I’m going to give you a process for doing one of the best things you can possibly do in your speaking business. I’m going to literally give you a process for charging more to speak.
Now you might be thinking, “How is that a process? Don’t I just quote a higher fee?”
If it were that easy then everyone would be quoting $20,000 for a 60 minute keynote.
I came across this by accident because I wanted to increase my fees badly. And I mean badly.
I was getting around $200 for events and whenever I tried to ask for more, I got a lot of resistance. It was like no matter what I did, I couldn’t charge over $200…$250 max. And it was pissing me off.
The reactions I got were amazing. I knew I was worth more. I knew that someone who was charging $2,000 wasn’t 10 times better than me. But for some reason, I couldn’t increase my fees.
What I’m about to tell you is something I figured out from a need…well more like a desperation.
And at the time, I didn’t do it on purpose, it happened by accident.
Basically, I was performing mentalism in restaurants. I would walk around from table to table doing some really cool mind reading demonstrations. But I wanted the big companies to book me and even just making $1,000 would have been a lot to me at the time.
And while I was performing in these restaurants, I wouldn’t go out to party, I wouldn’t spend my money like everyone else I knew, I just saved it.
Then I got in with the radio crew. And I mean I really got in with them. I knew everyone at the top radio station, the DJs, the guys in charge, everyone. So they started putting me on the radio and I was doing mind reading demonstrations on the radio.
I also got TV appearances and started filming myself more whenever I was on stage.
Finally, I grew some balls and started asking for more money. I just said, “You know what, the next person that calls, I’m going to say $500.” And I heard in a negotiation book that you should make ‘exact’ numbers so it seems like you didn’t just make it up. So I said, “Forget $500, I’m going to say $525 so there seems to be a purpose behind that extra $25.”
So someone called me up and I said $525 and then I shut up. I literally held my breath.
After a little pause, she said, “Oh that’s more that I thought. Hmm…ok that works!”
And I almost wanted to jump up and down right there and then.
So the next person that called, I quoted $825. Then $1,000. Long story short, I went all the way up to over $10,000.
And I didn’t realize that what I was doing to increase my fees was actually a process every time I quoted a higher fee. It’s a process that anyone can use to charge more and here it is…
The first step is to destroy the desperation.
What I mean by destroying the desperation is that you have to put yourself in a position where you don’t need the money. You have to put yourself in a situation where even if they say no, it’s not going to hurt your bank account.
Remember earlier when I said that I was saving my money? I was doing these restaurant gigs but I saved the money.
Since I had money in my bank account, I wasn’t desperate for the gig.
If you have enough money in your bank to live for an entire year without booking a single gig then you’re not going to be desperate for one. So when someone calls you up and you say it’s $5,000 but they say they only have $700…well you don’t need to lower your fee.
But what if you only have a month’s worth of living expenses in your bank account? Well now things change. Now you’re going to accept any speaking gig no matter how much it is. They’re going to say that they can only give you food and you’re going to say, “Oh yes please please please book me.”
Destroying your desperation is the most important part of charging higher fees because without it, you can’t increase your fees.
And that’s why you also have to think ahead.
You have to save right now. Cut things out. You don’t need cable. Cut it out. You don’t need to eat out. Cut it out. You don’t need a lot of things.
I don’t know your financial situation but I got so good at cutting out things I didn’t need that I could literally cut anyone’s expenses in half. I had to go into survival mode. Not using the lights all the time so the electricity bill was low. Not using too much heat or a/c. In fact, my car in Colorado didn’t have heat. So during the winter, I just wore a huge jacket.
It amazes me when someone says they can’t afford things because they’re living paycheck to paycheck and they only have a few dollars in the bank…but they have cable. They leave the lights on in the house. They literally throw away money without realizing it.
If you don’t have at least a years worth of living expenses in your bank account then you need to go into survival mode. Cut things out that you don’t need and focus on making more money so you’re not desperate for it.
That’s the very first step to increasing your prices as a speaker.
When you’re not desperate for money you have this inner power.
Look at how billionaires walk around. They own the place. They don’t care what the rules are, they do what they want…because they don’t need anything from you. This lack of neediness translates into a core power.
And you’re going to need that core power because a lot of people are going to say no to your increase in speaker fees. And either you’re going to give in by lowering your fee or eventually someone’s going to say yes.
When I got up to the $2,500 range, I started getting more resistance. But I had that core power, the lack of desperation. I didn’t need the gig because I had money in the bank. But there was still that resistance.
And I realized there was a reason for that resistance.
If you go to a homeless guy and tell him that you have the greatest book in the world. The book will change his life, all he has to do is open it and it’s going to change his life forever. But then you tell the homeless guy that the book costs $100,000.
Well guess what?
It doesn’t matter how bad the homeless guy wants the book. It doesn’t matter how convinced he is that it’s going to change his life…he just simply can’t give you $100,000.
And that’s what was happening when I started getting a lot of resistance.
Even people who knew that I could give them a great presentation, they just couldn’t pay more because they literally didn’t have it. Price wasn’t an excuse, they actually didn’t have the budget.
So the second step is to change markets.
Most speakers think of the corporate market and The Corporate Market. They think that there’s only one corporate market. But in reality, the corporate market is separated into segments. It’s like A-list and B-list actors and background actors.
All of them are technically actors.
But when you’re charging low speaking fees, you’re in the background actor territory. You’re asking for A-list money, but you’re asking from the people who deal with the background actors.
Same goes for the corporate keynote market.
The people who pay speakers $1,000 for a keynote are completely different than the people who pay $10,000 for a keynote. And the people who pay $10,000 are completely different than the ones who pay $100,000.
They’re all considered corporate but they might as well be completely different.
So if you want to charge higher fees then you have to realize that you’re going to be switching markets.
This means you’re going to dump all your previous clients.
It means that the way you approach the $10,000 clients will be different than the way you approach the $1,000 clients. It means your marketing process needs to change in a way that attracts the right people because as the saying goes, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
You can’t continue on the same path, you literally have to jump to another path.
But when you jump to another path, you have to do something else too. You can’t just jump from $1,000 to $10,000. You have to do the third part of increasing your fees.
You have to increase your social proof.
I tell speakers that if you want to charge $10,000 then you have to look like a $10,000 speaker.
Speakers who charge $1,000 usually have a horrible website, they don’t have too many videos or maybe videos of them in front of small crowds. Their social proof just isn’t all that great.
So your goal at this point is to increase your social proof.
Figure out ways to get video footage of you in front of bigger audiences. Get publicity footage. Basically…make yourself look like a rockstar.
It’s much better for you to do a free speaking gig where you’re on a stage with an audience of 500 people versus you getting paid $1,000 and there’s only 20 people in the audience. The reason is because you need the extra videos and pictures of you on stage with the big crowd.
When you’re ready to charge more, you have to already look like you’re worth it.
Remember in the other video where I talked about how you can have great content but if you don’t have the context, the frame around your content, then it doesn’t matter how great your message is, you just won’t get hired.
The client has to be convinced that you’re a pro before they hire you because after they hire you it’s too late. And the way you convince them is through all that social proof.
So once you destroy your desperation for money because you have it in the bank. And once you realize that you need to change markets. Now it’s time to increase your social proof by looking for ways to get on bigger stages and get publicity.
I was hanging around the radio crew and got TV appearances because I knew it would allow me to charge more. When you have publicity, people associate publicity with fame and with fame comes more money.
Social proof is all about association. It’s all about borrowing the credibility of someone else and associating it to you.
If a speaker says they’ve been hired by Coca-Cola, Apple, T-Mobile, Verizon, Intel, Best Buy, and all these other Fortune 500 companies then you’re going to think, “Well if they hired him then he’s probably pretty good.”
Now once you’ve increased your social proof, the last part to increasing your speaker fees is to just ask for it.
Most speakers just don’t ask for it.
I remember talking with a speaker and he was asking me how much he should charge for an event. So I asked him what he thinks he should charge and he said $1,000. I told him to say $5,000.
Most people undervalue themselves and they’re afraid to ask for more. They’re afraid that the other person’s going to say no. But guess what? That’s why you destroy that desperation to begin with. You’re not attached to their answer. If they say no, then you know that eventually someone’s going to say yes…assuming you did it right by increasing your social proof too.
If you don’t ask then you’re definitely not going to get anything.
And on top of that, when you do ask, make sure you shut up and don’t negotiate against yourself.
I’ve seen too many speakers negotiate against themselves by saying something like, “Well normally it’s $5,000 but I can do $3,500 this time.” That’s just ridiculous and flat out stupid.
Tell them how much it is and go from there.
Now I talk about how to negotiate your speaker fees if you want to in the PLATFORM member area and I go into detail about it. But whatever you do, just don’t negotiate against yourself.
And that’s how you increase your speaker fees.
In the next video I’m going to show you how to build a profitable speaking business from scratch. We’re going to go over what you really need to make sure you stay booked and make sure you’re always getting gigs.
The next video we’re going to put everything together.
And btw…the PLATFORM member area is where you get new videos and resources every month so you get specialized information about your speaking business. It’s only $348 for the entire year and you get real examples on what I’m currently doing in my business…not theory.
If you Google or YouTube me then you’ll see videos of me actually doing this stuff on stage, not teaching it. Most guys just teach theory but this is stuff that I actually do and that’s the stuff we put into the PLATFORM member area so make sure you sign up.