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Get More Paid Speaking Gigs | 7 Steps to £10k Engagements

Want to know how to get paid speaking engagements?

We do think of ourselves really lucky to have hit some huge speaking goals before we turned 30… but as the saying goes, you create your own luck.

So these are the 7 steps we took to level up our speaking career and ultimately get paid more for gigs, in a relatively short space of time.

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If you want to get more paid speaking engagements then this video’s for you.

We actually hit the pinnacle of our speaking career this year when we got asked to keynote Social Media Marketing World 2019 in front of 5000 of our peers.

It was a pretty big deal for us, so we wanted to talk about how we got from talking in front of 20 people at a networking event to keynoting one of the biggest events in our industry and getting 5 figure fees to speak all over the world, in less than 4 years and how you can do it too.

We do think of ourselves really lucky to have hit some huge speaking goals before we turned 30… but as the saying goes, you create your own luck.

So these are the 7 steps we took to level up our speaking career and ultimately get paid more for gigs, in a relatively short space of time.

Step 1. Attend industry events

Our business was just about breaking even, but we flew ourselves out to Social Media Marketing World 2015 on the shortest of shoe-string budgets.

It was at this point we realised that one day we wanted to keynote events just like this.

Now we didn’t attend this conference in 2015 with the aim of speaking here, but what we realised later is that it helped a lot, because what we were doing is getting to know the organisers, the other speakers, the members of the team… and just getting to know them with no ulterior motive other than they are cool people to know.

Back in the UK too we started going to a lot more events and conferences outside our city, as attendees and getting more known outside of our local area.

But what next? Well now we knew we want to be speakers, but all we’d done at this point were tiny talks at networking events, so how did we convince an event organiser to give us a shot?

Step 2. Create video

We created video, and really purposefully too… we knew that we had to show off that we were able to communicate in a one to many format, and if you want to be a speaker, then video makes wayyy more sense than a podcast or blog if you want to show that talent off.

Once we started to make a bit of an impact on video, conference organisers were interested in us.

The funny thing is our videos are super edited … yet it convinced conference organisers that we could speak because of it.

But we were waiting around to be asked, so the next thing we did was be a bit more ambitious.

Step 3. Be ambitious

The next step to get paid speaking engagements relates to ambition.

We’ve talked about our Big Domino Theory before… basically it asks: If you want to achieve a big goal what’s the biggest domino you can knock over?

We wanted to speak at the biggest most well known events in the UK, but we really wanted to speak at Social Media Marketing World bad… and what’s great about this conference is that they tell you what they want, … and we did everything they said it took to be a speaker at the event. Including:

  • Starting a YouTube channel
  • Writing a book
  • Niching down
  • Becoming more known by our community by doing guest blogs, and trainings for their Society

And we created the BEST PITCH EVER with videos and testimonials, and you know what happened? We got declined.

So we asked for feedback, we wanted to know how to improve and we pitched the next year – and we got declined again.

And we almost broke our own rule of giving up, but then they asked us. BOOM! 💥

Alright… so at this point it’s 2017… we’re speaking at SMMW and we’re doing all the UK conferences we can possibly do, but we’re not getting paid for any of it.

So, next thing we did… we were competitive.

Step 4. Be competitive

Here’s the deal… if you want to cause a buzz and create some momentum in your speaking career, then make this your aim… be the speaker everyone remembers.

That was our number one aim at this point… how do we create talks that become experiences that the audience can’t help but talk about, and remember above all the other talks they saw at that event?

As soon as we started creating those experiences and getting talked about… the more in demand we became. This meant we could start charging and turn down gigs that didn’t have any budget.

And the best way to get better at creating that audience experience is by asking the best for help.

Step 5. Asked the best for help

We got into the habit of asking people we looked up to for feedback. We asked people like Jay Baer at Social Media Marketing World… look would you mind popping your head in our room for 10 minutes and letting us know what you think?

We listened to the critique and we improved.

The person who’s had the biggest impact on our speaking career though is Mr. Drew Davis. When we first saw Drew speak we were blown away be how awesome he was… and we said to him… Drew how do we get that good?

Drew not only helped us make that audience experience a million times better, but he taught us our 6th step…

… to come up with unique concepts.

Step 6. Come up with unique concepts

Here’s the deal. Anyone can preach tips and tricks and recycle concepts from other speakers, but the best speakers we’ve learned have unique thoughts.

Drew helped us move away from just ‘tips and tricks’ that anyone could do to talks like the 90:10 Rule, and The Entrepreneurs Catch 22… and it’s these types of talks that you can charge wayyy more for.

Drew calls this Visionary vs. Expertville, and you can apply it to loads, not just talks. In fact, this is exactly what Drew will be talking about at ATOMICON 2020, so we cannot wait for him to teach you how to be more visionary.

Now all this stuff has really helped us, but the one thing we’ve always being is never be scared to jump on opportunities.

Step 7. Don’t be scared to follow opportunities

You’re going to get knock-backs, and no’s – especially if you’re ambitious and want to grow quickly… we’ve had a ton.

But you can’t take it personally and you can’t let it stop you from trying.

At Youpreneur Summit last year we did our 90:10 rule talk, and after it Jay Baer came up to us and said… guys that was incredible – I’ve just text Mike Stelzner and told him you guys need to keynote Social Media Marketing World.

In our heads at that moment we thought… wow that’s really cool, but we have no chance this year… we thanked Jay and let it go.

A few weeks later Andrew went for a wee and he came back and he said to me, “I’ve been thinking. We should send Mike and Phil…” I finished his sentence… “our Youpreneur recording”… I had been thinking exactly the same thing…

So we emailed them the link, and told them that if we were on the table, we were 100% ready and would give it our all… and here’s the talk that Jay saw.

Within an hour we found out we were in the running, and a couple weeks later we were announcing it.

So if you want to be a speaker… get to know the people in your industry by attending events, show what you can do on video, be ambitious, be competitive, ask the best for help, come up with unique concepts, and don’t be scared to follow opportunities.

That’s our story – that’s how we did it, and we know these things will help you to get more paid speaking engagements too! 💪