Final 10 Ways (5)
- Organize a fee-paid mastermind group
- Sell OPP
- Being an affiliate referrer
- Be part of an anthology
- Publish an anthology
- Sell advertising on your website
- Host your own radio or TV talk show
- Endorse a product or service
- Be a spokesperson
- Run a membership site
Mastermind groups are very popular with speakers. Most groups charge only a small fee (if anything) to cover their operational costs. But there’s nothing stopping you from organizing mastermind groups (and they don’t need to be restricted to the speaking industry), with you collecting an income for organizing them. (It’s kind of like group coaching.)
Selling OPP (Other People’s Products) is a tried-and-true method of making money, and it works as well today as it ever has. The biggest advantage of selling OPP is that there is very little product development time required. Selling your own product is often (but not always) more profitable than selling products produced by other speakers, but it typically takes much longer to produce your own product.
The Internet provided a new wrinkle to the selling-OPP method of making money — being an affiliate of someone else. The great-granddaddy of affiliate programs is Amazon.com, so let’s use that as an example.
Once you register with Amazon as an affiliate, you can put special links in your website (or your emails, blogs, or other Internet communications). When one of your visitors / readers clicks on that special link, they’re taken to Amazon… but a record is made noting that you sent them there. If your visitor makes a purchase from Amazon (based on your recommendation), you receive a commission.
Note that we're using Amazon as an example, but there are an almost limitless number of affiliate programs which you can join.
The advantage of affiliate programs over OPP is that you don’t have any inventory to maintain, no money to collect, and so on. This disadvantage is that your visitor isn’t added to your customer list. Some commission payments can be quite hefty, so this can be a good source of income for speakers.
Being part of an anthology is somewhat like writing a book, without having to write the entire thing. You write one chapter, and other speakers write the other chapters. You split the printing costs among yourselves and you all end up with a book to sell. (It doesn’t have to be a book. This technique also works for CDs, DVDs, and other media.)
Publishing an anthology (whether or not you are a part of it) is also a good way to make some money. You charge people to include a chapter in the book (or whatever); you pay the printing costs, and whatever’s left over is your profit. Basically, you’re a specialty book publisher.
If you have a website (and you have visitors to your website), another way to make money is to sell advertising on your website. This can be done directly, where a business (that is not in competition with you but is interested in your visitors) simply purchases ad space on your website.
The entire process has been automated so that you simply sell some ad space to a broker (like Google’s AdSense program); the broker automatically supplies ads whenever your page is displayed, and pays you a commission accordingly.
It probably requires more money, time, and planning than many of the other ideas listed here, but don’t let that stop you from considering the merits (including an additional income source) of hosting your own radio talk show. Internet radio is in its infancy, but is already revolutionizing traditional broadcast radio.
If you can achieve it, hosting your own TV talk show can be very lucrative. (Hosting your own TV talk show probably works best if you’re a celebrity.)
If you’re a celebrity speaker, you can also make money by endorsing products (for a fee, of course). Athletes and actors have done this for years; professional speakers are starting to discover the enormous potential income that product endorsements can bring.
But what if you’re not a celebrity? Companies may not pay you for your endorsement, but they might want you to be a spokesperson for them.
Companies have long recognized the power of having a spokesperson. Fictional spokespersons (such as Betty Crocker) have their advantages, but they can’t appear in public. But pro speakers can not only appear in public, they’re comfortable doing so!
A membership site is a website whose content (some or all) is accessible only to registered members. (Speaker Gym is an example of a membership site. So are Amazon, Google, Facebook, and countless other websites. In fact, these days membership sites are commonplace.)
You can make money from your membership site by charging a fee for people to become members, by selling advertising targeted to your members, by selling advertising shown to non-members (an advantage of membership is getting access to content which is free of advertising), by making your membership list available to other vendors (but only with the permission of your members, of course!), and many other ways.
Membership sites are often complex to set up and run, but they're usually easy to scale (that is, they can grow in size) and so become extremely lucrative. Professional speakers should definitely consider hosting membership sites to bolster their incomes.