Galit Ventura-Rozen is a professional speaker and women empowerment business mentor. She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 22 and owns and operates multiple successful businesses. She is a professional paid speaker on the business circuit and works with women to get crystal clear on their expertise and market themselves as paid professional speakers. Galit also works with women entrepreneurs to take them to the next level in profit and growth as well as works with them to learn how to use speaking in public as a successful marketing tool to turn their audience members into clients.
Your book is written and published—now what? As an author, you know it was truly a labor of love writing the book you were driven to write. The topic is more than likely one you are passionate about, knowledgeable about, and have the expertise to write about. Isn’t it time you share your topic with an audience?
If you are asking yourself, “How will I know when I am ready to start charging to speak?” this is something only you will know how to answer. Ask yourself, “Am I interested in speaking about the topic of my book?” If your answer is yes, then you are ready to charge for your speaking expertise.
It is possible you have already thought about this but just don’t know where to start. Why not start with the topic? Have you written a keynote from the topic of your book? If not, that is the place to start.
Now let’s get you on that stage. Make sure you have the following before you start promoting yourself to be a paid speaker:
1. Topic and PowerPoint complete (typically 45 to 60 minutes)
2. Testimonials of you speaking (book some free speaking engagements)
3. Speaking reel
4. Press media kit
5. Website (this can be a page dedicated to your speaking credentials and topic)
6. Speaker profile
Once you have all these items complete and ready, it’s time to decide what audience you want to speak in front of. This typically would be directly related to the audience you anticipated reading your book. Once you are crystal clear on your ideal audience, research potential speaking engagements.
1. Google conferences, expos, conventions, business events, and the keywords of your ideal audience. For example: I research women empowerment, leadership, business, etc.
2. LinkedIn — Aside from searching as you would on Google. Make sure to regularly post articles associated with your keynote/book and any accomplishments associated with your book or topic. Make sure to add to your profile “Professional Speaker.”
3. Facebook Groups — Join speakers’ groups and look for posts asking for speakers, and apply.
4. List yourself on speakers’ bureaus.
5. Hire a speaking agent.
6. Join a speaker’s association.
Paid speaking can also include breakout sessions, workshops, and even panels at a conference or event. If you do not have interest in being a keynote speaker, these are opportunities for you to take the topic of your book and possibly turn it into other opportunities to get paid and share your passion for your topic.
Do recognize that not all speaking opportunities are paid. There is also the potential to have a promotional speaking opportunity. You do not get paid for your time talking to the audience, but you can promote your book and sell copies at the end as well as have a signing. The best way to know if a speaking engagement is paid is to ask. If you are reaching out to the contact for the speaking engagement, go ahead and ask if this is a paid opportunity. If they respond that it isn’t, then make sure to ask if you can promote yourself from stage. There is no better time to do this, so make the decision based on the connection and the response you receive.
Having a published book gives you credibility in the speaking world. Make sure your website, social media profiles, and any other publications show you are a published author and professional speaker. Not every author is a speaker, and this will not be assumed. Once you are asked to speak at an event, ask if they would be interested in purchasing your book for the audience and offer it at a discount.
Could you imagine getting your book into the hands of hundreds of people at once? What a great promotional piece that would be! If they are not interested in purchasing the book for the audience, ask if you can have an opportunity to sign books after the event.
When you are a paid speaker, please be aware that selling from the stage is typically not acceptable so if they are not interested in having you sell or sign books after the event, recognize you are getting paid for your expertise.
Finally, what do you charge? As a speaker mentor, I recommend my clients who are published authors start at $5,000. This can always be negotiated depending on what is expected of you and the event. However, you must decide what you want to charge; but remember, if you are promoting yourself and your book through promotional speaking and not charging, you are going to attract some clients, which means you are still getting paid indirectly.
If the author is not funneling the audience into a client, then maybe just selling their book is what they want to accomplish.
Many authors write a book, get it to bestseller status, and then it starts collecting dust on the shelves. You are an expert in the area you have written in so why not step up and share it with an audience, getting paid and doing what you love?
There is an audience for every topic out there; you just have to search for them and let the organizers know about your book and expertise.
An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. Her blog posts have been featured on popular websites like The Book Designer and Positive Writer. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.