When most people talk about growing income as a creative they love to bring up social media which is very valid albeit slightly boring after a while. Believe it or not there are other ways to grow your income, a great one being speaking opportunities be it on panels, at events or other means.
Paid speaking can come with great fees if you have the knowledge, skills and expertise conferences and events would pay to utilise.
Establish a foundation that shows your expertise.
Getting paid speaking gigs ironically isn’t all chat – you need the evidence and that comes from a great website and portfolio. Getting on a call and selling is also still an effective strategy. Conference organisers are looking to book experts. They will want to go through your website, social media platforms (if applicable), look at any media exposure you’ve gotten and consume your content to get a sense of your skill and knowledge around a topic. They will do all of this before getting on a call with you.
It’s important to have an established platform with a website that has clear branding and messaging and solid content that demonstrates you know what you’re talking about. There should be videos — even if they are self-made in your home — of you training and speaking on a topic. They have to see that you have the ability to present. There should be testimonials and visuals that show people are receptive and interested in what you teach.
Show that you’re comfortable speaking
Having a video at hand showing that you’re comfortable speaking will also maximise your chances in landing the work. Another great route is to speak at Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Clubs. These are business organizations. You can get video and testimonials, and you can walk away with business when you do a good job. It’s a great way to build skill, get exposure and start adding some revenue.
Target the Industry Opportunities
There are industry conferences that pay a few speakers and the keynotes. That’s where most speakers try to book gigs without much success. Instead, a great place to book your first gig is by targeting industry associations and their events.
Since these are executives, you could speak on a wide variety of topics. You could teach personal development, productivity, wellness, etc. These are all topics that will help them as executives and topics they pay speakers to learn. There are a ton of different types of industry association events covering every topic. You can find one that fits what your business teaches.
You can also target conference directory websites to find events happening all over the world and pitch the organiser. There is no shortage of conferences happening daily. In either case, you can find and book your first paid speaking gig through these two places.