Easy Solution To Quoting Fees As A Motivational Speaker

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Quoting Fees Doesn’t Have To Be Painful When You’re A Motivational Speaker

Knowing what to quote as a motivational speaker is often difficult.  Makes sense. This isn’t a career where the path is mapped out for us. Each speaker has a different business model that most of us just stumbled on, unique to each speaker. Even when you do figure out what you charge, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Depressed yet?

But it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think, if you at least do this one thing…….

…….. Stop thinking you have to have one fee.

I know there are some who are gasping in horror (mostly agents and bureaus) at the idea that we would not quote the same fee to everybody.  But this is business. And many businesses negotiate.  So do most speakers out there. I know because we all talk.

I quote my fees based on all factors involved – not factors I randomly chose to make sure it looked like my negotiation made sense in my mind – but REAL factors. I base my fee on how many people are in the audience, where I have to go, how much work I have to do, how empty my calendar is, the potential for spin off, the potential for media exposure, what kind of audience it is, and even whether it will be fun or a colossal pain in the butt.  And when they don’t have the fee I quote, then we barter.

But that’s not the conversation I want to have today.  This isn’t about how much your fee should be – this about the idea that you can have more than one fee.

What if you didn’t have one fee for your services, but several different packages, adding more value with each package.

My friend and fellow speaker, Laurie Guest, calls it her Sweet Spot Pricing, and has completely changed my perspective on quoting fees. And here is why it is so valuable….

When a client calls me, I have no idea what their budget is. I have seen budgets ranging from nothing to $20,000 from the people who have reached out to me. I’m not a fan of asking them how much they have, so often I’m going in blind. But it doesn’t matter, because I have created packages to fit a variety of budgets with something for almost everyone.  They pick the one that best fits their budget. There are some happy side effects besides the obvious one of giving your client choices…

1.  It keeps your client from walking away because you quoted one fee and they didn’t have it.  I have had clients walk away because they had $100 less than the fee I quoted.  I don’t want them walking away.  They may not have had that one number you quoted, but there’s a good chance they can come close.

2. It opens the door for negotiation. Giving the clients choices and options relaxes them and gets them used to the idea of choices. Many clients will like parts of one package and parts of another – so you can figure out a package that works for both of you.

3. They find more money or have more than you anticipated.  Sometimes a package will show a client something you can do that they haven’t thought of – or even something that they can pay for from another budget.  For example, I may have a package that includes TWO keynotes instead of just one. The client hasn’t booked their second keynote speaker yet, and realizes they can actually save money by having me do both, taking away their need to pay another speaker. (Sorry other speaker.)  Or maybe you include gifts for the audience, and they have a separate budget for gifts.

So how do you incorporate this into your business model?

It starts with making a list of everything you have that can add value. EVERYTHING. Even if you are giving it away right now for free — turn it into an option. Try to think of things that won’t cost you money. Can you write some articles for their newsletter? Can you follow up with a teleseminar? Can you do another session? Can you give away a coaching session while you’re there or later on the phone?  Use your imagination.

Turn your current fee into a basic package for one speech.  Then just create more packages with more value and higher prices.

Some people will even create a discounted package (below their normal fee) that has a reason for its discount. For example, you can get this discounted price if you find me another job in your area while I’m there.

I realize that this blog post brings up a whole other host of questions. But for today, I want to stop here and get you thinking in this new direction.  Go get out some paper and start brainstorming. And if you have any questions, just shoot me an email to [email protected] and I’ll see if I can answer.

Have a lot of questions about the speaking business? Join me in Kelly’s Super Cool Secret Speaker Clubhouse, where I will be sharing everything I know about the art and business of speaking all year. Join the clubhouse, and every time I come up with a new idea, it will automatically be added to your clubhouse membership. So this is EVER GREEN!  Join us and watch your business soar!

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