5 Ways You Can Generate Income as a Professional Speaker

BostonSpeaksBlog (6).png

You may remember that in a previous article, I mentioned getting paid to talk. Are you ready to find out how?

In this article, I’m going to tell you about five different ways you can earn income from professional speaking. And, I have great news for you--you don’t have to choose just one!

Once you launch your professional speaking career, you can develop several revenue streams that allow you to pursue a career you enjoy and still pay the bills.

So where does the money come from?

Here’s my list of five ways you can generate income as a professional speaker:

1. Keynotes, conference presentations, and personal platforms.

This is probably the job most people envision when they think of a professional speaker. Speakers in these fields are paid based on their expertise and ability to draw attendees to an event. If you are a keynote or conference presenter, you’ll be paid a fee for your time.

If you are a personal platform speaker like Tony Robbins, you are the event. Attendees pay to see you on stage and hear what you have to say. Headlining and hosting your own event represents the pinnacle of success for many professional speakers. Not only are you the star of the show, but you can also sell merchandise and other services to your audience.

2. Speaking as a day job.

Some organizations employ professional speakers as brand advocates or ambassadors instead of just drawing names out of a hat when they need to send a representative to make a presentation. I’m just kidding, some of my good friends are called upon to speak on behalf of their organizations and do a great job.

But, often a non-profit or large organization wants a dedicated staffer to serve as the their primary storyteller. For example, Miri Rodriguez serves in this role at Microsoft.

3. The leader of the class.

Some speakers present full instructional seminars either alone or with a group of other speakers. This role is similar to that of a keynote speaker but usually takes more time and requires a more detailed presentation. It is a lot like hosting your own event, except someone else is paying to rent the space.

This is a great gig if you enjoy sharing information and teaching but not managing the logistics of organizing an event.

4. Packaging your knowledge and expertise.

Many speakers are able to develop multiple revenue streams by creating different forms of content based on their knowledge and expertise. For example, if you know a lot about creating great user experiences, you might be asked to speak about UX at a digital marketing conference. But, then you’ve only shared your knowledge with the conference attendees.

If you expand on that information to create an e-book, webinar, course, or podcast, then you can share your knowledge with more individuals and earn ongoing income from your product sales.   

5. Share your knowledge live and in-person.

Not every professional speaking gig has to be before a large audience. Personal coaching, consulting, and other smaller knowledge sharing venues are a good way to stay busy and continue to earn income between bigger speaking gigs.

I love speaking before a crowd, but it is also very satisfying to help a single individual reach his or her goals by providing coaching and other services. Being able to take some time off the speaking circuit and meet with clients one-on-one lets me enjoy the best of both worlds--and you can too.

You Do You

These are just a few of the ways that professional speakers generate income. But they aren’t the only ways. It seems like there are new innovations and opportunities popping up every day. So don’t be afraid to try something new. Who knows? You might have the next great idea! Be yourself, value yourself, and enjoy the rewards of being professional speaker.