For Speakers: Ten Tips on How to Increase Your Fees

One of the most important tools speakers use is their FEE SCHEDULE. Here are ten tips to help you increase your attractiveness and income, while communicating exactly what you offer and clarify your fees for your programs, products, and services.

1. Change the title. Previously referred as a FEE SCHEDULE. These two words have gathered a quiet negative energy over the years. In order to make your fees more attractive, change the name. This energizes your attractiveness and shows how you are different. Here are a few noun substitutes to spark your brainstorming. Schedule: Menu, catalog, list. Example Fee Menu, Fee Catalog, Fee List. Fee: Compensation, cost, rate. Examples: Compensation Menu, compensation catalog, compensation list, cost menu, cost catalog, cost list, rate menu, rate catalog, rate list.

2. Include your photo at the top of your schedule

3. At the top also include an expiration line: Example: "These fees are good for programs booked before _____date (or expire on ____)." Expire your schedule frequently to allow for increases. Ninety days is the normal expiration period.

4. We have found that selling time is the easiest way for independent professionals to offer their services. People understand this way of thinking because many jobs pay by the hour. You don't want to get involved with tracking minutes and seconds. You can do this by quoting your hourly rate in this manner: Up to 1 hour $____. Up to 2 hours $____. Up to 3 hours (or 1/2 day) $____. Up to 6 hours (or full day) $____.

5. Be sure to list all your time or product packages. List any additional or possible programs for the same events. Examples: Managers Meetings, Spouse Program, additional breakouts, vendor education for trade shows at the event. List any document customization fees and recording rights.

6. If you work with meeting planners and bureaus, enlist their experience and suggestions. Let them review and provide you with feedback on your schedule. They know the market and continually compare speakers' schedules.

7. Create a PDF file for e-mailing your schedule. Or create a complete marketing package that includes your fee schedule and turn into a pdf file.

8. When presenting your services to a meeting planner, visualize that person looking at a giant chart on the wall which lists all the different times and programs planned at their event, but that are not yet scheduled. Ask the meeting planner if he or she has any unfilled time slots available on the day you are scheduled. Then suggest a second program for managers or the sales team. This helps them because they have to book less speakers, cuts their planning time considerably, and usually saves money on travel expenses and hotel rooms.

9. Meeting planners discourage back-of-the-room sales because they do not want you to use "paid" time to push those materials. Instead, sell them separately through their educational materials budget. Add your educational materials to your schedule (books, workbooks, audio programs, subscriptions) with any quantity discounts (10-15%). Include special "program only" package opportunities as well. Place these in the center of your schedule. List shipping separately in a footnote.

10. Speakers are now asking for a flat fee for their travel expenses. This provides flexibility for the speaker and saves the meeting planner time.

Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://abundance.blogs.com

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