Identifying Multiple Revenue Streams for Your Speaking Business
In this week’s Make Money Speaking event on Clubhouse, hosted by Lois Creamer and co-hosted by Marty Dickinson and RJ Jackson, we welcomed professional speaker, Frank Kitchen, as our special guest. Frank invited a guest expert to the party, Chris Widener, who was named one of the top 50 speakers in the world!
The theme was adding revenue streams to your speaking business for income beyond the stage.
Frank kicked-off the two-hour session with an overview of his SPICE UP coaching program for professional speakers.
S = Specialize as a subject matter experts.
P = Prospect for opportunities.
I = Innovate, grow and evolve.
C = Create multiple streams of income.
E = Engage your clients frequently.
U = Utilize your network.
P = Promote results you produce.
Contact Frank directly for clarification on any of the parts of his speaking business growth formula. Our session focused on the “Innovation” and the “Create multiple streams of income” components.
25 Possible Revenue Streams for Your Profession Speaking Business
Most of the income streams shown on this list were provided by Frank Kitchen since he was our very special guest co-host for the event. Since we are forbidden to record Clubhouse events, and the fact that I (Marty Dickinson) have worked with most of these income streams, I supplied my own descriptions for each, unless indicated otherwise.
But, as you consider your speaking business and additional revenue streams beyond the initial stage, I’d really like to highlight a phrase given by Chris Widener, where he said:
“Speaking is NOT a business…it’s a strategy.”
Your speaking business is a business, sure. But, your speaking, the work you do to prepare for your onstage presentation, your delivery and next steps for the audience…I get it. Speaking is a strategy.
Please consider that message from Chris as you consider adding these additional revenue sources to your speaking income stream. Now, let’s get to the list!
Of course, the first additional revenue stream for professional speakers, and the most obvious one, is follow-up speaking. You might be invited to give an initial presentation. But, then there is the opportunity of offering a workshop later in the day or the next day of a conference, for example.
One of the first objectives I learned through National Speakers Association is that your primary goal as a speaker should be to be asked back to speak again. Sometimes, the request occurs a few years later. But, equally important is to identify opportunities for an add-on or follow-up workshop.
Next in the order of logic is providing services for your audience. Once you have revealed your proven method for helping to solve a problem, pretty much everyone in the audience will be asking the same question: “Can I do this on my own or would I be better off hiring the speaker later to help me get this handled faster?”
If you haven’t already, make a list of done-for-you and done-with-you services you can offer to audiences and start building your team to implement them for clients.
If you already own a services oriented business, getting into speaking could be your best lead generator for acquiring new services clients.
One of the more popular revenue streams for professional speakers is to offer audiences with one-on-one or group coaching.
A mastermind group can be more of a long-term coaching program, but with peer-based discussion rather than one-to-group coaching. Your role is to assure the weekly or monthly meetings take place and have clear direction in the meetings.
Speakers also work well for being the voice-for-hire on audiobooks.
We saw a growth spurt in virtual courses during the lockdown of 2020. Many speakers attempted to replace their lost speaking income with paid virtual courses supported by heavy spending on Facebook ads for lead gen. But, one of the highest conversion rates you’ll see as a speaker can be offering your virtual course for those that want to dive deeper into your topic.
Our co-host, RJ Jackson, discussed how in-person retreats can be a great source of income for the speaker as well as rewarding for the audience as a getaway to an interesting location. As transportation continues to reopen, look for retreats to be of high interest to audiences.
Another popular form of income stream for corporate speakers in particular, is to offer ongoing consulting beyond topics covered on-stage. With a consulting arrangement, you are brought in as a 3rd party to offer your opinions and recommendations to overcome a certain problem in the company. Your services are retained for the duration of the project.
One of the more popular income streams for corporate speakers is to provide a time-based training package for employees.
Yes, you can make money selling books. The popular trend over the past several years is to build in the purchase of your book for every member of the audience as part of your speaking contract. The audience leaves with a next step after your speech and you don’t have to worry about selling from the stage.
Recordings of Self
Record your speeches and virtual live presentations. Then, package them into a series. Supplement the package offer with some customized video recordings to support the core program.
Recordings of Others
Chris Widener joined in the conversation and shared his success stories involving producing product consisting of recorded interviews with experts. He has recently made his Chris Widener’s Speaker Academy product available at no charge on YouTube. But, it serves as a good framework for what you could create on your own and charge for.
The word “product” covers a wide range of possibilities for sure. We did not spend time on this topic because we would have needed a few more hours to do justice to possible products for speakers. Maybe we’ll use “products for professional speakers” as one of our Make Money Speaking event themes in the near future. For now, and to avoid repetition, let’s say products would include tangible items beyond printed books.
MC an Event
One of the best ways to add fun and credibility to a live event is to bring in an experienced professional speaker as the Master of Ceremonies. Not only will you get paid for your being the MC (or Emcee depending on which camp you follow), but additional speaking opportunities can happen as a result of your exposure.
I (Marty Dickinson) didn’t think of this one until I started writing this post, but it certainly should be mentioned. Every year, I facilitate a conference for a client I’ve had for nearly 15 years. I’m not the MC and am not a speaker. Still, because of my speaking experience with live and virtual live events, the client brings me in to be the general overseer to assure the event runs smoothly. This position should not be confused with a meeting planner or event planner. It’s more like the main speaker’s business partner who makes sure everything happens properly from selling registrations online through the sales pitch at the end.
Host a Podcast
As you get in front of more audiences, you will acquire more listeners to your podcast. As your listenership grows, more monetary opportunities become available to you including sponsorships, book sales, product and services offers and affiliate revenue.
Host a Clubhouse Club or Room
Just last night, a listener purchased one of my products, 121 Realistic Methods for Selling More Books Faster. Every week I co-host the Make Money Speaking club, I sell a copy or two of my Lions Always Win book. People are developing and selling “Make Money on Clubhouse” courses. Clubhouse is certainly a place where beyond the stage sales can be made.
Voiceovers and the Voice of God
Not only has Frank Kitchen served as an auctioneer, but also as what he called the “Voice of God.” Being the voiceover for a podcast introduction or the mysterious voice mixed with music to introduce an event could be identified as this potential income stream for professional speakers.
Speaker can also find opportunities to be the voice of authors in their audiobooks.
Speakers can use their credentials and experience to gain work in the entertainment industry. You could entertain for special events, become an on-air personality for television, hire out as an actor for videos, movies and training videos for companies and organizations.
For example, Steve Spangler is a local Colorado professional speaker who has morphed his speaking with a television entertainment presence. Here is a video of him presenting a science experiment on a local Denver, Colorado, news channel.
This is an interesting income stream I hadn’t thought of, but it makes sense. If your expertise involves crafting presentations and word selection, you could be helping corporate clients with speech writing. You could also hold yourself out as a speaking coach and help with the speech writing process.
Once you have some track record in the speaking industry, why not share what you’ve learned with other new and emerging speakers?
I brought this one up toward the end of the Clubhouse event time. Affiliate marketing isn’t as sexy as it used to be so it’s easily overlooked as an additional income stream for professional speakers. Frank Kitchen brought up how easy it is to join Amazon’s Associate Program and collect referral links and post them to your website so that you can get commission payments for referred sales. We also agreed there needs to be ethical standards employed when recommending affiliate products to readers and audiences.
Back in the day, 2005 or so, I wrote an affiliate marketing training manual called Surprise Cash that did very well during it’s time. And, I’ve been an affiliate marketer since my early days on the web dating back to the mid 1990s. I still have several affiliate programs live that I recommend to audiences that have heard me speak.
The idea is to find products and services provided by people other than you and recommend them to your audience that needs them. You get commission for the referred sales.
For example, my presentations always involve internet marketing techniques. If you’re attending one of my sessions, you would always be interested in improving your use of the internet to further your business. One of the aspects of the internet is domain names, correct?
Well, after a few years worth of rescuing domain names from the grasps of their greedy website designers and virtual assistants, I decided to find a place “I” trusted with domain names and then recommend that domain name registrar to anyone that would listen. Low and behold, I found a domain name registrar that pays commissions on referred sales for domain names.
I rolled their affiliate program into a full website for domain names and called it BestDomainPlace.com. That’s just one example of an affiliate program I’m able to talk about during any presentation without putting a hard-sell on anyone.
My only other addition to this discussion was the mention of membership websites. Here Next Year has had a membership component to it since 2004. There is a Lifetime FREE level that stores core materials for clients working through the A.C.T.I.O.N. system as well as higher levels of membership for thos wanting to dive deeper. See the “Member Login” at the top right of this page. I believe every speaker should have at least a basic form of membership site to offer their tribe.
RJ brought up another revenue stream I hadn’t thought of…volunteering. It’s so true. One volunteers…to volunteer. You don’t go into a volunteer situation expecting to get paid, but it happens anyway. You get recognized for volunteering by someone who is willing to pay you. Volunteerism definitely pays.
Access to a Web-Based Tool
One final income stream I just through of as I was writing this is to provide a web-based tool for your audiences. When most people think of the idea of having a web-based tool developed, they think of hiring a developer to make an “app” for a phone or mobile device. Sure, that is a possibility if you have funding for the project. But, you can start small and supply an enormous amount of value without making a large investment.
For example, you can have someone create the most basic of tools to add to your website for $50 or so, like my Book Title Generator.
Currently, for about $500, I’m having a developer create a goals tracking system to integrate with my Speaker Theater program, which requires a fee to access.
Web-based tools are easy to make and afford. Plus, they can be of immense value to your speaking audiences.
How to Choose Which Income Streams are Right for You
Most of the speakers I’ve worked with have one big elephant-in-the-room question when it comes to adding multiple streams of income. I brought the question up in last night’s Clubhouse session after Frank went through the list of potential income streams. The question was, “Which income stream should I implement first?”
Frank and Chris offered great responses that suggested you should be guided by your audience and customers. That’s true for sure. Now, let’s add on a bit of analytical process to their response.
Write the following words across the top of a piece of paper or open an spreadsheet and add these words as column headers:
Cost | Ease | Speed | Demand | Spend | ROI | Total
Now, make a list of all the potential streams of income in this post down the left side in a column on your piece of paper or one in each row if using a spreadsheet.
Instead of writing the word “products” or “services,” be more specific. Add several product ideas and service offerings you could supply.
Next, rank each header 1 to 5, 1 being the best case scenario and 5 being the worst.
Cost: 1 would be free or barely any cost involved, 5 would be exceeding thousands of dollars of output to make the stream of income type ready for sale.
Ease: 1 would be so easy you could do it yourself versus a 5 where you would have virtually no input because the entire project would have to be outsourced to others.
Speed of implementation: 1 would mean the stream could be built within a day versus a 5 could take a year or more before seeing the finished product.
Demand: 1 would involve your experience with hearing from your audiences how much they wished your idea was available whereas a 5 would be constant reminding from people that your idea is ridiculous and a complete waste of their time to consider.
Spend: 1 would be how confident you are that people would be able to spend money on your solution versus a 5 where you doubt highly they’ll be willing to part with their cash for this.
ROI: 1 would be the best return on your investment possible versus a 5 where you’re probably going to lose all of your money.
Total: Then, total the results and then sort all of your potential income streams by the totals column from lowest to highest.
This will create the step-by-step sequence for which streams of income you should produce first versus last (or never) for your speaking business.
You can probably create a spreadsheet easily enough in Excel or Google Drive. But, if you want to save a few minutes, I’ve created an Excel file and placed it in our LIFETIME FREE members area.
Click the Excel image to go to the registration form, but put your credit card away! There is nothing for you to purchase to join the A.C.T.I.O.N. Starters club. Once inside, you will see a link to the Speaker Income Streams spreadsheet.
Once registered, you will be brought to the members area with tabs
A C T I O N across the top. Click N (which stands for Nest) and then click the sub-title as shown below to get to the download file. Did I mention there is no charge for the LIFETIME FREE membership?
Join Us on Clubhouse!
We meet every Monday in the Make Money Speaking club on the Clubhouse app where we discuss important topics of the day for building your professional speaking business. Join us for the full two hours, starting at 7pm (Eastern), 6pm (Central), 5pm (Mountain), 4pm (Pacific).
Once inside Clubhouse on your iPhone or Apple mobile device, follow me @MartyDickinson and then click the “Clubs” tab inside clubhouse and search Make Money Speaking. Be sure to also follow @loiscreamer, @frankkitchen, and @rjjackson.
Then, join the Make Money Speaking club by tapping the green house image so you’ll get notifications. Better yet, add the club to your weekly calendar and join us every week for the entire two-hour segment! If you’re a professional speaker, or are wanting to get into the business, it will be the most important two hours of time investment you will make every week!