Speaking is a wonderful thing. It can be a career of its own, or you can use it as a tool to build your business. But, if speaking is your core business then you need to make sure you expand your platform.
Because if all you do is deliver keynote presentations, the only time you are influencing people and making money is when you are delivering a presentation. And, if you are a platform speaker who sells from the stage you are only making money when you are pitching from that stage.
Why did you get into speaking in the first place? For most, it is because they have something they know more about than anyone else and they want to share their expertise with others. It might be their own particular motivational story or some specific “how-to” steps to do something.
Whatever your special gift is, the fact that you are reading an article about speaking says you have something you feel you should be sharing with the world. And, if you are like most speakers then you want to positively impact as many people as you can.
So how can you reach people when you are not up on the stage sharing your expertise? You do this by repackaging your content into different formats that can be sold. This could be in the form of products such as books, CD or DVD sets, or Home Study Courses.
It could be in the form of putting your content within a membership site where people pay you monthly to belong to your site where they can access your training materials.
Armand expands his platform through membership sites, coaching and products.
Or it could be in the form of coaching, where you work with either an individual one-on-one or a group coaching environment where you work with several people simultaneously. Armand does this well through his many membership levels of Marketing University.
It is all about expanding your reach and whether you consider yourself a speaker first and foremost or you consider yourself a coach who does some speaking or you consider yourself an author or information marketer who speaks to expand your platform it really does not matter. You have your own “Special Sauce” you should be sharing with the world and by expanding your platform you can positively impact a greater number of people.
Most people tend to undervalue the value of the knowledge they have to share. It is tough to make it as a speaker if you are selling nothing but a $20 ebook. You have to sell a lot of $20 ebooks to make any real money.
That is why you need to have a range of products. That $20 ebook can be a great entry product for you. Or your book can fulfill the same role. But you also need to have a $50 product, a $500 product, a $2,000 product, a $5,000 product and a $10,000 product.
You need products to sell that can generate revenue for you when you are not on the platform. Now the thought of a $5,000 or $10,000 product might seem farfetched to you and I recognize that some of you may have an issue with believing you are worth that much.
But you are!
If you have specialized knowledge to share that will shortcut someone else’s route to success, then they will gladly pay you for that shortcut. Do not undervalue the benefits someone can receive by working with you.
If you are a speaker there is only a limited amount that you can teach in a 60 or 90-minute presentation. If you have additional information that you know will benefit your target audience, you are doing a disservice to your market by not making that additional information available to them in some format.
You will have to decide whether that will be via products—physical or digital or if it will be via a coaching program(s). Obviously, the higher the ticket price of a coaching program the more direct access to you the members can expect. Or, maybe it will be via a membership site.
It will probably be some combination of all the above. Some people learn best by reading. Others are auditory learners who would rather listen to you. Some may be more visual where DVDs or online videos would be a better fit. Yet others may be experiential learners who prefer to attend live events.
The more methodologies in which you can offer up your expertise the wider potential audience you will be able to reach.
Now a word of caution here—if you are going to offer coaching programs as part of your product mix. One-on-one coaching can become a tremendous time drain fairly quickly and when you are doing one-on-one coaching you are truly trading your time for dollars. It might be for big dollars, but it is still a time for money trade.
How can you leverage your time to amplify the impact you can have on others? Group coaching is one amplification method, as you now have a one-to-many situation rather than a one-on-one.
You may love coaching and obviously, the decision is ultimately yours as to how much direct access you are going to allow to people who are a member of your coaching program. But we know many speakers who burned out quickly in the one-on-one scenario, so be aware of that going in if you decide that is the route you want to go.
Another way to leverage your time is by putting your content within a membership site. You have to determine at what price point(s) you will offer memberships. If you are going after a mass market audience, a lower price point would probably be more appropriate such as $7 to $27 per month. But if your market is a very specific niche market then a higher price point can be commanded. Many coaching programs charge $500 to $1000 per month or more to belong. Again, the higher the price point typically the more amount of direct access to you the members will expect.
Repurposing is a popular topic within the information marketing world and, as a speaker, you definitely need to figure out how many different ways you can repurpose your knowledge for the marketplace. You do not have to reinvent the wheel or start with a blank piece of paper whenever you are creating content. Think about what you already have and how you can utilize it to greater impact.
Sharing your important message with the world is what it is all about. So be sure you expand your platform by sharing your expertise in as many ways as possible.
Products, both in digital and physical formats, membership sites and coaching programs are just some of the ways you can increase your reach. Be sure you incorporate as many of these message “amplifiers” into your speaking business as you are able to over time. Don’t expect that you will get it all done overnight. Just keep moving things forward, putting in piece after piece until you have built the speaking empire you want to build.