4 Insider Tips to Get Booked on More Stages

When you want to get booked on more stages, it helps to know some insider tips and trends from experts in the speaking business. I recently sat down with Joe Heaps, CMO of eSpeakers, who dished out tons of ‘ahas’ on what to do if you want to grow your speaking business. Here are 4 of the biggest takeaways from our conversation.  

Tip #1: Stop Talking About Your Credentials  

The number one misstep that Joe sees early speakers make is focusing their speaker press kits and demo videos on their credentials rather than on what they can do for the audience. I’ve made this mistake too. Often, the first page of a speaker press kit is a bio that talks all about the speaker’s achievements. But meeting planners need to know, right up front, what you’re going to do for them and their audience. 

Joe calls these “audience benefit statements.” These are the payoffs and takeaways your audience will leave with after your session. Start with the audience in mind and clearly state what benefits they will get from your speech.  

For example, instead of leading with “AJ Vaden is a successful entrepreneur and speaker,” you might say, “In this session, you’ll learn actionable strategies to boost your personal brand and increase your visibility in the market.” 

Tip #2: Make Smooth Transitions in Your Bio 

Another common mistake is failing to transition smoothly from the benefit statements to your bio. Instead of abruptly switching to “I’m a New York Times bestselling author,” weave your credentials into the proof of your benefit statements.  

For instance, after stating that you provide engaging and humorous content, transition with, “As a 20-year stand-up comedian, I know how to captivate an audience.” This way, your bio serves as evidence of your expertise and enhances your credibility without disrupting the flow. 

Tip #3: Get Yourself a Demo Video 

When it comes to demo videos, there’s a lot of debate about the ideal length and content. Joe shared a key insight: meeting planners often prefer short clips, around 30 seconds to two minutes, showcasing you in action on stage. These clips should highlight your best content, audience engagement, and reactions.  

Avoid including testimonials or extensive introductions. If you want to add those elements, place them after the initial two-minute showcase or create separate videos. The goal is to let meeting planners see you doing your thing, right from the start. 

Tip #4: Set & Scale Your Speaking Fees 

One of the most common questions for aspiring speakers is how to set their fees. Joe offered some practical advice: if you’re just starting out, focus on speaking as much as possible. Getting paid is a bonus. Say yes to opportunities, whether they pay $50 or $500. The more you speak, the more you’ll speak—meaning the more opportunities will come your way. 

For beginner speakers, typical fees range from $2,500 to $3,000. As you gain more experience and demand increases, your fees will naturally rise. According to Joe, the average speaker on eSpeakers, who has systems in place and speaks frequently, earns between $7,500 and $10,000. Speakers earning over $10,000 usually have had some significant content go viral, have a bestselling book, or climbed Mount Everest in a bikini.  

The More You Speak, the More You Speak  

As you set out to build your speaking career over the next 12 months, remember to focus on what you can do for your audience, craft engaging and concise demo videos, and be flexible with your fees as you gain experience.  

And if you want to dive deeper into these tips, check out the full episode with Joe Heaps on the Influential Personal Brand podcast. 

Hey there!

I'm AJ Vaden

I am an entrepreneur, lover of all things creative and very proud boy mom. I am into personal development, spreadsheets and have a weird fascination with taxes. I write and talk on personal branding, entrepreneurship, business and life.  

P.S. I love Jesus, and I talk about my faith a lot. Just know that going in.

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