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Practice Makes Perfect? Think again.

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Practice Makes Perfect? Think again.

How to Raise Your Speaking Fee (even if it's currently zero) - Ep #111

So you’d like to start charging (or charge more) for speaking gigs, but aren’t feeling confident with how to approach this with potential clients.

Today I’ll walk you through the main factors to consider when choosing your speaking fees plus tips for confidently presenting on speaking inquiry calls.

Inside this episode (or check out the full transcript below), you’ll learn:

  • Whether or not to charge for speaking
  • Factors that influence your speaking fee
  • How to confidently choose a rate you’re excited about
  • Tips to navigating an effective speaking inquiry call 
  • What to do when they say no to your rate

 

Episode Highlights

How much should I charge? 

This is one of the most common questions I get. The truth is that there is no rule around it and obviously there are many value factors you have to consider for choosing your fee. 

 

A good rule of thumb for appropriate pricing

 Dorie Clark, author and pro speaker has written a great article for the Harvard Business Review: “A Short Guide to Pricing Your Services as a Consultant or Coach” in where he provides a good range of pricing that strikes a balance between building a thriving practice where you are of service of your people and are fairly compensated for it.

For newbie speakers, Dorie mentioned they could be earning between $500-$2500 for a talk. Beginning speakers (those with a more established brand with their first book), they could range from $5k-$10K, and for those who have made several books and have social proof, it could be from $10K-$20K and then it goes up from there. 

 

The reality is, your Speaking Fee is Your Choice

I think it's really helpful to have some reference points like this but don't get too caught up in the numbers. It really depends on the industry, who your audience is and who the client is that's booking you because what they're going to pay is based on their budget and their perceived value of what the talk is going to do for their group.

 

Tips to Consider When Choosing Your Speaking Fee

Tip #1: Do your own research

You know your speaking strategy and your industry better than anyone else so you have to actually dig in and know what you are working with. Here are just a few things to take into consideration plus questions you could ask yourself:

  • The event / talk - Where are you speaking? How long is the talk? Find out exactly what the organizers need and how you can use your expertise to help them.
  • Your audience - Know your audience, how large it is and how you can best serve them.
  • Talk with previous speakers - Network with other people. Ask other speakers how much they’ve been paid for the event. This will help you prepare your own expectations and estimate their speaking budget. 

 

Tip #2: Make a decision

The challenge that I see with a lot of people is they do a lot of research but then sit in indecision when an opportunity comes. They're stressed because they need to make a choice. That's why I recommend that while you're doing your research, it's important to recognize how much value your content will bring to the event. We provide value through our expertise and knowledge and you must know your effectiveness as a speaker so you can get the decision-making out of the way.

For example, let's say you're a marketing expert and you teach people how to generate leads. Your goal is to talk to business owners in front of groups and help them generate income based on what they learned and applied from your talk. There's a high degree of value in that.

Now imagine a company brings you to be a speaker and you have a proven track record from your content and your talk can actually help people get results. You can then show how you can be more valuable to them and to the ultimate end users. The better your presentation skills are and the more impact you create for your audience, the quicker it will be for you to decide your rate (and easier to charge more!).

 

Tip #3: Always discuss the opportunity on a call

When somebody sends you an email to invite you to come to speak to their group and asks what your fee is, do not reply to the email with your rate. It needs to be on a live back and forth conversation, a phone call at a minimum.

This is non-negotiable and is really important. You have to spend some time getting to know them and really figuring out what it is that they need and want. You need to make a connection with them that confirms that you not only understand where they want to go, but you will help them get there. 

The conversation can include something really simple where you're asking them questions like:

  • What's the event about?
  • What are their goals for the event?
  • Tell me about the audience.
  • What are you hoping to achieve from this talk? 
  • What would be the ideal outcome you have for people coming out of this talk?

The goal here is to get them excited for them to be able to feel that, yes, this is a really great fit for their organization and it's exactly what they were looking for. You want to get them excited because then you're going to present the fee and if they're already excited, there's going to be little questioning of what that fee is.

 

Tip #4: Predetermine your value adds

I personally do not discount my speaking rate but I get creative and make a list of things that I would accept outside the fee that would help me as much. Sweeten the pot to ease the apprehension to make it more appealing. Just have it in your back pocket should pricing be an issue, you can add some things in but you don't have to add in a bunch of extra things that would consume your time. It could be a simple workbook to go with your talk or an extra call. Just think about what’s relevant for you and focus on the audience’s needs. 

 

Tip #5: Be firm on your boundaries

Do you have a lower rate that you would be willing to do? Or do you have boundaries in terms of when to speak? I don't know what your boundaries are, only you do. You have to be clear with them and get comfortable in having this conversation so you know when to walk away or negotiate.

 


LISTEN to the full AUDIO of this episode:

 

Subscribe to Heather’s YouTube Channel here.

 


Previous Episode Mentioned:

3 Things Influential Entrepreneurs Do When Talking To Their Audience - Ep #105

How to Create Trust by Setting and Communicating your Boundaries - Ep #82

5 Ways To Be Featured As A Guest Speaker - Ep #61

How to Integrate Speaking with Digital Courses or Products - Ep #50

How I’ve structured my online business to replace my six figure salary (and thrive during quarantine) - Ep #47

Books / Resources mentioned in episode:

Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive, Dorie Clarke

Harvard Business Review: A Short Guide to Pricing Your Services as a Consultant or Coach, Dorie Clarke


>>> Are you an online entrepreneur wanting to attract dream clients?

Join me inside my FREE TRAINING where I'll teach you how to nail your message when speaking on podcasts, live video and other virtual stages to grow your online business.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Well, hey friends, welcome to the money episode today where we're digging into speaking fees, specifically, I'm going to share tips and strategies to help you charge more when you speak on a stage. And if you're thinking I don't charge anything right now, I speak for free. I got you. I'm going to teach you how to get paid, how to charge your fee, how to increase your fee if you have it, if that is something that you would like to do. So here we go, this is going to be good one today. Also, I'm just going to tell you right out of the gate, the time of this recording, it has been a day and my mind and my mouth are not staying in sync very well which actually becomes a very comical thing.

However, I am on take number five of literally the first minute of this show so we are fully committed and just sticking it out, so whatever happens from here, screw it. I am not redoing this thing, but I will, let me just side note, tell you that even someone who speaks professionally and teaches others how to be so on point with their voices where it's freaking hard and sometimes they're just not working, and that's okay. I think where we get in trouble is when we pretend that, we're supposed to speak perfectly all the time. That's just not a real thing. That is not a real thing. So anyways, if you were looking for a super polished and professional show, I mean, I hope this is a polished and professional show, but also I keep it real around here which means that I do not give this false sense of every single thing is so perfect. I leave all the like flabby flabs in these shows, and I do that, one, because why take them out. That's part of natural human, like conversation and language. But two, y'all need to see that it's okay to not be perfect all the time. I mean, you know, you don't want to be like a flabby mess for the majority of it, but here or there, it's totally fine. It's relatable. 

Anyways, back to the topic of the day, we're talking about money. Now, you might be thinking, okay, Heather, I speak for free because mostly speaking is a lead generator for my business. Again, if you're listening to this show, most likely you are selling digital courses or a membership or coaching services and your leveraging speaking as a way to get your name out there.

That's perfectly fine. I would say you also will come across the opportunities for you actually could be paid to speak so I want you to be open and prepared for that. Maybe that's not you right now, but that day will come and when that day comes, what's going to happen is if you didn't have this episode today, you'd be like, Holy crap. What am I charged? And then run to a Facebook group, filled with people who may or may not have helpful information for you and you ask them, what should I charge? And I don't want you to be caught on your heels. I want you to be prepared for when that day comes. And if you are sitting here going ah, I'm already getting paid to speak. Buckle up baby, because I'm going to teach you how to get paid more for each speaking gig. 

I'm going to walk you through some tips today around I approach the money conversations on sales calls, specifically, for speaking inquiry calls when I'm being asked to speak for a company or for a conference or inside someone's group, how I navigate that. I'm going to give you the literal tools, not literal tools. Oh my gosh. I'm having flashbacks to the mimic your mentor episode from a couple of weeks ago where I talked about the word literally, and I hate it when people use it wrong. I totally just did, but it's because it's ingrained in us.If you don't know what I'm talking about, thought episode, just a couple of back, how to not mimic your mentors. I'm dying to hear what you think about that one. Anyways, I'm giving you some tips, some tools to help you venture into this conversation with more confidence. 

When I talk to people about their businesses, whether it's speaking, whether it's negotiating their fee, rolling out a new product or service, the thing that I hear a lot of people state is that they wish they felt more confident venturing into something. If you're thinking about that, like, oh, I just need to be more confident that this being the nature of business is we are going to have moments where we are uncertain of what's happening. So confidence doesn't come from knowing what's going to happen next. Confidence comes from your ability to figure it out. That's where this comes down. But I also find that you can have an increase in confidence from a structure. So bringing it back to the money conversation, I'm going to give you a structure today for you to develop what your rate should be and how to have that conversation because I think that structure will help you feel more confident going into that where you will not be certain that it's going to work out exactly like you want, but at least you'll have the confidence knowing that you have a process to fall back on. 

Okay. This one here, this episode, there is a full write-up on the blog. So if you want to come back to it, if you're listening to the car or your watering your lawn or harvesting your vegetable plants, it's that season. Right now I think my tomatoes are going outside. I am super excited for that. Yeah, I've become a little bit of a gardener. I killed half my plants, but the tomatoes, they're doing great.

But if you're listening, you most likely you go want to come back and take some notes on this. So you can head over to the blog, at heathersager.com/podcast. You can get all the show notes for every episode, but this one is a little extra detailed for you today because I know this is such a hot topic.

Let's start with the conversation around speaking for free. I'm not going to dive into a lot of info today around like, should I charge, should I not charge? I don't really want you to worry about that right in this episode. This is for, if you have a speaking gig that you want to charge for, this is what this is for.

Okay. I'm going to do some upcoming episodes around how to monetize a free speaking opportunity. There's also a link to prior episodes where I actually talked about different speaking strategies. Whether or not, you could speak for free or charge, I'll link back to some of those episodes. So you have them.

But right now let's talk about this idea of charging for speaking. One of the most common questions I get is how much should I charge? It's a laughable question and the reason why I laugh is because there is no rule around it. Although I do see other people online, putting together calculators and have all these like frameworks to help you get to a price. But I fact checking when I've looked at actual speaker fees slash hired speakers, none of them fall within any of those calculations. So cool calculators, you can find one online. If you're familiar with Grant Baldwin, he is also a speaking coach. He specifically teaches people how to get the speaking circuit.

He's got a calculator. I've gone through it and did that like two years ago. I'm like, oh, I'm just curious. But it came back that I should be charging, I dunno, it was something really low and I was already out there speaking for like seven times the rate that the calculator pooped out. So personal opinion, no qualms to Grant, but it's the calculator, I don't think is, don't use that as a fact. So here's what I would look at. Dorie Clark, author and pro speaker. He did a great write-up in the Harvard business review. If you're not familiar with Dorie, he wrote the book Entrepreneurial You. It's a great book. We'll link to it in the show notes. I read it a while back, but he talks about the business because of speaking and he had some really good ranges in here that I think are powerful. So shout out to Dorie, I'm going to read these again for the Harvard business review, I'll link to the article in the show notes. 

So he talks about, here's a good rule of thumb for appropriate pricing. Newbie speakers, he said might earned between 500 and $2500 for a talk. Beginning speakers or those more established for their brand with their first book, might be five to 10. With several books and you have social proof, it might be 10 to 20, and then it goes up from there. And of course, celebrities and stars, like making a ridiculous amount just for their time.

I give you these and then say like, don't get too caught up in the numbers and it's because of this. It really depends on who your audience is and who the client is that's booking you because what they're going to pay is going to be based around their budget and their perceived value of what the talk's going to do for their group.

So hear me when I say that, like, it really, really depends on the industry, on the audience, on the client. It's just cut some big, big ranges. But what I see with a lot of my clients who primarily again, have established businesses with the majority of the revenue is coming from their coaching services or digital products and programs, or they have like other areas of business where revenue is coming from, what I typically find is they're charging anywhere from 500 to 5,000 for a talk. The 5,000 are closer to people who are actually doing paid workshops and they're getting onto more of a speaking circuit kind of thing. So if you're listening to this anywhere from 500 to $2,500 for a pay talk, Is not crazy pants. That might seem like a lot of money to you. It might seem like a little money to you, but here's the thing getting paid to speak, like you get to choose what your number is. That is completely up to you. There are no rules. There are no rules around it because here's the thing. The market will tell you if it's too high, like if you have a really high rate and then you keep hitting no, no, no, no nos. Well, that's going to tell you you're charging too much. So I like the ranges that Dorie gives. I think that's really helpful to have some reference points, but ultimately you have to decide what your fees are. 

So let me walk you through a couple tips here to consider for choosing your fee, but more importantly, actually collecting that fee from a client. So number one, I want you to do your own research. It's easy for me to sit here and be like, oh, whatever the calculators are, oh, here's what this blog post says. But at the end of the day, you know your industry better than anyone else. So you have to actually dig in and see, where am I speaking, what are people who are already speaking in those places, what are they getting paid? Like what's normal. This might mean you need to network with some other people who have done speaking in the places that you want to speak at, and why don't ask them. A lot of people are willing to share. This might mean you need to look in, like do some Googling and ask a bit. I mean, just Googling how much to get paid for a speech. That's how I found this HBR review. Like you can Google that and just go read for yourself. I want you to collect the information and most importantly, don't put any of the people who write the articles, myself included, up on a pedestal that this is fact. There is no regulation. There is no like set of best practices when it comes to speaking fees. So you have to figure out what it looks like for you. And part of that is asking the question around is speaking going to be a revenue driver for your business or is speaking more of a authority positioning to help you get your name out there to sell your courses, your services, your books, whatever else that you have.

So you have to think about what your strategy is for speaking. We talk a lot about strategy on the show. Only you know what your strategy is, only you know your industry. You have to do your research. And then, tip number two, you have to make a decision. The challenge that I see that a lot of people have is they do a lot of research, but then sit in indecision. They just sit kind of going like, well, now I have all this decision and then they just sit on it and when an opportunity comes, they're like stressed because they have to make a choice. I want you to get the decision-making out of the way. 

So let's say right now you have done, let's say you did one speaking event, right, where somebody asks you to come to their event and they paid you 500 bucks. And now you're sitting here going, I really want to get paid $1,500 to speak. Do your research. Does it show you if that's a relevant thing? And when you're doing your research, you have to think about what's the value behind the content that you're bringing. Let me go off on a little tangent here and make this practical for you. If you are a, let's say you teach marketing and you teach, for me, for example, I teach people how to speak on stages with like a high degree of comfort, but also a huge degree of results, right? How do you actually get results based off of your speaking? 

So let's say that I can teach people how to drive leads back in their business and I talk to online entrepreneurs. So if I think about me being at a conference filled with my ideal clients, coaches, and course creators, and knowing that I can not only deliver really good content on stage but I really could deliver great content on the backend if those people choose to follow me. I would sell them into my programs. So I'm going off on tangent here, but you see my thinking here is like, where ultimately, where is this going to serve? Where can I serve the audience best? And where would this serve my business strategy best. But let's say, let me go back to the marketing. So let's say you teach marketing, you teach people how to generate leads for marketing and you want to talk to business owners in front of groups. Okay. If you are able to help the end user generate income based off of what they learn and apply from your talk, there's a high degree of value with that. So for example, if a company or a organization brings you in to be a speaker and you have a proven track record from your content and your talk can actually help people get results. You can then show how you can be more valuable to that organization to then be more valuable to the ultimate end users, ie., it's okay for you to charge for your talk. It's a little harder to put a price on it when you teach things like mindfulness, or habits, or how to have better self-confidence, or some of those like intangible things. There's this kind of saying in our industry where, oh, it's so easy for people to market when they help people make money but what about the other stuff? Those things are still valuable too. So just know your dollar amount that you're going to come out for yourself, you have the ability to go higher when you really can think about the value, like the tangible and perceived value of the end user. That was a little bit of a tangent there, but anyways, do your research and  then decide on your rate. 

So if you were charging, the example was, if you were charging $500 right now and you want to increase to 1500. Do your research and say, is this something that's relevant? Like are other people doing it? And how can I communicate that value? Just brainstorming that. But if you're going to charge $1,500, just make the decision that when I book a talk, it's going to be $1,500. I know that sounds really straightforward. Just say it that that's what your rate is. Okay. Just boop, that's your rate. Pick your rate. Now, tip number three is what you're not going to do is when somebody says, Hey, Heather, would you come speak to my group and can you let me know what your fee is? You were not going to reply to that email with your rate of, yeah. I'd love to, $1,500. No. Tip number three is you always discuss the opportunity on a call.

It could be a Zoom, right? Whatever you want to do, video or not video is fine, but it needs to be on a live back and forth at phone call at a minimum. This is a non-negotiable and I know this might feel super old-school, but this is really important, and here's why. People are not buying a loaf of bread off the shelf. They are not buying a box of cereal. Sure, they want to have content for an event or a learning for their team, whatever the opportunity is, but it is not a like rolling up to Costco and just filling up a flatbed. Like this is a nuance conversation where there needs to be this dance back and forth in terms of how this talk, how your content is really going to help them get what they need. I don't know, personally, I'm not just going to go do a, like a wham bam, thank you ma'am, like if somebody were just to call me and be like, hey, come deliver your generic canned talk to my group. And if I had no idea who really the group was or what the opportunity was, that's not setting me up for success because I mean, I can't have the most relevant examples and really make sure that my content lands for that specific audience. And then number two, I don't love the idea of like my content, just going out to a group of people that I don't know anything about them. Although the irony here is I know nothing about you as you're listening to the podcast here, but I can make a set of assumptions because you're on the show. Anyways, I digress. It needs to be a conversation. Okay. 

So especially if you are new to this idea of increasing your fees, get comfortable with selling. So the conversation can include something really simple where you're asking them questions. Ask them questions. Like what's the event about? What are their goals for the event? Tell me about your audience. What are you hoping to achieve from this talk? What would be, here's that magic wand question everybody asks, like if I could wave a magic wand, what would be the ideal outcome you have for people coming out of this talk? Ask, ask, ask, ask. Your goal in the conversation is to understand which means the only words coming out of your freaking mouth are questions. Questions. You want to get to know them. And then after you have a good understanding of what they're looking for and what success looks like, then you can start painting the picture back to them around how you could put something together or how your content would help serve them in those goals, would help serve them and the challenges they described with their audience. You paint the picture.

No, it's not a transactional thing of like, yeah in 60 minutes I could slam at a talk on marketing. Oh, you're gonna say, okay. So what I think would be really amazing is if we started with a group by walking them through a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Give them a little taste around what you're thinking for the content, and then you can paint the picture of, and then we'll just give him a little taste around what you're thinking to shape the content and the format. So if you're thinking, Hey, we can do like, we can do this to some of them for 45 minutes and then I'd love to bring a couple people on stage with me or do some interactivity or paint the picture. The goal here is to get them excited for them to be able to feel that, yes, this is a really great fit for our organization. It's exactly what we were looking for. You want to get them excited because then you're going to present the fee, your new price. And if they're already excited, there's going to be little questioning of what that fee is. 

So let's say previously, a week ago, your rate was $250 and today your rates a thousand dollars. When you get on the phone, if you build up that excitement and the delivery, and my fee is a thousand, you're going to have far more confidence with that because, one, you've done your research and two, you fully understand what the opportunity is. So you're going to actually deliver the rate on the phone.

Now you're sitting here, like what if they say no? So they say, no. You have to, this brings me to my next two tips. Okay. Listen to me very clearly. We're not going into full tutorial today on sales calls. Although for those of you who are in Speak up to Level up, you know we go that in detail, but I want to give you some things to consider.

Tip number four. I want you to predetermine your value adds. Predetermined your value adds. What I mean by this personally, I do not discount. I do not discount my speaking rates. It just creates a really cloudy mess instead what I focus on is if I have a client and let's say they're shy on the budget, so let's say, I quoted them, let's say 10 grand for the talk and their budget was only five, right. I'm not going to be like, oh, I can do it for five. That's not, that's out of integrity for me. That's a boundary. I'm not doing it for five because it's not fair to my other clients who paid the 10. So for that perspective, what I would think about is going, okay, I need to uncover some pieces here to determine, is it really that it's a firm budget or is there some gap in value that they're seeing?

So what I want you to think about is, are there some value adds in the digital world? We think about this as bonuses. But are there some value adds that you can bring to the table? Kind of have it actually in your back pocket should pricing be an issue, you can add some things in. I was working with a speaker years ago. I hired her to come out to our organization and she actually taught me this lesson very well. Her day rate for coming out to our organization was 18 grand, non-negotiable and we wanted to hire her up for, I think like it was like, I don't know, three days or something. So she had this non-negotiable fee. And she said something like this. She goes, I need to be in integrity with all of my clients so the fee is non-negotiable. However, what I would be willing to do is do an additional webinar for your group before the event and also after the event, just to make sure that people are well-prepared to maximize their experience over those three days. And then do that last webinar afterwards to make sure in case there's any follow-up or there's any roadblocks that comes up, we can work through those. Just to make sure you guys maximize your return on investment or whatever phrase she used. 

But what I took away from that was she was so clear of going like, Hey, this is my fee, but then she squashed the objections around, oh, are we really going to get what we're hoping to in those three days by adding that quote-unquote bonus. She didn't call it that, but she threw in two extra webinars to sweeten the pot, but also ease the apprehension, so I think you could probably do something similar. You don't have to add in a bunch of extra things and please don't start throwing this at people. Don't start giving an extra of your time, like don't make that a default, but what you could do is you could sweeten it by having a workbook to go with it or maybe you do do an extra call. You think about what's relevant for you. But what I like to predetermine is have a couple of back pocket value ads so that way you don't discount your price, but you could sweeten the pot to make the price more palatable. Maybe that's a weird way to say it, but I like the value add not the, just like subtraction of money.

Tip number five. At the end of the day, I want you to be really, really firm on your boundaries, and this comes back to a lot of things. Shout out for the boundaries episode we had last year. Go back and check that out. I'll link to it in the show notes around setting boundaries and make sure you're clear around what those are and why you need them. But in the context of this conversation, I want you to know what your boundaries are for. If they say no to your feet, do you have a lower rate that you would be willing to do it? Or do you have boundaries in terms of when to speak? Ie., for me, Thursdays are a no-go. I do not do any kind of speaking on Thursdays because that's my day with my kids. Maybe for you, it say you don't do weekends, or maybe for you, you won't travel. You only do virtual. I don't know what your boundaries are only you do, but you have to know what your boundaries are because nothing's worse if you're on a call and a client is asking you for something and you start circling around it because you're not quite sure. But if you know your firm boundaries, you can know, okay, let's say you quote, okay, it's gonna be $1,500. And they're like, ah, sorry, we actually weren't, we weren't planning on paying anything for the event. Okay. Where do you, where do you go from there? Right? That's where you get to determine, okay. Let me hear me very clear. That's where you get to determine, okay, do you want to negotiate and just say, like, or do you want to just say, okay, no, thank you. Like, I wish you all the best luck for your event. Unfortunately,this time, I'm not doing free speaking due to my prior obligations with clients but thank you so much for thinking of me. Do you want to just shut it down and see what they do? Do you want to ask some questions? Do you want to open the door for negotiation? That could sound something like that, I totally get, like for a lot of times, I wouldn't say that. Let me actually say this again. This is me thinking on my feet to answer that question. 

So let's say you get on a call. You're like it's 1500 bucks and I'm like, oh, sorry, I didn't have the budget for it. You can say, I totally appreciate that. So just to clarify in bringing in speakers, you were hoping that, like you were hoping that speakers to donate their time. And don't say it in like a passive aggressive way, just clarify, right? And then if they're like, yeah, we actually don't pay for speakers at all. Just say, okay. I really, really appreciate that. Unfortunately for me at this point in my business, I'm not in a position where I'm doing free speaking engagements outside of, I don't know, maybe you say something, but I'm just not in a position to be able to do a free speaking event that month due to the prior obligations of my existing speaking engagements or my existing clients.

Now the question for you is, you were saying the fee of $1,500 is out of the budget, but is there any wiggle room for any budget for this event? You can be bold and ask that question. Is there any wiggle room for any kind of budget? I would only ask this question or pose that back if you are willing to negotiate your fee down or, and it's an event you really, really want to do. This comes back to your boundaries. You get to make the ultimate decision. If there's an event that you really, really want to do because it's great exposure that you get in front of the right audience or you're onstage with people you want to be associated with. That might be worth saying yes by doing it for free. There's no shame in that game. Like that can be totally, totally a great thing. What you don't want to do though is have your fee and then say no, and be like, well, I think I should do it for experience and then do it anyways. Like you need to be clear around, okay, I'm doing this for like, I'm doing it for experience or I'm doing it to grow my exposure. Like just, I don't want you to be resentful for saying yes, if you do it for free. Though I will tell you, for me, I do a ton of free speaking. I am speaking on people's podcasts, speaking to people's groups. I do free speaking because, one, it's great practice, but more importantly, I speak for leads. I'm going to say this and you should too. I get in other people's groups because I want them to become familiar with my work, talk about my work with other people, and ultimately either they sign up for my newsletter or follow me on social or they refer their friends to me. That's the goal. That's why I speak. I speak to grow my business. That's the majority of the speaking that I do.

You have to decide what you do for you, but if you want to get paid, know your rate, know your boundaries and then start getting comfortable having the conversation. Do not hide behind emails. Actually get on the phone and talk through with them. Now, if you find yourself in a conversation with someone and you're not quite sure to know how to navigate it, negotiation is not going well or you're for whatever reason, not comfortable pushing back on their fee. It's okay for you to take it out and think on it. So it's okay for you to be like, okay. All right. Oh, your budget was only $300. Okay. You know, let's pretend her name is Sarah. You know, Sarah, I don't think I can, I don't think I can do it for 300. It just feels out of integrity for the rate that my other clients are paying. However, I really like, I'm really excited about this event. I would love to find a way to make it work, so let me think on it for a bit. And then, this is what I would do. Let me think on it for a bit and then would you be willing to go back and look at your budget and see if there's any wiggle room on your end? And then can we reconvene maybe at the end of the week and see if we can come up with a win-win for the both of us.

 See how that doesn't sound A-hole, it doesn't sound like I won't do it. That could be a great strategy for you to leverage if you really enjoy the person and the organization you're having this conversation with, and know the key thing that I said there was, I would like to think about it and while I would you also be willing to go back and check your budget? I mean, they hear you well. Okay. Beat on the end, their end of the budget. For so many years, I can tell you this. Any time you ask a company what their budget is, they're not going to give you the real budget. They are not giving you the real number. They are low-balling you. They're low-balling you because that's the nature of events. It's negotiation, like it is a negotiation so they are low-balling you. And if you just say like, yes, out of the gate, like if you just trust that they say, oh, our budget was 500, maybe it's true. But for the majority, it's probably not or they have a bigger budget, but they're trying to spread across other speakers so they're evaluated around. I'm going off on a tangent here, but I want you to say on the other end, as a speaker, as a business owner, I want you to be a little bit more bold and brave and weigh into the conversation and you can laugh and be like, oh, it's the muddy part. I know this is can be uncomfortable sometimes, but let's like, wait through it together and figure it out. 

You'll be fine. You will be just fine, but you first have to understand your industry and do your research till you got to make a freaking decision and say this is my rate. What's the worst that can happen? Somebody says no. Well, that's why you need to know, like you're going to have the call, right? And if they say no, that's where tip number four and five come in.. You're going to know what your values are, value adds are to sweeten the pot and you're going to know what your boundaries are so you know when to walk away or negotiate. You have the power to charge more for your speaking events should you choose to, and you now have some tips and strategies and a little structure to help you do it with more confidence.

This was a fun one. I went off on a couple of side tangents here, but my brain is so full of ideas when it comes to talking about money and increasing your fees, whether it's in your business or on talk on stages. If you found value in today's episode, if you're like, ah, this was like a good conversation. I really need to start thinking about how I can get better and more confident with this. If you think this would be a cool thing for your audience to hear or a business bestie, would you screenshot today's episode and share it, or if you're feeling a little frisky slash you're feeling very excited about this and you're going to apply some of the strategies, send me a direct message on Instagram because I actually want to hear which of these tips was the most resonating with you today. So shoot me a message over on Instagram @theheathersager. I can't wait to hear how you leverage what we covered today in your next talk and how you start making a little more money because why not? If your content warrants a pricing increase, go get it, baby. I'll see you on the next episode.

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