If there’s one universal truth in the speaking world, it’s this – we all love the exhilaration of connecting with an audience, sharing our message, and basking in the applause. But let’s be real, that thrill multiplies when it converts into a handsome paycheck reflecting our worth.
Yes, my friends, it’s time to talk about money, or more specifically, the art of negotiating your speaking fee.
It’s an intricate dance, a delicate balance of knowing your value, understanding the market, and asserting your worth without alienating potential clients. It’s a skill every speaker should master, not just to increase earnings but also to set a precedent for future gigs.
So let’s dive in and navigate the tricky yet rewarding waters of fee negotiation together.
Show Me the Money: The Art of Negotiating Your Speaking Fee
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode:
Understanding Your Worth When Negotiating Your Speaking Fee
(2:56) In the world of public speaking, just like in any business, you need to know your worth before stepping foot into the negotiation room.
Think about the expertise you bring to the table, the unique insights you share, the rave reviews you’ve received, and the impact you have on your audiences. All of these components contribute to your value as a speaker.
But remember, your fee isn’t just about paying for your time on the stage. It covers the countless hours of preparation, research, travel time, and the opportunity cost of being away from other commitments. Not to mention the years of experience and knowledge you’ve gathered to deliver that stellar performance.
Taking the time to understand your worth provides the confidence you need to ask for what you deserve and the justification when you’re asked why you deserve it. So, put everything together, and don’t sell yourself short.
Do Your Research!
(4:17) Before you plunge headfirst into a negotiation, you must come armed with insider knowledge. Understanding what you have to offer is one thing, but you risk being blindsided without knowing what the other side brings to the table.
So you need to carry out some research. Picture it like a recon mission – you want as much intel as possible before you enter the battlefield.
Start with understanding your potential client. Are they a big corporation with deep pockets, a non-profit with limited funds, or a start-up trying to make an impression? Knowing who you’re dealing with gives you a baseline to start your negotiation and helps you better understand their constraints and needs.
Next, have a rough estimate of their budget range. This may seem secret, but it’s often easier to estimate. If the organization has held similar events in the past, you can do some detective work. Find out who spoke at their previous events and check their fee range – that will give you a ballpark figure.
Also, look beyond the financial aspect. Are there other benefits to working with this client?
Maybe they offer incredible exposure to a specific audience or hold events at high-profile venues that could enhance your portfolio. Don’t underestimate these additional advantages, as they can often be leveraged during negotiations.
And finally, know the market rates. Understand what other speakers with similar experience and expertise are charging. This not only ensures you’re not undercharging for your services but also gives you a powerful tool during your negotiation – the power of comparison.
Navigating the Negotiation Conversation
(6:30) When it’s time for the actual negotiation conversation, remember – it’s not a tug of war but more of a dance. The aim isn’t to overpower but to find a balance that satisfies both parties.
Active listening is your best friend here. Understand their needs, concerns, and constraints. This will help you make informed adjustments to your proposal if necessary.
Next, communicate your value clearly. Highlight your experience, expertise, and the unique elements you bring to the event. Now is not the time for modesty, so don’t shy away from sharing your accomplishments.
Finally, be flexible but assertive. Recognize where you can compromise, but also know your worth and stand your ground. A well-negotiated speaking fee reflects your current value and sets a precedent for your future engagements.
Remember, negotiation is an art, one that becomes more nuanced with practice. So don’t fear it – embrace it, and let it play its part in boosting your speaking career.
After the Speaker Fee Negotiation: The Follow-Up
(7:59) But it doesn’t end there, folks! The deal might be sealed (or not), but the conversation shouldn’t just suddenly stop. Keeping that line of communication open post-negotiation is crucial because, hey, even if this gig didn’t pan out, who knows what the future holds?
Follow up with a thank-you note expressing appreciation for their time and consideration. Keep it warm, professional, and positive. Even if the negotiation wasn’t in your favor, maintaining a positive relationship leaves the door open for future opportunities.
(8:58) Remember, the speaking business thrives on relationships. Leaving a good impression even after a negotiation can lead to more opportunities down the line. So keep those connections alive!
Remember: Your Speaking Fee Is In Your Hands
Negotiating your speaking fee isn’t just about the money. It’s about recognizing your worth, advocating for it, and building sustainable professional relationships in the process.
It’s an art, but with practice, research, and a sprinkle of assertiveness, you can become a master negotiator, turning those discussions into profitable, win-win situations.
I know, it’s a process, but remember, every master was once a beginner. Start implementing these negotiation strategies today, and with each conversation, your confidence and speaking fee will grow.
And hey, don’t forget that you’re not alone in this journey. Our Facebook group, Breakthrough Public Speakers, is teeming with speakers like you, navigating the same waters. It’s a place to share your experiences, learn from others, and grow together.
Join us there today, and let’s make sure we all see the money!
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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 165 – Mastering Proposal Follow-ups: The Gentle Art of Persistence
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 Community – My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,700+ speakers.
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!
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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