I knew I had reached the end of my rope when I was told I wasn’t getting paid, had to pay admission to the conference I was speaking at, and that they would also be taping my speech and selling it at the conference without compensating me, and they would also own the rights to the material.

Whoa!! That’s when I realized I would either have to give up speaking, which I loved, or find another way to make money from it.

So how else could I make money as a speaker?

Now, I know there are some speakers who promote their consulting and other things from the stage, even if it’s done in a sneeky way. Well, it looks like the meeting planners are now getting hip to that and are discouraging any kind of promotion at all. On top of not being able to sell from the stage, many are now saying you can’t even sell back of the room anymore.

Instead of turning work down…

I decided to ask the meeting planners if I could get my own sponsor. They said yes.

So at first I started calling all of the vendors who were exhibiting at the conference. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I was doing, but I told them I would promote them in any way possible with room signage, signage throughout the conference, a quick thank you at the beginning and end of the speech, a mention in my newsletter, Tweets, Facebook and Linked In promotion, and publicity.

It worked! And I got my first sponsor.

I went above and beyond what I said I would do and the sponsor was very happy. Not only that, but the audience was happy because I gave a great speech with relative, valuable and unique information customized just for them and it wasn’t a one hour infomercial for any of my books or products because I was getting paid. Since the audience was happy, the meeting planner was happy and I was happy because I got to do what I was good at, which is speaking.

After pulling this off a few times I knew that I could make it easier for other speakers. The hardest part about getting the sponsors was having a central place where they could get all of my info that specifically pertained to sponsorship and exactly what they could expect to get out of it. I started Speaker Sponsor for that very reason. If I could do it for myself, I could do it for other speakers.