered around your expertise. For example, let’s say you’re an expert in international body language and how your non-verbal cues differ across cultures.
Well, in that case, it would make perfect sense to offer corporate clients heavily involved in mergers and acquisitions training courses and/or workshops on understanding body language in specific cultures.
For instance, many American businesses will be looking to ensure they don’t make any embarrassing faux pas during negotiations with Japanese companies. You can help them by providing much-needed training and, in the process, make some extra cash for your speaking business.
#2: Coaching Services
(5:12) Speaking and coaching are a natural fit. After all, you’re an expert in your subject area, so why wouldn’t you want to share that knowledge with others for a fee? Whether you offer one-on-one or group coaching sessions, charging for your services can be a great way to make extra money and build your client base.
A great way to package your coaching services is through a membership site. That way, you have a continuous and, more importantly, dependable monthly income stream while you’re still looking to secure paying speaking engagements.
#3: Online Courses
(6:03) Another natural add-on to your speaker services is offering online courses or resources. From online templates to video courses, you can make thousands of dollars every month by merely creating and selling digital products.
The great thing about digital products is that you can create them once and then sell them over and over again. Plus, you don’t have to worry about shipping costs or any other headaches associated with physical products.
As far as additional revenue streams go, this is one of the least intensive and most passive ways to make money.
#4: Organize and Monetize Your Own Events
(6:50) Are you struggling to secure paying speaking gigs? No problem! Create your own! By organizing your own event, you can put yourself on a stage with an audience you’ve specifically tailored to suit your needs.
But wait, it gets better. Not only can you benefit from exposing yourself to the right people, but you can also charge an admission fee for your event and gain sponsorship from corporate entities and other parties interested in getting in front of the audience you’ve put together.
From networking get-togethers to industry seminars (or even virtual summits) – there’s a lot of potential for monetizing your speaking skills through event organizing.
#5: Write Books and Other Written Resources
(7:52) If you’re an avid writer, there’s no better way to make money than by writing books and other written resources (such as eBooks).
Firstly, they are an easy sell. If you can get your price point below $10, most people won’t even blink before purchasing – especially if you have a good pitch during (or after) any time on stage you manage to secure.
Secondly, you can make money from your books in multiple ways. You can sell them on Amazon, create a course around the book’s content, and even use it as a free giveaway to build your email list.
If you’ve only got time to commit to one extra income stream, then the versatility offered by books might this option the perfect fit for you.
#6: Offer Skills You’ve Learned Along the Way on a Freelance Basis
(9:03) Some speakers learn all kinds of skills as they build their businesses, from how to nail their speaker website’s SEO to learning the ins and outs of video-editing software for their speaker videos and other marketing materials. The point is there will be people, including other speakers in different niches, who need help doing these things and would be happy to pay for your expertise.
Whether you offer event recording packages using your existing camera equipment and video editing software to other speakers or help people build online courses, you can make a healthy income from freelance work while building your speaking income.
There’s No Need to Rely on Speaking Fees to Build a Successful Business
(10:05) While tons of speakers I work with get into the industry to earn lucrative speaking fees, that’s only the beginning of their income story. Many speakers I know earn double, triple, or even quadruple their annual speaking fees from a diversified portfolio of income streams.
By leveraging your knowledge and experience, you can create multiple income streams from books, courses, coaching, freelance work, and more. You don’t have to be a celebrity to earn a good living as a speaker. You just need to be creative and open-minded about the possibilities speaking affords you.
If you want to learn more about building a diversified and resilient speaking business that doesn’t depend on speaking fees alone, check out my huge library of training programs and speaking resources.
From having thousands of leads at your fingertips to using tried and tested templates and strategies, I can help you build a business that supports your speaking career and allows you to run a successful speaking business without relying on speaking fees alone.
I look forward to connecting with you soon!
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Resources & Links
The Charli Jane Speakers Club – Learn more.
If you’re ready to get on more stages you’re in the right place! We provide members with 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities a year! Yep, you heard that right! There is something for everyone. I also created a program called The Booked Solid Success Path. It goes hand-in-hand with the speaking opportunities. Plus, an amazing community and more!
Episode 149: Unleash The Power Of Your Story
The Breakthrough Public Speakers Community – Join us here.
My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,000+ speakers!
I hope you enjoyed the training episode.
Every week I release a new training episode to help you launch and grow your speaking business.
Keep Inspiring! – Wendi xo
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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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