In this video I’m going to give you the key to building your speaking business and it’s something that took me a long time to figure out. But luckily I figured it out before I became a speaker and I’ll tell you about that in a second.
It’s critical that you really get this before you go on to the other training because without this part, nothing else works.
I tried to get gigs for $5,000 and more for the longest time but it just wasn’t working. I couldn’t fill up my schedule no matter what I tried to do…nothing literally worked.
When you do this, you will naturally fill up your schedule as a speaker and get high paying keynote presentations. And if you look at all the speakers who are really getting on stages, and I mean really getting on stages, not just claiming to be on stages…if you look at these speakers then you’ll see that they all have it.
What speakers do right now is they wait for the phone to ring. And if you ask a speaker how they get speaking engagements then they’ll say that it’s through referrals. Basically, they’re waiting for things to come to them.
Now before you continue, I want to warn you.
If you’re looking for someone to blow smoke up your ‘you know what’ then you better stop listening to this right now. I’m going to tell you like it is and it’s probably going to hurt.
One of the things I hate the most is when gurus tell people what they want to hear rather than what actually works. And most gurus know they’re doing this because they realize what people will do if they tell the truth.
People don’t pay for the truth.
People would much rather hear lies that make them feel good rather than hear the pain that’s going to change their life.
It’s like you’re 400 pounds, walking around all day eating fast food, and you tell people how you want to get fit with a six-pack abs and everything. So you go to a guru and tell him that you want to change your life.
Then the guru says, “You can do it. You can change your life, you just have to believe it. You want to lose 200 pounds, no problem. You want to get six pack abs, it’s going to be easy if you just take the right actions. This is my 3 step formula and you’ll be fit in 30 days.”
That’s what people want to hear. And that’s exactly what’s going to hurt them in the long run.
The truth is that the 400 pound guy is fat. And if he wants to be fit then he’s going to go through a pain period. He’s going to be jogging and it’s going to suck. He’s going to be tired, he’s going to feel like he should stop because he can barely breath. He’s going to hate eating salad. He’s going to want ice cream so badly.
Getting fit will be the worse pain he’s ever felt in his life.
And if he can get through that pain, he’ll have the life that other people can only dream of. He’ll have the six pack abs…but that’s only if someone tells him the truth.
The purpose of the truth is to get you mentally prepared. It’s so you know where you are and you know what it’s going to take to get there.
It’s like looking at the glass half full problem.
The optimist looks at the glass half full. The pessimist looks at the glass half full. And the while those two are arguing about the water, the realist decides to just drink the water.
I’m going to get real on you and I’m going to tell you the truth no matter how much it hurts.
The first truth is this:
The key to build a speaking business is to realize that you have to get into a business mindset.
Most speakers aren’t business savvy.
They spend their time having lunches with people who don’t help their business instead of valuing that time to work on their business. They don’t know their process for getting gigs. They go about their day doing everything except the things that actually matter.
I realized a long time ago that if I want to get high paying corporate gigs then I have to treat this like a real business.
And luckily for me, I learned this before I became a speaker.
I started out as a mentalist doing mind reading shows but I wasn’t getting high paying gigs. And then one day I met another entertainer who was booking way more gigs than me at higher prices…I literally had no idea what he was doing.
I knew that he wasn’t better than me but for some reason, he was still getting on more stages.
The same goes for most speakers. Most speakers look at another speaker and they know they’re better. They know they can do the same thing that speaker is doing. But for reason, that speaker is the one on stage and not them. And it pisses you off to know that you could easily do a better job but you’re not getting booked.
And one day I was hanging out with this entertainer at his house and I pulled out a business card. I told him that this guy gave me his card a few days ago and told me to contact him some day. And I asked this entertainer what should I say on the phone? Like how can I book a gig?
So he took the business card from me and dialed it right then and there.
I was like, “Whoa, wait! What are you going to say?”
And the entertainer says, “I don’t know yet.”
So the business guy answers the phone and he’s like, “Hello?”
And the entertainer says, “Hi! You saw an entertainer the other night, his name is Benji Bruce. Do you remember?”
And the business guy says yes.
So the entertainer immediately says, “Well I represent Benji Bruce. What did you think? Did you like the presentation?”
And the business guy said that he loved it.
Now the entertainer says, “That’s great. What do you think about hiring him for one of your events? You have an event coming up right?”
But then the business guy says, “Well I do have a kid birthday party coming up.”
And the entertainer friend immediately stopped him and said, “Whoa whoa whoa hold on. Benji doesn’t do kid parties. Benji is one of the top entertainers in the industry…I mean, you have no idea. I’ve seen this guy create a massive crowd of 70 people around him just staring at a salt shaker, their eyes fixed, wondering what’s about to happen. He had them mesmerized. Benji is big time…you saw what he did at the event. That’s not for a kid party…he blows people away. What big event do you have coming up?”
And guess what? He booked me for an event right there and then.
That’s when I was like, “Holy shit!”
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
No wonder he was getting booked on corporate stages. He knew something that very few people know. He knew something that very few speakers know and it’s something that I learned that day that would change the way I do business.
What I learned that day is that it’s all about business.
If you want to speak on stages, if you want to get high paying corporate gigs, if you want to become a really successful speaker, then you have to change the way you think…you have to seriously run a business.
Get out of the mindset that you’re a speaker. You’re not a speaker. You’re a business.
The best quote EVER about this subject is from the rapper JayZ where in one of his songs he says, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business…man!”
Do you see the shift?
Speakers focus on having a great presentation, they focus on delivering great content, they focus on all this stuff and what they forget is that they’re a business.
You’re on stage for 60 minutes. But what people don’t see is all the work it took you to get there. What people don’t see is the marketing behind-the-scenes.
And what’s worse is that other speakers start to believe it themselves.
They see someone like Tony Robbins on stage speaking to huge crowds. They see Les Brown getting paid tons of money to speak. But what they didn’t see were the years and work it took to get there.
It’s like looking at a Doctor who’s doing surgery and saying, “Wow, he knows where everything is. Wow! He’s so good at that.” But what they didn’t see is the doctor at the beginning. They didn’t see the 10 years it took to get there.
And business gurus make it worse because they tell you about their 3 step formula that can get you there really quick. And I don’t blame them because like I said earlier, people don’t want to hear the truth…they don’t want to hear that it’s going to take a lot of time to build a business.
They want to believe that they can attend a 2-day convention and poof!…they have a business in a box.
People pay for the diet pills…they don’t pay for the hard work and sweat it takes to get fit.
The key to building your speaking business is to get into a business mindset.
But what does that mean?
What that means is you have to stop doing little things like taking to people on the phone to ‘catch up.’ You have to stop doing little things like checking your Facebook all the time .It means that you have to be so focused on the right activities that you ignore everything else.
If you’ve seen the show Shark Tank with the business investors like Mark Cuban then you’ll notice that they keep saying things like, “I’m investing in your business because of you. I like you.”
And most investors look at the entrepreneur first, then they look at the business because they know it’s the entrepreneur that really makes it work.
You have to be that entrepreneur. You have to have that level of dedication that’s unmatched by other speakers so even if they have more money to market their business, you’re still the one getting all the gigs because it’s not the technique that works, it’s the person behind it that’s making it work.
It’s an insane level of focus.
I remember watching this video where Darren Hardy of Success Magazine was talking about Richard Branson and the story went something like this.
A company wanted to hire Richard Branson to speak and they offered him $100,000. Richards assistant called back and said he’s not interested. Then they offered him more, like $250,000. Richard’s assistant called back and said no again. Then they offered $500,000.
This time, Richard Branson’s assistant said, “Look. Richard is only focusing on these 3 things. It doesn’t matter what you pay him, if it’s not for one of these 3 things then he’s not interested.”
That’s the type of business mindset and focus you need to build a speaking business.
You have to really understand that this is business.
The difference is that people who don’t run a business will say things like, “I want to get speaking gigs but I don’t want to spend any money. Can you help me?”
And how ridiculous is that.
Think about it…
How ridiculous would it be if Starbucks said, “We want to be the leader in the coffee industry but we aren’t going to spend any money to get customers.” That’s just ridiculous.
Someone who runs a business can care less how much something costs, he’s more interested in whether or not it’s going to make him money.
What a normal person hears when something costs $2,000 is “It’s taking $2,000 out of my bank account.”
What a business person hears is, “It’s $2,000 but I’m making $10,000…$8,000 in profit sounds good to me.”
Really access where you’re at mentally.
When someone says, “It costs X amount” pay close attention to your reaction. And I mean you need to be very aware. Do you focus on how much it’s costing you? Or do you think, “Ok, what’s it going to make me?”
These are simple changes that happen when you start to think from a business perspective.
So from now on, get more business-oriented. Think business 24/7. You’re not a speaker, you’re a business.
In the next video I’m going to tell you the process for getting hired by Fortune 500 companies.
It’s a very simple process and once you learn it, you can put yourself in the right position for these companies to find you and book you as a speaker. But without knowing the process, you always ask, “How do I get speaking gigs?”
This process took me awhile to figure out even though it was right in front of me because I wasn’t looking. I was doing things the hard way when it was right there, in my face the whole time.
When you realize how speakers get hired, you’re going to slap yourself in the head so get ready for the next video.
If you like this, share it with other speakers.