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What Does It Take to Build A Successful Speaking Business Today?

Shawn Ellis, Creator of Succeed Speaking

Opportunities abound, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We can help!

Join the Succeed Speaking community for:

  • Expert insights and advice from a veteran speaker agent, manager and marketing coach
  • “Real world” business strategies to help you have more fun, reach more people, and make more money in your speaking business
  • Encouragement and motivation to do what needs to be done to get your message to more people

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5 Reasons Every Speaker Should Write A Book

[NOTE: This post contains affiliate links to free resources, which means I may be paid a commission if you choose to purchase any products for sale on the external sites. Thank you for reading.]

If you’re a speaker, or if you want to speak, you should write a book.

(You’ve probably heard that before.)

But if, having heard that, you still don’t have a book, it’s probably because:

  1. You aren’t really that serious about this speaking thing, or
  2. You don’t believe you really need a book, or
  3. You hate writing, suck at writing, or just don’t have time for writing.

Since you’re reading this, I’m betting that it’s not reason #1.

It’s probably not #2. (But if it happens to be, you’ll soon have five good reasons to get published, pronto.)

I’m betting the reason you haven’t published a book yet is because of something in #3.

Believe me, I get it. I’ve been working on a book for the past two years. It’s a struggle.

Thankfully, I just discovered an awesome book, Book Launch: How to Write, Market & Publish Your First Bestseller in Three Months or Less AND Use it to Start and Grow a Six Figure Business, which is both motivational and practical… so now I know what I need to do!

If you need that kind of help, too, then… DON’T go buy this book!

No, sign up for the author’s FREE Self Publishing School video series and you’ll get a copy of the Book Launch ebook, too! (The videos are only up for a limited time, though, so you’ll want to jump right on it.)

Chandler Bolt is the guy behind it all, and he’s written five bestsellers and built a business that’s closing in on seven figures this year… so he’s clearly got a few things figured out!

Now, back to speaking…

You’ve heard that you need a book. But why?

Here are five reasons a book will be a tremendous help to your speaking business:

  1. Credibility. Let’s face it, if the words, “Speaker and Author of…” follow your name, you’re automatically taken more seriously than another candidate who is just described as a “Speaker.”
  2. Lead Generation. One of the hardest things for any speaker starting out is marketing — getting the word out about who you are and what you do. Guess what? A book does that for you! Chandler, the author of Book Launch and creator of the Self-Publishing School videos, said, “Prior to writing my first book, I had very little experience speaking or coaching, but within months of publishing my first book, I was getting paid to do both.”
  3. Income. Who couldn’t use some extra money? In the “old days” (as recently as just a few years ago), you wouldn’t hear much about a book becoming a substantial revenue stream for an author. Now, though, you can sell a short book (30-60 pages) on Amazon for $2.99/ea. and potentially make thousands of dollars a month. In Book Launch, Chandler tells the story of one author who consistently makes $30-60k in passive income each month from his books. Chandler himself said, “Within a year of writing my first book, I built a 6-figure business off of one measly, little 54-page book.” In any case, you don’t want to set up your business where speaking is your ONLY revenue stream. Whether publishing a book generates enough income to make a car payment, a mortgage payment, or fund the kid’s college fund… it’s good.
  4. Event-Driven Marketing Tool. A book has always been a great anchor for a speaker’s marketing campaign — it’s timely, it’s helpful (sharing your advice), and it affirms your credibility. In the past, though, you would probably only put out one book a year, or maybe one every 2-3 years. In the new world of publishing on Amazon, consider this: Since you can create a bestseller in 90 days or less, what if… you put out a new, short book a few times a year (for instance, maybe what would have been four sections of a “regular” book is now four installments in a series)? Now you have multiple reasons to reach out to prospective clients… offering them more value each time, and further demonstrating your expertise on your topic, and more importantly, your ability to solve their problems. (Sure beats sending postcards!)
  5. Free Publicity. This is a classic reason for publishing a book — you can get coverage on TV and in magazines and newspapers that you would never get otherwise. And now, add in blogs and social media — there are all sorts of ways to leverage your book (and the content within) to get attention… which can drive speaking engagements and help your business in all the ways listed above.

So, what do you say? Is it time to get that book out there?!

Oh, by the way… did you notice that throughout this blog post I referred to publishing a book rather than publishing your book? That was intentional.

If I say your book, your mind might go to the idea of creating your great manifesto, or “the one” book you will become known for, throughout all the ages to come.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t create that book… but don’t feel like you can’t publish any book until you’re ready to publish that book. (Truth be told, you probably need to publish a few other books before that book is ready to come out, anyway!)

Chandler talks about this in his book and video series, and I’ve fallen into this trap myself. I think it happens to all of us who feel like we’ve got something really important to share.

You do… but do you want to start getting your message out there in a bigger way right now? Or do you want to wait in silence, for potentially a lifetime, to finally birth that masterpiece?

I say, get started today. If you need help, sign up for the Self-Publishing School videos and follow Chandler’s system. But one way or another, a book will be a tremendous help to your speaking business!

Any questions? Suggestions of other ways speakers can benefit from having books? Leave a comment below!



Josh Shipp is a young man who has done remarkable things. In this interview with Jaime Tardy, he shares — very candidly — some of his keys to success as a youth motivational speaker.

Want to learn more from Josh? He reveals how you can start building your own “empire of impact” as a youth speaker in his brand new (and FREE) Youth Speaker University video series!

NOTE: I am an affiliate of Josh’s training programs, so while this video series is free, I may be compensated if you choose to enroll in any of his paid programs. Josh is AWESOME and one of the few guys I recommend to my friends and followers. Still, you should obviously do your own due diligence before making a purchase.

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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... except your book!

Have you been thinking about writing a book — for years — but just can’t seem to make it happen? Are you writing a book right now and wondering how to get it published? Have you written a book that’s just not performing as well as you had hoped?

Here are nine things I learned from Rick Frishman and his expert guests at Author 101 University (affiliate link) in Las Vegas that I hope will serve you and help you get your message out to more people in the year ahead:

  1. The question is not “Am I qualified to share this message?” but “Am I committed to sharing this message?” — Brendon Burchard, Author of The Charge
  2. The average advance from a major publisher is $500. — David Hancock, founder of Morgan James Publishing
  3. Up to one half of the titles on the non-fiction bestseller list were written by ghostwriters. — Vicki St. George, Owner of Just Write Literary
  4. 5% of the author’s responsibility is writing the book. 95% of the author’s responsibility is marketing the book. — Peggy McColl, Author of Be A Dog With A Bone
  5. Don’t get an ISBN number for your self-published book if you think you’d like to get published by a traditional publisher one day. If you get an ISBN number, publishers can see how many copies you’ve sold… and if your self-published book doesn’t sell, they’re going to ask, “Why would this book [that you’re pitching now] sell?” — Scott Hoffman, Founder of Folio Literary Management
  6. Want to get on radio? Start fights. Example: If you’re promoting Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, use this hook: “Do people love their pets too much?” That will get callers, and radio stations want callers! — Alex Carroll, Author of Beat the Cops and Creator of The Publicity Vault
  7. Do what you do with a spirit of giving. — Wendy Lipton-Dibner, Founder of Move People To Action
  8. Think >> Do >> Now = Success. Think >> Do >> Now >> Persist = Long-term success — Dr. Joan Rosenberg, Creator of Emotional Pilates
  9. Always have your book with you. — Rick Frishman, Publisher at Morgan James Publishing, Founder of Planned Television Arts (now called Media Connect), creator of Author 101 University

If you like these tips, then I encourage you to consider attending Author 101 University for yourself. (These are just nine tips out of a total of 32 PAGES of notes that I took while at the event!)

The next event is October 24-27 in Las Vegas, and if you register now, you can bring a friend free!

Rick is one of the classiest guys in the business and backs up his event with this guarantee: If you feel that you haven’t received value worth many times your registration fee, just ask him for a full refund after the first day.

ADDED BONUS: If you register for Author 101 University through my affiliate link, I’ll personally create a promotional mini-site for your book. (See an example here.) This is an important tool in any publishing campaign, and many firms charge $2500 or more to create such a site. It’s a great way to build your list and sell your book.

(If you’d like one of these pages for your book without attending Author 101 University, then just send me a message through the contact form and we can discuss your project.)


As you grow your business, it begins to occur to you that there are things you can be doing in your business to produce even more value than you’re producing now – which will translate into increased sales, growth and profit. New opportunities turn up, new ways to create value emerge, and new ways to get customers manifest.

And then you realize that there’s just one “little problem” with these new opportunities: Your schedule is already full, and you don’t have time to pursue them. The only way to “graduate” to the next level in your business is to delegate some of the things you’re already doing to others. This will free up your time to actively pursue the higher-value work, and leverage your efforts up to the next level of results and rewards.

Sound familiar?

Those are the opening lines in Eben Pagan’s latest special report on “Delegating, Outsourcing & Hiring For Growth.” (The report is a free accompaniment to the video above and I encourage you to download your copy here now – affiliate link.)

It took me a long time to finally delegate some of my work, and it was a huge relief when I did. There are certain activities in running a business that I absolutely love, and there are certain activities that absolutely drain me. As it turns out, though, there are other people who love those activities that I despise (and vice versa). By putting other people in position to do those tasks, I can help them earn a living — or grow their business — doing work that they’re passionate about, and I can be more successful in my business, too. It’s a win-win!

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I think delegation and outsourcing is one of the biggest keys to success (or failure) for an entrepreneur, but I also know it’s one of the most difficult undertakings. I’m actually looking at how I can get some additional support in place right now, and I found lots of great advice in this new report from Eben — he even shares an actual copy of one of the ads that he wrote to hire a personal assistant so you can see exactly how he does it. He also tells you which tasks to delegate first so you free up your valuable time to do the higher-value, business-growing actions (and get more time off).

I hope you enjoy the video above, and be sure to download the report while it’s still available. (If by chance this link doesn’t work anymore, it means he pulled it down.)

Want a free VA for a week?

Once you know what you need to outsource, here’s a link to get you up to 40 hours free from a virtual assistant (affiliate link). I was introduced to this service by a couple of colleagues in the industry that I have great respect for, and I’ve spoken with Michael, the owner, myself. He’s already got the “superstars” in place — at a variety of price points depending on the experience you need — so it may be a great option for you to get good support in place, fast.


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Eben Pagan Accelerate Marketing

Do NOT do what big companies do with their marketing, but instead do what those companies did when they were small and wanted to grow rapidly.”

That’s some brilliant, powerful advice from Eben Pagan’s new marketing report which you can download free here (affiliate link).

Us little guys are often told to look Starbucks, Google, Apple and other giants because “you should do what they’re doing and you’ll be the #1 brand in your market, too”

Eben is right, though. Those companies are already established and if we do what they’re doing now, we’ll struggle to get clients and we’ll go broke in the process!

We can (and should) model those companies… but we need to model what they did before they had the nation’s (or the world’s) attention — when they were just picking up customers one by one.

Eben makes the case perfectly by profiling FedEx:

Let’s take a company you have definitely heard of, and use it as a case-study example: FedEx. You might remember the days when FedEx was named “Federal Express.” When they first started, they had a tight, focused marketing campaign, based on a powerful “unique selling proposition.” You might remember it:

“When it Absolutely, Positively has to be there overnight.”

This was a key part of the marketing strategy that grew them to a billion dollar company. It’s a tight, focused, impactful marketing message that says everything it needs to say, without confusion. It’s one of my favorite marketing statements, period. It’s an example of powerful marketing that also makes permanent associations in the mind of the customer for the long-term. It’s direct branding.

What did they do once they got big and had a multi-billion dollar empire to manage and defend? They started what I would call a “defensive branding” strategy. They shortened their name (from the more official sounding “Federal Express” to the hip nickname that customers used: “FedEx.” And they changed their unique selling proposition, and evolved it over time into a more general tagline. Now their motto is:

“The world on time.”

This is the kind of branding strategy that you typically see huge companies doing once they’ve “arrived” and are out of high-growth “entrepreneurial” mode. No one is going to remember “the world on time” when they need to send a package. It’s just not a memorable phrase. But it does make a statement: We’re the big guys, and we can afford to just be in front of you with our message. That’s a powerful branding strategy if you’ve got a billion-dollar company (FedEx is actually the largest air carrier in the world based on total weight carried – if you can believe that – so they’re way beyond the billion dollar level).

Using an image-based, defensive branding strategy costs a lot of money. And it’s just not the kind of thing that makes sense for a growing company that needs the money to do other things (including make the owner – YOU – more income).

In short, what your marketing MUST communicate to prospective clients is:

  1. Our product (or service) gets you the result that you want.
  2. It works, definitely.

(In contrast, the message I often see in speaker marketing is simply: “I’m a speaker! Book me for your event!”)

Help is here!

When you go to download Eben’s marketing report, make sure you also download the worksheet and watch the accompanying video (all free) where Eben walks you through the “Irresistible Egg” and “Marketing Magnifying Glass” exercises to help you craft a marketing message that will help you create marketing materials and messaging that really speaks to prospective clients and will lead them to say “this is the speaker who can help our business.”

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Is it taking you longer to write your book than you ever expected? (Maybe a lot longer?)

I was just notified of a free webinar (or teleseminar, if you choose) being hosted by Steve Harrison, publicity guru (clients include Jack Canfield, Robert Kiyosaki and others) and publisher of Radio-TV Interview Report. Steve is going to be interviewing a woman who’s developed a unique system for writing a quality non-fiction book in 90 days! (This woman happens to be the former creative assistant to famous author/speaker Tony Robbins, and at least 268 authors have used her system to get their books out of their heads and onto paper.)

The event is Thursday, May 2, and it’s being offered at your choice of times. Get all the details and register here.

In full disclosure, you will be invited to participate in a paid coaching program at the conclusion of this webinar/teleseminar and if you enroll, I may be paid a commission as an affiliate partner. You can decide whether the coaching program will benefit you or not, but if you’ve been struggling to get your book out, or if it’s just not happening as quickly as you would like, register for the free training and discover the speed writing system that’s helped 268+ authors get their books done quickly.