Almost every speaker wants to know how to get more speaking engagements but most speakers have a huge problem…
The problem is that maybe you just can’t spend a ton of money on marketing. Maybe you don’t have a lot of money in your bank account left over to hire someone or to pay for a lot of marketing stuff…so how do you build your speaking business on a budget with little to no money?
I remember when I was starting, I didn’t have money to do anything really. And that’s not the worst part. The worst part is when you know what you should be doing but you can’t do it because of a lack of funds.
I would listen to these big time marketing gurus talk about productivity and how you need to hire someone to do things like the house cleaning, the cooking, and all these activities that suck up your time but don’t produce results. Sounds great in theory but I didn’t have the money to do that.
And I knew that I needed a great speaker website and a great demo video, but I didn’t have the money to hire an expert to do that stuff. I couldn’t afford to pay someone a couple grand to build a website and to pay someone even more to make a great demo video. I knew that I needed this stuff, but I had very little money to spend.
When you’re in that position it sucks because you know what to do, you just can’t afford to do it. It’s like knowing the cure to cancer but you’re stuck on an island and you can’t tell anyone.
So I’m going to tell you how I was able to get around it and build my speaking business on a budget.
The first thing you have to realize is that your budget isn’t as big of a problem as you think it is. Yes…your budget does hold you back from doing things faster but it doesn’t hold you back from getting things done. If you can pay someone $3,000 to make a great website then they’ll do it a lot faster than you can because that’s their area of expertise.
But what happens when you can’t afford it?
Well let me ask you…what do you think you should do? If you know that you need a great website, but you also know that you can’t pay someone to do it, then what do you think you should do?
Your only option is to make the website yourself. Of course you don’t know how to do it…but neither did the best web designers when they started out. Knowing how to design a website isn’t born inside you…it’s something that someone learns.
So if you don’t have a great website, you can’t afford to hire someone, then you have to learn it yourself and make your website as best as it possibly can be.
And that’s what separates the speakers who build their speaking business from the ones who just think about it.
The ones who really build their speaking business do whatever it takes. If they need something and they don’t know how to do it then they suck it up and learn it. But the ones who don’t build a speaking business, those are the speakers who do everything except the things that make them money.
The difference is the real speaker says, “I don’t know how to build a website…but I’ll figure this out.” And the wanna-be speakers say, “I don’t know how to build a website…this sucks.”
Now I’m just using the website as an example.
There are tons of things you’ll need to learn how to do and do yourself if you don’t have money for your speaking business. If you want to build your speaking business on a budget then you have to combine that with skill and intensity.
By skill, I mean that if you don’t know something then you shouldn’t be afraid to learn it. And the way you know you’re learning is when you’re uncomfortable.
If you didn’t know how to do Google Adwords and you go into it right now, then you’re going to feel pretty uncomfortable. There’s going to be a ton of things that you won’t know how to do, you’re going to get frustrated because you don’t know what things mean, you’re going to get pissed off because it’s taking so long…and that’s where you find out how serious you are about building your speaking business.
That’s the moment where you can just stop and say, “Damn, I have no idea what I’m doing.” And then go on and complain about why you’re not getting speaking gigs. Or that’s the moment where you can keep pushing through despite how hard it is.
When you’re learning any skill, you’re going to suck at it in the beginning.
And then it boils down to intensity.
One speaker asked me how I was able to build my business so fast because I’m very young. And I asked him, “Well do you believe in work/life balance? Like you should be working but you should also go out and have fun, that sort of stuff.” And he said, “Yes.” Then I responded, “Well I don’t.”
The reason I was able to build my speaking business is because I didn’t go out to lunches with people, I didn’t go out clubbing, I didn’t watch TV, I didn’t hang out at useless networking events. I build my business because I figured out what the top one or two things were that would get me speaking gigs and I did that nonstop.
It was intense. I just woke up, got to work, went to sleep, woke up, got to work, went to sleep. I even just started eating foods that didn’t require preparation like talpia. Just throw it in the oven, make several at a time, and I have my meals.
If you want to build your speaking business on a budget then you have to prepare yourself mentally because the information you need is already out there.
How do you get speaking gigs? That’s the number one question all speakers have. And I can tell you that the answer to that question is on the Speaking Lifestyle Blog. And more detailed answers are in the PLATFORM Program and the Speaking Lifestyle Internet Course that walks you through it step by step.
The information for building a speaking business on a budget is already out there. But here’s the thing…
I guarantee you that most speakers will still be asking themselves that question a week from now. Most speakers have been asking that question since the day they started their speaking business and the reason is because it’s not a lack of information, it’s a lack of determination.
When someone asks me how to get speaking gigs, I ask them if they read all the posts on the Speaking Lifestyle Blog…and nobody who’s asked me that question has read every single post. That’s just crazy. The information they need is right there…for free…in the blog, but they’re still scratching their heads on what to do.
It’s all about the intensity you have. How serious are you about growing your speaking business? And don’t answer that question…look at what you’re doing. If you say you’re serious but you go check your email, hang out on Facebook, and all that stuff, then you’re not serious. But if you go and read every blog post, study what other speakers do, contact event planners, well that shows how serious you are.
Ok…enough of my rant.
Let’s get into some detail about growing your speaking business on a budget.
First thing I would do if I had to start over would be to get material for my website and demo video.
So how would I do that?
I would contact any place that I can think of where my presentation would be useful at. Meetup groups, colleges, whatever. I would sit down and contact them all day. Just by doing that alone, I would get a couple of gigs.
Then I would record it and bring someone along to take pictures. If someone couldn’t come then I would just record it.
Then I would get video testimonials from as many people who saw the presentation.
Just from one presentation I would get at least 10 pieces of video footage. One would be of me speaking and the rest would be video testimonials.
I would then use this to build a website…a wordpress website because the themes that are available make it look professional. And I would build the website to look as good as possible for now. It won’t look great but it would look good.
And then I would repeat the process until I had tons of footage and pictures for the website.
Now I want you to notice something.
Notice that I didn’t say I would start a social media campaign…none of that stuff. What people don’t realize is that you have to really if you want to build your speaking business on a budget.
There are tons of speakers who don’t have money to spend on marketing and the way to compensate for that weakness is through an intense focus of your time.
Starting a social media campaign is stupid when you don’t have stages to speak on because you don’t have a website, you don’t have videos, none of that. So what would you do on social media?
Speakers think that they get hired for their content but in reality, people who hire speakers want to see video footage of you already on stage. They want to know that you’re a great speaker.
Think about all the content out there. Whatever your topic is, someone else is talking about it. There are millions of personal development people out there and they probably have great content…but 90% of them aren’t getting on stages.
If all you do is focus on your content then you won’t get on stages.
That’s why, in the beginning, the only thing I would focus on is contacting events that would need a speaker in my area. And of course you’ll have to do it for free in the beginning but the purpose is to get video footage…the purpose is to get stuff for your website.
Once you have to website and everything, now you can start doing internet marketing stuff but if you’re not speaking on any stages right now and you don’t have a ton of money for marketing then your only option is to have an insane focus.
And that focus should be directed towards contacting events…nothing else.
I can’t stress this enough.
Speakers think their problem is a lack of information when in reality it’s a lack of determination.
If you want to build your speaking business on a budget then take a good look at what you’re doing throughout your day. Are you contacting events or are you doing everything else?
You can build your speaking business with little to no money but you have to be willing to do whatever it takes.