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Free to Fee: How to Start Getting Paid as a Speaker - Grow Your Speaking Business

Free to Fee: How to Start Getting Paid as a Speaker

If you’re speaking your heart out, giving it your all, and spreading your message far and wide – all for free – this one’s for you.

If you’re currently earning nothing from your speaking, or if you’re earning very little, and you feel that you deserve to start getting paid as a speaker, today’s training episode is all about how to make that happen.

However, first I want to clear the air and say there’s nothing wrong with speaking for free. In fact, that’s how most of us start our speaking journey.

I even RECOMMEND it to the speakers I work with. After all, there’s no better way to build your confidence, get in the practice you need, and get your name out there.

But as much as we love speaking, let’s face it – it’s even better when your words start ringing up some dollar signs.

So, how do you make this transition? How do you go from being a speaker who inspires for free, to one who inspires for a fee?

Today I’ve got some top tips coming your way to help you start charging for your speaking.

From Free to Fee: How to Start Getting Paid as a Speaker

Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode: 

Start Small and Work Your Way Up!

(02:22) You won’t jump from zero to the big leagues overnight, and that’s okay. So start local. Maybe there’s a networking event, a community gathering, or a charity fundraiser happening near you – just yourself on that stage.

It might not be the biggest audience, but every stage is a step. You’re gaining experience, you’re building credibility, and you’re laying the groundwork for bigger, paid gigs in the future.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a speaker’s reputation. So, start small and keep moving forward from there.

Find Your Niche and Stick to It

(03:03) You can’t be a jack-of-all-trades to make that jump to paid speaking. Instead, you need to be a master of one. That’s where the money’s at.

You need to find a topic you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in and make that your speaking niche. You want event organizers to think of your name as soon as your topic is mentioned. That’s when you know you’re truly marketable. Be the go-to expert they can’t afford not to hire.

So, find your niche, claim it, and own it. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Trust me, when you REALLY niche down, your business bank account will thank you.

Invest in Your Speaking Brand

(04:36) Just like any business, you need to invest in your brand. That means professional headshots that make you look like a million bucks (before you start making them), a killer speaker website that showcases your expertise and charisma, and marketing materials that scream ‘book me!’

Don’t cut corners here, folks. Remember, you’re selling not just your words but your entire package – your BRAND. Investing in that brand now will pay off handsomely when you get those paid speaking gigs.

Craft a Killer Proposal

(05:30) Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to craft a proposal that blows those event planners right out of their seats. But how do you do that?

It’s all about showing what makes you different from the rest of the speaker pack. What unique insights can you bring? What are the unique needs of their audience that you can meet?

Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them. Make your proposal a hard one to refuse, and those paying gigs will be within your reach.

Network Like Crazy!

(06:20)Did you know that your next speaking gig could be one handshake away? It’s time to put on your best networking hat and start rubbing elbows with the right crowd. Make it a point to attend events where event planners flock.

And don’t just stop at in-person events; social media is your friend too!

Connect, engage, and show them why you’re the speaker they’ve been searching for. Remember (I‘m sorry if I sound like a broken record on this subject!), it’s often who you know, not what you know, that makes all the difference.

Sign Up for a Speaker Bureau or Agency

(07:04) Let’s be real. Finding paid speaking gigs can sometimes feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack – especially when you’re early in your career.

This is where speaker bureaus or agencies come into play. These folks have their fingers on the pulse of the speaking world and already have a little “black book” filled with event planners actively seeking speakers like you.

That’s why joining a bureau or agency can open doors to more speaking engagements and help you transition from free gigs to fee-paying gigs faster than you might on your own.

Consider Joining a Speakers Club

(07:21) One of the best ways to level up your speaking game is by learning from those who’ve walked the path before you. Joining a speakers club connects you with fellow speakers and provides access to their valuable experiences and insights. 

Better still, the best speaker clubs often have extensive lists of events, associations, and organizations that regularly pay for speakers – an invaluable resource for anyone looking to start getting paid as a speaker.

Offer Different Types of Speaking Services

(08:55) Diversifying your income streams is a smart move for any speaker looking to start getting paid. Instead of relying solely on speaking fees, consider offering a variety of speaking services like workshops, coaching, and online courses.

By providing more options, you’ll increase your chances of attracting clients and create multiple avenues for generating income. Remember, getting paid isn’t just about speaking fees; it’s about leveraging your expertise and skills in different ways to maximize your earning potential.

Taking the Leap: Transitioning to Getting Paid as a Speaker

(10:02) Embarking on the journey from speaking for free to getting paid as a speaker is a rewarding and thrilling experience.

By starting small, finding your niche, and investing in your speaking brand, you’ll set yourself up for success. Networking, diversifying your speaking services, and connecting with the right people are also essential steps to turning your passion into a thriving speaking career.

As you put these tips into action, why not also consider joining the waitlist for the Charli Jane Speakers Club?

With our invaluable resources, support, and networking opportunities with fellow speakers, this club can be your secret weapon in transforming your speaking journey. Remember, dedication and the right tools can make all the difference, and the Charli Jane Speakers Club is here to support you every step of the way!

Sign up here to be notified when registration re-opens

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Recommended Resources & Links 

The Charli Jane Speakers Club – If you are seeking to expand your presence on various stages, you have arrived at the ideal destination! We proudly offer our members an impressive range of 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities annually. Yes, you read that correctly! 

We cater to diverse interests and expertise, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Moreover, we have developed a comprehensive program known as The Booked Solid Success Path, meticulously designed to complement and enhance your speaking engagements. 

Episode 159 Virtual Presentations: How to Adapt Your Speaking Skills for the Digital Stage

Get Booked Speaking Gigs Course – This course is a proven and repeatable 4-step path. I teach you exactly how you can find speaking leads and convert them into speaking gigs

The Ultimate Speaker Business Building Bundle – Includes all my course kits like: Find speaking gigs, recurring 60k from one gig, meeting planner page, price your speaking, create your own one-sheet course, marketing templates, find your niche course, speaking lead organizer, and so much more.

Get a professional onesheet designed – I have been designing one sheets, also known as a speaker sheet or one-pager, for over 18 years for  speakers to use in their marketing mix. 

The Breakthrough Public Speakers CommunityMy team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,700+ speakers.

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I hope you enjoyed  this training episode!

I wanted to let you know that every training session is geared towards helping you launch and grow your speaking business.

Keep up the amazing work and keep inspiring others!

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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