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How to Make Money Public Speaking

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To most, the thought of public speaking sounds like a nightmare.  This isn’t always the case for everyone, however.  Some of you want to make money speaking to an audience.

If you’re the type that loves speaking in front of others for one reason or another, there are ways to make money public speaking.  You just need to know where to look and how to proceed.  Like anything, it is possible with a lot of persistence.

In today’s post, I wanted to talk about the many ways you can make money public speaking as well as share some tips I researched from expert speakers.  From speaking online to attending a local convention, there are many ways you can make money public speaking.

Public Speaking Tips to Keep in Mind to Succeed

Before I even talk about the few ways to make money public speaking, I first want to talk about a few tips that you should keep in mind before you even consider the thought of doing so.  Like anything, it will take time to see success and the right work ethic, good things can come.

Listed below, I tried to include as many tips as I could gather to help you understand this business model a bit better.

You Don’t Need to Be Famous

When most people think about a public speaker, many think of a celebrity, such as a Tony Robbins-like speaker.  Sure, while these speakers can make well over six figures in their adventures, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money.  You do not need to be famous to become a public speaker.   However, you do need to know what you’re talking about.  You don’t need to be a household name, however.

While you’re not going to make six or seven figures unless you become that famous figure (this will be rare, but I won’t stop you), you can become a known figure, at least in your local town or online.  No matter what field you want to speak in, you can build a name for yourself, especially in the digital age.

So, how can I speak when I’m not famous?

The strategy in itself is easy, but it will take work.

Start writing books, making videos on YouTube and/or even start a website talking about your field of study.  Take a look at this site, for instance.  I help people make money online in an honest way.  In essence, I could start speaking about the many ways to make money online and use my website as my experience/expertise.  I just need to get people to land on my website and contact me.  Even though they land on the site, it doesn’t mean they will contact me, though.

At first, you won’t have a following, that’s expected.  No one has.  But, over time, as you generate high-quality work, people will follow.  Google will find you, people will refer you and other professionals may link out to you.

The more you start writing and speaking, the more you can get noticed and hopefully become famous!



Market Yourself to Find the Right Organizations

Sure, you can reach out to your local library or Chamber of Commerce to speak for free, but you can only do so much reaching out on your own.  You will also need to market yourself so that people come to you as well.

Like a business you found via Google, you can do the same so that people can find you.  From SEO to PPC and even Facebook Marketing, these marketing tools can help organizations find your website and social media profiles. YouTube and Udemy have thousands of how-to tutorials to get started on this.  And, while I would love to talk about these very topics, it would take me an eternity to do so.  So, with that being said, I will leave it to the many great guides already out there, and there are a ton of ways to market your website.

But, even if someone were to find your website/social media presence, you need to now sell yourself.  This is where your experience, public speaking videos and resume can come in handy.  Generally, it’s your speaking video that sells you.  If you can keep someone’s attention and have that “pizzazz,” this is what often sells yourself.  Aside from that, it doesn’t hurt to add some action shots or even talk about the reputable businesses you have spoken to.  Add photos, include the programs you offer as well as what you can do for someone.  A few testimonials can help, too.

Take a gander at public speakers in your industry and see what they are doing on their website.  While you don’t want to clone their website, per se, it doesn’t hurt to take bits and pieces from a few and create your own unique setup.

As with any business, always tweak your marketing strategies and find a method that works for you.  As long as you’re selling yourself, you can hope it garners interest.

Get Your Name Out There, Even If It’s Free

Like an internship, you may have to start speaking for free before you can find a paid gig.  This is often the case, especially if you don’t have the experience in the public speaking arena.  Just think about it for a second.  If someone were to hire you, they would more than likely want to see a sample speech and/or know about your speaking experience before they even consider you.

To start finding these free opportunities, there are a variety of options you can consider.  From reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce or library to finding a networking group on Meetup.com, this is a great way to not only get practice but build experience for your speaking resume.   As you get better in your speaking engagements, you can then use these networks as references.

Although it may be hard to find a paid speaking engagement, a free talk isn’t as hard as you think.  In fact, if you live in a relatively populated area, you could find one as early as tomorrow.

Be Creative in Your Speaking

Like a website, you need to add value.  If you’re just going to rehash the same stuff being said, what’s the point of doing so?  I talk a lot about what other websites talk about, sure.  But, what I think what sets me apart is that I don’t bombard the website with ads nor do I push the same old affiliate crap that so many bloggers do.  I wanted to create an easy experience without  advertising noise.

While it’s okay to speak about a broad topic, say business, you need to put your own twist on it so that you stick out above the rest.

As long as you feel you’re adding value and people are walking away learning something, this a giant step from going from a free public speaker to a paid one.

How to Make Money Public Speaking

Now that you know how to succeed, let’s touch upon the few ways you can make money once you’re ready to do so.

Generally, in the public speaking world, you can make money in one of a few ways, and I will try to include as many options as possible below.

Public Seminars

Public seminars are those that are marketed directly to the public.  Just Google upcoming public seminars and you should find a handful in your area, no matter where you live.  These seminars cost money and can make you money as a public speaker in a few ways.

1. Selling Tickets

If you want to sell tickets directly to your seminar, then you collect the ticket fees minus any fees such as a venue booking, etc.  This is one of the hardest ways to make money as a public speaker, especially if you’re not famous.  However, if you can jump on board an already existing seminar, you may be able to split some of the proceeds.  This is rare, however.

2. Sell Your Products

This is one of the better ways to make money in public speaking.  After your speech, you can direct people to your website and/or you can sell your products directly after the event.  This can come in the form of a book, online course, etc.  Of course, this will tie into your expertise and can sell well if your audience feels you know what you’re talking about.

3. Sell Your Services

Aside from products, you can also sell your services.  Again, this can be dependent on your expertise.  From coaching to consulting, some people/organizations are willing to pay the big bucks to have you help them with their problems.

Keynote Speaking

Becoming a keynote speaker is different than that of a public speaker as you’re going to be part of a conference targeted toward a specific crowd.  Some keynote positions do pay, while others are invited on a voluntary basis.  Touching upon the tips mentioned prior, being a keynote speaker could be a great option to jumpstart your speaking career.

To find a keynote speaking opportunity, research conferences in your industry and then see if they have any opportunities available in which you can apply to.

Join a Website

If you have the experience and want to make money, consider adding your name to one of the many databases online.  These websites work just like your other aggregators of sorts, allowing people to find you based on your credentials.

Some of the more popular options include SpeakerHub.com, the National Speakers Association, SpeakInc and SpeakerMatch.com.

These websites can help you find jobs in one of a few ways.  SpeakerMatch.com, for instance, has a speaking opportunities page, where you can browse organizations who are looking for a speaker.  You can view the details and then apply to any jobs of interest.

Aside from that option, you can also add your name to a database, creating a resume of sorts.  When an individual/organization searches for what you have to offer, you may come up in the search and they may contact you for consideration.



Create an Online Course

Another way to make money in public speaking is via an online course.

Instead of speaking directly to a crowd, you’re creating an online course, where you’re speaking about your passions virtually.  This could range from your profession to a hobby you may be interested in.  Once you create your course, you can then go on to sell it online or even after a speech if need be.  So, you don’t need to speak just online.

To start creating a course of interest, there’s a lot of work that needs to be considered, but there’s one thing for certain; you need to have knowledge about the topic in question.  The more knowledgeable you are, the easier it can be to create a course that people want to buy.  Start reading books, follow up on the news and brainstorm a course.

How long do you want it to be?  What’s going to be included?  What are people going to learn?  How are you going to market?

A great course with a good structure and lots of knowledge can sell very well as long as you have the right marketing tools.

Final Thoughts

In the public speaking world, there are so many ways to start making money.  It’s going to be difficult at first, but hey, this can be said about any business, right?

Ideally, you’re going to want to start as an authority in the industry you’re interested in and start applying some of the tips mentioned above.  It may take some time before you see your first dollar.  Eventually, you can start to charge fees and people will soon be beating down the door to have you speak at one of their events.

For now, take action and apply some of the techniques to hopefully succeed.  With hard work, rewards can follow, I promise you that.

As always, if you have a tip or want to add to what I have mentioned, you’re more than welcome to do so in the comments below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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