ST from NY writes:
I’ve been asked to speak for a group that does not pay the speaker an honorarium. They suggest that speaking at their event provides exposure. What is the trade-off between exposure and compensation? Is there a bottom line that I should not dip below?
There are times when it may makes sense to speak for a reduced fee or no fee. It depends upon the opportunity and the possibilities for spinning off additional business from the “exposure”. I would hold up the opportunity against your business plan and goals to determine if there is a good likelihood that it can help bring you additional speaking opportunities, consulting clients or help you sell product. Being seen by attendees as an expert in your topic area could be leveraged into new business. One way to leverage this “exposure” is to harvest email addresses from attendees so you are able to immediately market to them.*
Another method is to utilize a table at the back of the room where you lay out flyers for attendees to take with them. Offer a “speech day” special rate on your products. Or offer a special rate for any consulting program scheduled this quarter.
Visit the organization’s website to determine who spoke for their conference in the past year. Reach out to one or more of these colleagues to learn more about their experiences. Were they able to successfully leverage the opportunity into new speaking or consulting business or sell product. In their experience, was the typical attendee likely to invest in their practice?
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* Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Harvesting Attendee Emails” in the subject line to receive details instructions for collecting email addresses from attendees.