I have a bit of a quirky confession for you…
When I was a kid, even though I’m a girl, I used to watch Wrestlemania, and the tag team matches were always some of my favorites. Each wrestler would do his (or her) part, taking on the opponent, leveraging their strengths, and then they’d tag their match partner to come in and take over when the tide was turning and they saw the win within sight, but maybe their skill-set wasn’t the best one to finish the job.
My favorite way to work with speakers was always a tag-team method.
They do their part, I do my part — and in the end, if we play our cards right, we win by working together.
And it’s not a win-lose scenario with the client on the losing side, either, like in a wrestling match.
The way we always played the game was for the triple-win scenario: the speaker was happy, the client was happy, and I was happy, too.
If someone isn’t happy in a deal, something in the deal is going to go awry, 9 times out of 10.
So it’s really important to work together as a team and find the happy medium, where everyone feels like they came away with something they wanted.
Knowing which parts you should play and which parts your sidekick should play are crucial to your success.
After all, speakers are a lot like actors, in most cases. Let me explain…
I saw an interview at Oxford Union with Kit Harrington (the actor who plays Jon Snow on Game of Thrones) and in it, he talked about why he believes he gets paid to act.
He said that he would gladly be on set and do the acting for free, but what he gets paid for is his loss of anonymity and privacy, the “price of fame” so to speak.
And that’s exactly how most of the talent (whether speakers or actors) tend to think, most of the time, especially when they’re passionate about what they do.
And that’s why most talent needs an agent to handle their negotiations once they’re in the “big” business, otherwise they’d still probably never get paid, because they still love it that much.
You have to determine what exactly you get paid for, especially if you love doing it so much that you’d speak for free.
I once worked with an author who was still taking gigs for $1,000 or $2,000 when we first met. He loved speaking so much that he would take free gigs quite often, too. And he was a best-selling author, too, who had every right to command higher numbers. But he wasn’t completely on board with that belief yet, himself.
My objective when working with him was to turn that around. Not just the fee structure but his beliefs about it, too.
And by working together, we did!
Using this tag-team method, we got his going rate up to $20,000 within 3 years.
The exact how-to of that process, I can’t give away for free. (Sorry!) I reserve that kind of juicy goodness for my individual clients.
But I share that success story now, to inspire you to believe that YOU can do this, too! It is possible.
If you’re dedicated to your craft and you team up with the right person to help you follow the right path for you, you can get there, too.
I want to see you get there someday, too. And soon!