Grant Baldwin is a nationally known keynote speaker, podcaster, author, entrepreneur, and the creator of the Booked and Paid to Speak training program. He hosts The Speaker Lab Podcast and training site which provides weekly training to speakers at all levels. As a speaker, Grant has given hundreds of presentations and has spoken to over 400,000 people in 45 different states. His book and curriculum for students Reality Check is taught in over 400 schools around the country.
Grant and I met in San Diego, and he is a good friend of mine. I think Grant is a genuinely good hearted guy and one of the good guys in this space. Today, we talk about how Grant discovered his career as a speaker, why he wrote his book, how he self-published it, and more. Grant has sold a lot of books and has given a lot of speeches, and he shares a lot of wisdom and tips with us.
[01:17] Grant has enjoyed speaking since high school. He started learning about and marketing himself in the speaking business.
[02:45] High school students would ask a lot about how to prepare for life after high school. How does real life work.
[03:22] He created his book around these questions and it was also a great speaking tool and it has gotten Grant speaking gigs and it has been an additional revenue source.
[04:12] Grant self-published. It’s nice to combine a book with speaking because when you speak you have a built-in audience.
[04:43] Grant speaks and then people buy the book afterward.
[04:57] Grant wrote the book at his mom’s house and created a timeline. Having a deadline helped him finish the book. Set a deadline and reverse engineer from there.
[05:35] His sister and an old English teacher helped him edit it. Since this was 2008, he actually sent the book to a book printing company called Books Just Books.
[06:59] The biggest challenge is staying on task and getting the book done.
[09:14] Why do you want to speak? Who do you want to speak to? What do I want to talk to them about? Get clear on the answers to these three questions before you begin.
[11:07] Then decide where these people gather.
[11:52] Being a speaker first really helped Grant refine his message.
[12:32] Having a well done book is great. People judge books by its cover. Have a good website and demo video as a speaker. These are critically important because people want a sense of how you communicate and if you are a good speaker.
[15:11] Have a demo video that is like a movie trailer. The point is to make your audience want to see more.
[18:15] Use Google to find cold reach out opportunities. Find an event and try to find out information about when and where the conference is and who to contact. Send an email inquiring about when they are going to hire speakers. A simple email to get them to reply.
[22:32] If they answer the goal is to get them on the phone. The sale happens on the phone. Speaking is a relationship business.
[25:16] Ask what would I Google to find events. Build momentum and reach out to people.
[26:31] This is a numbers game. The more you reach out to the more likely you will be a good fit. You may hear from two or three people and book only one.
[27:40] Do the follow-up call especially if you say you will.
[28:20] Have a system for the follow-up either some type of calendar or CRM type software.
[29:38] Having a long-term perspective keeps you from being disappointed and time and effort builds momentum.
[30:42] Following up makes people’s lives easier. You aren’t annoying them. Stay top of mind.
[33:32] Deep psychological influence of getting a commitment of front.
[34:49] What you charge depends on the market and your marketing materials and your experience. Speakers get paid $1000 to $3000 on their first gig. It’s also good to build relationships with other speakers in their market.
[36:42] Paid versus free. Free can get you course sign-ups and other speaking clients. Speaking for lead generation for coaching businesses.
[38:01] Speaking can be leveraged in other ways.
[38:31] Get the book done and make sure it aligns with the intended audience.
Links and Resources:
Books Just Books
Influence: The Psychology of Influence
The Speaker Lab Podcast
@GrantBaldwin on Twitter
Free Speaker Lab Workshop
Grant Baldwin facebook
Reality Check by Grant Baldwin
Booked and Paid to Speak