Last updated on June 30th, 2019 at 04:19 pm
Writing on 8WomenDream about my public speaking dream is an honor. I get to dream out loud. And I get to dream with other women who have linked arms to share their big dream journeys.
And I get to dream with YOU–the reader–that woman (or man) sitting out there in your quiet corner of the world, with your sweet dream–wishing and hoping, right along with me.
As I write this article, I’m not just writing to those of you who dream of being a successful keynote speaker; I’m also writing for the visitor who wants to make a dream come true–the one who is still wishing upon a star. Some parts of this article may feel like it doesn’t apply to those of you just at the star-wishing phase of your dream, but some parts will resonate with all dreamers–regardless of where you are.
If you are someone with a cherished dream, you need to search for and find the encouragement you will need, the wisdom you seek, and the knowledge that you aren’t alone on your quest to do what you are being called to do. I’m honored that you’re here looking for inspiration.
My topic today is about creating products to sell and accepting that the “message” you send out into the world will take many different shapes.
And by “message,” I mean what it is that you are sharing with the world, whether it’s a speech, your style of cooking, how you’ve mastered living bravely, your unique type of photography, your world travels, your quirky style of music–your gifts. For at the core of every dream is the desire to share your message with the world.
Don’t Lock Yourself Into One Dream Path
Because I was the picked-on kid, I grew up with this idea that to be successful meant you had to look like everyone else. How wrong I was! I learned that the very thing that made me different would be the thing that makes me a successful motivational speaker.
I think everyone has a natural tendency to look around, see what others are doing, and copy it.
You see one path someone is using that seems to be going well, and you think you should follow it. But dreams take different paths, different shapes, and end up in different places. It’s important to know that you will create your unique dream and forge your unique path. Yes, you will still learn from others (like me).
You will still hear new ideas and try them yourself.
But the real key to reaching your dream goal is defining a dream that works for YOU. So fight the urge to say things like, “I’m a good writer, so I must have a book published that is a top recommendation on Amazon.”
No. This may not be your path.
You may start a blog that becomes wildly successful that becomes a popular podcast where you end up doing what you love every day, and you never get a book on Amazon’s recommended books list.
My point is this: Step back from your dream, and see it from a bigger picture. See it as more than what you think it should look like, or what you’ve seen it look like for others. Get out of the box. See the message from a bigger perspective. See what you want to bring to people. See how your gifts meet a need people have.
What is it that I am giving to the world? How does my dream fit their lives? What is my universal message? And who needs to hear it?
The reason that I am asking this question is that I want you to see your dream from a bigger perspective. I don’t want you to focus on something tiny like “I want to publish a book that is popular on Amazon” but something more significant like “I want to help young girls see the power they possess beyond the outer appearance.”
When you can see your dream from higher up, it makes it easier to create a product to sell because instead of being laser focused on one specific path, and you open yourself up to more possibilities–more ways to share your unique message with the world.
You can get laser-focused later.
Once you have defined what it is you have to offer to the world, think of all the ways that you can deliver your message. Think of who your market is, and everywhere they reside.
Where do they spend their time?
What are their channels of communication?
How can you get in front of them?
How can you enter their world?
And then you make a list of all the many ways your message can be re-purposed, repackaged, presented to your audience in different ways–sometimes with varying methods of saying the same thing. For today’s post, I will focus on motivational speaker’s product ideas as an example of ways you can share your message with your tribe. Be encouraged to find ways that aren’t on my list below.
That’s the point.
8 Ways for Speakers to Create Products to Sell
1. Public Speaking.
You deliver your message live in front of a group. That’s your most prominent product. Don’t neglect it. Be a good speaker, and selling product will naturally follow. People see you, and they want to take a piece of you home.
By the time I was creating a product, my audience was begging for a product from me. I was the product, and I needed to expand my product line beyond me giving speeches.
2. Recorded Speeches.
They can buy a copy of you giving your speech–live or recorded in a studio.
3. Live Speech Recordings.
These are harder to get due to quality issues and expense. But every time you give a speech, you have the chance to record it by audio or video. You can record it yourself by hiring a video crew (which I don’t recommend until you have thousands of dollars to invest and a close-to-perfect venue) or by using some digital recorder clipped to your collar.
Even if the whole thing isn’t great, pieces of it will be. And also pieces/clips can be turned into product somewhere else like radio, blog radio, mp3’s, as part of other packages, or piecing them together in a collection.
Start getting in the habit of asking all your clients if they can record your speech. Sometimes this can be a bartering tool in negotiations. Many clients already have the equipment to make this happen. I tell my clients that they can use the video in whatever way they want, as long as they give me a copy.
But you might decide to come to some agreement that you are comfortable with. It is your content, after all. Later you can pull out the pieces you like. Or hire someone, like a wedding videographer, to take the pieces and put them together in a better way.
4. Studio Speech Recordings.
These are so easy to do. And with technology where it is today, you shouldn’t even need to go into a recording studio. Record yourself telling your speech, or making your points. If you are a speaker, you should have an endless amount of material. And it shouldn’t be any problem recording it.
The fact that there isn’t a live audience doesn’t matter. The people are buying your information–not the experience. These speech recordings can be packaged in any way that your consumer might get their information: DVD, CD or set of CDs, MP3, iTunes, Teleseminar, Podcast, Webinar.
5. The Book.
Everybody wants to write a book, and most people are freaked out about it. A book is fantastic, and these days can be self-published for very little expense, without even having to buy any inventory. I’m a massive fan of CreateSpace.com.
For some, writing a book is a daunting task–so daunting they never get around to doing it. Don’t worry if you think your book won’t be good enough.
Write it anyway.
If you stand behind your material on stage, why shouldn’t you stand behind it in print?
Your book can be thick and content heavy, or it can be a book of light, funny stories, or even a book of devotions or encouraging messages. Cookbooks are great sellers. And so are funny cartoon books. But if the idea of writing a book still freaks you out, then write a workbook instead. You won’t feel as much pressure. And you can always sell it for the same amount, sometimes even more.
One day I will take the posts on this blog and put them together in a book. So I’m using the blog to write my book. (Wouldn’t it be cool to do this, and then in your book, actually include some of the comments from the blog?)
6. The Workbook / E-Book.
These are easy to create (again, CreateSpace). Just think of it as an extensive handout. This is where you get to put all those things you didn’t get to say on stage, with lots of white space for them to take notes. I like to customize my workbooks for the customer, changing the cover and a couple of critical parts, but the rest stays the same.
7. Other People’s Books.
Yes, you heard me right. You can always sell someone else’s book that your audience would like, with a message similar to yours. Find a speaker who will sell to you at a discounted price or who is willing to enter into an affiliate relationship with you. That way, both of you win. Nobody said the book has to be yours.
8. Fun Gadgets That Relate To Your Message or Theme.
My theme is fairy tales, the title of my first book is “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale,” I open my speech talking to a mirror, and I deliver a message about believing in who you see when you look in the mirror. One of my phrases is
“You are not the reader of your fairy tale, you are the author.”
We’ve created products like mirrors with that phrase on them, bags, purses, etc. Anything that can be printed on (you want your information and maybe one of your nugget phrases) is an excellent opportunity to sell. I’ve seen people sell bedazzled T-shirts, gag gifts, greeting cards, note cards, mugs.
If photography or art is part of your dream, you can create note cards with your artwork on them. The key is not to spend a lot of money until you know it’s going to sell.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. I’m sure if you got creative, you could come up with even more. And then when you have several things created, you can package them together and sell for a discounted price. People buy more when they’re getting a deal.
Now I can hear you saying, “But how much do I charge for this stuff?”
And that depends on you, your audience, and what sells. I’ve seen some speakers create an extensive product and sell it for hundreds of dollars, and I’ve seen some create smaller cost items at a low price and sell out every time. Look around. Do some research. See what other speakers are charging. See what a book on Kindle costs, what MP3s cost, etc. Do what feels useful to you. And it’s okay to play around with your pricing until you see what works.
Okay? And don’t freak out; don’t put it off any longer. A “nothing fancy” product is better than no product. And once you start selling, and seeing your income grow, it will become fun!
Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, motivational speaker, published author and TV personality who is passionate about helping women harness the power of their stories to connect, influence, and get the results they dream of accomplishing. Laughing the whole way, Kelly teaches women how to master the art of connection through the power of strategic storytelling. You can find her on The Fashion Hero show airing Fall of 2017 on Amazon Prime or on her website MotivationalSpeakerKellySwanson.com.
Note: Articles by Kelly may contain affiliate links and 8WD or Kelly will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.