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Speaking fees for authors (NEGOTIATE YOUR WORTH like Lisa Nichols)

get paid to speak Apr 15, 2020

I know someone who makes $50,000 per speaking gig. That's unimaginable, right? No! A lot of people make this amount of money speaking day in and day out. And if you want to make $500, $5000 or $50,000 as a speaker and you're an author, I want you to stay tuned to this next video and blog post because I’ve got you covered. I'm going to help you think about four things that you need to negotiate your worth. So let's get right to it! 


One of the most common things that I hear from people every single day is, "Darieth, how do I set my speaker's fee?" It is the number one question. And then I get questions like, “How much do I charge? How do I know how much to charge? I also hear this, “I'm tired of speaking for free and how much do speakers really make?” These are all very common questions and rightfully so. It's not like you went to speaking school but that should not stop you! Particularly if you are a speaker who has a powerful message and mission, and is really eager to share it with the world. It should not stop you from charging a speaker's fee. Especially if you’re an author who's put together tangible content that you're ready to give to the world and you want to get on stage and talk about it. You deserve to be paid a speaker's fee.  So we're going to do a deep dive here and we're going to talk about some of the key elements that you need in order to charge as a speaker.



First and foremost, you need to know your worth. 

Just the other day I got a text message from a client of mine who was just ecstatic! I opened the text message up and it read, “Darieth, I'm so excited. I just earned $5,000 from a speaking gig. I wasn't even going to ask for a fee for and thanks to working with you I mustered up the courage, put myself together and asked for it and received the check!” So whether or not you are interested in earning $500, $5,000 or $50,000 all of this is possible for you, but it starts with you knowing your worth.


Knowing your worth really comes from deep down inside. It's the ability to be able to put a tangible number to the intangible offering that you give to others. More than anything, you have to know that it exists. You have to know who you are in the world and the role that you play is of some measurable amount and you get to decide what that is. I'm not here to tell you what it is. I'm here to tell you that you need to know your worth. I'm here to tell you that you're worthy of receiving and that you are worthy of being paid for the awesome gifts and talents that you have. Whether or not you reside and live in that knowing is 100% up to you. So you've got to get to this place of knowing your worth.


I started this video with a photo of Lisa Nichols. Lisa is an amazingly powerful woman who I've had the pleasure to get to know and actually coach with in the past. You may know her as being one of the authors of the book, ‘The Secret’. She's also authored seven other books and her contribution to the book ‘Chicken Soup for the African American Soul’. She's a well known, highly regarded, highly paid motivational speaker and her story is an amazing journey. I invite you to please go out and Google her and find whatever you need to know about Lisa. But the one thing that I got from working with Lisa, and there've been many things, is that here was a woman who literally pulled herself up from her own bootstraps and came out of poverty and on welfare to build a multimillion dollar company. And while that took time, one of the most important key factors that she talks about is knowing your worth and being confident in that. She's a prime example of what that is. You probably know people in your own life who have clearly defined their worth and what it means to know your worth. I really want you to take some time to, to dig deep and understand that you are worthy. You're worthy of receiving, you're worthy of asking and you're worthy of charging. We can't go further in this discussion until you own your worth. 


The second step in developing your speaker's fees as an author and negotiating your worth is to really have an unshakeable sense of confidence. 

Self confidence is key and gaining confidence is going to make all the difference in the world when you begin to negotiate your worth. We've talked about knowing your worth and how Lisa Nichols was so instrumental in my life. One of her great books is ‘No matter what’, and this is a great book that you could read that I believe will help you. This book is about really instituting the law of attraction and positive mindset in helping you to develop your self confidence. 


I do want to share with you one that is more recent and perhaps might be more relatable, particularly to any of you millennials. Rachel Hollis’ book ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ is great at helping you develop confidence and giving you a kick in the butt or a wash across your face, so to speak and helping you to develop your self confidence. Also ‘Act Like a Success’ from Steve Harvey. Again, one of my favorite books. Steve's book is great on helping you to discover your personal best self as well as gaining a level of confidence. 

You need the confidence for a few different things. Firstly, without it people are going to smell you a mile away. But also when you get into negotiating your fees and negotiating your worth, it really does reside in this place of understanding the confidence that you have in yourself. And confidence can be developed over a period of time, whether it's from reading great books, hearing and being around people who help to support you, who help to help you to solidify who you are or who you're becoming. It also has to do with what we're saying to ourselves. I call this “shrinking thinking”. When you get into this space where you start to beat yourself up and you hear this little voice in the back of your head that says “you can't do that, you can't ask for that, you're not worthy of that”. That all begins to shrink your confidence. You have to find ways to develop and gain more confidence while you are building your muscle, while you are getting out and doing more speaking gigs, while you are sharing your message and your mission with the world. 


You cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought because it not only derails you and puts you out of business, but over a period of time it begins to eat at your self confidence. My encouragement to you would be to read great books, make sure you spend time with other people who do believe in your vision and your dream and to stay focused and driven and moving confidently in the direction of your dreams.


Go out and claim it and part of your ability to claim it is for you to make a long list of your accomplishments. 

I want you to take out a piece of paper and list all of accomplishments in life. This can start with any letters that you have behind your name or in front of your name. Whatever you've gone to school for and are highly educated in, if you're an expert in any particular field. Also list any other additional courses and programs that you may have taken. Maybe you have hired coaches in the past and worked to improve a certain area of your life. Anything that you've done from the standpoint of volunteering or being of service to a nonprofit. Those are kind of all of the things that you can add to this list. When you think about what you've gone through, some of us have a degree in overcoming obstacles. You have just become a master at overcoming certain things. Put that on your list of accomplishments. That matters. It certainly matters in the way that you show up in the world because you can identify what you've been through and who you've become as part of the challenge. But it is also about you claiming your worth because it allows you to look back and say, “I did overcome this, I did achieve this.” Maybe you've run a couple of marathons. Really start to build this list of accomplishments and take ownership of it. Take credit for the smallest things that you have accomplished.


Those are wins that are priceless and they help you to solidify not only the confidence that we've talked about, but this ability for you to claim your worth. Everything that you have been involved with or have overcome or experienced, good or bad is a part of you claiming your worth. And there is a price point and a value on that. 


You've got to ask for it. 

At the end of the day, if you don't muster up the courage to ask for a certain speaker's fee, you’ll get paid none. It is literally the difference between saying I am worth $500 or adding an extra zero behind it and $5,000. When you've done the work, when you know that what you have to offer is a value and it makes a difference in people's lives.

When your speaking skills are at a certain point, you have expertise and you've put together that list, remember that we talked about claiming your worth at this point. You then have to identify a number that resonates with you and be prepared to ask for it. It doesn't necessarily mean that in asking for it, it's a number that you're going to receive, but you have to be prepared to ask for it and be confident in asking for it. And so I want to set up a little example for you about how best you can negotiate your speaker's fee in a conversation with someone who'd like to hire you as a speaker. I do this in a couple of different trainings and I'm actually going to give you a link to a training that I have available for you called a speaker marketing.

It's all about really helping you put together the key ingredients, that you need to be a speaker and you can find that link below so you can learn some key ingredients to develop a, an effective speaker marketing plan. And I do get into that in this free training. But for now what I want you to think about is if you've been approached by someone who says, great, we'd love to bring you in to be a speaker at this certain event and you get into conversation with them and you're of course coming to understand what the event is about. If you really can write and put together a compelling speech that serves the audience and serves the mission of this program, and now you're preparing yourself to ask, is there an honorarium or a speaker's fee involved? First off, if you don't ask for it, you're likely not going to get it.

But secondly, most events have a budget in place to pay a speaker. Again, this may not be a non a nonprofit event. This may in fact be some organization that has brought speakers in in, in the past. So you do have to have a number in mind. But the best way to get into conversation about it is I'm curious to know, do you have a speaker's fee or speakers budget in place and allow the organizer to share with you why we do, we're prepared to offer $500 $5,000 you need to first understand what they have in place and then of course you have to have established a number for yourself that resonates with who you are in the work that you do. And so let's assume the organizer says, well, we have a $500 fee in place, but let's assume that you've made your speaker's fee $1,000 you could easily obviously just say, I accept that, or you could begin negotiating and some negotiation points that I want you to understand is that you can easily say, thank you for that.

I understand that it's $500 my speaker's fee is $1,000 is there any way that maybe we can meet in the middle, let's say seven 50 and I'd be happy to accept that speaker's fee and then allow the person to respond. If that's not in place, you might want to say, great, 500 is not what I generally accept for speaker's fee. It's typically $1,000 but I'm wondering in lieu of that extra $500, is it possible that, uh, maybe I'm able to sell my books, or can you buy a few copies of my books? Will you have a photographer in place? And if so, am I able to please get those photos and video in lieu of that cost? Maybe they have a speaker they're charging for the, uh, four booths at this event. Well, is that worth $500? There's so many ways that you can look up making the difference to get you to that thousand dollar Mark.

While it might not be actual dollars, but there are so many things that you can negotiate in lieu of the $500 difference. In some cases you might just decide you are not interested in taking the $500 fee and that could be fine as well. But I will tell you, if you're new in this space and you're just beginning as a speaker, that every speaking opportunity is a priceless opportunity for you to be in front of your ideal clients and customers. Particularly if you are an author and you've got some other product or service that you want to sell. So I would easily take the event, be grateful that they are offering something. And if you have the opportunity to position a sell from the stage, you're likely going to make more money in the weeks and the months down the road as a speaker who's making an offer from the stage.

Then just receiving the speaker's fee. So if you need help and support around that, if that's someplace that you're stuck in, you're still trying to figure out, then it's what I call developing a strong offstage strategy that's going to make you successful on stage. And you can find a link below about how you can get some support around your offstage strategy just by clicking on the link below and getting onto a phone call with me. I'd be happy to take a better look at your offstage strategy and give you some ideas of how you become successful as a speaker off stage, as well as onstage. So these videos have been helpful for you and you're enjoying them. I invite you to please make sure that you have subscribed to my channel, that you've hit the notification button, that you like this video and that you'd share it with other people. I'm in this to help you. And so many other authors, speakers, and coaches make a difference in the lives of other people. And while I have so much to offer offline, this is just my contribution to you and every other woman and man on the earth who has a voice and a story, and you're really looking to make an impact in a difference in the lives of others. So thanks so much for watching this video, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.


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