Like any industry, the speaking industry was bound to change. Anyone who has been in it for the past few years has seen it change dramatically in a short period of time. Now about half of all paid speaking jobs are free ones.
In other words, meeting planners will pay the people to sweep the floors at their events, but don’t pay the very people who are the heart and soul of the conference. Sometimes they simply don’t have the money in the budget.
After hearing this enough times, I decided to use my problem solving skills and 20 years of sponsorship experience to find another way for speakers to get paid without having to sell from the stage, which they won’t let you do anyway.
I started asking meeting planners if I could get my own sponsor. That way they get a good speaker for free, the audience isn’t “sold” to, the speaker gets paid, and the sponsor gets in front of their target audience. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Speaker sponsorship is a great way to add extra income to your paid speaking jobs, or you could create your own speaking career using sponsorship. There are two ways to make money from speaker sponsorship. One is to find sponsors for those free jobs. They are easy to find. Meeting planners always need good speakers who are willing to speak for free. Get the meeting planner to pay your expenses, and the sponsor pays your speaking fee. Then you promote the sponsor at the same time you are promoting yourself as a speaker.
The other way is to create your own speaking jobs. Put on your own events and get one or more sponsors to pay for it. This is how I got paid the very first time I spoke in public. I put on a job fair and made $2500 from sponsors. I got to deliver a 30 minute speech and made money without having to wait for a paid job. $2500 isn’t too bad for a first speaking job!
When other speakers started asking me how I got paid when they didn’t, I decided to put together a directory so that speakers and sponsors could meet each other for possible sponsorship. I then put together a 4 hour webinar to teach speakers how to get sponsorship and how to work with sponsors so they want to keep sponsoring them. It also includes dozens of ways to create unique speaking opportunities and ways to promote them. It comes with a one hour private coaching session, all templates, free crowd-funding, and a free one year listing in Speaker Sponsor.
Yes, the speaking industry has changed. But now you have more opportunities to create your own path as a speaker without having to wait for the phone to ring!