Mistakes pave the road to success. I’ve made them, you have made them and we will make them in the future. However, when it comes to businesses mistakes cost resources. Time, money, manpower...all down the drain. We are still pretty early in our speaking career, but please allow my mistakes that I’ve made to help guide you along your path.
Pricing Yourself - Within one week of creating this website I received a call from an organization that wanted me to speak on the subject of suicide prevention. I was so excited, all of my hard work paid off and I was finally about to get my first speech. The lady on the other end of the phone and asked me the magic question. “How much are you looking to be paid”. I screamed FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! After that I never heard from her again.
On another occasion I received another request through this website to speak. However I didn’t look at my email until a day after the request. I emailed the contact as well as left a voicemail for them as soon as I saw their request. Every time I received a notification on my phone I jumped to see if it was the organization. Later, I went to twitter and I saw the speaker they booked for the event.
Two valuable lessons learned early in our speaking journey. The first, don’t be hungry to get paid. When I was asked how much I wanted to be paid all I thought is what they could do for me. I didn’t think at all about what I could offer them. By doing this I missed out on: 1. The opportunity to get a paycheck 2. The opportunity to grow my business 3. Generating buzz through social media.
The second lesson I learned here is to be diligent in checking my email notifications. I quickly learned that event planners won’t wait for you to respond on your time (unless you are a well established, or celebrity speaker). For us new guys...not so much.