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You love speaking, so you’re happy to say “yes!” when someone invites you to speak.
It feels great connecting with the audience and hearing how much they enjoyed your presentation.
Yet, are you getting an ROI from it?
Are you generating leads and/or getting paid directly to speak?
I’ve been speaking throughout my career, in various industries, from small workshops to big stages.
Early on, I didn’t even think about getting paid, so I never asked.
I also wasn’t that good at getting leads and clients from the speaking engagements I was doing.
Then, I realized what I was missing and techniques I could use.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- 3 ways to increase leads from your presentations
- What to do even when conferences say “no selling from the stage”
- The one thing to do that is GOLD
- 3 things to do to get paid to speak
- Why many speakers don’t charge or don’t charge enough
- Examples to inspire you
Register for our Business of Speaking workshop live on Zoom on February 22: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/business-of-speaking-workshop/
This episode is the last of our podcast series called “Level Up Your Speaking.”
About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com.
Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/373/
Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/
Register for our Business of Speaking workshop live on Zoom on February 22: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/business-of-speaking-workshop/
Enroll in our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/
Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolcox
Related Podcast Episodes:
- Episode 362: [Case Study] Integrating Thought Leadership and Lead Generation in Your Signature Talk
- Episode 290: [Coaching] Get More Leads from Your Presentations
- Episode 289: Less Free, More Paid: How to Increase Your Speaker Fees
373-SYB-Solo-ROI.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix
From free to fee. How to get an ROI from your speaking, both from lead generation and getting paid to speak on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. This is the last episode in the series we’ve been doing all of January called Level Up Your Speaking so that you are prepared for 2024. We talked about steps for creating your speaking and visibility plan, how to make sure your presentations are not boring, overcoming speaking nerves and anxiety, what to include in your speaker, video reel and speaker page, how to handle tech glitches and panels, and a lot more so you can go back in your podcast app and catch up on all of those episodes. Today we’re going to talk about how to monetize your public speaking with both lead generation talks and paid speaking engagements. Now, because you’re listening to this podcast, I know that you enjoy public speaking, and I want to make sure that you’re getting an ROI from it.
Back in 2019, there was a Forbes article that I was featured in called how Carol Cox is Helping Women Speakers Get Paid What They Deserve. So for years now, I’ve wanted to make sure that women speakers are getting paid equitably to men and that women are asking to get paid to speak and are raising their fees as they get more experience. But we’re also going to talk today about generating leads and clients from the presentations that you’re doing. If you’re not consistently getting leads from your presentations, there are a few things you can do that make that more likely to happen. So we’re going to talk about that as well. When I talk to clients and prospective clients and podcast listeners like you about getting leads from presentation, what I oftentimes hear from them is that they don’t want to make a sales pitch, and I completely understand it. I don’t want to make a sales pitch either when I’m presenting at a conference or at a business event. So that’s not the approach that we’re taking here. Plus, a lot of events and conferences specifically say you are not allowed to make a sales pitch, you’re not allowed to, quote, sell from the stage, but there are things that you can do instead. The other thing that I hear from a lot of you is that you don’t know how to do it, don’t know how to integrate what it is that you do in your business into your presentation.
You don’t know exactly how to tell your audience what you do, because maybe it kind of feels awkward. So therefore you kind of stumble through it or you just don’t do it at all. And sometimes I also hear women come to me and say, well, you know, I tried it. I made a pitch. It just didn’t work. I didn’t get any leads and clients. I tried it this one time and it didn’t work. Therefore I’m never going to try it again. Which of course we know is not the best way to go. After we cover specific things you can do to increase leads and clients from your presentations, then we’re going to dive into getting paid speaking engagements from leading event organizers. Know that you have a speaker fee to knowing what to charge for the workshops and the keynotes that you’re doing. If you’re new to speaking your brand, welcome. We’ve worked with hundreds of women over the years to help them develop their thought leadership and their signature talk, so that they get more leads from their presentations and get paid to speak and increase their speaker fees along the way. If you like to learn what I call the business of speaking. So this is how to position yourself as a premium paid speaker, where to find speaking engagements, how to get empowered speaking invitations. So speaking engagements coming to you, how to know what to charge, how to negotiate your speaker fee, how to write compelling speaking proposals, and more.
We’re hosting a live three hour workshop on Zoom on Thursday, February 22nd, 2024. You can register as speaking your brand comm slash workshops. Again, that’s speakingyourbrand.com/workshops. We’re doing several workshops this year. The first one is this one on the business of speaking coming up on February 22nd. Early bird pricing is on now, so you definitely want to go check it out and register today. Again go to speakingyourbrand.com/workshops plural and you can see them all there. And then click into the business of speaking. Now let’s get on with the show. Let’s talk about how to increase leads and sales from the presentations that you’re doing now. The first thing is that I’m going to assume that you’re speaking to the right audiences, the type of audiences that have your ideal clients in them. Clearly, if you’re speaking to audiences that would just not need your product or service or you just do not serve in any way, then you’re probably not going to get leads from them. And in that case, you definitely should get paid for those speaking engagements, because that’s how you’re getting an ROI from them. So let’s assume that you are speaking to the right audiences that have the type of client that you want. So here are three ways to increase the leads that you’re getting.
The first way is to align your content with your offer. Now, I know that for many of you, when you sit down to work on the presentation, perhaps you have a topic in mind that you’re pitching to an event or a conference, or perhaps someone has come to you and asked you to deliver a presentation in the area of your business, in your area of expertise. So you may sit down, have the topic in mind, and then start putting together all of the different ideas and notes and things that you could talk about to your audience. The problem with that is that if you do it that way, most likely the content that you’re presenting to the audience is not going to match up with the offer with what your business does. So instead, we need to reverse engineer what your audience needs to hear from your presentation content to get them interested in working with you. This is what we do with our signature Talk Canvas framework. I have an episode that I did last year specifically on the framework, and I’ll make sure to include a link to that in the show notes. It’s episode 288, where I walk through the three acts of our framework and when we work on our own presentations here, speaking your brand as well as when we work with our clients in the VIP day, in our Thought Leader Academy, we start at the very end of the framework.
We start with the call to action or the offer that you want to make to the audience. Because once we have a sense of what that is, then we can start reverse engineering. What is it that the audience needs to hear, needs to understand what examples are going to help them to understand the business that you are in, the clients you work with, how you work with them, and the results that you get with them. So let me give you an example. When I do speaking engagements, generally the offer that I have in mind is our Thought Leader Academy. That’s our signature program, and that’s what the vast majority of our clients that we work with. That’s the program that we go through. So I know if I’m speaking to an audience of women entrepreneurs and women executives and women leaders, that the Thought Leader Academy is what’s going to make the most sense for them as the offer. Now, as I mentioned in the intro, I’m not doing a direct sales pitch in the sense of I’m not standing in front of that audience, having presented whatever the material is, and then going through a ten minute sales pitch about the Thought Leader Academy. And here’s the eight weeks of content that you get. And here’s the VIP day and all of those different things. So I’m not doing that, but instead I’m thinking about what is it that’s going to get this audience interested in what it is that we do in the Thought Leader Academy, the promise that we offer our value proposition and the results that they’re going to get.
And generally it has to do with this idea of the expert trap, which I talked about a couple of episodes ago, and how we get stuck in the expert trap, and therefore our presentation content tends to be very similar to other people in our field, doesn’t differentiate us and doesn’t make us memorable. So I’ll talk about that. Sometimes I’ll talk about the three stages that women go through when we start using our voices from promise to peril to power. So all of these things that I’m talking about in my, in my content is all leading to this idea of, oh, I need to develop my thought leadership. I needed to develop a signature talk. Therefore, when I get towards the end of the presentation and I and I mention the Thought Leader Academy, that if they’re interested in it, here’s where they can get more information or they can go talk to me or use the feedback form, which we’re going to talk about in just a little bit. Then they understand the need for the Thought Leader Academy and how it would benefit them. But if I didn’t have that in mind in the beginning that that’s what I’m leading towards, then my content would probably be literally all over the map and it wouldn’t direct them there.
Now my content is still extremely valuable. Again, that’s not like I’m spending 45 minutes on a sales pitch for the Thought Leader Academy, but I am building towards it. It’s also just marketing 101. Your audience needs to understand their problem they have and the obstacles that are getting in the way of them solving that problem, and then how you could potentially help them. You’re helping them with your presentation content, but you also know that just 30 minutes or 45 minutes of content isn’t going to solve their problem entirely, that they probably need something more. So that’s why we start with the end in mind. Now, the other thing to do, as far as aligning your content with your offer, is to plant sailed seeds along the way. In your presentation content. This is especially essential when you when you are presenting at conferences or events and they tell you explicitly no selling from the stage. Again, I completely respect that because too many speakers went up there and made their entire presentation a sales pitch, and we don’t want that. So when you are told no selling from the stage, I believe you can still plant sales seeds along the way and actually witness to the benefit of your audience to do so. And when I say planting seeds along the way, what I mean is using client examples, using client case studies, mentioning things like, oh, in the Thought Leader Academy, where we work with our women entrepreneurs, we oftentimes see that they struggle with developing their thought leadership message.
So this is why understanding our thought leadership layer framework is really important. So you see what I just did there. It wasn’t a sales pitch. I wasn’t selling from the stage, but I was providing value to the audience to let them know that they’re not alone, that the clients that we work with other women out there struggle with the same thing. So planting those sales seeds, client examples, client case studies, mentioning things that you do that you do. I mentioned earlier in this episode about VIP days when we work with our clients. So I’m planting sales seeds. If you don’t do this, you can’t expect your audience to understand what you do in your business, who you work with, how you work with your clients. Unless you tell them I feel like there are. There are so many times where as speakers, we’re speaking to a business group, a luncheon, learn at a conference, and we assume the audience knows that. Of course, if we’re presenting on this topic, this is what we do in our business. But your audience doesn’t necessarily put two and two together. We have to tell them that, yes, this is what I do in my business, and this is how I work with my clients, and this is how the results that we get when we do that.
Here’s an example of successfully doing this. I remember a speaking engagement that I did last spring, and it was to a group of women entrepreneurs and leaders. And again, I talked about the need for more women thought leaders, how we get stuck in this expert trap that oftentimes prevent us from prevents us from stepping into thought leadership. But here are some ways to do that. So I gave them some examples and some very tangible things that they could do. And of course, I also mentioned the Thought Leader Academy along the way, as well as at the end. Pretty much as soon as I sat down after my 45 minute talk, I got two clients who were in the audience because they recognized themselves in the talk that I was giving, and because I had mentioned the Thought Leader Academy, they understood that I could help them go further. So that’s what I mean by it’s almost a disservice to your audience not to let them know how you can help them go deeper and further than just what you did in your presentation content. If you want to hear more about aligning your content with your offer and having a strong call to action, I highly recommend episode 290. This is from last summer. It was an on air coaching call with one of our thought Leader Academy clients, Monica Young. The episode is called Get More Leads from your presentations. In this episode 290 it’s really good because we walk through Monica’s presentation content and I help her align it better with her offer.
So you actually kind of get to hear that in real time. So that’s the first strategy, is to make sure that your content aligns with your offer and that you’re planting those sales seeds along the way. The second thing is to make sure that you actually make the offer, that you let the audience know what the call to action is. If you don’t let your audience know what to do next, how to work with you, how they should get in touch with you, then they probably won’t, especially if they’re at a busy conference, or they’re at an event where there’s lots of people, or maybe multiple speakers. You really have to make sure that you’re making it easy for them to follow up with you, and that you actually are including a call to action. And I would say this goes for both lead generation presentations. So more of those business type presentations as well as keynotes. And a lot of times I know that with keynote talks, we’re not we’re we’re not selling our business. It’s a completely different type of talk. But your audience still needs a call to action. Your call to action may not be a direct offer for something that you do in your business, but you should have a call to action. Let me give you an example. I remember we were working with one of our clients.
This was several years ago and our group program, and one of the things that she did was after she created her keynote with us, she decided she wanted to practice it in front of a small audience. So she brought together some friends and family. There were about 20 of them. She brought them over to her house, so they were all in her living room and she was practicing her talk. Now, let me give you an aside here. That to me is more nerve wracking than presenting my talk in front of an audience of several hundred people, or even a thousand people to do it in front of family and friends. So big kudos to her for for being willing to do that and for having the idea in the first place. She went through her keynote. Her audience loved it. It was a lot of fun. She’s also a singer, so she had some songs in it and just it was it was a really great message and a really great delivery. She finished the talk and she collected feedback. Then from that small audience, and almost all of them told her, and this was so surprising to her. They said to her, you know, thank you so much for this great message. What’s the call to action? What are we supposed to do next? She didn’t think that she needed one because again, this was a message based keynote.
It was she wasn’t selling anything in her business. She wasn’t asking them to do anything in particular. Next. And she realized, no, no, no, actually, audiences want to know what to do next. So she realized she needed to put some type of call to action to make them feel like they could literally take action on what they just heard. So make sure that you’re actually making the offer that you have a call to action in your your presentations and your talks. The third thing to do to increase leads and clients from your presentations is to use a feedback form. I mentioned this a little while ago. The feedback form is literally gold. As soon as we have our clients implement this and they do it at their next speaking engagement, they cannot believe how much it exponentially increases the leads and the subsequent sales that they get. I’ve been using the feedback form in my speaking engagements since probably 2018. So about five years now. It’s harder to do this with virtual presentations. Of course you can do online surveys, but it’s not quite the same thing. Now they’re obviously we’re back to in-person speaking engagements. Definitely use the feedback form. You can see what it looks like. There’s a free download on the show notes page for this episode. No email opt in required, just go to the show notes, which is at speakingyourbrand.com/373. That’s the episode number.
Speakingyourbrand.com/373. It’s a sample workbook so you can get an idea. And then the last page of the workbook is the feedback form. Here’s why the feedback form is gold. At the top it says presentation feedback for your name. So for Carol Cox then the person in the audience will fill in their name, their email address. You can also ask for company name if that’s relevant to what you do and relevant for the people in your audience. And then there’s two questions on the feedback form. The first question is what is the the number one takeaway that I learned today, or the number one thing that I’m going to do that I learned today. So this is great because you’re getting feedback as a speaker. What did the audience take away from what you presented? Then the second question says, what is one thing that I can do to improve the presentation? And you may feel a little scared to ask this question, afraid that you’re going to get negative feedback. I have never gotten any negative feedback on that or, you know, or anything that I have gotten has been very constructive. Same with all of our clients who have used it. Most of the time the things that you’ll hear are be like, oh, it was too short. Would love to have have this presentation go longer. We’d love to be able to go into more detail about XYZ.
That’s most likely where you’re going to hear, but again, it gives you an opportunity to get that feedback. But then here’s what’s on the bottom of the feedback form that makes it gold. You put checkboxes for that person to to check off. The checkboxes are customizable to you and customizable to that audience and that speaking engagement. So here are some examples of what that could look like. You could have check boxes that say something like, I would like to schedule a consult call with you to talk about working together. I would I’m interested in creating my signature talk in the Thought Leader Academy. So you can mention your particular program or your service by name. I also recommend having a checkbox that says, I like to recommend you to other events or organizations to speak. So that way you, you know, is there someone who can can give you a referral to someone else for a speaking engagement? And then the last, last checkbox is generally something like, please send me your your free workbook or free opt in related to whatever your topic is, and then add me to your email list. That way they can just go ahead and check that off, and then you can have a reason to email them. And then obviously with their permission, add them to your email list. This is what the feedback form does and now gives you the leads to follow up on. Because again, if you’re counting on the people in the audience to remember to reach out to you after a busy conference or after a busy day, most likely they’re going to forget to do so.
It’s going to get lower on the priority list. But if you have those feedback forms, paper feedback forms in your hand, you know what people have checked off and now you can go and follow up with them. I try to follow up with them within the next day or the next day or two after the conference ends, the next, you know, business day. Follow up with them as soon as possible while it’s fresh, and try to book that console, call with them, or try to get them to whatever the next step is in your sales process. But that way you now are in control of reaching out to them. So those are the three ways to increase leads from your presentations. Make sure that you align your content with your offer. Make sure you’re actually making the offer at the end of your presentation. Don’t rush your ending. Make sure you’ve timed it appropriately, and make sure you have the confidence to make the offer to make that call to action and use the feedback form. Now let’s talk about three ways to get paid to speak. If you’ve never gotten paid to speak, this is definitely something to put on your goal list, because a lot of it is just developing the confidence to ask for a speaker fee.
And so if you haven’t gotten a paid to speak, definitely make that one of your goals. And if you have been getting paid to speak, start increasing your speaker fees. So here are the three ways to think about getting paid to speak or increasing your fees. The first thing, and this seems rather obvious, is know what your speaker fees are. Just like in your business. If you don’t know what you charge for your service or your program, or your product is probably going to be hard to get paid for it. Because if someone comes to you and ask you, you’re not going to know what to say. So really know what your fees are. You obviously can increase them as you go along. You can change them. You can adjust them based on the length of the presentation, the type of the event, the whether you have to travel or not. There’s lots of variables, but know least where you’re starting from. Just like in your business, you have to start somewhere and keep increasing those fees. Our clients have charged anywhere for $3,500 for a virtual keynote, so generally a one hour keynote on zoom, $3500 to $10,000 and up for an in-person keynote, $15,000 for a virtual corporate training session, and everything in between $500 1500, 2500, $15,000, $25,000. Obviously, a lot of it depends on their speaking experience, the company or the event, who is organizing the contacting them.
So lots of variables there, but know what your fees are. Usually when we ask our clients and the Thought Leader Academy during our business of speaking session, what they charge is generally much, much lower than what we would recommend. And it’s because they lack the confidence. They’re not sure what going rates are for speaking, and they’re not sure that they can get it. So we always encourage them to, quote, hire. And I feel like the reason we a lot of us tend to not quote high enough for our speaking engagements is, number one, we enjoy speaking. So we figure, well, I enjoy it anyways. I don’t mind doing it so I don’t mind if I don’t get paid or I don’t mind if I don’t get paid very much. But we could say the same things about what we do in our business, but we know we still need to charge for what we do in our business. Otherwise we’re not going to be able to sustain our business. Same thing we’re speaking. The other reason why I feel like we don’t charge anything at all, or very much, when we quote our speaking fees, is that we’ve been trained over the years that so many speakers speak for free, and so many event organizers assume speaker speak for free, that therefore we feel uncomfortable or awkward, or maybe even a little bit guilty for charging. And here’s how I want you to think about it is that as you advance in your speaker career, as you get more speaking engagements, as you uplevel, as you get to bigger events or bigger stages or bigger audiences, if you are still quoting low fees or not charging whatsoever, you’re actually doing a disservice to newer.
Speakers who are coming up behind you because they need those free gigs. They need those lower priced gigs to establish themselves, to get the experience that they need as speakers so that they can continue to step up. And therefore, if you’re taking those spots, then they are not available for those newer speakers. So keep graduating yourself, yourself to these different levels of speaking. So that’s the first thing is really know what your fees are. They don’t have to be set in stone forever, but you have to start somewhere and have those things. Write them down somewhere on a piece of paper or in your computer. And the other place to write them down is on the speaking page on your website. You should have a speaking page on your website. Just add one page. Doesn’t have to be really fancy for right now. Have your obviously your name, your topics, your bio, and if you have any video clips, that’s great. If you have photos of you that are speaking, that speaking is great. If you have some testimonials, that’s great. Put that on there. But the one thing that I see that’s missing for most speaking pages is the person’s speaker fee or speaker range.
And I know that you’re probably like, well, I don’t know what how would I know what to put? Because every speaking engagement is different. So then just put a starting at price or a range. For example, on my speaker page on the Speaking Your Brand website, it says keynote talks start at $7,500. I have a starting range starting price, and therefore when I talk to an event organizer now, they know that I don’t speak for free, especially for keynotes and that. So they’re not going to assume that I speak for free. And the other thing is that now we have a place to start in the conversation, you know, depending on the event or the organization. Sure, I could negotiate that speaker fee, but at least we have a starting place. But if there’s no fee anywhere on your website, then event organizers oftentimes assume that you will speak for free. So you may be thinking, well, I will speak for free, and that’s fine. You could also put a line on there that says something for nonprofit organizations or for other causes, you know, please contact me and we can talk about the speaker fee. So you can you can add that caveat on there. But again, having that starting fee or that range on your website really helps a lot. So that event organizers know that, that it’s just not the assumption that you’re going to speak for free.
Third thing about getting paid. Getting paid to speak is feeling confident having the conversation with the event organizer. If someone reaches out to you and they are interested in you, having you speak to their event or their conference or their company, then I highly recommend having a phone call or a zoom call with them. Don’t just try to do all of it over email. You really need to have a conversation with them. Obviously zoom is great because then you can see face to face because you want them to get to know you, to build that trust and that connection. You also want to have the opportunity to ask them questions like, what is the goal of the event? Who is going to be in the audience? What? Who are the people? Are they members of this organization, or is it just open to the public for the goal of the event? Are they trying to increase their membership? Is this part of a larger initiative that they’re doing? Is this part of something that the community is doing? What would make a successful event? What did they consider a success? What are they looking for in a speaker? What what kinds of things do they want the speaker to talk about or the speaker to do? So you get all the information just like you would do in a regular consultation call.
And now you know better how to help them make the decision that you are the best speaker for them. If you’ve determined that, yes, this event sounds great. The goal, the audience, all of it is definitely up your alley and you’re really excited about that. Now you can use their language back to them to explain to them why you are the best speaker for the event. I did this for the keynote that I was hired for last fall. The event organizer found me on LinkedIn. That’s another tip is to make sure you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile to attract speaking opportunities. This is one of the things we also work on in the Thought Leader Academy with you. She found me on LinkedIn, reached out. We had a zoom call. I asked her these questions about the event, the goal, what are they looking for in a speaker? And I offered her some some different ideas to that. We I could help them to do to increase attendance at the event, like creating some videos, some promo videos before the event. And so they ended up picking me of all the speakers that they interviewed, which was great. I flew out to Washington State last October and I had a great time. It was a great group of women entrepreneurs and leaders, but I had to feel confident having that conversation with her so that then I can make sure that we were in great alignment for this event.
So those are three tips for getting paid to speak. Know what your fees are. Put your speaker fee, your starting fee, or your range on the speaking page on your website and feel confident having the conversation with the event organizer about the event and about why you are the best speaker for them. I have an entire episode I did last Summer episode 289 on how to increase your speaker fee. So if you’ve already been charging. But you haven’t increased them much or haven’t increased them in a while. Definitely check out episode 289, because that’s going to give you additional tips more than what I just shared with you today. If you like to work with us directly on your business of speaking. So how to position yourself as a premium paid speaker, what to charge, writing your compelling speaking proposals, and more come to our live online workshop on zoom, happening Thursday, February 22nd. We give you mini trainings. You have time to work on different aspects. We provide feedback and coaching to you live during the workshop, so it truly is hands on and that you’re doing the work in the workshop. So you’re all set to start pitching yourself and putting yourself out there for more and better speaking engagements. You can register today and get the early bird price by going to speaking your brand comm slash workshops. Again, that’s speaking your brand.com/workshops. I hope to see you there. Until next time, thanks for listening.
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