Should you say "no" to that speaking opportunity?

“Will you be a speaker at our upcoming conference? We can’t afford to pay you, but you’ll have TONS of exposure! Whatcha think?”

As an entrepreneur, how many times have you heard this line? It never gets old for me. And, I am always honored whenever I receive an invitation. Still, to stay competitive and business-growth focused, it’s critical to know when to say “No, thanks”. Otherwise, we risk wasting a lot of time and a lot of effort.

This girl has zero time for that mess. None of us entrepreneurs do.

For me, speaking at events is one of the most effective marketing tools I use to grow my business. I am consistently amazed at how one unpaid speaking engagement can turn into a $20,000 coaching contract with a new client. Yep, true story…and it keeps happening in many ways.

But this wasn’t always the case for me. I’ve likely given over 100 talks in my career. Sadly, I missed many opportunities early on in my business to get more value out of my speaking engagements – both free and paid. I had no idea how to generate additional income from speaking engagements…how to ask for what I wanted…how to get paid…how to add crazy big value for my audience so they’d keep coming back for more. It took me a while to figure it all out, and I continue to learn. Now, though, I have a kick-ass, proven (it works!) approach that I always share with my entrepreneur clients on how to avoid the same mistakes I made so they can jump right to getting what they want out of each speaking opportunity.

It all starts with one very important question we need to ask when we receive any request or opportunity:

“Am I flattered, or am I interested?”

See, it’s wonderful, great and exciting when we feel flattered…it’s entirely another thing to be interested. To be interested, mama needs to get compensated in some way, get exposure to the right people, get access and get new leads. Am I right? It’s nice to speak to an audience…it’s awesome to grow your business while doing it!

When we can quickly determine if a speaking opportunity is precisely what we want or need for our business growth, we can springboard to a place where we’re creating demand for our service and subject matter expertise, receiving more value for our engagement, and knowing exactly how we’re going to grow our business by leveraging each speaking opportunity.  That’s a pretty powerful position to be in. 

Remember, always ask the question: “Am I flattered or am I interested?” The answer may surprise you – and lead you down a path of more income and big opportunities.

Boom…make it rain, ya’ll!