Finding Your It Factor

The Business of Speaking: 3 Strategies to Monetize Speaking on Stages

October 09, 2019 Heather Sager Episode 6
Finding Your It Factor
The Business of Speaking: 3 Strategies to Monetize Speaking on Stages
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Finding Your It Factor
The Business of Speaking: 3 Strategies to Monetize Speaking on Stages
Oct 09, 2019 Episode 6
Heather Sager

If you want to crush your business goals, you've got to embrace speaking opportunities. Does that mean you need to jump on stage in front of 1,000 people right away? Heck no.  

When most entrepreneurs think of speaking, they think of either professional speakers charging a fee for their talk or speaking for free to get experience… to eventually command a fee. But this concept of trading money for time wasn’t why you built your business. And speaking for free without a strategy isn’t going to lead you towards the results you want. The good news is that these aren’t the only ways to speak to get results in your business.  

In this episode, I’m sharing three specific speaking strategies you can use in your business to achieve your revenue goals. We’ll talk about the similarities and differences between speaking for a fee, speaking to sell your programs, and speaking to grow your audience. 

We’ll also talk about keeping your WHY front and center when it comes to picking a speaking strategy. That means, you choose the right opportunities to achieve your goals without sacrificing your business, your family, your health or yourself in the process.

How do we do that? That’s the challenge. Listen to the full episode to find out more.

Now It’s Your Turn:

Love today’s episode? Take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram @theheathersager along with the speaking strategy you’re going to use to reach your goals in 2020.

And don't forget to hit that SUBSCRIBE button so you don't miss the next #FYIFpodcast episode.

Episode Highlights:

(05:17) - things became very, very clear for me when I realized that there are different types of speaking that you can use to build a successful business

(07:59) - think about each of these strategies as three distinct things in the context of today's conversation so that you can make a decision that’s going to be right for you and your business goals.

(11:40) - speaking for money, I do believe that this could be a part of your strategy, but I don't think it should be your core strategy if you're building a coaching business, a business as a service provider or a digital product based business

(21:57) - If you don't have a way to connect the dots between your speaking events and your funnels, your business, your paid products, you have to ask yourself the question, is it a good use of your time?

Links Mentioned:

 // Ready to NAIL YOUR NEXT TALK? If you have a live presentation, workshop or talk coming up and you want to show up as an authority and turn that event into future business, get my

Show Notes Transcript

If you want to crush your business goals, you've got to embrace speaking opportunities. Does that mean you need to jump on stage in front of 1,000 people right away? Heck no.  

When most entrepreneurs think of speaking, they think of either professional speakers charging a fee for their talk or speaking for free to get experience… to eventually command a fee. But this concept of trading money for time wasn’t why you built your business. And speaking for free without a strategy isn’t going to lead you towards the results you want. The good news is that these aren’t the only ways to speak to get results in your business.  

In this episode, I’m sharing three specific speaking strategies you can use in your business to achieve your revenue goals. We’ll talk about the similarities and differences between speaking for a fee, speaking to sell your programs, and speaking to grow your audience. 

We’ll also talk about keeping your WHY front and center when it comes to picking a speaking strategy. That means, you choose the right opportunities to achieve your goals without sacrificing your business, your family, your health or yourself in the process.

How do we do that? That’s the challenge. Listen to the full episode to find out more.

Now It’s Your Turn:

Love today’s episode? Take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram @theheathersager along with the speaking strategy you’re going to use to reach your goals in 2020.

And don't forget to hit that SUBSCRIBE button so you don't miss the next #FYIFpodcast episode.

Episode Highlights:

(05:17) - things became very, very clear for me when I realized that there are different types of speaking that you can use to build a successful business

(07:59) - think about each of these strategies as three distinct things in the context of today's conversation so that you can make a decision that’s going to be right for you and your business goals.

(11:40) - speaking for money, I do believe that this could be a part of your strategy, but I don't think it should be your core strategy if you're building a coaching business, a business as a service provider or a digital product based business

(21:57) - If you don't have a way to connect the dots between your speaking events and your funnels, your business, your paid products, you have to ask yourself the question, is it a good use of your time?

Links Mentioned:

 // Ready to NAIL YOUR NEXT TALK? If you have a live presentation, workshop or talk coming up and you want to show up as an authority and turn that event into future business, get my

Speaker 1:

You're listening to Finding Your It Factor, episode number six. Today we're going to talk about different types of speaking related to your business goals. There are terms flying out there like selling from the stage or building your list or collecting a speaking fee. Which option should you choose? Should you be doing one over the other? Well, today we're going to answer that question and start connecting speaking to your specific business strategy. So, here we go.

Speaker 2:

have you ever wondered how some people just seem to have a way with words? They have this spark that lights you up when you're near them? They have the it factor. And while most people think it's something that only a few are born with, I believe that you can find it so it can become your super power to grow your business. It's about you bringing your brand to life by becoming a magnetic communicator in person and on camera, showing up with confidence, authenticity, and inspiration. So, are you ready to become magnetic? I thought so. I'm Heather Sager and I'd like to welcome you to Finding Your It Factor. Well, welcome back to the show we're here in Week Six.

Speaker 1:

I can't even believe it. It's been a crazy week in my house. You might notice my voice is gonna sound a little different today because I've been down sick for the majority of the week. And uh, you know, that makes, um, that makes speaking a little bit more difficult, but the show must go on and you know, ironically, obviously we're talking about speaking today. Uh, these days are going to happen. These, these events are going to happen where you're not going to be feeling your best, but you still have to show up and deliver. So that's exactly what I'm going to do here today. Uh, but I, I want to start by talking to you a little bit about something that happened this week when a conversation with my son, because I think it sets the framework for today's discussion pretty well. So if you're new to the show, um, welcome.

Speaker 1:

So great to have you here. Uh, my name is Heather's Sager and uh, I have two little boys, Owen. He's four and a half, very particular about the half in his age. And my other son, Levi, who's about one and a half this next week. The funny part is the little boy is almost bigger than the big boy, which makes the dynamic super hilarious to watch. But this week I was talking to my four and a half year old son. Uh, they go to daycare and, uh, the older son Owen, he goes to preschool and it's fall at the time of this episode. Uh, it's October and, uh, his preschool, he just lost a lot of his classmates here within the last month because they moved on to kindergarten. And you know, it's been interesting watching Owen these last six weeks or so. He started acting out at school and he's been doing a lot of timeouts recently and he hasn't been the best listener. And part of it is the fact that he's four and a child. And so that happens. But this morning, this conversation was this morning, him and I were on the way to school and I had asked him a question and said, "Hey Owen, are you missing your friends?" And he looked at me and got really teary eyed. He said,

Speaker 1:

"Yeah, mom, I miss, I miss my friends. They're all gone." And it dawned on me for a moment that I had been so caught up in these last few weeks of getting on him about his misbehavior at school and not being a listener and his coming up with excuses of not feeling well and not wanting to go to school that I hadn't even considered. That may be the bigger reason was he was grieving a lot of his friends who weren't around anymore. And it just broke my mom heart that he's been going through this, but he's so little, he doesn't know how to communicate it or what's going on. And I bring this up today because one, I'm so grateful that I have the ability to have those moments with my son. I get to drive him to daycare, I get to hang out with my kids every single day. I'm here and I'm present for them.

Speaker 1:

And here's, here's the interesting thing. There was a point when I wasn't here. You see when I was on the road a lot doing speaking like a lot, like every week on the road, I wasn't around for my kids. And back when I wanted to start this business, I thought that I was going to start my business by becoming a speaker because that's what I love doing. I love being on stages, connecting with audiences, helping people find their unique qualities within themselves to better connect with their customers. That is my jam and it lights me up. But the thing I love more are my kids and my husband and I was faced with this really big challenge of how do I pick between the two? And then I realized that becoming a speaker doesn't mean that you have to spend your life on the road. And things became very, very clear for me when I realized that there are different types of speaking that you can use to build a really successful business.

Speaker 1:

And today I'm going to share with you three specific types of speaking that you can use in your business. And if you're listening today, you're most likely already leaning towards two of them. But I want to describe what those are for you so you can make some better decisions in your business around how you leverage speaking as a strategy. And I think that's the most important thing that I want you to take away from today's episode is when you think about showing up and spending your time in person, spending any time away your business, away from your family, away from your loved ones, if you're going to spend any time away from those things, you have to make sure that you're doing it with intention and you're not just filling your calendars with opportunities because it makes you feel good or it serves your ego or you feel important.

Speaker 1:

You have to make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons and to better understand that you have to understand what - it's a lot of understands, but you're following, right? You have to understand how you can leverage speaking as a strategy for your specific business model. So let's dive in here today. Uh, today's episode, I'm hoping it's going to be a little shorter than most in the past because there's not a ton of content under this umbrella. But I think this specific topic is really, really important, especially as you're getting started in your business because it can be a little confusing and intimidating to not even approach speaking. As we talked in last week's episode, we talked about there's a lot of fear when it comes to stepping on a stage and we discussed seven different ways you can incorporate speaking that are not actually taking a big stage as a keynote.

Speaker 1:

So, if you haven't listened to that one, I really recommend that you jump over to Episode Five and listen to that when you're done here today so you can understand there are different ways to incorporate speaking in your business. But today we're going to talk about the business model of speaking and how it really can be a catalyst for your business growth. So, let's go ahead and dive in. Okay. When it comes to speaking in your business, there are three types, and let me just go ahead and give you all three right now and then we'll deep dive into each of them. Type number one, you can speak for money, meaning you can speak for a fee. Type number two, you can speak to sell your programs and type number three, speaking for exposure, like building your brand, building your reputation, specifically building your email list.

Speaker 1:

And there are a combination of all three of these, but I want you to think about each of these strategies as three distinct things in the context of today's conversation so that you can make a decision what's going to be right for you and your business goals. So let's start by talking about speaking for money. So this is when you collect an actual fee for your time, your expertise, your knowledge, and your teaching that you bring to a live audience. So this is a part of my business. I offer speaking to groups, whether it's in small workshops or large ballrooms, I speak for a fee. Now my rate and your rate, they're most likely going to be different things. And in last week's episode I gave you a range that I used to use for booking speakers for my conferences. I used to plan in that range was $7,500 to a hundred thousand dollars and it's a pretty big range, but I wanted to make sure I came back to those numbers I gave you last week to give you a clear picture.

Speaker 1:

Most speakers when they're getting started are speaking for free to build their credibility to get to a point where they can start charging. Now, one can argue that you should start charging out of the gate. It really just depends on your experience with your content and how much value you can bring into your audience. But a lot of speakers, especially when they're first getting started, their fees are more in the $500, $1,000, maybe $2,500 range. So you can a, you really have to think about the value create for your audience, who your audience is and the types of fees they're used to paying for you to be able to set your fee. But just knowing that speaking for a fee is definitely a very viable way for you to build your business. So a big pro around this model is you can make some serious money.

Speaker 1:

I am fully confident that I could go out and build $1 million business just through speaking. But here's the reality. It goes back to my big why. I started this business because I wanted to be present for my kids and spending my life on the road in hotel rooms was something I was sick of. For 10 years, I was doing speaking and consulting for small businesses and I was done with living my life on the road. At one point, I was traveling on the road for six weeks. Granted, I had it a few nights at home each of those weeks, but six weeks back to back. And in that, uh, that crazy race, I found out I was pregnant with my second child in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona. I want those moments to happen at my home, not on the road. So speaking for money can be very advantageous from a financial perspective, but you have to balance that with the quality of life and the goals that you have for yourself.

Speaker 1:

So make sure that if this is a strategy that you want to pursue, you ensure that you're pursuing it for the right reasons. If this is the model for your business, so many speakers have done incredible things in their businesses. I think this is a really great model. It's just, I'll tell you right now, it's not the model for me. It's also not the model that I've chosen to create my business around in terms of who I'm teaching. So if this is a model that you want to pursue, there are other mentors online that I think might be a much better match for you because they're going to teach you how to get paid to speak and fill up your calendar with really incredible speaking events. And by the way, if you want to know some of those mentors and resources, shoot me a direct message on Instagram and I'd be more than happy to share with you other people who teach this.

Speaker 1:

But for you and I to know right now in what I teach, I focus more on the other strategies that we're going to talk about today. But I mean if you still want to get paid to speak, I have clients who do get paid to speak so we can talk about that too. Okay, so speaking for money, I do believe that this could be a part of your strategy, but I don't think it should be your core strategy if you're building a coaching business, a business as a service provider or a digital product based business. Because when you fill your calendar with paid speaking events, you're not creating any room for the other things. So, but again, you have to balance what's the priority for you and your business if this is a strategy you want to do - I think it's a great one. I have a ton of friends who are paid speakers on the road and in fact, I will have a few of them on the show here over the next few months so you can hear from them of what that sounds like.

Speaker 1:

I think there's a lot of things we can learn from that, but I would bet if you're listening to the show today, this is not the strategy that you're trying to make your primary source of revenue. So okay, let's dive into the two that you're most likely are a better fit for you, and that is, let's start with speaking to sell your programs. This is something that is often termed as quote unquote selling from the stage. Now, if I were to tell you that, "Hey, Hey, I have a speaking opportunity for you next week and there are a thousand people in the audience that are your perfect ideal audience and you get to sell your program from the stage." I want you to get really present for a moment. What physical reaction are you having right now? Are you going, "Hell yeah, that sounds so good to me. What an incredible opportunity." Or are you thinking like,

Speaker 4:

Oh, Oh,

Speaker 1:

by the way, I'm this gagging noises that's happening. Like you're thinking barf. There's no way that I'm going to get on in front of an audience of a thousand people. Or maybe you're thinking, Oh, I like the idea of speaking to an audience, but selling my stuff makes me uh. You know, we all have a different relationship with the word selling, sales, some of us feel like it's super sleazy. Some of us feel like it's just continuation of the conversation to provide service to an audience. You know, we have to get more comfortable with that word selling and we will dive into that deeper in a future episode because I think all of us have to be really great at selling. In fact, my former life, what I did for 10 years on the road and that speaking and consulting with teaching people, sales, specifically selling high end products in the medical space of how to get comfortable, uh, showcasing those products to customers and getting them excited about moving forward with those products.

Speaker 1:

But selling can be really uncomfortable because there's this perception that selling of somebody saying yes to our products or services means that they're saying yes to us when it's really not about us, it's about the problem and solution at hand. So selling from the stage, a lot of people have different uh, perceptions of it. I myself, I am not a person who sells a lot from the stage and primarily because the types of programs that I have don't really fit with that model. But I think there's a really strong case for a time and place to sell your programs on stage. And the question is: one, is the right audience in front of you in that moment. And two, is the program a really great fit for them? And if that's the case, you can design and create your presentation to easily connect the dots between where they're at right now and how your program can really help them accelerate the results in a way that they want to get even faster.

Speaker 1:

So I think selling from the stage is an incredible tool that you can and should use in your business strategically. I definitely think that if you host your own events or programs, this is a really great model to incorporate because you can sell your higher ticket offers. You can sell your masterminds. I, I coach a lot of my private clients how to book private clients from their quote unquote stage. So let's say for example, I'll use one of my clients. She is a medical professional and teaches, uh, in her community about some specific health related issues. Uh, she does education courses around them and then as part of her presentation, she books appointments for prospective patients into her practice. It's a really, really solid strategy. It's her ability to create credibility and know-how with her audience before she actually books an appointment and she has a really high booking rate.

Speaker 1:

So that's an example of selling from the stage. Booking actual private clients or customers from your talk - that's selling from the stage. And you can do it really well when you incorporate a strategic framework into your talk. So selling from the stage doesn't have to be this big old grand thing where you're telling everyone to buy your program. It could just be you moving people to the next logical point of action towards your program. So this one here, I'm curious to know from you, I would love to get some feedback from you online. I'd love to hear from you over on Instagram. Shoot me a direct message and tell me what's your relationship with selling from the stage and what does that make you feel like? Because I want to know if this is an area we want to explore further because what we can do is we can talk specifically about a framework that you can use in your presentation to make it a logical yes. To not make it feel pushy or uncomfortable, but rather a really a logical, natural continuation of the conversation where people want to continue to learn from you through your paid programs.

Speaker 1:

So this is a really exciting one. I love this concept. Just know that if you're uncomfortable with this right now, you can work up towards this. Okay, so that takes me to our last and final strategy, which is speaking for exposure. This is my jam and this is where we're going to live and play hard and that is how you use speaking to build your brand, to build your authority and to build your list. So this is how you, you get onto stages, you get onto podcasts, you get exposure to your ideal audience, you serve them up with immense value and then you offer them the opportunity to get even more in exchange for their email address. So this is where you're offering like a lead magnet. Maybe you're offering a complimentary coaching call. You can come up with a ton of different offers, but think about the traditional methods you would use as a lead magnet right now on your online business.

Speaker 1:

These are the types of things you would offer as part of your presentation to get people to continue the conversation with you. I have a client right now who's on her way to Nashville to give a presentation to an audience of 5,000 people. She was offered the speaking opportunity a few months ago and called me going, "Oh my God, I've never spoken to this type of audience before. I know this is an incredible opportunity because these are my ideal customers and I know I can turn this into future work for my business. I just, I don't know how." So she and I worked for the last four weeks to build a framework in her presentation to create immense value and we built an additional resource where we took the value she taught, elevated it, and created a guide that she's offering to her audience this weekend for them to download to get everything that she talked about plus a heck of a lot more in a freebie.

Speaker 1:

And the audience will just text in or go to a landing page to get that while at the conference. The conversion rate on these live lead magnets is incredible. I mean, we're talking 50 to 75% conversion. It can be huge for you. So using, speaking as a live, if you will, landing page to get people to sign up for your product or I your, your freebie is an incredible way for you to continue the conversation on. So this strategy is 100% your minimum that you should be doing in your business. Now, let me be clear though, if you're going to use speaking as a strategy, you have to remember that you're booking speaking engagements with the right types of audiences. So when you think about who you want on your list, you have to think about who are the types of people who would buy your programs.

Speaker 1:

And if you can't connect the dots between your paid programs and your speaking engagements in terms of types of people who are there, you shouldn't be saying yes to those speaking engagements. Or maybe it just means you need to get more clarity around how those things connect. So you know how this might be a little bit of advanced strategy and if it is, just bear with me here for just a moment. But in marketing and online marketing, they talk about this idea of a funnel, right where you have leads coming into your business from the top and you move them down this customer journey from awareness down through the decision making process within buying your programs. One of the tools and marketing that's very commonly uses the ADA, AIADA, I can't remember how to pronounce. It's AIDA, so it's awareness, information, decision, action. I think I got that right.

Speaker 1:

Oh my goodness. I'm going to get some notes on this one, which is totally fine, but this idea is that you move people down the funnel from that awareness stage all the way down to the decision making process, so they choose to work with you. And in online business we do that by having people go through lead magnets and funnels and then ultimately down into a decision matrix to a sales page or a webinar to then buy your products, right? I want you to think about your live presentation as that top of the funnel, that place where people are getting that first exposure to you. You're going to wow their socks off and then throw them in the funnel to keep them moving. So don't miss out on those leads. You need to be capturing those and that's what we mean about being more intentional with your speaking strategies.

Speaker 1:

If you don't have a way to connect the dots between your speaking events and your funnels, your business, your paid products, you have to ask yourself the question, is it a good use of your time? And if you can't answer that with confidence, well, we need to do a little exploration of your calendar to see how and where you're spending your time, especially if you're not getting the results that you want. Okay. I kind of did a little bit of around the world and a lot of different things here today, but what I wanted to do was give you this exposure to the types of speaking that you can use to drive revenue in your business. So whether it's straight up collecting a fee on the front end or it's selling your programs from the stage to therefore impact your revenue. Or it's getting people into your funnel to then move them into the financial revenue matrix, whatever you want to call it. Any of those three would work and help you get that much closer to your, your ultimate goal -

Speaker 1:

whatever your revenue goal is for the year. But you have to decide the balance between where you're comfortable today, what types of programs you have, and also how you want to spend your time. That's the question to ask. So you can make a really smart decision around which speaking strategy is right for you. Now remember I also mentioned at the beginning you can do a combination of these. So to give you a maybe a totally confusing example, but I use all three of these in my business and I'm strategic with it. So I still do paid speaking, but I'm very, very specific around the types of paid speaking I do. So for example, this morning I just booked a five figure speaking event for Florida in January. This person that I booked with this organization, it's not my ideal customer. I know, I hate to admit this out loud, but it's a really incredible experience.

Speaker 1:

It's a really, really great group. And getting in front of these people is really going to help me from a development perspective and I have great content that's going to help them, but these are not going to be people who will enroll in my paid programs. So I'm using this as a paid speaking opportunity where we exchange money for my time to be there. And I feel really good about that decision. I also don't feel tied that I need to design an ROI or collect emails or make this go any further than that. Maybe I'll get some referrals after that to book more speaking engagements for people closer to my ideal customer. But for right now it's just a paid speaking gig. I feel great about it. But when I look at other areas, my uh, selling from a stage, that'll be something that I do when I offer my own workshops is I'll offer workshops, but there'll be an opportunity for people to buy into my higher ticket coaching programs.

Speaker 1:

And I also do speaking where I grow my list. So I do all three of these things. So you have to think about them as strategies that you use to get to your bigger business goal, but if speaking is just something you're getting started with, pick one strategy. Pick one strategy for you to not just dabble a toe into but fully commit and say, I'm going to try this, and if you're just getting started, my recommendation would be getting started with speaking for exposure. Build your audience, build your list and start getting comfortable in front of those groups. Work up your confidence so that you can get paid to speak or sell your programs. Okay, I want to hear from you, which of these strategies relates most to you? Which one excites you? Which one gets you all fired up and said, yes, I want to do that in my business.

Speaker 1:

I want to hear from you. Take a screenshot of today's episode. Tell me on Instagram and let me know which strategy that you are going to use in 2020 in your business. And don't forget, I officially have opened the doors for the waitlist for my new group program, Speak Up to Level Up, and this is my business growth accelerator that I'm opening the doors in the month of October. The program will start at the end of the month and it's dedicated for only 10 entrepreneurs to help them design their signature talk, pitch it, get booked, and start building their email list. So if that area number three was something that was of interest to you, where you're like, heck yeah, I want to tackle that hard in 2020 you got to get into my program so that you have the framework to do that successfully with confidence so you can start growing your list right away.

Speaker 1:

So if that's something they are interested in, come over and say hi on Instagram. I'll send you a link to get first on the wait list when I open up the doors here in about two weeks. You want to make sure you're the first on that list because there's only 10 spots. So I look forward to see you on Instagram. As always like and share this episode with your friends. That is if you liked it. And Hey, can I ask a big favor of you? We're six weeks in and the way that we get more ears on this podcast is by those awesome reviews that you've been posting on iTunes. So would you please, please be so kind to leave a review around what you thought of, not just today's episode, but all of the episodes. If you feel this would be valuable for other online entrepreneurs who need help getting their personal brands out there and building more confidence, please leave a review. Tell me what you think, and more importantly, tell your friends. All right guys, see ya next week. Same time, same place.

Speaker 2:

Guys, thanks so much for listening to Finding Your It Factor and hey, if you have a talk coming up, you have to check out my free resource. It's called Nail Your Next Talk, 10 must ask questions before taking the stage so you can show up as an authority and turn that talk into future business. These are the questions that I use myself to prepare for my life talks, and they're going to help you ask the right questions of the person who booked you for the event. So the meeting planner or the client, and it's going to help you serve your audience to the best way possible. It's going to help you anticipate potential tech or AV snags. Turn the Q and A time into a strategic place for content and make this speaking opportunity a lead generator for your business. So go get it now. What are you waiting for? It's over at heathersager.com/10questions.