Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

How to Get Paid More as a Public Speaker

If you're an author, there's a good chance that you're also a public speaker. Sometimes you speak for free (for the exposure or to simply spread your message), but other times people will be willing to pay you to speak at their events.

Here's a great tip to keep in mind when those paying gig opportunities come along. I first came across this idea in a blog post titled "How to Get Paid What You're Worth" by Peter Shankman.

Here's the golden nugget:

"You can always come down in price. You can NEVER go up."

There's power in those 12 simple words. For example, imagine the following dialogue:

"Hi. I'd like to book you to speak at our upcoming business meeting. How much do you charge?"

"Well, I could probably do it for 500 bucks."

"Great. Let's book it."

"Wait! On second thought, it'll actually cost you $900. Is that OK?"


Needless to say, this is not a good pricing strategy. However, imagine this dialogue instead:

"Hi. I'd like to book you to speak at our upcoming business meeting. How much do you charge?"

"Thanks for asking. First, I need to know where and when it is, the topic you'd like me to cover, how long you'd like me to speak, etc."

"Sure. It'll be the afternoon of September 17. And it's right here in town on the south side. It's an all-day workshop for our sales managers. I'd like you to lead a 90-minute breakout session on how to use social media to engage with customers."

"Sounds great. I am available that day. My rate for corporate events like this is $1,000."

"Oh ... I was given a budget of no more than $750 for this segment."

"Hmm ... well, since it's in town, I'll extend a $250 discount. I can do it for $750."

See how this works?

"You can always come down in price. You can NEVER go up."

So ... put a reasonably high value on the books and services you offer. You can always negotiate or lower your "normal" fee when it feels right. But if you don't start from a position of value to begin with, you short-change yourself and your income.

This pricing philosophy also extends to your books and other information products. If you think that keeping your prices low will endear you to fans and increase sales to the masses, more often than not you will be disappointed.

When you start with prices that are cut to the bone, you leave yourself no room to offer discounts or do special promotions.

There's a better way!

Let's say you would be happy to sell your books for $15 each. Instead of promoting that price to start with, put a price of $20 on them.

That gives you room to create incentives. Perhaps you could promote "Buy one book for $20, two for $35, or all three for $45."

That type of offer makes the $45 price seem awful tempting. By doing this, you would increase the amount of the average sale - and still get the $15 per book you want!

So remember ...

"You can always come down in price. You can NEVER go up."

What are your thoughts on getting paid what you're worth? How have you gone about generating more book sales or speaking income? I welcome your comments.

You can read Peter Shankman's article that inspired this here.


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