One of the places that speakers routinely fall down when endeavouring to make their speaking career profitable is understanding marketing.

There are very few people who are able to build a speaking career based on getting paid, regular gigs.  Those that do have a career like this are more often than not celebrities who are sought after, and then find themselves making decent money from getting “paid to speak”.  

So how do us mere mortals turn a passion for speaking into a profitable “speaking career”?

There are hundreds of tiny strategies that we need to employ to get the result, but I want to focus on one in this article today, and that is “building a list”.

Why Building a List is Essential to a Profitable Speaking Career

(This article comes from my soon to be released “Presentations Profits Blueprint”).

The value of your speaking business is in the community of subscribers and raving fans that you build.  It is not in the trainings you design, or the talks that you give or even the products that you sell.  It is in the community of people who care about you and your information.

This is why youtube- which makes no money of it’s own was bought by google for $1.65 billion.  It was the list of subscribers that gave it so much value.

The top three reasons why you need to build a list to enhance your speaking career are:

  1. To make sales: The lifeblood of a business is sales, and in a speaking business it is much easier to sell a product or service to someone who has a relationship with you and is on your list.
  2. To market your events: Similarly people who are familiar with you are much more likely to buy a ticket to your training or workshop if they are familiar with you and your information.
  3. To make affiliate sales: Once you have built a list and have a great relationship with those subscribers, you can make additional income to contribute to your speaking income by promoting or recommending other people’s products.

So What Makes a Good Community?

There is a difference between a “building  a list” or a “building a database” and a community.  I strive to build a community.   Not build a list.

For a successful speaking career, you must have a relationship with your subscribers– not just their name and email address.


Focus on building up your numbers, yes,

but always work on the relationship too.


So how do you build a list?

Here are 3 simple things you can implement immediately to start building your list.  The added advantage is that as you do these you will also increase your profile, which will ensure that you get offered more speaking opportunties, and therefore build a successful speaking career that way too.

Key 1 – Speaking.
Ask the people in the room to hand in their business cards to receive a gift or win a prize. Make sure the gift is valuable to your audience and that you send it as soon as the gig is over. It could be something simple like an audio, or a DVD.    Do this at every talk you do (with the event organisers permission of course) and you will soon have your own instant list!

Key 2 – Newsletter
We noticed our list started to boom when we commenced a regular weekly newsletter. It’s great for building a list because people get value from it and if you’ve got good quality content in it – people will be hooked. What’s more, they tend to share it with their friends too, so things go viral.  You can include articles, a video and all sorts of material to keep your community interested and growing.

Key 3 – Blog
Start a blog using  It’s a good idea to have it hosted on your own domain name- and I recommend using your name as the web address as people will search for your name frequently.  (like my personal blog:  Make sure you have an optin box on the blog- perhaps for your newsletter.


Focus on One Piece At A Time Or You May Get Overwhelmed.

It has taken us over 12 months to develop our current level of awareness in the market place, and it is growing all the time.  Do not expect it to happen over night, but if you release regular content online (a couple of times a week) and you speak regularly, you should have a solid community and burgeoning speaking career within 6 months.

The good part is that as you build your list and therefore propagate your message- you become front of mind for promoters and event planners who are looking for speakers.  So everything feeds each other.

For more strategies on how to build your list, and enhance your speaking career, make sure you get a copy of my “Presentation profits Blueprint”.  It will be released on Wednesday the 15th of July at 7am GMT at this website:

It will be available for free for a limited time only, in order to get feedback and testimonials from you guys.  After this time we will be selling it for $57- so make sure you grab a copy on Wednesday.

70 Responses to “How to make your speaking career profitable: Building your own list.”

  1. G’day from Sydney Jo,

    Very practical and useful comments … I really liked your tip about adding in a Need A Speaker Section.

    Looking forward to the release of your full blueprint. I’m sure it will contain great training and development advice for small business owners looking to break into speaking to boost their profits.

    To Your Peak Performance,
    Karyn Clarke

  2. Hi Karyn,

    Thanks! I’m glad you liked them. The “Need a Speaker” tip came from one of our students actually- Wendy Moore.

    We routinely use that now and get a great response, as do most of our members.

    Blueprint will be released on Wednesday- so keep your eyes peeled!


  3. Hi Sabine here from Brisbane,
    I have seen you speak here in Oz a couple of times. And asked you questions, that you answered very open and with lots of information. You just continue to deliver the same outstanding quality of information and don’t hold back!
    Fantastic to see and love to learn lots more from you!

    Director Orange Yoga & Synergy Retreats

  4. Hi Sabine,

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m so glad to hear that your experience with us has been useful.

    You’re going to love the new blueprint bearing that in mind. Make sure you come back on Wednesday!



  5. Hi Jo, read , look and listen to all your blogs, always look forward to your emails wish I could do more with your imformation hopefully someday I can start something to do with kitchens and get my knowledge out there, have met you on the Gold Coast some months back Barry

  6. Hi Joey

    Thanks for your continued great information, this post no exception.

    The list is king, and enables us to choose the medium of our message – seminars, webinars, interviews, blog posts, autoresponder messages. And puts the leadership back in our own hands.

    Fantastic info, keep it up – and thanks

    Sleep and Natural Solutions for Insomnia

  7. Hi Elizabeth,

    Glad you enjoyed it. You are right- when you have your community you can respond quickly to what they require. You can open conversations with them. I love it.


  8. Hey Barry,

    Just ahd a look at your webiste. There is SOOOOOOO much you could do with speaking.

    First thihg to do is get the Bluperint that I’m releasing tomorrow. It will be at

    If you followed that through step by step (especially creating your title; perhaps “The Kitchen King” you could create a great social community online, and fun free education evenings then sell your wares on the back end of those evenings. It would be great. Get the blueprint- it will explain what I mean exactly.

    Start with a blog like this to build your own community. And go check out what Bunnings do to sell their stuff during their free weekend trailings.



  9. Hey Jo,

    Easy to read and easy to apply – and boy-o.. you really over deliver here!! I am well impressed! Creating a community is a real focus for me at the moment and I made copious notes – I read alot of “experts” stuff but you are the real deal!! There are so many things in your blog that I am going to use on my website….

    Thanks again Jo…

    The Writers Buzz

  10. Jo,

    Invaluable!! Community v List – how the mindset changes when you think in terms of community. I have a question… besides videos and articles, what other things can you use to keep the community interested and growing?


  11. Hi Sam,

    It is an absolute pleasure. Greg was telling me yesterday that you are a machine for learning at the moment. And that’s just awesome. I’m glad I can contribute in some small way. If there’s anything you need- let me know.



  12. Hi Jo,

    Really enjoyed reading your post. Watched your blueprint video-excellent quality and I really think the website looks absolutely fantastic!! Without a doubt the best I have seen from alot of people. You are a true inspiration as a women and a platform speaker. You walk the talk my friend – and I am going to download that blueprint of yours before I miss out. Free stuff, who can knock that back these days?

    Here’s to your success – knock em’ dead!

  13. Hi Emma,

    It does change your mindset doesn’t it.

    We also have regular teleseminars where I encourgae people to phone in and contribute rather than just listenig passively. Forums are great too of course. Mind you- we don’t yet have one for our free community- just for our Million Dollar Masterclass. but they love it, so maybe we should roll that out.

    But one of the best ways to build community is events, because people connect with one another. Have you seen the “meetup” phenomenon? It’s really quite amazing.

    Blogs, facebook, twitter. A community comes from conversation and relationship. SO anything that builds up a feeling of trust and “I know you”.
    Maybe thats why I always twitter about what evening beverage I’m enjoying and why my newsletters focus on Indian food! Haha! That’s my story anyway.

    Wishing you well!

    Love Jo

  14. Hey Lucy,

    Thanks for that. Yea- we’re working pretty hard on the video stuff at the moment as I want to stand out from the crowd. Glad to hear we might be moving in that direction.

    Let me know what you think of the blueprint.


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