Speaking: The Best Way to Market Your Book

I’ve always believed that speaking and authoring books go together, like peas and carrots, hamburgers and fries, or BBQ and college football. You pick your analogy.

In early 2005, Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic convinced me of this very fact when he implored me to start Advantage. Pat wanted me to help professional speakers write and publish a book that built their credibility and made it easier to get hired to speak.

Luckily, I listened. Advantage’s origins are deeply rooted in the speaking business. It was at the 2005 NSA conference in Atlanta where Advantage launched, and where we signed our very first publishing contract with then fledgling speaker Steve Gilliland.

Over the past 8 years, more than 100 Advantage authors have directly asked for help and resources in building a professional speaking business. It only makes sense. The best way to promote your book is by speaking, AND, having a book makes it easier to get booked while simultaneously empowering you to command a higher speaking fee. The books you can sell in the back of the room are icing on the cake. Whether you are speaking for free or fee, speaking is a great way to promote yourself, your book, and your business.

But, given the choice, I suppose everyone reading would prefer to speak for fee. As the old saying goes, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Given the choice, I’d prefer to be rich.” That said, speaking for fee in quantity and quality of engagements is no easy feat. There are myriad “gurus” out there teaching you how to speak, when in fact, they don’t speak themselves. Simply put, there are few good resources.

I mentioned Steve Gilliland, CSP, CPAE earlier. Over the past 5 years, Steve has delivered 584 paid speaking engagements and generated over $7 million in speaking fee income. Steve has earned another $2.5 million in pre-purchase and back-of-the-room book sales. If anyone is qualified to teach you how to build a speaking business, it is Mr. Gilliland.

At your request, Advantage has partnered with Steve to launch Speaker U™, an online university that teaches you how to build a substantial, sustainable and profitable speaking business. Speaker U™ includes 10 courses, a total of 40 lessons, of self-paced online learning and over 250 forms, templates, and marketing materials that you need to build your speaking business. Speaker U™ provides a “paint-by-numbers” approach, giving speakers the tools they need to actually build a speaking business. It is one thing to say “do this,” another to say “use this!”  Enroll in Speaker U™ today by visiting SpeakerU.com.

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