Today we’re talking all about how to become a professional paid public speaker.
Whether this is a means to an end (meaning, you want to use it to boost your career in another field)
Or, as the ends itself, whereby you make public speaking and professional keynote speaking a way to generate your primary forms of income.
Regardless of whether you want to do it solely as your primary source of income and career, or you want to use it to boost your career…
The tips we’re going to cover today are gonna help you do it.
And I’ve got 5 of them.
So without further adieu, let’s dive right in…
Alright, step number one is going to seem really obvious, but it’s actually pretty important.
And that comes down to choosing the main area or general topic or niche that you want to specialize in…
1. Choose Your Main Topic
Now, there’s a bit of a line that you need to walk between being so specific that you exclude everyone else…
And so broad that you’re not that interesting or appealing, and you’re generic.
An example of this is just being a generic leadership speaker.
There’s tonnes of them out there and it’s hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd, unless you have a neat backstory or specialize in one field over another.
Again, this is where if you’re just getting started and trying to break into the speaker scene, it’ll help to be a little more focused and specific…
Rather than going super broad.
When I first got involved in public speaking, I started talking specifically on social media, and specifically for small business growth.
Over time, that kind of broadened a little more into digital marketing strategy…
And then ALL marketing strategy…
And now it covers all facets of digital marketing, and I’m able to tailor my content and talks on my audience and their level of sophistication or knowledge of the topic.
Alright. So you’ve decided what area and topic you want to specialize in to get started.
Well step number two is…
2. Do a Comprehensive Brand Audit on Yourself
This means taking a look at all your marketing materials:
Your website, your social media channels, any of the content you’re putting out there…
And asking yourself a really blunt question: “Would you hire yourself?”
If the answer’s not a clear and resounding “yes!”, then your brand is going to need a bit of a face lift.
Because here’s one thing I know to be true:
When someone is looking to invest in a public speaker, especially to give a keynote, or something that can range in the thousands of dollars for your fees…
They want to make sure you’re the right person for the job…
Which means they’re definitely checking out your online profile.
Your brand’s first impression could make all the difference, so make sure your image is one you actually want to portray.
Moving right along to step three:
3. Create Content Around Your Core Subject
Now, when it comes to creating content you’ve got a variety of different options:
- you could teach a course
- you could write a blog
- you could do podcast interviews
- you could create videos…
What ever it is, the point here is to create lots and lots of content.
The reason you want to create lots of content (and I should highlight this by saying quality content) is because you want to prove you authority and expertise on the topic you’re going to be talking about.
The other reason to produce all this content is kind of self evident…
After all, when someone’s trying to hire the right speaker for the job, it makes it easier to hire the guy who has lots of content and is clearly an expert.
Rather than taking a risk with someone who may not have as much out there or know as much.
That’s going to move us nicely into tip four.
In the previous tip, we talked about creating all kinds of content, but for step four, what I really want you to focus on is…
4. Video Content
The reason video content is so important when you want to become a professional and paid public speaker is because…
Short of actually going out there and doing a public speech for the person who’s going to hire you…
Video is the next best thing.
After all, it allows your personality to come across, your voice, your tone, how you look, and how you engage.
I know that a camera isn’t quite an audience, but how you present yourself on camera can often carry over to how you’re gonna speak on stage.
It’s for this reason that you want to alleviate any concerns someone might have in hiring you by showing that you’re confident, well-spoken, articulate…
And that you’ve got the right style for the speech they’re trying to get across.
Basically, you gotta make more videos.
That’s going to bring us all the way to tip number five, which is simply…
5. Get Out There and Speak as Much as Possible
If you’re just getting started, and you’re trying to break into the speaker scene, and you want to become a paid speaker…
It’s alright to pay your dues, and start by doing a few free speeches, or at least have some minor trial expenses covered.
You don’t need to do this for long, but you do need to build up a decent portfolio and get some content out there, and some experience under your belt.
When you do move up into the paid ranks, how much you charge, how often you speak, and your style, are going to vary.
This is all depending on your goals and again, whether you want to use this as a means to an end or as the ends itself.
But regardless, getting that experience will do nothing but good things for your business, and your career.
And I’m sure that you’ll agree, the level of personal development that comes along with public speaking is astronomical.
After all, nothing will push your comfort level quite as fast as getting out there in front of an audience and talking to them.
Brian Tracy once said,
Anyone can become a speaker, but not everyone can become a paid speaker.”
Which is where these five tips are really going to help to move you from free to paid, and into the ranks of that professional public speaker status.