By Anne Bonney, Anne Bonney Enterprises, NSA MI President-elect and MSA2020 Marketing Coordinator
Dr. Margarita Gurri, CSP, shimmied into the room, her energy and sparkle evident right away. She’s a newer member of our Michigan Chapter, but no newby to the speaking world or National Speakers Association, and she was at the Michigan Speakers Academy to talk to us about one of the 4 Es of Professional Speaking: Enterprise, or the business part of being a professional speaker.
Dr. Red Shoe (Dr. Gurri’s brand alter ego) walked us through the basics of creating a strategic business objective. Then, of course, sales, and an understanding of what we’re selling, who wants it, and what problems it solves. This is an important link in your business. We all know where our passionate expertise lies, but often we don’t connect it to the person who will be handing us the money! It’s important to figure out where you fit in your market, so you can solve the problem your audience is experiencing.
We talked about fees, and how we would collect money. First of all, we’ve got to be easy to work with by asking our clients what method of payment works best for them, and being able to accommodate that preference. Of course, that means being able to take payment online in a professional way. Then we need ways to track payments, and, of course, report and pay taxes: important business aspects to consider, and a very different skill set than the stage part that we love.
We talked about Marketing, and taking advantage of the contacts you have to build more business. Lastly, we talked about contracts, and making sure you and the client have all the information needed and agreed upon to be successful.
The business of speaking is a lot more than just getting up and sharing great information. I’m so glad MSA is guiding me through the setup, because it’s a lot to figure out alone.
Oh, and ask Margarita about the shoulder shimmy and her red shoes at the next chapter meeting. It’s a pretty spectacular story.
About the Author
Anne Bonney cast off her corporate shackles in the fall of 2015 with bright-eyed optimism, planning to get back to her 6-figure income within 6 months of being a new professional speaker. With her ego and furniture in storage, she struggled for two years before she finally got sick of eating ramen noodles and signed up for some help! She’s far from where she wants to be, but is finally making a living as a professional speaker, and is happy to report that she hasn’t eaten ramen in almost two years.
You can learn more about Anne Bonney at annebonney.com.