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The top tips I’ve learnt on how to secure paid speaking gigs             

As a well-known keynote speaker, one thing I’m often asked is, ‘Suz, how do you get paid to be a speaker?’. Like I did, many business owners start out presenting at events as an ‘unpaid speaker’. And that’s cool – we’ve all done it.

But there comes a time when you think to yourself, ‘Geez, I should be making money from my public speaking gigs’.

And let me tell you – there are so many ways you can get paid as a speaker. Trust me!

First, let me ask you a question. When I say ‘public speaking’, what do you picture? A person (hopefully me!) standing on the stage and presenting to an audience?

If you do, that’s great! But that’s only one way that you can get paid to speak.

No matter where you are in the world, if you have a computer or a phone, there are so many ways you can become a speaker – and a paid speaker to boot.

Let’s explore!

The 3 easiest ways to start now and get paid to speak

  1. Online training or self-hosted training & workshops

If you’re a newbie to the speaking scene, one of the easiest ways to start is with online training. Think about your audience – what are they always asking you about? Do you see similar themes in their questions? Use this as the basis of a paid workshop that solves their issue and answers their questions.

This is how I started my speaking journey. It got the ball rolling, and I began to get paid to speak. It isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but it’s a way of working up to higher-paying speaking gigs and clients.

Tip – what you may think is easy may be complex to your audience, and they’re dying to know how to do it, so never undervalue your knowledge.

  1. Webinars to sell courses, programs or memberships

Using webinars to promote online courses, programs and memberships was honestly the best thing I ever discovered for business. Although you’re not getting paid directly for running a webinar, you’re promoting your higher-paying offerings and encouraging sign-ups.

When you present a webinar, people come to know you, your vibe and your products. They can quickly find out more about your programs and ask you questions.

Tip – people will purchase from those they know and trust, and webinars are a brilliant way to connect with and get in front of your audience.

  1. Virtual guest presenter – masterclasses

Do your research and find communities with memberships, courses or group programs as they’re often looking for presenters for their audience. Although you may not get paid for these types of speaking gigs, you’re usually able to promote your offerings to their network in return.

It’s another way of getting out there on the speaking circuit and becoming known for your expertise.

Tip – make sure the network is filled with your ideal audience, or you’ll be wasting your time speaking to people who don’t need what you’re offering.

A quick tip on unpaid live speaking gigs

I don’t believe anyone starts as a paid speaker – well, I know I wasn’t. If you do manage to start your journey being paid – kudos to you!

But 9/10 times, my unpaid speaking gigs would result in gaining new clients.

If you’re a confident speaker and know how to connect with your audience, you can convert them to clients. And the beauty of unpaid speaking gigs is that you don’t have to organise anything.

You show up, do your thing, and that’s it. PLUS, you have access to an audience that may not know you, so you instantly expand your network of followers and potential clients. Win win!

4 ways to confidently build your brand as a well-paid speaker

  1. In-person conferences & events

One of the biggest issues for event organisers is selling tickets. So to start, they look for speakers who are ‘out there’ or well-known online. This is where having your brand marketing nailed comes into play.

If you have an engaged audience (and sizable) who absolutely love you, you’re going to be super attractive to event organisers. They’ll know you’ll share the event with your network and that they’ll sell more tickets as you’ll be pulling in a crowd.

Tip – knowing your brand is the #1 aspect of all marketing and vital when you’re marketing yourself as a paid speaker.

  1. MC – online or in-person

Being an MC isn’t the easiest ‘job’ in the world; I can honestly tell you that. There’s a lot more work involved than showing up to be a paid speaker. You’ll have prep before the event (getting to know the speakers, learning bios etc.), and you’re basically on for the entire event. You need to bring your A-game.

But when you’re at an event you love with like-minded people, being a paid MC can be super rewarding. Not only are you building your speaker profile, but you’re connecting with a larger audience who will come to know you, your vibe and your nature.

Tip – if you’re going to be an MC, you’ll need to be prepared to ‘wing it’ when the unexpected happened, so be prepared for anything!

  1. Create a podcast and gain sponsorship

I love, love, love, love having my podcast. It’s one of the best things I’ve done, and I’m still super passionate about it after 3 years. Starting my podcast was part of me building my brand as a speaker while sharing tips and tricks with my audience and interviewing fantastic business people.

As I built my brand and my podcast became more popular, I started taking on sponsors. This doesn’t pay hugely, but it’s enough to cover my time to create content. BUT, I’m thrilled that I get to support other women in small business to get their message out there.

Tip – at the end of your podcast, direct your audience to your promotion, giveaway, course etc., as another way of drawing them towards working with you.

  1. Get paid to be a Clubhouse moderator

Clubhouse is the new kid on the block – a money maker both passively and actively if you’re looking at getting paid as a speaker. In episode 141, How to Build your Brand on Clubhouse, I shared my experience. I’ve since learnt how moderators are charging anything from $350 to $1500 USD to moderate rooms!

But, even if you’re not a paid moderator, you can still make money as a speaker of Clubhouse. I suggest getting a sidekick who does your promotions for you. Team up with someone else and start running regular rooms on topics you specialise in. Mention each others freebies, events, products and services and you’ll soon see how you grow your audience together.

Tip – overt selling doesn’t work on Clubhouse and will turn people off, so get     your sidekick and tag team your promotions.

Want to learn more about getting paid to be a keynote speaker?

As you can see, there are many ways you can start to get paid to speak and put your public speaking skills to good use.

It’s honestly the best way to build your business, brand, clients and revenue, and there’s never a wrong time to start your speaking journey. I suggest starting now and making the most of the platforms you’re on.

You can listen to my insights on my podcast here.

If you’d like to get clearer on what you want to be known for and how you can start your speaker journey, download your free ‘Building a Bold Speaker Brand Workbook’.

And if you’d like more info on speaking and personal branding, you’ll love these podcasts:

7 proven ways to get paid as a keynote speaker




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