While speaking can be an incredibly lucrative business, with some speakers earning up to $10k per event, unless you’re already a renowned expert in your field, then you aren’t going to attract those fees for a long, long time.
However, there is a way you can earn that much (and more) per month fairly quickly. How, you ask? By building up the number of revenue streams you have. Remember, speaking is only a gateway to more business opportunities. It’s entirely possible to even speak for free and make thousands of dollars in revenue from your associated products and services.
So what are the best methods for introducing recurring revenue streams into your speaking business that takes the pressure of chasing those gigs? Let me take you through my top five.
Definitely my favorite method for various reasons. Firstly, it’s infinitely scalable. Rather than delivering one-on-one coaching and hitting a ceiling with your availability, you can help far more people through an online platform.
Rather than giving your time up to help one person, you can exchange the same amount of time and energy helping dozens, if not hundreds, of people in exchange for a sizable recurring monthly payment.
Better yet, it builds in more stability to your income while you work hard on building your bookings. Your speaking gigs can often fluctuate quite wildly from month to month. Having a set of regular monthly payments takes the rollercoaster element out of your speaking business, leveling off the potential peaks and troughs.
Many platforms do the heavy lifting for you if you’re not overly technical. I personally use Wishlist (insert affiliate link) to run my membership groups as it’s simple to use and manage once you’re up and running.
#2: Online Courses or Programs
A close second for me is online courses or programs. Much in the same way as memberships, you can quickly scale this part of your business. While the income won’t be as predictable as a recurring membership payment, it’s still one of the best ways to add another revenue stream to your speaking business.
I like online courses so much because they can be extremely passive if you want them to be. Once you’ve put in the hard work to create the course and suitably marketed it to your target audience, you can sit back and watch the income roll in. You can even use previous course students as affiliates for your program, allowing you to put most of your marketing on autopilot.
There are several ways you can approach a course or program too. You don’t necessarily have to pour everything you know into an all-encompassing online course costing hundreds of dollars. Instead, you could break down your expertise into shorter courses covering much narrower subject materials.
That way, you can attract an increased number of students by allowing them to come in at a much more affordable price point.
#3: A Book or eBook
Perhaps a revenue stream that best goes hand in hand with speaking is selling a book or eBook. I always recommend that you try to write at least an eBook for the simple fact that it helps to build your credibility and authority within your chosen space.
Yes, it will take a lot of effort on the front end, but much like a course, you can sit back and have the revenue come in once it’s complete. You needn’t market it too aggressively, either. Just by using it as a calling card that you bring to events and networking meetups, you can bag yourself a steady stream of sales.
#4: Masterminds / VIP Retreats
This may technically qualify as group coaching. However, masterminds and VIP retreats are another excellent way to maximize your revenue for the time and energy expended. Rather than working one-on-one, you can bring a group of like-minded individuals together to find solutions to their most pressing problems for a fee.
In the case of masterminds, you can even lean on the insight and expertise of some of your invited guests, so the onus isn’t entirely on you to come up with insights and strategies. You also get to choose the intervals at which you host these types of events. You can go monthly, quarterly, or even annually if you’ve got plenty of speaking bookings in the bank.
The only slight issue with this recurring revenue stream is that you will have to market these events. You can’t just set one up and then wait for people to sign up. You need to tell the whole world about it! Thus, this might be one to incorporate into your business later down the road, after you’ve already built a solid group of followers.
#5: Sponsorships / Affiliate Income
Another excellent additional source of revenue to bring in once you’ve established some form of a following is sponsorship or affiliate income. I’ve long argued the benefits of podcasting and blogging, not just because they increase your exposure, but because they help build a following that you can subsequently recommend products and services to.
Affiliate income is easy to incorporate too. All you have to do is apply to be part of a specific program, and insert the links into your blog posts and/or your podcast descriptions, and you can immediately begin to enjoy those tasty commissions.
Sponsorships are usually slightly trickier, as you won’t start to attract them until you have built up a sizable audience. However, once you have, there is perhaps no easier way to add a little extra income to your speaking business. Just by mentioning a product or service in a podcast or blog post, you will receive payment. Yes, it’s that simple!
Diversification of Income is the Key to Longevity
There you have it – five excellent methods for building a portfolio of revenue streams aside from your speaking income. Building additional sources of revenue is crucial in the speaking world because gig bookings are notoriously difficult to predict.
You could be booked for several weeks of the year and then have quiet spells in between. Then there are the increasing threats presented by natural disasters and pandemics, as recent events have demonstrated. Those that had already diversified their income sources before COVID weren’t so severely affected. Those that hadn’t weren’t so fortunate.
So you must get to work on additional income streams TODAY before the unthinkable happens. If you are looking for inspiration regarding additional income ideas, why not join our free Facebook group, Grow Your Speaking Biz?