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Article - Make Money Doing Free Speaking Engagements - Grow Your Speaking Business

Article – Make Money Doing Free Speaking Engagements

by Wendi J McNeill

My main goal by writing this article is to stir the creativity that each one of you has inside you, maybe it has been sitting dormant for quite sometime or you feel you just don’t have the time….my suggestion is to make time and lets wake up the creativity bones hidden deep inside you! Perhaps your thinking, I already sell BOR products…But are you happy with just placing a few CD’s on the back table or a few of your books? Why not utilize ALL your resources?

So, sit back and relax, if you want, you can print this out and go relax on the couch and read it, or take it outside and get some fresh air and get away from your computer for a little bit…it will do you some good!

Is it possible? Most speakers think doing free engagements is a waste of time, money and energy…BUT those that think this may not be using all their resources. Many speakers think that they can jump right into the paying or even high paying engagements, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, first focus on the easy to get engagements: The free ones! All speakers will do them, all speakers have done them, and all speakers will continue to do them.

Now that we are focusing in on only free engagements, let’s see how we can benefit from them:

Back of the Room Product Ideas: Let Your Products Work for You!

Your Products: Oh yes….the speaker’s products! Now I know every speaker either has created a product of their own or you have been thinking about creating your own products but have not implemented them into your program.

Don’t be terrified by the words: Create your own products! This is a simple process to do and does not need to be complicated in anyway. Some people think, “Create my own products, no way that will take forever!” No it doesn’t and I want everyone who is reading this to get yourself in the right train of thought here: You can create products quickly, easily and they can be very profitable for you! Say that to yourself a few times and then continue reading…..

When people think of Back of the Room products they think of books and CD’s, but BOR products can consist of a wide range of products and you can also even endorse your services if you are a consultant/mentor as well as a speaker.

Product Ideas for You to Create:

Books A professional speaker and authoring a book almost always go hand in hand, so if you haven’t written a book yet, put it on your “to do list”. Authoring a book doesn’t mean it has to be a 300 – 500 page novel, but a simple book allowing your expertise to be recognized!


Tip-Booklets (Hold on…don’t pass this one up. Tip-booklets can be created on a shoestring budget and sell like “hot-cakes” because of the valuable information and inexpensive price tag.

CD’s A must have, these sell very well for almost any speaker if you have them priced competitively and if you can, sell them in sets. You could possibly sell one CD with the option of downloading additional ones via your website, this is a good way to get them to your site and get them involved with your info products. We will discuss informational products later in our soon to be released new report.

Reminder Tip Cards (These are about the size of a postcard) they recap the strong points of your presentation or can have some motivational sayings on them. You can either give these away or add them to your product line, either way don’t forget to have your contact information on it. Hint: Having them laminated will give them a professional look and if you want to go a step further you can turn them into a magnet…I know I’m pushing it, but if you’re going to do free engagements you want to get your “plug” in anyway you can!

Gift Certificates Be creative here: Lots of ideas with this one.

Coupons You can have these lying on the back table for your audience to pick up on their way out. Coupons could be for anything: One idea would be to offer a free download on your website for an ebook (possibly a chapter sample to entice the reader), an audio seminar, audio interview, or a special report you created and have posted on your product page within your website (we will talk about e-books, reports, and info products in our soon to be released special report)

Bookmarks Yes, I know I’m pushing it again…but think about it for a minute, everyone loves to read and I know I am always using bookmarks, be creative and remember once again get your “plug” in on the bookmark. These are easy to create yourself and done once again on a shoe-string budget along with the inexpensive price tag.

How-To-Reports Another best seller, as many people today are looking for a quick, how-to-do-anything guide, be creative and of course stay within your presentation topic.

Cassettes Yes some of us “Old-Fashioned” folks still listen to cassettes.

Videos/DVD’s Now you can get pretty creative with the videos. They don’t only have to be you giving your speech presentation, how about doing a ‘How-To’ (your expertise) video series, say maybe a set of three 30 minute videos/DVD’s.

Teleseminars Big thing nowadays! Have some small flyers made up (easily create these yourself) and setting on the table with an upcoming teleseminar you’re having offering a great discount for members of your audience. Direct them to your website to sign up (Hint: Having a pre-recorded and downloadable teleseminar on your website product page can mean more profits for your company)

Special Reports You can easily create special report to sell on your BOR table (Once again this can be incorporated into your website product page for immediate download or you can also have an audio special report)

Mentor Programs If you are a coach or consultant don’t forget to add this service with your BOR products

What do all the above BOR product ideas mean for you? PROFITS and can be BIG profits if done properly, which means you will no longer be walking away with that empty hole in your pocket from expenses!

Doing the Math

Let’s do a little math shall we? Say there is 800 people in your audience: If you have gotten a good response from your audience you should be able to turn at least 10% of the audience into buyers which is approximately 80 people.

Say you sell a CD for $25.95 x 80 = $2,076.00 or if you sell a CD set for $49.95 x 80 = $3,996.00 minus your CD/DVD expenses which can be done pretty cheaply these days or you can do it yourself.

Now, that was just an example and only for CD’s, you need to be creative because you have a lot of possibilities here. If you offer any type of mentoring program, this can be very lucrative. Say about 1% of your audience (which is only 8 people) sign up for your yearly mentoring program and because you are an expert in your field you can easily charge anywhere from $2,500 – $3,500 per year. What does that add up too? That’s right a whopping $20,000 – $28,000….once again not bad for doing one free engagement. If you haven’t implemented any type of mentoring program into your business you may want to think about doing so!

As you can see, the profits you can make can be close to, equal or more then a paid speaking engagement.

The above figures are a rough estimate and you may have a smaller audience or you may have a bigger audience, but as you can see the possibilities are endless. So, please use the resources outlined in this report to assist you in creating your products and you will begin to see an immediate spurt in your revenue!

Be creative…and don’t give up because everyone is capable of anything once you get yourself in the right mind set and don’t let minor glitches deter you! Dedication and determination are strong and encouraging words to live by!

I know it sounds crazy…find free engagements, but if you read everything I have written in this article, you should be ready to submit your proposal for non-paying engagements. Get more recognition, become the cream of the crop, brand yourself, be the vendor of choice and Make Money!

P.S. If you will be sending your audience to your website for a freebie or sample remember to add a “opt in” sign up box before releasing your “sample” or “freebie.” You want to capture their email address as your contact list is one of your greatest assets!

“The secret of success is to be ready when opportunity comes”