Why should I have to pay to be on someone’s stage?

I hear that all the time. If you are a speaker and you have said this more than once I ask you to please read this blog. I think I can answer help you understand why?

First I want you to think about the dinner party, birthday party, social gathering you recently planned. Got it in your head? If you haven’t planned a party for yourself, maybe your child. Got it now? What were the steps you went through?

  1. Set the date
  2. Set a Budget
  3. Decided on a venue (your home, or other location)
  4. If another location, secured and gave a deposit
  5. Made an invitation list
  6. Set a theme
  7. Sent the invitations out (Eventbrite, mail, email, phone calls, personal invitation)
  8. Planned the menu
  9. Planned the decorations
  10. Secured the entertainment
  11. Received RSVP s
  12. Cleaned the house or made the final payment on your venue
  13. Followed-up on those individuals who did not RSVP
  14. With number of guests in hand, made final menu and grocery list
  15. Shopped for food, plates, cups, utensils, drinks or hired a caterer
  16. Set up the event (in home or other): decorated; set-up food/drinks.
  17. Party Favors: purchased and put together
  18. Opened the doors for all your guests.
  19. Entertained
  20. Said goodbye, then cleaned everything up

Those are just 20 things off the top of my head. What I didn’t put on there is how many of your guests did not answer or RSVP? How many did and then canceled the week of the event, or that morning? How many still did not show? Now you have all the food, drink, party favors and more left over because you counted on them to show and they didn’t.

Now take those 20 things and multiply them by 10 and you have an event checklist. The host has to handle all that as well as put out a large amount of money for the location, food and beverage, name badges/lanyards, swag bags, goodies, staging, lighting, videographer, photographer, audio visual, insurance; get the picture.

When you have the opportunity to get in front of an audience of your ideal clients; put on a nice outfit; show up the morning of the event and network, get handed a microphone and then introduced to the stage and be brilliant; don’t you think that’s a great deal. You don’t have to organize the event, fill the event, pay for the event. You just get pretty and show up! I think paying to do that is a no-brainer.  I would do that all day long.

Now do you have something to sell from the stage or give away? Don’t ever walk off the stage without getting something from your audience. If they say you can’t sell from stage, offer a free give-away and grab up everyone’s emails (they are gold). If you are selling, make sure you know the audience and the speakers also selling from stage. If everyone is selling to the audience, you may want to give something away; they will be so happy they are not being sold to they will give you their emails. Then get them in your nurturing campaign. If everyone is selling large dollar items, maybe offer a lower priced entry item. Remember if you are on the stage 45 minutes or less, please don’t try to sell a product or service over $1000. People need to fall in love with you and feel you can change their world, business or help them overcome their challenge. That takes time. It’s better to get them into your world at a lower price point.  You can up sell them at a later date for a larger program.

Now if you have done the pay to play and know your conversion rate, then you can do the math. If you spend $1000 to speak onstage for 30 minutes; then convert 20% of the room, it is money well spent. Let’s do the math: 100 people, convert 20%, that’s 20 people. Your product is $499; you sell 20 people then receive $9980. Minus your cost to speak, your profit is $8980. Not a bad day’s work and you don’t have the stress of hosting the event!

Now don’t go into debt paying to be on stage; but if you have it in your budget, know your numbers, you could build an amazing business using other people’s stages.

Now I don’t want to hear you complain any longer!


Photo Credit:
Photo of: Craig Duswalt, RockStar Marketing Bootcamp
Photographer: Lori Zapata Photography