Getting paid to speak is often a challenge that we hear about from speakers.
When conference organizers have no or low budgets, speakers feel their expertise is not valued. They often have their fee negotiated to next to nothing.
Thankfully, there are many strategies to overcome this challenge. Speakers CAN be paid to speak!
In this article, we'll explore how collaborating with companies and corporate sponsors can bring you your full speaking fee, plus more.
How Corporate Sponsorship Can Help You Generate More Income and Impact:
Sponsorship is a relationship whereby a brand (a company) provides an in-kind or cash investment in exchange for some kind of marketing… yes, it’s a marketing relationship.
The brand is using their marketing dollars to get ROI (return on investment), and what that ROI might be is different for each sponsor in terms of what they want to get out of the relationship. Sponsors may be looking for a focus or combination of marketing benefits:
- Building brand awareness or brand promotion opportunities
- Creating connections and deepening relationships with a new audience (your audience)
- Being seen or associated with a specific theme (such as brands that support wellness at work)
- Making sales or finding new clients
- Generating sampling opportunities (where your audience can sample their products)
Here’s the crucial part.
You find out what sponsors need and value by building a relationship with them and having conversation and dialogue (not pitching what you think they will want). By realllllly listening to what they say they need, you can exchange valuable and marketable ideas on how you, your brand, and/or your projects and big dreams can help them achieve their goals.
When you can demonstrate your understanding of their needs and how you can serve them, that’s when a collaborative agreement can be reached where they may sponsor your speaking fee (or any number of needs you might have) in exchange for helping them with their marketing goals.
Sponsorship Opportunities Above and Beyond Getting Paid to Speak
Not only can you get paid to speak through sponsorship, but there are many in-kind needs sponsors can help you achieve in creative ways. Another group of students in a mastermind call that we led for speakers came up with a few ideas of what they needed sponsored for a speaking tour they were doing.
Here are examples of what in-kind needs they hoped to have sponsored:
- Workbooks and handouts for the audience
- DJ and AV for the event
- Mascot for youth and school events
- Development of an app
- Graphic design
- Wrap advertising for a vehicle
- Supplies needed for a speaking tour
- Professional support like PR, branding
The group also created a list of the many ways they, in turn, could recognize sponsors and connect sponsors to their audience.
Imagine… if you are not spending money on printing, AV, graphic design, clothing, shipping, or marketing (to name a few), then sponsorship can increase your overall bottom line. These types of collaborative business relationships help you also help you build your influence and create wins for everyone involved.
Want to learn more?
Check out our Grow Your Speaking Business Through Sponsorship program.