Rob Eagar's Monday Morning Marketing Tip
This week's focus:
Getting paid to speak is a great way generate more influence and revenue for your books, business, or non-profit organization. Yet, setting and negotiating a speaking fee can feel so uncomfortable that some people avoid speaking altogether. Don't let fear cause you to miss out on a lucrative opportunity. Use the following approach to navigate the process in a win-win manner.
In our Western society, people tend to attribute a lot of money to items or services that provide a lot of value. For example, we perceive a new Mercedes-Benz automobile as a luxury vehicle that's reliable and loaded with lavish technological features. Since most people agree that Mercedes equals value, a lot of individuals are willing to spend a lot of money to purchase one. The name "Mercedes" is a perceived symbol of quality, status, and comfort. Their high value equals a high price tag that thousands of car buyers are willing to pay.
In contrast, a used car covered in rust with a busted engine equals little or no value. Anyone trying to sell an old jalopy will have to settle for a low price. The lower value creates a perception that equals lower money to purchase.
This same principle applies to setting a speaking fee. For instance, if you're a recent bestselling author or a high-profile business leader, then your perceived value will generally be quite high. Therefore, you can command a high speaking fee. For instance, many politicians, celebrities, and athletes routinely receive $5,000 - $25,000 for an individual speaking engagement. On the contrary, authors, non-profit directors, and business people with little name recognition may have to settle for $250 - 2,500, or even speak for free.
Likewise, establish your speaking fee at a level that helps you secure more bookings, and then raise your fee as your value increases. If you become a better speaker, win an award, or gain the ability to attract a following, increase your fee accordingly. Otherwise, start at a level that allows you to gather experience and grow your track record. Seek experience over money. As you get better, the money will come.
If you secure a few paid bookings and no one balks at your fee, then it's probably too low. Lack of resistance usually means you're leaving money on the table. Try raising your fee by 10 - 20% until you get a little resistance. That will help you identify a realistic range.
Above all, treat every speaking engagement with importance, and give it your utmost effort, regardless of your fee or audience size. When people hear your speech and consider you a "Mercedes-level" speaker, then you'll be in the fast lane to higher fees.
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© Rob Eagar 2012. All rights reserved.