If you are getting started as a speaker and can't decide what to charge, here are some tips. Remember, a speaker doesn't base his or her price on cost of goods sold. Rather, a speaker fee is usually based on what the market will bear. But, if you're new to the game, how do you know the answer to that question?
It should be fairly easy to compare yourself to similar speakers and people who speak at similar events. Try to attend events where these other people speak so you can gauge your content compared to theirs.
When someone calls to inquire about your fee, delay giving it to them. Say something like, "I'd love to give you a fair price. First, please tell me more about your event."
Ask if they have had a speaker at last year's event and if so, who? This may be an indicator of how much money they have to pay you. Ask how much money they've have budgeted for a speaker. Get as much information as possible before quoting your fee. More rules of thumb:
- If they have no budget, speak for a stipend and "soft money" benefits like a video recording of your speech or some sort of barter trade.
- If you can't determine the client's budget, quote a fee based on how many people are attending the event. If you're just starting out, quote at least $1,000 for speaking to 50 people. For 100 people, quote $2,000 and for 200 people, quote at least $3,000.
- Try to not price yourself out of the gig by saying something like, "I'll do my best to work with your budget."
- Never quote a fee without giving a benefit.
For more information on speaking and how it can work for you, consult my 30-page e-book, The Lifestyle of a Speaker/Author. It's part of my FastLearnerAudio4 program for entreprenuers.