Get More Gigs & Higher Fees With Humor

3 Simple WaysĀ Speakers Can Get More Paid Gigs

Most speakers – myself included – only ever admit they're going through "a bit of a quiet time" when the work is really dried up.  So when a friend asked me the other day if I had any secret hacks to getting more work, to my surprise four things came out of me but actually made a lot of sense. :)
The Power of Compound Interest
I have this idea that "Interest" in you or your ideas is the same as compound interest on your savings. When somebody wins the lottery quite often that money is soon gone. Similarly when someone wins "the Fame Lottery"  by appearing on reality TV or winning a sporting event, their "wealth" is also soon spent. But when you've worked hard over time and built recognition that doesn't go away overnight. 
I have this hand drawn picture to myself in front of my spin bike so that I'm reminded of how success works whenever I'm exercising. (The quote is from a book called "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield....
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How Speakers Can Start Working With Bureaus

The awesome people who work in speaker bureaus are even busier than the amazing people who organise conferences and events.
Constantly pulled from pillar to post, balancing the needs of 147 clients all at once.
So you can’t just drop them an email introducing yourself and telling them how wonderful you are and expect to be flooded with enquiries.
Here is my list of things that have helped me turn bureau reps from faceless emails into lovely people I have a great working relationship with, and some of them have even become friends.
1. Wait Till You’re Ready
All the bureau people I spoke to for this blog said speakers need to wait till they are truly ready before getting in front of them, because “first impressions count.”
If you look too raw and inexperienced, and obviously haven't really done many speaking events, that lack of trust in your abilities will nag away at them for years.
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7 Mistakes Speakers Make That Cause Bureaus To Ban Them

It always amazes me when speaker buddies have a good old rant about not getting enough (or sometimes any) work from speaker bureaus. When I ask them what they know about the speaker bureaus business model it's like I've asked them what they know about the Krebb's cycle in biochemistry (Sorry, showing off there, one of the few things I remember from my Pharmacy degree...)
I think we have to spend as much time understanding how the bureau business works as we do the businesses in our own sector.
So here are my top 7 mistakes that bureau people tell me speakers make all the time. And you’ll see they can all be bundled in under the thought of seeing them as “just another prospect instead of a partner in their business”. 
1. Not Understanding Why Bureaus Are Worth Every Penny of Their Commission
If you are going to successfully partner with speaker bureaus I believe the first thing you need to do is understand...
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3 Simple Steps to Become A Paid Speaker

In 2009 I made a huge leap and decided to get back up on stage and become a professional speaker. (I say back, because I'd been a full time stand up comic in the UK for 8 years, but had left the stage to become an author.)
For the first four years I did between two and five paid speaking events per year.  Pathetic for the ego, and horrendous for the bank balance.
At the time this was incredibly scary – because I was churning through my life savings supporting my family – and also incredibly frustrating because my first ever keynote, done in front of a room full of other speakers, received a standing ovation. So I knew the “product” I had to sell was actually very good.
Fast forward six years where I average between 90 and 100 events a year, and a very good friend who is just starting out in the speaking world asked me to give them some advice about how to get paid gigs, so I thought it worthwhile putting my answer down here.  
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How Speakers Can Raise Your Fees

Every single time I appear on TV it always brings me work. I get enquiries through bureau people, LinkedIn, and my website  with people mentioning “I saw you on TODAY talking about resilience.”  And you know if three or four men it is another five or six that don’t.  But how do you get those national media gigs?  
You do it by working your way up "The Exposure Tree".
The following ideas are branches of a tree you can climb to get your face better known than those you are up against when organisers are putting on an event. The further up the tree you climb, the more you can get clients to pay because they see you as the "celebrity expert" in your niche.
They are not a substitute for having great content and stage presence once you land the gig (just ask Greg Thompson from Fox Sports News – seen here totally losing his cool while MCing for an inebriated crowd), but they do get you...
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Studio10 Interview

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TODAY Show Interview 03

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TODAY Show Interview 02

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TODAY Show Interview 01

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