Speakers, Is It Time To Plug Up Your Leaking Profits?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

By Maria Marsala

One of the strategies I created to market my advising/coaching business was to speak internationally. But what I didn't take into account, until year 7 in business, was that speaking IS a business. Actually, it wasn't until I created two web sites just for my speaking business that I realized how much time and effort went into speaking.

Now you can learn the easy way.

Speakers as 2nd Class Citizens

Many organizations will not pay speakers to speak; but they do pay for tangible items! Local chapters of organizations, from the Rotary, Kiwanis, Elms, Lions, etc. to maybe an organization you're a member of wouldn't think of asking one of their members to give them supplies for free; but the do not pay speakers.

So types of groups are good for one thing -- for you to practice speaking.

IF you choose to speak to group for free, as I do from time to time, what you want to do is 1) determine what your speaking fee would have been had they paid you and 2) decide what they can give you "in-kind" to make up for the fee you are loosing. I provide them with a list of 5 must provides and then they get to pick from a longer list of "in-kind" items that are important to me. If they don't do it; I don't speak. PERIOD. If they are not going to value your services from the start, what makes you think their members will in the long run?

Speakers as 1st Class Citizens

You should consider many things when creating a proposal or talking about your speaker fee. Below is a list of the basic elements of what you deserve to be paid for (one way or another) These are "add-ons" and "value-addeds".

• For your experiences on the topic -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact use it all when you speak.

• Number of travel days and hours. Include the time it takes you to travel to the airport, from the airport to the venue, etc.

• The amount of time and the cost of printing any materials (cost wise it's better if you get them to print anything you need, but if you want it done perfectly, do it yourself.)

• The number of people in attendance.

• Is it a non-profit or for-profit and does that make a difference to you.

• The length of time you'll be speaking and the number of times you'll keynote, do a workshop, be on a panel or moderator of the panel of speakers over a day or days.

• The marketing you may need to do.

• Is it 60 days prior to the event (if so you'll need to add a rush fee for all you have to add to your work).

• If you pay for the hotel and meals, add these fees.

• If you pay for airfare, add this.

• If they are taking photos, add this.

• The time on calls or emails to: whomever is organizing the event, or other management professionals.

• The times on calls or emails to survey or talk to at least 3 potential audience members in advance to build your talk around their immediate concerns and priorities.

• The internal or external distribution of audio or video taping they plan on doing.

• Your possible 30-day follow-up in mail or via teleconference to the participants.

• The number of articles they want to produce on your subject in their newsletters or for the participants.

• How many of your booklets, CDs or books will they be purchasing.

Let's not forget about one more money making concept - Back of the Room (BOR) sales. BOR sales allow you to sell your products and make even more money than your "basic pay" Some organizations/businesses want a percentage of sales, find out up front what they expect.

Protect Your Important Intellectual Property

When you speak, you're selling your time, talent, and expertise on a subject. Read the fine print on any contract you sign. Make sure that you keep the copyrights of any materials that are yours. If someone is buying the use of your talk in an audio, know how they're providing that information to others. Is it behind a password protected area of a website? Are they selling it for a fee (and what is your cut on that fee)? Are they putting a note on the site that the materials are owned by the speakers? OR are they just posting the links somewhere with no notices of any sort?

If your materials are used in a way that has not been previously agreed to and/or paid for, you as a speaker need to speak up! Recently after seeing how my materials were being used, I wrote to an organization and asked them to include some legalize on a page so that visitors who downloaded my information know 100% that the information was for their personal use and NOT for use professionally without written permission from me. Ask for what you need.

Plug Up Those Leaky Profits

Now that you have the real story about what you should be getting paid when you speak; it's time to determine how much of your profits you've been leaking each and every time you speak.

(c) 2009 Maria Marsala is a strategic business coach, consultant, ispeaker, author, and former Wall Street executive. Her company, Elevating Your Business help business owners increase their company's profit, value, and performance quicker than they can do on their own.

Maria's clients achieve success though her proprietary programs such as Corporate Secrets Home Study™, the money generator; Millionaire Business Mastermind groups, where leaders get results; and 1:1 business development and action phone sessions where she offers new insights, templates, workbooks, resources, ongoing support, and training in the areas of business (operations/administration), general marketing and the Internet. Rate Your Business using our Business Check-up and get other no-cost business tips at http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com

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