The anchor of Live Your Mission is clearly communicating your message. Even though this was written for those who are part of my public speaking training, it makes sense to republish it here.
In this series of articles we’ll cover… The Platinum Platform: Discover, Develop, & Deploy Your Speaking Business.
If you’ve been in the speaking business a while or have taken a lot of professional speaker training some of the things in this series you will disagree with. I’ll be the first to admit that I did not go, nor will I go, the traditional speaker’s route.
My goal is to help you become an awesome speaker and to help you build a fun speaking business. Something you look forward to and enjoy. Something opposite of the average job. Something that makes folks say things like… “What?! You get paid how much just to talk?!!!!”
Don’t want to get paid to speak? That’s cool too. This series will help you get your voice to the masses. The more people hear you the more lives you impact.
One final note… use what you need from this series. Ignore what doesn’t fit you. Use the comment areas to ask questions or comment. Let’s roll…
Platinum Platform 01 : M4 Plan
You ARE a public speaker. That’s a fact. Now leverage it.
This series of articles and videos will help you pinpoint/strengthen your message and monetize it if you choose.
However, this is not a “do ALL of this” series. While there will be a few elements that I’ll hit as essential, there will be options as well. You decide. Build the type of platform YOU will enjoy.
A platform stems from your core message and the ways you deliver it.
Martin Luther King, Jr’s platform was equality.
Zig Ziglar’s platform is human achievement.
John C Maxwell’s platform is leadership.
Each have a core message they deliver to the masses. What’s yours?
If that’s not firmly in place yet…
Your Platinum Platform Plan
There are four pieces of the Platinum Platform Plan… 1) Message. 2) Market. 3) Method. 4) Monetization
M1 : Message
Before you can become a keynote speaker (which is a dream for many communicators), you must know your message.
“Oh, I can speak on anything! A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.”
Uh-huh. OK, let’s do a challenge round…. I need a 90-minute keynote on the latest pharmaceutical breakthrough for bipolar disorder. You’ve got an hour before you step on stage.
See… you can’t speak on anything.
Now then, what can/should you speak on? Should it be a passion? Should you find out what people want and design your platform around that? Should it be something you’re interested in learning more about and you take your audiences on the journey with you?
All of those could work to some degree. However, if you want to become the best speaker you can be, this P.A.S.S.I.O.N. list will help…
What excites you? What energizes you? What can you not shut up about?
You’ve probably heard, “Follow your passion and the money will follow.”
Well, maybe. But you do tend to follow through more with passions. You speak with more conviction and confidence when you feel passionate. So, what’s your list of passionate topics? If you’re not sure, ask your friends what you talk about all the time.
What are your skills? What are your abilities? What are your talents?
Make a list of what you excel in.
“Paul, I’m not really good at anything.”
Bull. I’m sick of hearing people say that. You’re good at several things, but you probably think you’re average. You might think that it’s arrogant to say you’re good at something. Not true.
When speaking based on aptitudes you’re leaning on a strength – and strengths always make work feel light. Don’t be fooled by that. Make your “I’m really good at these things” list.
Where are you currently spending money on personal growth and education? Where have you spent money in the past?
If you were to look on my bookshelf you would notice hundreds of books on communication, marketing, business and faith. You would see firsthand the money I’ve spent educating myself and growing in those areas.
That doesn’t include money spent on other products, college or seminars in those areas. Yet, I would feel comfortable speaking on any topic on my bookshelf. I’ve invested and ingested heavily in those topics.
Make a list of your investment in education. Seminars you’ve attended. Dozens if not hundreds of books you’ve read on a topic.
What problems have you faced? What challenges? What heartaches?
If you’ve watched my presentation from Boss, then you know my first wife passed away in my arms. Our son, Sam, was only five weeks old at the time.
I instantly became a single dad and suddenly faced life in a way I never imagined. However, that struggle has generated incredible income because of the way it has helped others.
Maybe you struggled with weight and lost over 100 pounds. That’s a powerful platform to deliver your message of hope to others.
Maybe you struggled at the hands of an abusive parent. That’s a solid platform to deliver your message of perseverance and inner strength.
Maybe you stuttered as a child and were teased relentlessly. That’s a strong platform to deliver your message of overcoming labels.
Write down the struggles in your life. Beside each one write down how you can use it to help others. What you can teach others.
What do you like to do? What do you enjoy?
I like golf. It used to be a passion. In fact, I used to play daily from 8-5. It was like a job. I’m not as crazy about it anymore, so it’s moved to the interest category. I could still build a platform around it. I might not do keynotes related to golf, but I could build a blog, develop a podcast, hold webinars, etc.
What are your interests? What’s fun?
What message do you HAVE to share? What message makes you feel like you would not be living your purpose if you failed to share it?
An obligation message is really a cause. It’s something you believe in so strongly that you almost feel forced to communicate it. Think about the organization MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. That’s an obligation platform.
From the MADD website…
Candy Lightner founded MADD in 1980 after her daughter, Cari, was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender. Cindy Lamb—whose daughter, Laura, became the nation’s youngest quadriplegic at the hands of a drunk driver—soon joined Candy in her crusade to save lives.
Did you notice a key word? Crusade. Is there a topic you feel that strongly about?
Where do you see a gap in the marketplace? Where do you notice silence for a particular subject?
Though I don’t recommend this approach often, it just may be for you: You may have no prior experience or education in this area. Yet you’re saying to yourself, “Why is no one talking about X?”
THEN you begin studying, researching, shaping your thoughts and launching your platform. You niche yourself with a specific message on a singular specific topic. Something that’s been overlooked or ignored.
There you go, seven ways to help you find your message. Next…
Put each word in P.A.S.S.I.O.N. at the top of a sheet of paper. Then fill in each sheet as much as possible with topics and ideas.
Go back through and eliminate every idea that does not excite you. Look over the rest of the words. Which can you write or speak about every day? Which do you feel you could launch a blog about and tweet about several times a week?
We’re building a platform, not a one-time speech. See yourself becoming known for your message. When people mention your name what subject do you want mentioned? And when you’re ready to share your message make sure you communicate with confidence and clarity. (If you’re not sure how to put together an on-point message, then be sure to get The Perfect Presentation Formula.)
M2 : Market
You direct your message to your market… your audience.
My core message at Platinum Presenter is “Speak with Passion or Just Leave Me a Note.”
The market includes authors, speakers, presenters, seminar leaders, and consultants.
Over at my personal website the message is “Live Your Mission.”
The market is businesses and human beings who want to make an impact with their lives. Yes, that’s much more broad than Platinum Presenter.
At my online business training site… Nicheology… the core message is “Find Your Niche. Build Your List. Launch Your Product.”
The market is people who want to start an online business and make money from home.
Every speaker needs an audience and your audience comes from your market. It’s the group you want to communicate and build community with.
Here are the top general markets…
- Diet & Nutrition
- Personal Development
- Food and Drink
- Real Estate
- Home and Family
Each general market above can sub-niched even further.
Take Business for example…
- Career Advice
- Change Management
- Customer Service
- Fund Raising
- Human Resources
- Lead Generation
- Risk Management
- Sales Training
- Strategic Management
- Team Building
Much more could be added to that list and each of those could be broken down even more than that.
What market will you reach out and serve?
M3 : Method
How will you deliver your message to your market? That’s your method.
Here are the most common…
- Digital Audio/Video
I’d like for you to get away from the idea of being a “keynote speaker” or a “trainer” or a “blogger.” Even if you introduce yourself that way, think bigger than that. Keynoting, webinars or whatever is simply a delivery method for your message to you market.
Person: “What do you do?”
You: “I’m a keynote speaker.”
Person: “Really, what do you speak on?”
You: “Motivation and success.”
Congratulations, you sound like 90% of the speakers on the planet. No differentiation. Nothing fresh. Nothing memorable. Super generic.
Person: “What do you do?”
You: “I help people get in phenomenal shape. Basically, when I get done with you every person you know won’t stop asking you about your secret for looking so awesome.”
Person: “I like the sound of that. How do you do that? Are you a personal trainer?”
You: “Actually, I train entire companies. Keynotes and on-site, one-day bootcamps to anchor the fundamentals. Companies see an increase of productivity by 10% after using my program.”
Again, speaking is simply the delivery system for your message.
M4 : Monetization
Do you want to monetize your message? Do you want to make money speaking?
Warning… if you want to be a speaker just to make money then prepare yourself. This is a business. It’s not all bright lights, loud sound systems and cheering crowds. It’s not always easy to fill your calendar.
That’s why I stress making sure you anchor your core message. Speaking is the easy part. It’s the passion. And if you aren’t driven enough by your message you’ll fall by the wayside.
6 Ways to Make Money as a Speaker
As a non-celebrity speaker my keynote fee is $15,000. That means I don’t have a string of books or even fame. I am usually introduced through my agent or through a referral. Most of the time someone hears me speak at an event and I get an invite to do another.
You can spend a lot of time, energy, effort and money just trying to get booked. Pick up a copy of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid if you’re serious about doing the hard work that makes speaking easy.
There are plenty of “average” speakers making $5,000 per keynote. No “name.” No book. Nothing more than a solid presentation that others want to hear and tell others about.
These are my least favorite engagements. Other speakers love them. Basically, you speak for free and then sell a product or coaching at the end of your speech. In general the event host gets 25-50% of what you sell.
This type of speaking can be extremely lucrative if you’re good at selling. If you’re not, then use the events to build your audience and email list.
The reason this is not my favorite event is that I’ve noticed speakers giving less than their best material in hopes of making money. I don’t want to compromise my message for the sake of making a sale. I prefer to have a check written to me regardless, so I can step up and let it rip.
Training can take place at live events, companies, seminars, conferences, webinars or teleconferences. It can be much like a keynote in that you are controlling the information. However, with training, your audience usually learns and applies a skill on the spot.
A person could do a productivity keynote, but it would be more principle based. A productivity training event would be more pragmatic. The group will actually take steps toward planning and implementation during your time together.
You might think there’s not as much money in training as keynoting, but sometimes it can be more lucrative.
A friend of mine held 3 webinars for a company and charged $7,500. Each webinar was 60 minutes. I spoke at one of the events and guess how many people were on the line? Seven. That’s it. The total number of employees for the company is ten. So don’t think you have to get big events at big venues to make good money.
Each month I host a web-based training event that regularly brings in five-figures, and I never leave the house. One of my webinars brought in $83,000.
Obviously, The Perfect Presentation Formula is a product. I don’t have to be present for someone to buy, consume and apply. I created it once and can continue to sell it. But it’s still in the realm of speaking because that’s what had to be done to create the product.
Products allow people to grow from your value even if they never attend a live event where you keynote. The other big positive is that those who do hear you live will often go online and order all your products.
(Personally, I would create one or two products before booking keynotes. That way you can start selling now. You could literally have an audio product for sale online by this time tomorrow.)
You can’t know and teach on everything – even within your market. No one can. In that case you make recommendations for the products of others. Be sure to include your compliance statement. (Mine can be found here.)
If you look at the sidebar of my site, you’ll notice an “Ads” area. These are affiliate links. If you decide that you want to discover great keywords to use in your posts, then you might consider Market Samurai. You can see the image link in the sidebar. If you click the link and order, I will make a commission on that.
You should be doing the same thing at your site. You can even do this at speaking engagements. The key is to only recommend products you believe in and that your audience will be glad you recommended.
My rule is this… “Would I recommend this product even if I did not make a dime from it?” If the answer is no, then I won’t add it. The product has to be able to stand on it’s own – without incentive.
Most speakers do not think about sponsorships, but once you’re hitting large crowds – from the stage or your website – you can/should sell sponsorships.
A sponsor is a little different than a straight advertiser. A sponsor expects to be mentioned and often sends you their products to use and display. Oh… and they give you money to do that.
Advertising, on the other hand, is what you might expect. Someone pays you to put their ad on your site, newsletter, handouts, etc. If you are interested in selling ads from your site then consider using Buy Sell Ads.
Check out Michael Hyatt’s Advertising page for his site. Also, be sure to buy his book… Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide for Anyone with Something to Say or Sell.
Believe it or not, you can get paid just for showing up. This has NOT happened for me, though I do believe I was paid a couple of times not to show up.
Honestly, if you’re getting paid to show up, you’re a sports star, celebrity or former President of the United States.
Whew! That concludes part 1 of Platinum Platform. Make sure you work through all 4 M’s.
In part 2 I’ll show you how to develop and design your speaker’s website.
Live Your Mission,