Getting Speaking Gigs 1I’m going to walk you through a simple process I use for booking $10,000 speaking gigs.

I’ve used this process for a lot of corporate companies but I want to include a warning…

This doesn’t work when you’re just starting your speaking career.


Because if you want to book $10,000 gigs then you have to look like a $10,000 speaker. And when you’re just starting out, you don’t have the video footage, the website, the pictures, etc…you don’t look like you’re worth $10,000 so it’s near impossible to charge $10,000.

But it’s good to read about the process right now because even if you’re not charging $10,000…you can.

So how can you get the high paying speaking gigs?

All kinds of speakers want to book paid gigs, but what do you have to do to get the high paying ones?

Think about it…if you could get the high paying gigs then you can work less while making more.

You’ve probably heard speakers say things like “I did 120 speaking gigs last year.” But what they’re not telling you is that they only got paid for a few of those gigs and they didn’t make much money from those gigs.

On the other hand, if you can do only 10 gigs at $10,000 each, you’ve easily made $100,000…easier said than done…but that’s what you’re going to learn.

Your first step to getting the high paying speaking gigs is to figure out if you’re in the right market to begin with.

I can’t tell you how often speakers want to book more paid gigs and get paid more, only to find out that they’re speaking about a topic that doesn’t pay…and to a market that can’t afford it.

Not too long ago, a speaker sent me an email saying that his ‘market’ is different than mine (I’m in the motivational speaker market) because he talks about ‘history’…and that’s why he isn’t getting as many gigs.

My response was… “That should tell you something.”

Do you see his problem?

Most speakers try to make their topic fit the market. They say, “I speak about X, how do I find more speaking engagements for people who hire speakers like me?”

But what they should be saying is… “XYZ is the market I want to speak to, what kind of speakers (topics) do they hire?”

See the difference?

It’s a simple shift in how you think about your speaking topic/market but it makes all the difference.

Now you need to know if you’re in a market that can afford to pay high speaker fees.

The speaker who talked about ‘history’ is in a very small market. And because of this, he can’t charge high fees no matter how great he is.

Instead, if this speaker shifted his strategy, he could easily get high-paying speaking gigs. Instead of talking about history, he could go into the ‘leadership’ market and mix history with leadership…talking about how Alexander The Great and CEOs are using the same techniques, etc.

You have to truly understand this if you want to get the high paying gigs.

I know you’re saying to yourself, “Yea yea, but what do I do to get the gig?”

But if you’re not in the right market then nothing you do will matter. So make sure you’re in the right market to begin with.

How do you know if you’re in a market that can pay high speaking fees?

Look around at other speakers who are similar to you and see how much they’re getting paid (there’s no way to know for sure but you can get an idea).

A simple way to do this is to go to a speaker bureau’s website look up speakers like you…then see what those speakers are getting paid (speaker bureaus list the speaker’s fee range…take approximately $2,500 off that fee and that’s how much the speaker gets paid)…

If you look up motivational speakers and leadership speakers then you can see the top people are making six figures for one presentation (it’s not the ‘average’…it’s the people at the top).

But if you look up ‘history’ speakers…well…there are none. And that should tell you something.

Without realizing it, speakers ‘niche’ themselves too much. All the marketing books talk about creating a niche and being a big fish in a small pond…but the pond shouldn’t be too small or there won’t be enough resources to go around.

It’s also important that you know the difference between choosing a big market versus making yourself unique in that market.

Motivational speaking is a huge market…but Tony Robbins is a unique speaker. Being a magician is a huge market…but David Copperfield is a unique magician. Music is a huge market…but Lady Gaga is a unique musician (scratch that…she’s a VERY unique musician).

What they have in common is that they entered a market that allows them to make a lot of money, and then they created their own ‘niche/uniqueness’ in that market. What they DIDN’T do is choose a small market and make themselves unique.

Think about how difficult it would have been for Lady Gaga if she said, “I’m going to be a musician in coffee shops.” That definitely would’ve been a niche, but it would’ve been so small that she would struggle to make money…no matter how good she is.

So you can choose a big market, you just have to make yourself unique in that market. And the way you do that is:

  • Skill..or…
  • Personality

If you have a skill then that will make you unique in a market.

Tony Robbins developed the NLP skill (he’s also VERY good at asking the right questions). And by doing that, he created a unique aspect for his speaking career that allowed him to explode. He also learned multiple ‘engagement/interactive’ techniques to make sure people are fully engaged while he’s doing his seminars.

The other way to make yourself unique is through your personality.

Look at Suze Orman. There are several speakers who talk about finances but she uses her ‘in your face’ personality to make her stand out.

If you want to start getting the higher speaking fees then you have to be in a market that can easily pay those fees and you have to stand out in that market.

But how else can you tell if you’re in the right market as a speaker?

You should also pay attention to how accessible the people at the top of your industry are. If you’re a ‘history’ speaker and you know of other speakers…very well known speakers…and you can call them on the phone (and they answer it themselves), then you’re in a really small market.

On the other hand, if you’re a motivational speaker and you look at the top speakers (aka Tony Robbins) then it’s much harder to get him on the phone than the top speaker in the ‘history’ market.

These are clues that let you know if you’re in a market that will even allow you to get the more lucrative speaking gigs.

Ultimately, the corporate market is the biggest market where all the high paying speaking gigs are at. And if you’re not in that market, then you’re going to have a hard time getting people to pay you $10,000.

Big company events easily spend over $100,000 for a single event. And your speaking fee (of $10,000) is probably less than what they paid for coffee at the event.

The corporate market doesn’t care about ‘history’ speakers, they don’t care about ‘healthcare’ speakers, etc. The corporate market wants speakers that relate to them (leadership, motivational, marketing, etc).

The corporate market wants speakers who are entertaining, speakers who keep the audience engaged, and speakers who talk about things they care about…not things you care about.

What happens if you’re in the wrong market…like the history speaker? Do you need to learn a completely new speaking topic?

If you’re in the wrong market, you just have to position yourself differently.

Remember the ‘history’ speaker? The market is small…very small…but if he changed his talks to “How CEOs can lead like Alexander The Great” then he’s going to be more attractive to the bigger markets.

You either get in the right market or you struggle as a speaker. It’s that simple.

You can be the greatest speaker in the world, the most passionate speaker, the best looking speaker, etc…but if you’re a market that can’t afford to pay high speaking fees then none of it matters.

So lets say that you’re in the right market, you’re a motivational speaker and you’re in the corporate market. What’s the next thing you should do to make sure you get the high paying speaking gigs?…

(Part 2 of ‘A Walkthrough Of How To Book $10,000 Speaking Gigs’ is coming soon…)