Getting Paid to Speak with Grant BaldwinBecoming a professional speaker can be an invigorating and rewarding experience, but getting paid to speak is harder than one would think. Unsurprisingly, there are specific tips and tricks that can help you become a known and loved speaker on any stage. Discovering a passion for speaking to an audience is the first step, but what comes next? How do you become a nationally or globally known speaker in your niche and transform it from a passion project to paycheck? If you’re trying to find your way, Grant Baldwin is the expert to seek on getting paid to speak. He stands apart in the ocean of speaking because he is able to concisely teach you all of the ins and outs of growing from interest to professional. Grant is the founder of the Booked and Paid to Speak Training Course where he helps people start and build a career out of getting paid to speak. He has given nearly 1,000 live presentations and has spoken to over 400,000 people in 46 different states through leadership conferences, conventions and other events. He takes the time to share actionable steps you can take to grow, while also equipping you with the best tools and tips to help you find your way to the stage. His ability to walk you through the steps you need to take is impressive. Grant’s philosophy on working with what you’ve got and building as you go along with his emphasis on the importance of being proactive and building positive relationships has had a profound influence on my own actions. His book and curriculum for students, Reality Check, is taught in 400 high schools around the country and he is the host of the amazing SpeakerLab which is a podcast that focuses on speaker training and interviews with speakers who will help you grow your business. In this episode, Grant shares a wealth of information and tools for people who want to successfully start or grow their speaking career.
In This Episode, You’ll Learn…
- How he moved from knowing he wanted to be a paid speaker to where he is today.
- His journey from speaking to teaching others how to be a paid speaker.
- The three questions he always challenges people to think about when they want to start a speaking career.
- The importance of having a niche to help you build your business foundation and being proactive when looking for speaking gigs.
- The value he places on having a good website and demo video to showcase your work.
- His processes and the tool he uses to determine how much to charge at speaking events.
People, Resources, & Links Mentioned
- Booked & Paid To Speak Training Course by Grant Baldwin
- “Reality Check” by Grant Baldwin
- The Speaker Lab Podcast
- Tony Robbins
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Lea’s Demo Video
- Grant’s Demo Video
- Rode Microphones
- Speaker Fee Calculator
- HighRise CRM Software
- HubSpot Free CRM Software
- PipeDrive CRM Software
- Grant’s Free Speaking Workshop
How to Keep Up with Grant:
Thanks for Listening!Thanks so much for joining me. Have some feedback you’d like to share, or a question for Grant? Leave a note in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the left of the post. If you liked what you heard, I would love if you could leave me a rating or review in iTunes. Ratings & reviews are extremely appreciated and very important in the rankings algorithm. The more ratings, the better the chance of fellow practitioners getting to hear this helpful information! And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates and never miss a show. A very, very special thanks to Grant for joining me this week. And as always, viz responsibly, my friends.
Do you have a burning question for Grant about getting paid to speak? If so, ask away!
Lea Pica: [00:00:00] Happy pre-Turkey Day. Lea Pica here. Today's guest is a pro presenting guru He's transforming thousands of speaking careers in his Speaker Lab. Stay tuned to find out who's making magic happen on the Present Beyond Measure Show, Episode 39.
Lea Pica: [00:00:41] Hey guys, welcome to the thirty-ninth episode of the Present Beyond Measure Show, the only podcast at the intersection of presentation data visualization and analytics. This is the place to be if you're ready to make maximum impact and create credibility for yourself through thoughtfully presented insights.
Lea Pica: [00:01:42] All right so I'm super excited about today's guest. I've been a fan of his for years. He is a nationally known keynote speaker and has transformed his immense presenting experience into helping other aspiring speakers build lucrative speaking businesses from the ground up or somewhere after that. And I am one of the newest members of his elite pro speaking coaching program which has already paid off in spades. So let's roll tape.
Lea Pica: [00:02:35] Hello everyone. Today's guest is the founder of the Booked and Paid to Speak Training Course where he helps people start and builds their own speaking practice. He has given nearly 1,000 live presentations and has spoken to over 400,000 people in 46 different states through leadership conferences, conventions and other events. His book and curriculum for students, Reality Check, is taught in 400 high schools around the country and he is the host of the amazing Speaker Lab which is a podcast that focuses on speaker training and interviews with speakers who will help you grow your speaking business. And I thought he would be an amazing guest for this show. So with that I'd like to introduce you to Grant Baldwin. Welcome.
Grant Baldwin: [00:03:23] Thanks Lea, I appreciate you letting me hang out with you.
Lea Pica: [00:03:26] Pleasure's all mine. So I first came across you through a partner webinar that you had done with someone like Pat Flynn or John Lee Dumas a while ago and I was pretty early in my speaking career and after that I discovered your Speaker Lab Podcast which is one of those shows where every episode answers the next burning question I have about my career. And I especially really going into little crevices like how to systematize your business, how to maximize travel rewards programs and say on the road, stuff like that. Yeah like really deconstructing all of it. I love it. And what I really love about your work is that you're really relatable but you also give really concrete tools for navigating this world which can be challenging at times. So, that I all of that I appreciate but you know I think everyone would love to know like what's your origin story. How did you fall into this world?
Grant Baldwin: [00:04:23] Yeah. Good question. So like going way back when I was in high school I was really involved in my my local youth group and my youth pastor had a really big impact on my life and he was a phenomenal speaker and so I mean we're looking at him speaking and I was like I want to do that. That seems cool. And so it was kind of on that track for a little while I went to Bible college as a youth pastor at a local church myself for a little bit. I had a lot of opportunities to speak and even to take a step back in college I worked for a guy who was a full time speaker. And so I got to kind of help him a little bit on the behind the scenes part of the business on helping on like contracts and and logistics and details on travel and that kind of stuff and I just really enjoy like oh there's this whole business world to speaking right. Yeah. And it's one of those things like speaking as one of those things I was really intrigued by and interested in. I just didn't know as a thing like I don't think a lot of people don't necessarily realize like that's a that's a thing that people do like people can absolutely make a living from. So right. So worked with him and then was a youth pastor for a little while and then had a lot of opportunities to speak and so I decided I really wanted to pursue a career as a speaker.
Grant Baldwin: [00:05:29] But I was in a spot where maybe some of your listeners are in that I had no idea where to begin. I had one of the lines I like to use is I had the potential but I needed the plan, I had the potential but I needed a plan. I like speaking I know as a decent Speaker no idea what to do from there. I think that's where a lot of people are. I know what we'll discuss that more. But yeah so from there I just I met a few other speakers who were doing speaking at the types of events that I was interested in that I wanted to do more of and sort of asking them questions and stalking and hounding them and just to try to like figure out how does this thing work. And so for next about eight years or so was a full time speaker doing anywhere from 50 to 70 gigs a year. And it was a blast. I really really loved it. So we got to a point a couple years ago where people were regularly asking me like hey I want to do this. How do I do this. And so we created an online training program and the podcast that you mentioned and some different tools and resources to help people who were where I was several years ago of just wanting to do this and needing some next steps. And so that's a bulk of what the business is today is teaching the business of speaking and teach people how to find and book speaking engagements so that's a that's a lot of fun.
Lea Pica: [00:06:38] I can see that you have a lot of fun with it and it really shows that you get a really rewarding sense of service to people because I think there are so many people that are talented they have the drive they have the potential and they like you said they just don't know where to start. So you know many of the pack practitioners in my field,digital analysts, service digital service providers, marketers, even upper level CMO's, people like that. They'd love to get started with pro speaking but if you're at square one what's the first step that you take?
Grant Baldwin: [00:07:12] Yeah. So there's there's three questions that I always challenge speakers to really think through an answer. And so first one being who is it that you want to speak to. Because oftentimes we're just like I just like speaking. I just I want to talk to people right.
Grant Baldwin: [00:07:25] That doesn't work like you have do you really really clear about who it is that you wanna speak to.
Grant Baldwin: [00:07:29] So do you want to speak to other digital marketers or other digital analysts or do you on it. Do you say hey want to speak to I want to speak to moms who are looking to start a business. I want to speak to… I want to speak to accountants. It could be any number like there's so many ridiculous opportunities. There's a speaker inside one of our programs the she's a veterinarian and the very first gig that she did was for I think 4,000 or 5,000 dollars to speak at a pet sitting conference in Vegas.
Grant Baldwin: [00:07:57] It's like I didn't even know there was a thing.
Lea Pica: [00:07:59] How do I go to this conference?
Grant Baldwin: [00:08:01] Yeah it's crazy. That's crazy. So. So there's a lot of people who again they they know they want to speak but you have to get clear about who it is that you speak to and you really want to be specific with it doesn't you don't want to say like OK I want to speak to I want to speak to women. That's great. That's like half the world's population. So you have to be super specific and clear about who it is that you speak to. Now the second part then is not who you want to speak to but what's the problem that you can solve for that. So oftentimes people think about like OK what do you. If I were to ask you what do you speak about. And someone's reply is like what do you want me to speak about? I could speak about anything like that. Yeah like that's not accurate, like that's not true.
Lea Pica: [00:08:37] Right.
Grant Baldwin: [00:08:37] In the same way that you know if we were to go to lunch and sit down and looking at a menu and they're like well we don't you know we don't actually have menus we can cook anything you want here. That's not accurate. And even if it were, the food can't be that good.
Lea Pica: [00:08:49] What are you good at. Yeah exactly.
Grant Baldwin: [00:08:50] Yeah totally. So you have to be really really clear on those two those pieces and who you speak to and what's the problem that you solve. And if you can get clear on those things then finding and booking gigs becomes so much simpler. But when it's people who are just going well I know I speak to humans and I talk. What do you want me to talk about. Like then you just become this jack of all trades. And it's hard to get any traction trying to do that. So the more specific the more clear you can be the better. So I'll give an example.
Grant Baldwin: [00:09:18] So so are my wife and I we have three daughters and they have we got some chalk for them to doodle on the driveway. Well something was up with this chalk apparently. And normally you put some chalk down on the driveway on concrete and it just washes off. And this did not wash off. And so then I borrowed a pressure washer from a buddy and I'm trying to spray it. It's not really coming off like what in the world it looks like spray paint on our driveway. And so I call around to a couple different people just trying to figure out like who can clean this? Like who does something like this? And so I had a couple of different people who were like handymen who came over and they're kind of like yeah you know I've got a pressure washer I could probably figure it out. I guess I could.
Grant Baldwin: [00:10:05] You know but then we had a guy who came over and I've got I've got a business card I'll show you I know people at home can't see this but my name is. Let's see here breezy power wash dot com. All right. So if you're in the Nashville area you want to check that out and all this guy does is power wash and cleans driveways. Like that's pretty much it. All right. Is he shows up in a van that's decked out in this little breezy power wash looking character his business card says.
Grant Baldwin: [00:10:29] It's not like oh yeah I clean driveways and I also mow lawns you know. Yeah. I can eat and I can do I can change light bulb. I can do all these things like no no. All I basically do is power wash driveways. Right. So as a consumer who has a problem who's looking for a solution which guy makes more sense to hire the guy that like this is all I do or the guy who's like yeah I guess I could do that good yeah I could figure that out you know.
Grant Baldwin: [00:10:54] And so the other thing to think about is that which one do you think charges more? The Mr. power washer dude or like the handyman is like yeah I guess I could right. The power washer guys actually gonna charge more cause he knows.
Lea Pica: [00:11:07] That he's the specialist.
Grant Baldwin: [00:11:08] And he's going to deliver on it.
Grant Baldwin: [00:11:10] So it just makes it so much simpler as a consumer for me to be like oh yeah this is the guy. Right. And if you if you pay attention in the marketplace there's a lot of businesses that are like that. So a friend of mine was at his house the other day and he was having a TV mounted and the company is called We Mount TV's. That's it. So if you're like well can you also do these other random odd jobs? Not really like what we do is we mount TV's. This very specific thing. But he's like we're just slammed all the time. Yeah it's very very easy to identify. This is what I do. This is who I provide the solution for. So who do you who do you speak to what the problem is all the third piece then is where do those people gather? Where do those people gather? Because as a speaker there's has to be some type of natural gathering of people that you can actually speak to. So if you said something like You know I want to say I want to speak to I want to speak to moms who are struggling with with weight loss.
Grant Baldwin: [00:12:10] Right. OK. That's right. But like where. Like what's the natural gathering for them. Is that going to be through some type of weight loss group or is it going to be through some type of association or is that going to be through some type of church group. It could be any number of places but being clear about. OK. Where where do those people gather? Just because you're like All right don't speak to this group. I want to speak to people who love dogs. OK. Like what. But where are you. Right. Some of that just requires a little bit of digging and some homework there to figure out what are the opportunities. But again once you're clear on who you speak to what's the problem that you saw. Where do those people gather. It just becomes so much simpler to find gigs. But I find that people who have a difficult time getting going and getting traction as a speaker is because they're not clear on those things because they're just kind of like well you know I want to speak to everybody on anything and whatever I can. I just want to speak right. But the more clear you are the easier it is to find gigs.
Lea Pica: [00:13:03] This is amazing and really clear cut and I can totally relate because a lot of times people have asked you know you're teaching people how to present data and information. You could go so much wider with your audience because that's like everyone in the corporate world. But I've chosen to niche down specifically to people in the digital marketing field because I've worked with that data for 12 years. I know what it's like to be those people and I speak that language. And I have found so much more success in trying to saturate this market with me rather than go bigger where the pond is also bigger with bigger sharks right. There's people are way ahead of me on that.
Grant Baldwin: [00:13:46] Yeah and I think it's easy like when we look at just speakers in general oftentimes we think of big names. We think of like a Tony Robbins or think of a Gary Vaynerchuk or Les Brown or some of those type of people and we think about well those people can talk about anything. It's like yeah they can. But like, you're not them. We don't have that opportunity. Right. And if you think about take someone like a Gary Vaynerchuk are you familiar Gary?
Grant Baldwin: [00:14:10] So Gary today he's he speaks on a wide variety of different subjects and topics. Do you remember like whenever he got started on the online space what he was speaking on or what he was talking about? Just in general?
Lea Pica: [00:14:20] No.
Grant Baldwin: [00:14:20] It was wine. All he did was wine. Right. And so for like years and years and years like he had a video show. Yeah. I don't know if he had a podcast but all of his social media everything he did was around wine. Right. This is very specific niche thing in the same way that if you look at someone like Tim Ferriss right. Today what what he does is all kinds of different stuff. Right. But originally it was about like lifestyle design and it's one very specific topic for a specific audience right. But once you kind of once you start there then it's a lot easier to kind of expand but you have to be clear initially about who it is that you who it is is you want to focus on. So I think let's go back to the example of: I'm talking with this guy the other day like we mount TV's is right. And so I'm asking him like hey I also have some some picture frames I need to have mountain. Is that something you could do.
Grant Baldwin: [00:15:11] Sure. It's something we could do our outwards stuff is communicating like this is the only thing that we do as other opportunities come up. So like in your case Lea, let's say all I do from an outward marketing perspective on my web site, my video. It communicates that I'm speaking to digital marketers and digital analysts on you know how to present data or whatever it may be. Right. And so I that's what I speak on. But then someone's like I heard you speak. That was amazing. This would work perfect in this kind of like crossover type of industry, is that something you'd be interested in? Yeah I could see doing that. Right. Because they're connecting the dots for you rather than you saying I speak to this group and this group and this group and this topic and this topic and this topic and you're communicating I do all these things right. But if someone sees you speak and they're like I could totally see how this this would work in our world, then obviously you have to decide like does that make sense for you is there something that you want to do. Does that fit with where where you want to go. But for many it may make sense and it may be a good opportunity for you to to begin to expand your business that way.
Lea Pica: [00:16:14] This is excellent advice. So you know once people start to get in the groove of finding conferences and things that they want to speak at you know I personally had the luxury of a lot of word of mouth snowballing for me but I've also applied to my fair share and gotten turned down, even after having a really established brand. So how do you stand out to conference organizers when you're actually applying to them.
Grant Baldwin: [00:16:41] Yeah. So speaking is very much a momentum business and getting getting going in the beginning can take some work. Like you feel like you're pushing a boulder uphill but once you start to get some momentum and you get some traction it's a lot easier to keep it going. So like you said in your situation speaking tends to lead to other speaking. Right. So you never you have no clue who's in the audience and who they might be connected to or who they may be looking for. Personally, I've had several gigs that have come from you know someone's cousin was in the audience or the type of thing where he goes out. Yeah yeah, the right person sees it or is the type of thing where like three or four years later someone reaches out and is like Hey I remember seeing you speak years ago and now I'm in charge of that event or a different event and we're looking for a speaker and I thought of you, right. So speaking oftentimes leads to other speaking but again getting going can take some time. So one of the things that you can do is make sure that you have good marketing assets in place. So you're at your website your demo video are really important. So whether we like it or not whether we admit it or not whether we want to acknowledge or not people judge books by a cover. So whenever someone comes to your website. So Lea, I took a look at your site right before we hopped on here. You have a really really well done site like, it's sharp. So I've never seen you speak but based on the site I'm like oh this girl has her act together right.
Grant Baldwin: [00:18:01] So versus if someone goes to the site and just like ehh this looks like it was designed by their third grade nephew. Yeah. Just awkward and clunky and links don't work and there's typos. So they may be the best speaker in the world but people are making assumptions about that speaker based on the website.
Grant Baldwin: [00:18:20] So just making sure like your website, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars but it needs to look sharp. It just needs to look professional. So websites are really important. The demo video is also important. So a demo video is basically like a two to four minute video that, think of it like almost like a movie trailer. A movie trailer is designed to to give someone a little snapshot, an overview of the movie, and make them want to see more. And that's really what a demo video is. You're showing someone, not an entire you know not your entire talk, you're just showing a couple minutes of clips to put together and helps people get a sense of this. This is how I communicate. This is what I talk about this is the audience that I interact with because most people most people aren't going to hire a speaker that they haven't at least seen or have had recommended or referred. And so even if you ever met the person you've never talked to the person they're just and they just they're not gonna necessarily take your word for it like no no just trust me I'm a good speaker it's like I just need to see something.
Grant Baldwin: [00:19:16] Right. So if I just see a couple of minutes just to kind of get a sense of like is this person maybe you're a great speaker you're just not a fit for what we're looking for. So having a demo video there is really important so website and demo video would be the two simplest things to get going to make sure that you're communicating again outwardly to someone who's never hired you before never heard of you before that you do have your stuff together and that you do, you would you would do a great job for their event.
Lea Pica: [00:19:44] So it's funny that you mentioned these two assets because you are actually the person that inspired me to create a speaker reel, a demo video and I saw it years ago and I remember laughing when I saw that you created your first one off of your phone and it was really blurry and hard to see. But you said it brought in like hand over fist referrals because what came through was your passion and your skill and your heart you know. So I've used your template for that. I routinely checked in on yours. So what I'll do is I'll make sure the link to your demo video and to the one I have, I mean mine is nothing to write home about, but I'll put links to those two so people can get a sense of that. And actually in that vein I've always wondered like how do people like you find videographers and choose events that are ideal for that very specific setup that you have for your videos where close shots of you and close shots of the audience laughing and people coming up and giving testimonials like yours are the pieces that are still even missing for me.
Grant Baldwin: [00:20:52] Yeah. So a couple things I'd say there is remember that everybody starts from zero and what I mean by that is anybody who's getting started speaking, they don't naturally already have. I already have my website, already have my demo. All right. Everyone starts with version 1.0. So work with what you've got and improve as you go, work with what you've got and improve as you go. So I would say I'm totally happy for you to share our website and video. Don't compare version 1.0 of your video to my video. So I've gone through at this point six or seven different demo videos and each time you just you work with what you've got. You do the best that you have. You do it with excellence and you improve as you go. And so don't look at and there's plenty of videos I know that are just like they're amazing. I know one guy who spent eighty thousand dollars on his on his video. Right. And it looks like it is really well done.
Grant Baldwin: [00:21:39] But I can't be like I can't be looking at that stuff and compare Oh man mine doesn't look like that. Well I didn't spend eighty thousand dollars on it so it shouldn't look like that.
Grant Baldwin: [00:21:46] You know so again don't don't get into the comparison trap of trying to trying to have some other video or website that has a lot of bells and whistles and flash that yours doesn't have. OK. Don't do that. Now having said that though again you do want to make sure that it looks sharp. You do want to make sure that they look professional so what I've tended to do is depending on on the type of event that you are speaking and oftentimes they're filming it already. Right. So especially if it's some type of conference, they're going to use it internally or maybe they're they're streaming it. And so in some way. So there's a lot of different ways that they may be using the video. So oftentimes if they're already video it, I just ask for a copy of it. And that's one of things you can actually ask for upfront is that, I would put it in your contract which is really easy, just that you would like a copy of the video. And so you can use. So one things that I've done over the years is that I've just like gathered footage like any of you speak out always try to gather footage whether it's video or pictures. Anytime I'm at an event and I notice like the event photographer took a couple of pictures that came in the room took a couple of pictures and then left, like I want to track them down like hey, can you send me those pictures like I would love you know I'd love to have them.
Grant Baldwin: [00:22:57] So I'd rather have them and not need them than need them to not have them right where a lot of people find themselves. So I try to just gather those things over time. So there's only been once or twice where I've had an event and I've brought in like a video crew specifically for that event. And it wasn't necessarily like I had done a ton of research like the one I'm thinking of. It wasn't like OK this venue is going to be perfect and we scouted it out. It was I had a friend who lived like 30 minutes away from this event where I was speaking. And so we invited him to come and it was kind of luck of the draw that the venue was really nice. But I mean it could have been crap. Right. So. So what I would say would be like I would start with your own network of like asking on Facebook anybody have because there's I think in anybody's network there's going to be like some wannabe videographer right someone who like they've got the gear.
Lea Pica: [00:23:51] That's a good idea.
Grant Baldwin: [00:23:52] They've dabbled with it. They enjoy it. And so because really you're not looking for like a lot of bells and whistles and fancy camera angles like you really just need a good camera set up on the back of the room maybe one of the side of the room maybe a close up tight shot on you and just hit record and that's like, you don't have to do all this like flyby editing type stuff.
Grant Baldwin: [00:24:11] The other thing that's really really important on the video is make sure that you're picking up the audio externally meaning that if you have let's say a camera let's say you're speaking to a room of 500 people and you have a camera at the back of the room, you don't want to depend on the audio from that camera picking up you speaking because it's going to be picking up all the audio around the camera. So if there's people sitting there if there's people walking by and there's people talking it's picking up all of that. So what you want to do is you want to record the audio separately and so have an actual mic on, and this could even be like I have a like a sixty or seventy dollar like Rodemic. Yeah yeah, I got on like Amazon. They can attach to your phone that you just record the audio separately so but if you're using like a you know like a good videographer there's a decent chance that they have you know some type of mic pack kit that can record the audio separately and they just sync up the audio in the video and post-production. So start with your own network. You can also look at like a local community college or local college and ask like the video department because they're just looking for projects right. That could be an option.
Grant Baldwin: [00:25:23] Check craigslist I did that one time I'm speaking at an event in Dallas I don't live in Dallas I don't know anyone in Dallas. And so I found someone on Craigslist who could do it and they came and did a good job.
Lea Pica: [00:25:33] That's great.
Grant Baldwin: [00:25:34] So you could do something like that. So but again I think the biggest thing I would say would be again remember this is version 1.0. So if you don't have these things in place right now do them and do them with excellence because they matter. But again don't feel like this is the only demo video or this is the only website I'm ever going to have and so it has to be flawless, it has to be perfect. Again do it with excellence but know you're going to get better footage over time. So like you mentioned the beginning, my first demo video, it was footage of me speaking to a room of about 30 people. The lighting was bad the acoustics were bad. I borrowed a camera from a friend. It was just it was not a good setup but it worked. And six months later I had some better footage. And the year after that I had more footage to work with and two years I had more footage, and so it just the videos improved over time. But at the time this is what I have and this is what I have to work with. So I got to work with what you've gotten improve as you go.
Lea Pica: [00:26:26] Are you editing the videos yourself as you get more footage or do you have someone that helps you.
Grant Baldwin: [00:26:31] I've done both. So at this point I tend to my most recent one I had someone else edit it. But the first several I did myself and so there is a great tools today with I use ScreenFlow on a Mac. iMovie or like a QuickTime or my very first one, a horrible one that I made I made using Windows Movie Maker. You know that sort of thing.
Grant Baldwin: [00:26:55] But it worked. And so like when if you're just like I'm decently computer savvy and you know how to like cut and paste and drag out of tools today allow for that.
Grant Baldwin: [00:27:08] It's really really simple. So I'm not a video editor by any means but I've done a lot of video editing using ScreenFlow and just some basic like just some really really basic stuff. So yeah. So you could you could do you could do either there.
Grant Baldwin: [00:27:22] I would say this like if you're going to use an editor don't say all right here's my 60 minute talk. Can you make it into two minutes of good stuff you know. You know your material better than anyone else. And so what you want to do is you want to pick out the clips that you're going to give that they edit together so I okay from the 4:30 mark to the 4:47 mark, I want to use that clip and then I need it from 11:10 to 11:34, I want you to use that clip and you're telling them what clips to watch. And then they can they can put it together. So like unless there's someone that like they specialize in demo videos, which most people don't. And they're just like I'm just a videographer then you want to be clear with them of what you want. If you can look up some examples of what you like. Here's some demo videos I like so that they have something to go off of. So for example my sister is a graphic designer and so she's designed a lot of our stuff.
Grant Baldwin: [00:28:18] So when I go to her and I say she's like You know what do you you know what you want this look like if I'm just like can you just make it cool.
Grant Baldwin: [00:28:29] So like more examples that I can give to her the more examples you can give to a videographer who's going to edit it like the more they have to work off of versus like their interpretation of what what you're looking for.
Lea Pica: [00:28:39] I see. Great. So once you have these assets in place what are some creative places that you're leveraging them. I mean I have like my own speaking page and I have it on YouTube but I can't say that they get a tremendous amount of traffic. Like my posts do, but not my speaking assets so what are your thoughts on that?
Grant Baldwin: [00:28:58] And so that that tends to be a mistake that a lot of speakers make is. OK. I've got my website, I've got my demo video. I put them up and then I just sit back and I wait for the phone to ring. It just tends to not work like that if you build it they will not come.
Grant Baldwin: [00:29:10] And so I mean it's no different than any other like you know any other piece of content that you could create whether it's a Web site or a podcast or a video or whatever it is you build it you put it up and it's not going to just magically take off. Right. There has to be something there that you do to get going. So what we really teach is rather than waiting on events to find you is spending the time like going out and finding events that you could be a good fit for. And so letting them know who you are what it is that they do that the best place to start is existing conferences or an events because they're already planning on hiring a speaker like you don't have to convince them to hire speakers already looking for one. And so you're just showing while you while you are good fit. So let's go back to the example I gave earlier of the gal who spoke at a pet sitting conference right. She's a veterinarian and she wants to speak about pets. And so she spent some time on Google looking at things like pet conference, pet sitting conference, veterinary conference, you know Pet Association, pet events you can look that up by state or region or province or territory. And so if you start looking up some of these potential events and she finds this pet sitting conference in Vegas and she reaches out to them and she's someone who speaks about pet care then she's providing a solution to a problem they already have like she they're looking for speakers like her. Right. So then it's just the big piece then is really it comes down to like building relationships like people do business with people they know, like and trust.
Grant Baldwin: [00:30:36] And so you're just showing why you're a good option you're showing why why you are good to work with how you can deliver value to that audience as a keep in mind though that that hiring a speaker is oftentimes kind of. It can be like a long sales cycle meaning that most events book speakers anywhere from three to six months in advance. And it may be like a couple of months of talking to them before they book a speaker. So for example let's say you're looking at speaking at an event in October and it's currently August. Right. They most likely have already picked. Or sometimes I'll have people reach out and be like oh I just found this perfect conference it's happening in two weeks it's like well that's not like they're already booked that's not going to work out. But what you want to do is pay attention to what they're gonna be doing next year. So if the conference happens in two weeks that I would make a note to follow up with them in three weeks and to check check in with them and see when they will start reviewing speakers for their next year's conference or event because oftentimes even if they have a speaker this year they're most likely not going to have that same speaker next year right. They want to bring in some places they want bringing some different speakers. They want the audience to turn over a little bit. And so they'll bring in they want to bring in different speakers so there's been some clients. There's one I can think of where I followed up with her for like five or six years before they booked me. And each year they'd pick a different speaker and different thing and finally they got to the bottom of the barrel or what with me
Grant Baldwin: [00:32:03] As a continuing to stay top of mind with them. You know can can really make a big difference. So just having a long term perspective and building relationships and beginning to like outreach to potential clients can all those things can really make a difference.
Lea Pica: [00:32:18] So really persistence and you know actually something I've started to do. I'm not getting into a habit of yet but I hope to as I started collecting a database of conferences I want to go to because Kelly I missed those call four speakers. That's what they that's what you should look for on a website. If they're really organized they'll have a call for speaker submission. And you know I take note of that link I take note of the deadline and I put in and track and hopefully you know plan that out for the following year as well.
Grant Baldwin: [00:32:51] So yeah another thing to consider there is for everybody's sake it kind of depends like how you want to position yourself as a speaker so for some people they say I just want to do like workshops and breakouts and I want to.
Grant Baldwin: [00:33:01] I'm going to speak primarily as Lead Gen for maybe consulting or some type of service based business you have on the backside. And that's totally fine. There's plenty of speakers who do that. In which case like paying attention to like where your ideal customer or your ideal audience would gather so that you're speaking to them because you know it's going to lead to other ways right. So you can speak like like conferences are oftentimes looking for good speakers. They're looking for free presenters. And so the other thing I was gonna say though was let's say you're wanting to be positioned more like a paid keynote speaker. I know one of things that you could do is maybe one year you present a free workshop there. But by presenting you're able to actually meet the event planner in person, you're able to connect to some of the audience, you're able to learn more about them. So for example I remember a couple years ago going to speak at a free work doing a free workshop a free breakout at a conference that I was trying to get in with.
Grant Baldwin: [00:33:54] And it went really really well. I went there for free. I spoke on my. It was my paid my own travel. So on paper I lost money on that particular event. But the session went great. It got back to the event planner, I got to meet them in person and spend some time with them. Gotta connect with some of the other keynote speakers who were able to say hey you know we've seen Grant who would do a great job. So the next year they ended up hiring me as the keynote for the event but a large part of it came because I had invested time and resources and being there building relationship with their audience in the first place the first year. So that's another strategy of anytime you're going to a conference like always try to speak at it even if it's just a free workshop because it's a good opportunity for you to learn more about the audience to connect with that decision maker and maybe they would hire you in the end the following year.
Lea Pica: [00:34:45] This is excellent advice and it's true, I can attest that so many of the gigs that I did in the beginning were free and you know I kind of saw an evolution. I was just thrilled to even get an invitation and have the opportunity to get the name out there to practice my craft to connect with people like you said. And then at some point it started shifting where now people started offering to pay for my travel expenses. And eventually some one day it's the switch flipped and I was able to start actually getting paid to speak in addition for an actual fee. So I'm sure a lot of people like first what I want to say to the listeners is you have to be patient with that phase, you're going to have to do a lot of free gigs and like you said take a loss if you're really passionate about it. It's an investment. But once you've done that how do you get start to gauge a sense when you are ready to start getting to start charging for speaking.
Grant Baldwin: [00:35:47] Yeah. So that's a good question and I would say this as kind of a caveat there. Like I had like when I started as a speaker like I had done some speaking I'd done some speaking as a youth pastor an taught like a Sunday school class a church you know so I feel those like random opportunities but I hadn't done any speaking like in the context of what groups started hiring me for. And so my first gig that they paid me a thousand dollars to do a keynote for the small event. And at the time it was like mind boggling like you just couldn't even fathom.
Grant Baldwin: [00:36:20] This is crazy I say that to say like it wasn't like I had done 50 or 100 free gigs and now all of a sudden I'm ready to do something paid. So speaking can be a bit subjective but if you feel like all right I've done some speaking and work you know I've presented in meetings and I've done some workshops before and I've presented a board meeting and I've had a couple of these type of settings that I presented at. I get good feedback I like this I wanna do more of this then there's no like there's nothing that says you have to do X number of free gigs before you can start charging right. So I would say like you should charge to start charging as soon as possible and then and not trying to do you know a free gig after free gig after free gig. Now there are times where even to this day like a free gig may make sense. So maybe you're trying to do your testing new material maybe it's something that you just want to do for a non-profit that you want to support and you believe in maybe is something where you're trying to get in with this conference organizer maybe you're you're doing it as Lead Gen for other parts of the business maybe just in a cool location like my wife has said like Grant we'll speak for free in Hawaii if you pay for the family to come. So maybe you know maybe for travel it just makes sense to speak for free. So there are a lot of reasons to speak for free that may make sense. But don't just speak for free out of the goodness of your heart like meaning that like you're running a business here. So you should start charging for it. That's also not to say like OK well I want to I want to be a 10,000 over speaker so I should start charging ten thousand dollars tomorrow.
Grant Baldwin: [00:37:54] You probably shouldn't do that. There's going to be a natural progression there of what you should be charging and how you increase fees. So people ask a lot like how much should I charge right. Because there's a lot of variables that go into it. So actually we have a free calculator that we put together on. I don't know if you've played with it before.
Lea Pica: [00:38:11] That was my that was actually what I was going to mention next.
Grant Baldwin: [00:38:13] Oh cool. Yeah. So it's a totally free calculator. People can check out over myspeakerfee.com.
Grant Baldwin: [00:38:21] You answer a couple questions and I'll tell you what what you should be charging because it's going to vary depending on your industry. It's going to vary depending on your experience level it's going to vary depending on how many gigs you're asking or talks. They're asking you to do so is a lot of variables that go into it. But if you answer those questions there it'll give you a number that gives you an idea of what you should be charging because it will vary. But if you you know if you're just getting started then there's like it's not unheard of for you to get paid you know a thousand, two thousand, three thousand dollars for a gig depending you know depending on the gig depending on what you're what you're doing and then some of your experience level. But that's that's not unheard of at all.
Lea Pica: [00:39:01] So what I love about this tool which I use on the regular, is all of the different factors that takes into account like: are you traveling, which you know you're sacrificing time by traveling, you could be working. How many gigs you've done in the past. And when I first started it my jaw dropped because I was like I am way under charging according to this. And I would imagine that it's not just me but so many people maybe even especially women where we have this sort of block about around asking for what we think we're worth. I'm always afraid of offending the people that I'm pitching my price to get in and then and then they won't like me and then they'll completely reject the idea like it's a real block that I still struggle with sometimes so do you help some of your students work around that.
Grant Baldwin: [00:39:57] Yes. So a couple things I would say to that is that in our case like we we all really enjoy speaking. Right. It's just fun. So we would do it for free. So the idea that someone would pay us for it just seems ludicrous in the first place. It does. Yes it's a way to make a living. Yes it's a way to to make an income and it's also just fun. And so the fact that someone would pay us something is just crazy. So so often as we're just like I would love to do it for free. I would love to do it for a nickel. You know if that's all you got because I just enjoy it so often. So one things we have to do is make that mental shift of yes I enjoy it. Yes this is fun. But I also like to eat and live indoors. So if I speak constantly for free just because I like it and just because it's fun and I like helping people but I'm broke and our family's struggling like there's something out of alignment there. So make sure that you know that like you're running a business and so you have to you have to treat it as such. One of the most difficult things for a speaker to do is to walk away from a gig meaning that if you talk with a client they're like oh we don't have any budget or our budgets you know a Subway sandwich can you do it. There was probably a season where you're like yeah I'll have to figure it out, we got to do it.
Grant Baldwin: [00:41:07] But there also has to be a time where you're just like No I can't do that. I'm sorry. It sounds like a great event. I would love to be a part of it. I just I can't make that work right. It's tough because you wanna do it but you have to you have to draw a line in the sand and say no. One of things that we do in terms of like talking about the financial piece of it is that is not well a couple things so like in the conversation with a with a potential client you're learning about them learn about the events and then this starts to get to that part of money. And that's where every all speakers feel uncomfortable. And part of it is like we have a difficult time separating ourselves from the product because when you're hiring me. So if you reject me or if you think it's too expensive you're saying something about me personally. Right. So that's actually true but that's the way we internalize like Oh you don't think you don't think I'm good enough you don't think I'm worth it you don't think I'm valuable you know. And so it's not like I'm selling this bottle of water. Well if you don't like a bottle of water like that doesn't offend me. I sleep fine tonight. But if you reject me as a speaker I'll like a voice that feels different. You know. So one of things that we do is when you're making that transition I always ask that I just straight up ask the question Do you mind me asking what your budget is for for this event.
Grant Baldwin: [00:42:17] And most of time they'll tell you and I would not recommend saying whatever your budget is, that's what my fee is. You do want to have the integrity of saying like this is what my fee is and this is what I charge. But the reason I ask them is I always like to figure out some context going into it of how far apart we could be. So if if I ask them and they say we don't have any budget right now I'm in nine know what direction do you take this. Right. Or if they say if I say I if my fee is let's say ten thousand dollars and they say we have two thousand dollars OK. Now I can start again. Think through how I need to approach that. And the other thing I would say is that even though you need to have a set fee and you need to have fee integrity there are going to be times where it does make sense to negotiate. So like saying you know let's say it was something that is local. I live here in Nashville. And so I'm always willing to take less for something that is 30 minutes away versus having to fly to the west coast you know or something like that that's going to take significantly more time if it is an audience. Let's say I do some consulting stuff and I know that by speaking at this event it's going to lead to other consulting opportunities.
Lea Pica: [00:43:25] Right.
Grant Baldwin: [00:43:26] It may make a ton of sense to speak for less. I've had a I used to speak a lot in the education space with high school students and college students and so we would sell different types of products book and T-shirt and so as we knew it like some big events like I knew we were just gonna make make really good money on the product side. So I was willing to take less knowing that we're going to do great on that side because of the size of the event because of the setup and that kind of thing. So there's always there may be reasons for you to negotiate but don't just have don't just approach it like a you know whatever your budget is. That's what I'm gonna do. I think to it's remembers depending on the conference depending on the event like these these conferences and some of them have just like they have significant budgets right. Yeah. So if they have you know 500 people that attend a conference and each paid you know five hundred or a thousand dollars to be there like that adds up and they're certainly like hard costs that go into hosting an event or a conference but like they they have budget they have they have money there. And so yeah I know I'm kind of rambling here but now there's a lot of ways to make the finances work but don't just sell yourself short and be like I'll just do it for whatever I'll do it for free because I like speaking right.
Lea Pica: [00:44:37] Exactly. And you know kind of what you said about seeing it as a business. What are some of the differentiating elements you see when a pro is treating speaking like a hobby a paid hobby versus a real business.
Grant Baldwin: [00:44:51] Yeah I think one of the things is that if it's a hobby again I put up my website put up my video and I'd just set it and forget. Yeah but a pro is someone who is really taking it seriously on the business side they're going to be very diligent in identifying potential events and reaching out to those potential events and following up at those events. So a mistake that a lot of speakers make and where they really dropped the ball is follow up. So let's say you reach out to a potential client and they're like hey we love your site we love your video that sounds like a great fit. We're just we're not reviewing speakers right now but we will in three months. So what most speakers do is like awesome like holler whole army in three months and let me know if you know anything or if you know if I can answer any questions or whatever. And we just kind of leave the ball in their court don't want to do that. You want to figure out what their next step in the process is and base your follow up on that.
Grant Baldwin: [00:45:39] So if you talk to them be like hey we're not really reviewing speakers right now but this looks really interesting. Awesome do you mind me asking when you'll start reviewing speakers. Yeah we're going number review speakers and mid October and are our committee meets to start reviewing.
Grant Baldwin: [00:45:52] Cool do you mind if I follow up at the event. Sure absolutely. Because what they're thinking is you're not gonna follow up right. Speakers do. Right. They just service based businesses in general you say you gonna follow up in three months you know going forward in three months. But when you do think about also what's happening here is that when you say hey is it cool if I follow up with you in three months and they're like sure. And then you do. What's that saying to them like you are a pro. Like they take you seriously because there's like I'm hiring you to show up and speak but I'm also hiring you to make my life easy because as an event planner there's a lot of moving parts there. And so the easier that you can be to work with the more likely they're going to want to be to refer you like I've always like half joking half seriously said there's a gal who's been on our team for many years. Lisa and Lisa does a lot of the logistics and contracts and all of that stuff.
Grant Baldwin: [00:46:40] And I was how her like if were amazing to work with. I can be mediocre on stage. I don't want to be.
Grant Baldwin: [00:46:48] I want to do a great job. Yeah but cause we made their life so easy to work with. Then there we become the kind of speaker that they want to work with again and refer and recommend to other people. And so I'm just making sure that you like if you say you're gonna follow up then follow up and I found I've booked so many gigs by just staying top of mind with them and learning about I've reached out to them in October. Actually we pushed it back to December. Cool. You mind if I touch base with you in December. Yeah absolutely. And I'll touch base with them in December. I just having like a simple CRM or September system I like when you say you're going to do something that you'd do it and following up with them is a really simple way to do that.
Lea Pica: [00:47:25] May I ask what system you use? I'm shopping around myself.
Grant Baldwin: [00:47:29] Yeah. So there are several different ones we use for the time a high rise high rise is one that we use for a long time there. There's a free one from HubSpot. That's a really good one and I recommend students. Yeah. So that's free. Which is always a win.
Grant Baldwin: [00:47:44] There's another one we have some schools that use called pipe drive which is a good one so they'll have pros and cons and so it's the biggest thing. Just like if you're like I don't want to use a tool at all. Like just creating a calendar reminder or a task that you schedule off into the future. You know that can work as well but it's not super scalable but at some point that's good to have somebody with a good tool or something do something, totally. Yeah. Don't just try to remember don't
Grant Baldwin: [00:48:13] Like. Circle back with us for three months and you just think you're going to remember it magically won't. So like I said it like that's where you can really schedule and just forget about it.
Lea Pica: [00:48:21] This is so true and I am remembering one of my favorite episodes. It was the I don't remember his name but it was about systematizing your business and I mean he's booking like 200 events a year something really crazy and one is it things that really stood out for me in that episode was how you show up as a speaker not only when you're trying to get booked but once you are booked. What I love is that you are calling your organizers and conferences your clients and I realized when I listen to that that I wasn't treating them the same way I would treat a paying client especially if it is a free conference and I would be sometimes late sending in my materials and I would be up late to respond. Like there's some block around acting that way but like you said when you start to treat them like clients and you show up to make their lives easier you know. Now I'm getting invited back for repeat or different locations around the country and it really does make a difference.
Grant Baldwin: [00:49:24] Totally, those relationships matter. They matter massively. Yeah for sure.
Lea Pica: [00:49:29] Yeah. So that was awesome. So tell us about your free course that you have for helping speakers get started. What are they going to be able to do after they go through it.
Grant Baldwin: [00:49:40] Yeah it's really a free webinar that people can definitely check out over at freespeakerworkshop.com and we take a lot of what we've covered here today and just kind of dig into it a little bit more on certain pieces of the website the video the process for finding gigs and reaching out to them and a follow up process there even coming back to the foundational pieces of being clear on who you speak to what's the problem that you solve so dig into that a lot more over there. So yeah I'd definitely encourage people to check that out. Again it's totally free training over at freespeakerworkshop.com.
Lea Pica: [00:50:15] Awesome
Lea Pica: [00:50:19] So Grant I call the next segment the upgrade and it's a power trip or a resource maybe something other than what we've talked about for you know really doing our jobs greatly, excellently. Do you have is there anything that comes to mind is like a resource that really helps you along your journey.
Grant Baldwin: [00:50:42] Yeah. I'm kind of like scanning my toolbar here to see where I like most one of the tools, and there's plenty of these out there but there's a task management tool I use called Things for a Mac.
Grant Baldwin: [00:50:54] And again it's no different than any other task manager but one of the things that we've been really disciplined with is to when tasks come up and you hear about something or you say you're going to do something like just writing it down.
Grant Baldwin: [00:51:07] We just try to keep track of too much in our head as we're getting away from that. And if I say I'm going to follow up with someone or I need to check on someone even if it's gonna be like a five-minute thing. So, for example, I have a buddy of mine who messaged me a couple weeks ago is like hey can you touch, like he was working on a project. He's like Hey can you touch base with me every couple days just making sure I'm making progress on this. And normally I'd be like yeah sure. And like you're just trying to remember. And then three weeks go by. You're like oh crap I don't even. I never messaged him right. So I set a reminder that recurs every other day. And I texted him this morning just to check and he's like Dude you don't know how much I appreciate this and how much this means to me. And so just like again out of sight out of mind I'd set that reminder. I set the task and then I just go through and I execute on the task just how I am. It's not like it's a great tool but I think that the principle being like just having a good system in place for keeping track of what you're doing and making progress on.
Lea Pica: [00:52:05] You're totally right it's not only choosing a system but it is using it without exception. I find that there are cracks in my system so I use a tool called Remember the Milk and it changed my entire life when I discovered it. I started paying like my utility bills on time and things and now a similar thing. I know that if I don't pull that task out of my head of following up sending my materials making sure I fill out their NDA whatever it is, if I don't throw it in there it will likely not get done. There's a good likelihood. So I think all around that is amazing. But for a business that is as logistically active as speaking you know there's a lot of pieces that move around. I think that is essential. Totally. All right. So this is our last question. Think very hard. Imagine this very plausible scenario you're taking a seat at the World Puzzle Championship when suddenly you trip and fall into a rip in time and it pulls you back to the moment you're about to give your first presentation. What does the present day you say to yesterday you?
Grant Baldwin: [00:53:22] Good question. OK. I would say before the presentation I would say to relax and really enjoy the moment and I think this isn't true for just like speaking I think that is just true for life.
Grant Baldwin: [00:53:37] I think it's really easy to look at a micro view of like this moment this hour this weekday this week this month and be like just overanalyzing and stressing on things that just like in the scheme of the macro level that just doesn't matter and doesn't make a big deal. So I would say like they really really enjoy the journey.
Grant Baldwin: [00:53:57] And so whether you're building a business whether you're raising a family whether you are whatever it is that you do you're you're doing in your job or your personal life really really enjoy the moment and enjoy the journey. So yeah, like speaking is really really fun. So just being fully present with your audience and knowing that you have a real opportunity to make an impact you have a real opportunity to make a difference for those people so being present for them and engaging in and enjoying that moment matters to them. But it also makes it different for you.
Lea Pica: [00:54:28] I love that. I love that about staying present and it's certainly an exercise I'm trying to incorporate. I actually am better at staying present when I present than in any other area of my life. It's like time stops. You just have this bubble with these people and if you approach it with that service mindset like you said I think that it will transform this panic attack that we tend to have in there and we just have to remember it feels like a lion's den especially for a lot of practitioners in my field where this is a very nerve-wracking practice you will come out physically alive.
Grant Baldwin: [00:55:06] The audience doesn't want you to suck like they want you to do well it's not an us versus them thing. So they want you to do well. And so yeah don't don't feel like you're staring at them like they're ready to kill you.
Lea Pica: [00:55:17] They want to be entertained. Yes. Well, Grant. I mean I would hold you, hostage, all day if I could. But our time has run out. So please let the listeners know where they can keep up with you.
Grant Baldwin: [00:55:30] Yeah. Best place is over at thespeakerlab.com. So as you mentioned before we have a podcast by the same name The Speaker Lab Podcast so people are certain that we have 200 episodes that are out at this point. And so a lot of good stuff there would encourage people to check out but then also those two resources we talked about myspeakerfee.com is that speaker fee calculator and then the freespeakerworkshop.com is the training on walking to how to find book gigs. So yeah definitely check all that out.
Lea Pica: [00:55:58] Awesome. All of those links are going to be on the show notes page for this episode. And Grant I just want to thank you so much. You know when speakers like you who are insanely busy take the time out to speak to my audience. I'm just so grateful. And I'm also so grateful for the influence that your work has had on my career and the people I've been able to serve as a result. So thank you so much.
Grant Baldwin: [00:56:19] I appreciate it. It's an honor.
[00:56:27] Holy firehose Batman it's never lost on me how fortunate I am to have access to the wisdom of these megastars. Wow. And I am so infinitely grateful that I have the ability to bring that wisdom directly to you. So to catch all of the links and resources mentioned in this episode please visit the show notes page at leapica.com/039. I would love to hear what you thought of Grant's advice. I'd love to hear your stories of creating your own paid speaking careers because I want to hear about the challenges you face in any presenting capacity whether it's just in a conference room or in a huge venue. So if you like what you've heard please hop on over to iTunues to subscribe. Leave a rating and review. Ratings and reviews are so appreciated because they affect the rankings of the show and I'll be reading out my favorite ones on future episodes. And today's presentation inspiration is from a unique source that is Dennis Green the charismatic football coach and he says quite simply the secret to success is to start from scratch and then keep on scratching.
Lea Pica: [00:57:40] A pro-public speaking career is very much like a home. It requires a lot of sweat and grit and persistence to build from scratch but hopefully with today's tips you'll do a lot less scratching and a lot more speaking. That's it for today. I am wishing you a safe happy and healthy Thanksgiving that is full of family fun.
Lea Pica: [00:58:05] I'll be giving thanks tomorrow and everyday after that for your continued listening and support. Namaste and Nama-go.