All public speakers have one thing in common: they generally must take unpaid speaking engagements to get their foot in the door. While you may not get a paycheck, agreeing to speak at unpaid events can help you gain exposure and get your name out there as a professional speaker.
The key to making a living at the beginning of your career is to find other ways to monetize the knowledge you possess. By creating multiple revenue streams, you are able to grow your following AND pay your bills at the same time. And, when you are finally able to accept paid gigs, these revenue streams will still be in place, bringing in even more income.
Here are 8 ways you can monetize your professional speaking engagement:
As a topical expert, you know that it took years for you to gain and harness the knowledge you possess. And while you do your best to share your insights with an audience in a clear and engaging manner, a 30-minute talk isn’t enough to share all of your expertise.
Consider offering workshops or training sessions to give your audience the tools they need to actually apply the information you’ve shared.
You have a few options here. You can offer one single training day, a week-long seminar, a webinar or half-day workshops. Not only will you earn a steady income, but you will continue to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
All of the free talks you give can really be opportunities to promote your paid training sessions. You simply mention at the end of your speech these workshops are available for anyone who would like a deeper dive into the material.
Become a Consultant
Does your expertise revolve around business matters? Do you have proficient knowledge in marketing, hiring teams, project management, or developing agile workflows?
There are many companies and organizations out there that are willing to pay a consultant for guidance. But understand that to make a good income with consulting, you’ve got to truly deliver the goods to get referrals and repeat business.
Develop an Online Course
Selling an online course can be very lucrative because it is very scalable. Think about it: when you rely on paid speaking gigs for an income, you are trading your time for money. But when you develop a comprehensive online course, you spend the time upfront and then earn money from your efforts for months and years to come. Your course can make money while you are traveling, sleeping or walking the dog!
You can offer your course through your own website or through an educational platform such as Udemy. A platform may offer an easier way to receive payments and deliver course material.
Write a Book
Another way to add value and help people understand your core message is to write a book. A book is a great way to gain even more credibility and establish yourself as a thought leader.
You can create a hardback or paperback book and offer it for sale at the event. And self-publishing through Kindle has made it incredibly easy to profit from the knowledge you share. You’ll want to promote your book not only at the speaking engagements but also on your website and social media pages.
Create a Blog and Monetize It
A blog is a fantastic way to share your knowledge and expertise. If you have no blog yet, you’ll want to spend time creating a lot of unique and quality content to attract a steady stream of visitors. Don’t even think about monetizing until you have built up your blog to be a useful resource for your audience.
If you already have a blog with a lot of great content and it’s getting a decent amount of traffic each day, you can begin to monetize that traffic. Sell your book or course on there to start.
You may also want to become an affiliate for a service or piece of software that relates to your expertise somehow. Just be sure to select who you partner with very carefully so as not to ruin your credibility. And you may also want to lease out any free space to different advertisers. Google adsense is a good option for blog publishers and easy to integrate into your site.
Teach Others the Art of Public Speaking
Think about it, not only do you have expertise in a particular topic, you now have expertise in creating and delivering engaging presentations. You can now become a speaking coach and teach others.
There are many people that are, right now, where you once were. They love the idea of travelling and sharing their knowledge and passion to help others and get paid handsomely for it, but they have no idea where to begin. You can either charge a lot for one-on-one coaching and/or developing a public speaking course that you sell through your website.
Organize Your Own Events
Once you’ve been speaking for some time, you’ll begin to learn what it takes to organize and advertise an event. You will then be able to set up a small conference or workshop series in your town or city. You can hire newer speakers who are willing to speak for free, cutting your costs, while earning nicely through ticket sales and sponsorships. While organizing an event does take some time and effort, the return on investment can be very much worth it.
Add a “Hire Me” Page to Your Website
By simply adding a “hire me” page to your website, you open yourself to numerous opportunities. Beyond speaking, training and consulting, you may be approached by someone with a project you never even thought of.
On your hire me page, just be sure to include the following information:
- Any services you currently offer
- Your speaking reel
- Your contact information
While it can seem frustrating not getting paid to speak, there are actually many ways you can earn, and sometimes earn big. If you apply some of these tactics, you’ll be able to monetize your knowledge and passion no matter what.