You spent all that time and energy to book the engagement. You showed up and rocked the room. Standing ovation! Nice paycheck. Great comments. Life couldn’t be better, right?
…until the next morning when you remember that you’ve got to start all over and find the next client!
I spent a most of my early years in business constantly chasing the next paycheck. When I was young, it was as a magician / performer. I continued the trend with my custom software development company.
Luckily, speakers today have many options to generate ongoing revenue.
You have your sales funnel, right? For most speakers the bottom of the funnel is the speaking engagement.
I’d like you to consider turning this into an hourglass-shaped object:
While the bottom half of the hourglass does contain new people, it’s mostly filled with new opportunities to continue to engage with the same people.
You’ve heard it before:
It’s much more expensive (and time-consuming) to find new customers than it is to sell to existing customers.
I could speak for days on this subject (and will in future posts), but let me give you three ways to put this into use:
“Every gig has to generate another gig”
This is a quote from one of my oldest, best friends (and life mentor): Eugene Burger. He is one of the most successful, well-respected magicians of our time.
He uses the above phrase when discussing the difference between an amateur and a professional.
If you’re going to make a living speaking or performing, every engagement has to lead to at least one more.
How do you do that?
I’ll give you one of his tricks (no pun intended):
Every talk should contain subtle messages to the audience that you would also be a great fit for their next event.
In other words, you want people walking away from the talk thinking to themselves, “We should hire him to speak at our next ________.”
The talk is over. You’ve done your job. People are inspired.
Most speakers just accept the accolades and walk away. To me, that seems irresponsible. You get them all excited, then just leave ‘em hanging?
Any speaker worth their fee has enough knowledge and experience to create some sort of continuity program. I’m not talking selling them copies of your book. I mean getting them into an online course or, better yet, a membership program that will continue to help them process the content of your talk (and raise your revenues, obviously).
I’m very close with one of the most successful European corporate speakers and trainers. His fees are significant and he’s been working nonstop for over 15 years.
But he has made the most impact by providing ongoing one-on-one or small group coaching to the executives and VPs of the organizations he speaks for.
The best part: he doesn’t have to leave the house!
(or put on pants… it’s a European thing 🙂 )
The technology exists. Pick your platform: Skype, GoToMeeing, Google Hangout. Then all you need is a way to streamline the scheduling and organization of the meetings, reminders, notes, etc. I’ll be talking more about this in the near future.
Whether your goal is to impact more lives, or to make more money (probably both), start thinking now about how you can better serve the people that have already been inspired by your message.
Take hourglass image above, rotate it 90 degrees and then soften the points to elegant curves.
See what you get?
The symbol for infinity.
P.S. It’s also the symbol of the magician