Another 10 Ways (3)
- Supply a service to your niche market
- Supply a service to other speakers
- Back of the room general product sales
- Sponsored keynotes
- Sponsored training programs
- Conduct a teleseminar
- Conduct a webinar
- Internet product sales
- Expo product sales
Sometimes speakers get so focused on speaking to their niche market that they forget that they can also supply a service to their niche market. (I’m not talking about consulting, which is a separate suggestion.) Whatever skills you are speaking to your audiences about, there’s a good chance that some people may wish to hire you to perform those skills. It’s not only a good income source, but it’s a good way to boost your visibility and credibility.
When you stop to think about it, most speakers are experts in at least two different areas — their niche market (such as technology, leadership, or real estate) and they’re experts in the business of speaking. So you may be able to supply a service — speechwriting, voice lessons, writing business plans, etc. — to other speakers.
Up to this point, you’ve mostly been considering what product or service you’re selling. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that you can sell almost anything that your audience members might need or want BOR — back-of-the-room.
Back of the room sales can be so lucrative that some speakers will pass on a hefty fee, just so they get the opportunity to sell their products or services at the same time that they’re building a relationship with their audience members.
There are other ways than BOR sales to make an income from “free” speeches. One way is to get sponsorships. Many companies — from major national corporations to small, local companies — would love to have their name associated with your presentation. (It must be a positive association, of course. Drug companies may be eager to sponsor a presentation touting traditional medicine, but will not be interested in sponsoring a program on vitamin therapy for disease prevention, for example.)
It’s the same thing for training programs. If a company is a potential supplier to your audience members, they could easily be interested in sponsoring your training program (or public seminar or bootcamp or whatever).
Since many speakers have voices that are enjoyable to listen to, performing voiceovers can be an excellent way for speakers to make money. Whether you’re recording slide narrations, interviewing executives, or even introducing other speakers’ audio CDs — voiceovers are a great way to make money without ever going near an airport.
Speaking of not going near airports, another tried-and-true way of making some money from the comfort of your office is to speak to your audience via a teleseminar. Teleseminars used to be complex and expensive, but the plummeting cost of bridge lines makes conducting a teleseminar — basically a public seminar conducted by phone — within the reach of almost anyone.
Webinars are the logical extension of teleseminars. A webinar is rather like a public seminar conducted over the Internet. The logistics can be rather complex to set up, but this can be offset by the lack of travel challenges. And your audience size is virtually (if you’ll excuse the expression) unlimited.
Since we’re talking about the Internet (again), let’s emphasize the importance of the Internet in product sales. Just as you can sell almost anything BOR (as long as you have a room to sell from the back of), you can sell almost anything via the Internet… no room necessary.
You do need a website, you do need the ability to accept credit cards, and you probably need a shopping cart. But if you have those things, you can open your own e-store selling almost anything.
Many Chambers of Commerce, users groups, and other business organizations hold trade expos, and if the people attending the expo are your target market, selling product (where “product” could be a physical resource, a service, or even a keynote or training program) can be very lucrative for a speaker. The key is being sure that the expo attendance is appropriate (both in numbers and the type of person attending) for what you’re selling.