September 23, 2019 Shawn

Why The Best Speakers Free Themselves From Set Fees

Wait – No fees? How do you make money?

Hold on a minute – because there’s a lesson here that will make you so much more money.

Why would we not list our fees on our website or have a ‘standard’ keynote fee?

Because we provide different levels of value for every one of our speaking clients.

Every. Single. One.


We Got Tired Of Leaving Money On The Table

When I started speaking, I would travel anywhere for a flat fee. Most of us start that way. Then something happens-

We’re speaking at an event and we see another speaker come on the stage before or after us and a thought crosses our minds:

My talk is easily that good. And I know THAT speaker was paid more than me!

When that happens enough times, we realize we’re missing something – and if it isn’t something that happens on the stage, then it must be something that we’re missing before we take the stage – and that means that we need to change something in the way we sell.

(If you’re interested in what fluid fees look like once you reach a prospect, you’re going to want to sign up for our FREE Masterclass. Register HERE)

We Learned How To Research

Want to know why I love this industry? Sales intelligence is so easy to find! Our clients WANT strangers to know about their events so they can get more attendees, and every piece of information they post online can be used as leverage to not only maximize the value we provide as speakers – but also how we maximize our fee.

A room at the Bellagio indicates more potential budget than a room at a Holliday Inn. An annual conference indicates more potential budget than a quarterly regional conference.

We Learned To Think Differently

In order to command higher fees than you do now – don’t think about years on the stage. Think about value creation.

Many speakers have trouble getting to the mental place where they can charge thousands of dollars for a speech. If the value of your talk still isn’t equaling the fees you want to earn, figure out how to add additional value; either in the content or in the add-ons you can include with your speech.

We Learned To Ask Different Questions
After we’ve done client research around past speakers, the event venue and the size of the event, we’ve found that questions make the difference between ‘why me for your keynote’ to ‘why me for your event’?

Asking about an event’s goals allows us to be a strategic partner in helping event organizers achieve lofty goals. Instead of the speech being a small part in a larger event, we can actually be the ‘key-note’ they need to sway people’s thoughts and actions for the future.

We Learned To Quantify
Delivering a great talk is the barrier to entry – but what really separates a low-fee speaker from a high-fee one is the speaker that can actually quantify the impact of their information.

By taking the time to ask about what the challenges a prospective audience is costing (and what it’s costing the organization hosting the event, if they’re separate), we can quantify the problems a decision maker is looking to solve in business terms. When we are able to match our solutions to a return-on-investment, we can make even a high fee seem like a bargain (a $15k fee solving a $15 million-dollar problem, for instance).

Do This Now:
-Research the venue of the event you’re targeting and number of attendees, if that info is available. It will affect the fee you can charge.
-Ask: “How can I quantify the value of my talk, and how can I add even more value, through both content I deliver and in add-ons for my clients?”
-Discover your prospect’s goals (by asking them!). Only through knowing what’s top of mind for them can your keynote be top of mind as a solution.
-When you’re asking questions, be sure to quantify the problem in business terms – dollars, efficiency, turnover and time. If your expertise solves those expensive problems, it’s possible to make even a high fee seem like the deal of the century.

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