3 Essentials to Raise Your Speaking Fee

By Jane Atkinson

As a speaking business coach, there are a lot of questions I get from speakers on the journey to grow their business. One of the most common: “How do I raise my speaking fee?”

Before I jump right into the ‘how,’ take a minute and imagine this: 

Before you is an audience of 5,000 people. You have them at hello and rock them all the way until close.

As you exit the stage to thunderous applause, the leader of the organization who hired you shakes your hand and says, “Thank you so much, that was exactly what my people needed to hear! We will be in touch about the next two engagements.”

You are escorted to an autograph session, where you sit and sign pre-purchased books for an hour and take selfies with your new fans. A limo waits at the curb to whisk you back to the airport.

Does this sound good to you? Is it something you covet? 

My clients Ryan Estis and Kindra Hall sure did. When I opened with this sequence during one of my workshops in their hometown, they both raised their hands and said, “Yes! That’s exactly what I want!” And now they both play huge stages for big bucks. 

3 Essentials to Raise Your Speaking Fees

If you want to successfully raise your speaking fees, you need to form a clear vision and follow-through. Here’s an exercise I highly recommend doing to help: “The Perfect Day in Your Life 5 Years from Now” (found on page viii of The Wealthy Speaker Daily Success Planner and Journal or page xix of The Wealthy Speaker 2.0).  

Once you’ve clarified your vision to play big as a speaker, you must put in place three essential pieces to make that vision real. 

BIG STAGE MARKETING

The best way to show everyone that you can play big as a speaker is to demonstrate that you already have through your marketing.

Your website should feature you on a big stage. We’re talking iMag screens on either side of a beautiful stage in front of a large, excited crowd. Make it your goal to find your way onto some of those bigger stages through whatever means necessary. To be clear: Do I mean to do it for free if it means capturing those photos? Well, YES!

There’s nothing that says “this person’s fee is $15K+” like a big stage photo on a gorgeous website. Your marketing may always be a step ahead of your fees, but let’s stop short of photoshopping you onto a large stage. We do want to be authentic.

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BIG STAGE VIDEO

Kindra Hall shared a great tip at our Accelerate LIVE event a couple of years ago. In her early days, she strategically told herself, “I will speak for video.” As a result, she gained beautifully-shot footage to make her first demo. Her business grew, as did the size of her venues, so her videos got better and better. Her current video at www.kindrahall.com is fabulous, be sure to take a look.

Big stage video and big stage photos will show everyone who visits your website just how big you can play as a speaker.

My podcast has some great resources to help. Check out the podcast with Chris West, owner, and founder of Video Narrative, who explains how to effectively tell your story. And the podcast with Robin Creasman tells us how to crush the platform and create a killer demo to get more speaking business.

BIG STAGE TALENT

If you want to ‘play big’ as a speaker, you need big stage confidence and skill… and fees to match. If your website makes you look like a $10,000 speaker, but your current fee is $3,500 because you don’t feel you have the chops to charge $10K, that disconnect can deter someone from hiring you. Ensure that you are ready in every way for the big stage.

There’s no need to stumble on the path to becoming an epic speaker. My Epic Keynote book shows you how to grab your audience in the first minute, take them on a brilliant journey, and have them ask you back to speak again.

The podcast can help you here, too. Sarah J. Hilton enthusiastically explains how to engage your audience with an epic keynote. Mark Bowden lays out what gestures inspire a positive response and how to read the body language of an audience. 

Find your vision, and use marketing, video, and talent to make it real. You can go big! And if you’re already big, go bigger still!

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers!