I’m about to show you how I made myself look like a $10,000 speaker first…and then got paid $10,000 to speak.
This is part 4 of “A Walkthrough Of How To Get $10,000 Speaking Gigs”
Read the other parts here:
I said I would walk you through the process of how I book $10,000 speaking engagements and this is where everything comes into play.
But it’s important that you don’t skip the previous steps. Without those, none of this works.
After I picked the right market (motivational speaking in the corporate market), developed the right psychology (I had money in my bank from saving it), and had my pricing strategy in place, now it’s just a matter of doing the one thing I tell every speaker…
…I knew it all boiled down to this one thing…
To get paid $10,000…you have to look like a $10,000 speaker.
It all comes down to image.
Why do celebrity speakers get 6 figures for a presentation and they’re just on stage talking like a normal person? You’ve seen it…the ‘well-known’ people who get paid to be at an event and they’re boring as hell.
But…they’re getting paid.
Why is that? It’s because of their image.
If you don’t look like you’re getting paid what you’re asking for then you’re not going to get paid what you ask for.
I knew this, but how did I go about implementing it? How did I go about ‘looking’ like a high-paid speaker?
As you know, it’s crucial that you have good video footage, video testimonials, a good website, a good speaker demo, etc…but…when you’re just starting out, you’re in a ‘speaker dilemma’…you need all this marketing material and the only way to get it is to get hired. But nobody will hire you, because you don’t have all this great marketing material.
It’s what I call the Speaker Dilemma and it sucks.
Think about it…
You know that if you have great video footage of you speaking then you’re much more likely to get hired. Without that video footage, nobody wants to hire you…you’re a pariah.
But the only way for you to get the video footage is to get on a stage in the first place…that’s the dilemma every speaker goes through when they’re starting out.
So how did I get around this?
First, I understood that I wouldn’t immediately get the right video footage and pictures. I knew that I had to ‘grow into it.’
What do I mean?
Your first pictures/website/videos will suck. You will only get video footage of you speaking for a small crowd. You will only be able to get pictures of small crowds. And you will have a bad website…because you won’t have too much to put on the website.
But you have to realize that it’s going to get better.
Here are before/after pictures from my own ‘cycle of replacing’….
Having video footage in front of a small crowd is better than having no video footage at all. Having a video testimonial from an unknown client is better than having no video testimonial at all.
Eventually, you’re going to replace everything with better versions (pictures of my old site and new one are posted below).
You have to realize that the crowd of 20 people will be replaced with a crowd of 200 people. That video footage of you in a small classroom will be replaced with video footage of you in front of a corporate crowd. That video testimonial of an unknown client will be replaced by a Fortune 500 client.
It’s important that you understand this.
Don’t compare yourself with someone who is already ‘there’ and already charging $10,000. Just learn how to take to the steps to get there.
So what did I do to get to that point?
I got pictures of small crowds. And because I can perform mind reading demonstrations, I posted those pictures. Pictures of people having a good time.
I was also performing in restaurants so I posted a lot of those pictures to my website.
Here’s what I posted when I started…
Since you probably don’t do mind reading, you have to use your current situation and figure out how to get what you need…everyone’s situation is different.
Maybe you’re in a Poker club so at your next poker meeting, you can tell everyone that you need help with your speaking business and you want everyone to look at you like you’re giving a presentation so you can take a picture of it.
Maybe you’re in Toastmasters so at your next meeting, you take pictures of you speaking and record it too.
Whatever your current situation…figure out how to get those pictures.
Here’s what I posted on the website when I started getting more speaking gigs…
Next, I knew I had to get video testimonials.
And because I was performing in restaurants, once again, it wasn’t that hard for me to get testimonials from people.
On top of that, I would go out to hotels and approach people who were wearing suits. Why suits? Because corporate clients wear suits…and if they see someone in a suit giving a testimonial then it creates a better image than someone in a t-shirt.
So I went to these hotels and performed for people in hotels…then I got a video testimonial from them.
Since I was in college, I got testimonials from people who knew me in college. And guess what? I even got my mom to record a testimonial. Watch the video below…the second person in the video (“Sareet”)….she’s my mom…
You probably can’t do mind reading so what else can you do as a speaker?
Maybe you can go to a networking meeting (from meetup.com or a Chamber Of Commerce meeting) and as you talk to people, tell them that you need testimonials for your speaking. So say something like, “Even though we just met…can you tell the camera what your first impression of me is? Basically what you think of me?”
Or maybe you can do a little demonstration of your speaking topic.
Maybe you’re a sales speaker and when you’re at the networking group, you do a ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ demonstration by saying, “Sell me this pen…” …and then you proceed to show them how you would sell it. Once you’re done with your demonstration, get a video testimonial from people.
Here are the better video testimonials I got when I booked more paid speaking gigs…
Once I got these pictures, these video testimonials, the next step was the website.
Nowadays, making a great speaker website is very easy if you use WordPress.
Even if you don’t know anything about websites, you can still buy a nice website theme and have the structure of your site look good. Of course it won’t have great pictures/videos but the structure will look nice.
But when I started, my website sucked. Oh man…it was bad. In fact, words can’t describe how bad my first websites were. However, it’s all en evolutionary process. It sucked at first, and now it’s a million times better.
Here’s one of my sucky websites when I started (yea, they were worse than this but I couldn’t find the worse ones)…
And here’s a picture of my website now…
Building your speaker image is the easiest part to understand but the hardest part to implement.
You know that you should get videos, pictures, and all that jazz…But doing it is a whole new ball game.
Most speakers procrastinate. They do useless tasks like work on their one-sheet (and it takes them weeks, if not months) instead of tasks that actually put money in their pocket.
If you’re serious about your speaking business then you will go out today or tomorrow and get 10 video testimonials.
…You will walk into a hotel and get several testimonial videos.
If you’re not serious, and you’re not fully committed, you’re going to make an excuse about why you can’t get those testimonials.
Maybe you can’t get it because you have to work. Maybe you can’t get it because your car doesn’t work. Maybe you can’t get it because you have to pick up the kids.
Let me tell you something that very few people will tell you…
People who make money don’t make excuses.
I don’t care if your excuses are real or not. Maybe you really do have to work. So what? Do it when you get off. Maybe your car broke down. So what? Take a bus (Oh wait, is the bus too ‘low’ for you? Good luck growing your business then). Maybe you have to pick up your kids. So what? Put them in foster care. Just kidding 🙂
Do you see my point?
Your circumstances are just obstacles that you need to move out of the way to get what you want. You either want to build your speaking business or you don’t.
I didn’t make excuses when building my image. I knew that I had to look like a $10,000 speaker to charge $10,000 and the only way to do that is to get those pictures, get those video testimonials, and create that ‘celebrity-like’ image.
You should be able to get all of this for free.
Ask your family if you have to. Go to your mom, your brother, your cousin, and ask them to give you a video testimonial. Have them talk into the camera about how great of a person you are.
There’s absolutely no reason as to why you shouldn’t have at least 10 video testimonials by the end of today or tomorrow. The only reason you wouldn’t have testimonials is because you’re not determined enough to get them.
Once I had the pictures/testimonials, my next step was to start contacting people so I could get hired for speaking gigs…(part 5 is coming soon)