Episode #19: How to Land Virtual and Live Stages
Welcome to the Women Rocking Business Podcast, because there’s never been a better time to be a woman entrepreneur. I’m Sage Lavine and I am here to call you forth to rock your Business, sister. Let’s dive in.
All right. The topic today is how to land stages. I love this topic. The reason why I love this topic is because this is really the quantum leap strategy. This is the “I want to go quickly” strategy. This is the “I want to change a lot of people’s lives” strategy. This is the “I want to put myself on the map financially” strategy so that you can get to the front side of your revenue.
The cool thing about landing stages is that you get a chance to be in front of people and you’re not necessarily the only one who is gathering them there.
Now I want to talk a little bit about virtual stages. I want to talk a lot about live stages. But I really want to put a stake in the ground that you go into this knowing that people need speakers. You know, groups need speakers to come in and inspire them.
People are gathering and there’s an opportunity for you to take the stage and bring your message in an even bigger way when you really say “yes” too and understand the process of landing stages. So when I first started, one of my big wins was I actually started asking some of the people in my community if I could come and teach a free community training to their people. One of the people I asked was my chiropractor. He was like a network chiropractor, like a really sort of holistic chiropractor. If you’re familiar with network chiropractic, it’s this incredible energy-based chiropractic technique that I think is sort of like a ninja healing tool or those of us that are high performers. I highly recommend you look for network chiropractors in your area to keep you thriving.
I asked my chiropractor if I could do a free training for his client base right there in his waiting room and f he would help me get the word out to his practice members. I told him I’d be happy to actually share a percentage of anybody who hired me with him if he’d help me get the word out. He sent a couple emails and I think I sent an email and posted it on Event Brite and Facebook. We had 24 people in the room that night, and I ended up making over $30,000 in one night. I thought I had won the lottery.
I mean, let’s stop and remember that Sage was a school teacher from Iowa that used to make $28,000 in a year. I had just made more money in a night than I used to make an entire year of teaching high school. Right? I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh, this is the leveraged way, you know, to start a practice. This is the kind of strategy that can help messengers and entrepreneurs and coaches and healers and consultants really get to the front side of their client base quickly.”
We teach this strategy and our year-long programs because I know that when we don’t get you, the clients that you need, we risk you running out of the time, the money, the motivation to actually really starting this business and committing to it in the first place.
You know, we need to get you some stable revenue. Landing stages is such a great way. Now, when I approached my chiropractor, I was asking, you know, what’s in this for him? ‘Cause he’s busy. He’s working to maintain his practice. I think that’s one of the big questions we always have to be asking in businesses. How do we create win-wins? What’s in it for them, you know, what’s in it for our clients, what’s in it for the people that we’re approaching in regards to partnership? So I want to speak a little bit into the different types of stages. And then you know how to think about approaching meeting planners who actually have stages or have groups that are gathering that you can get in front of.
So, first of all, there’s five basic types of stages I’m going to cover in this episode.
The first one is to build your own stage. Building your own stage is really the most independent stage there is because you’re not dependent on anybody else bringing you in. You get to control what happens on that stage. You get to control the offer. You can partner with, you know, venues and do an event at that venue. You can control whether you give a small affiliate percentage. By the way, I think I gave my chiropractor 10% that night because I was selling a package that included private coaching. So if you’re including private coaching in the offering that you’re making, it’s pretty standard to do five or 10% is an affiliate percentage.
If you’re launching a group program that doesn’t include any private support, that’s a very leveraged program. You know, it can be industry standard to give away 40 or 50% commission because of, you know, if you hadn’t gotten on that stage, you wouldn’t have had those clients otherwise, right? So you want to think about when you’re sort of building your own stage, you want to think about where you can do events that would be easily accessible. You want to be willing to start small. Start in your community. You know, this is a place where you can partner with chiropractic offices, wellness clinics, day spas. You can speak in their waiting rooms. You can speak at bookstores.
You can ask them to help you get the word out, but you’re going to also get the word out because it’s your event. You’re just using those venues as a location primarily. But if they have a client base, then again, you can ask them to help you promote, get the word out in exchange for a percentage of sales, or perhaps they’re willing to get help you get the word out just because it’s a wonderful service to bring in free trainings to their community. So you’ll be feeling it out. There’s a lot more to say about that.
In the time that we have here today, I really want to stay focused on this opportunity that you have to partner with venues and really let people know, “Hey, I’ve got this great COMMUNITY training and I love to offer it. I think it would be a great fit for your client base. You know, would you be open to me doing a training in your waiting room or at your day spa, or it can be as simple as really, you know, calling up a group and asking them if they accept outside speakers.
Now that being said, it brings me to the second type of stage, which is the speak for free stage. What I mean by speak for free is that you actually get in front of a group that’s already gathering. This is where you would potentially get in front of a meetup group or a mom’s group or a health group or a women’s group or a networking group. There’s so many groups to get in front of it, right? You can literally call up the meeting organizer and ask them if they accept outside speakers.
It’s really as simple as that. So what are meeting planners, looking for? What aregroup organizers looking for when they bring in outside speakers? Well, there’s several things. Let’s look at this, be sure to grab a pen and a paper because I’m going to go through these pretty quickly.
The first one that they might be looking for is they’re looking to help solve a problem for their people. Do you provide a service? Do you provide an offering? Can you help them solve a problem? JJ Virgin brought me in to speak to her mind share community. The reason she brought me in was because I’ve got a great online tribe. We’ve been doing an incredible job of building a community on Facebook, called our Women Rocking Business community.
We have over 30,000 women in there at the moment. If you’re not in there, definitely go join the conversation. It’s an incredible community of women entrepreneurs who are supporting each other and we’ve gamified it, run contests in that group. We’ve run launches in that group to the tune of millions of dollars of revenue.
JJ wanted me to teach her tribe how I did that. So that was an incredible, you know, contribution to her. It’s why she invited me to come speak because I was able to help solve a problem for her people. So think about what are the problems that you can solve for groups that are already gathering.
There’s a second reason why a meeting planner might love to have you come speak and that is because you can help them fill the room, right? You could help them get the word out about their event. You could do some social media posts. Maybe you can email your database and that’s a huge contribution to them. That’s a reason why they would love to have you come speak.
The third reason why they might love to have you speak is that you could contribute to their prophet. These are the sort of the three basic things that meeting planners are looking for. It’s important to think strategically like this, right? So that we can actually get you to the front side of the fear and uncertainty around approaching meeting planners and just be strategic about it. Start by asking about the event that they’re hosting, the group that they, what does the group need?
Where is your group at? How could I support them and how can I support you? Right? When meeting planners are looking for you to contribute to their profit, they might be looking for you if you have a course that you could sell, you have a training or a product that you could sell to their audience, and you could provide a commission on that sale. Simple as that. That was one of the reasons why I actually created my, I have a couple of $1,000 products and one of the reasons why I created them was so that I would have something to offer when I spoke on stage. So if you don’t have anything yet, you could think about taking a portion of a longer course that you have created.
That’s something that we teach our clients to do in our year long programs is to chunk down their courses and build out, you know, shorter courses that they can sell when they speak. So those are the things meeting planners might be looking for, and they might be looking for you to help solve a problem for their people. They might be looking for you to help fill the room, and they might be looking to have you contribute to their profit. When you’re able to position yourself that way, it is more and more likely that you’ll be able to get in front of groups that are already gathered, which is a huge opportunity to get your message out without you having to gather all the people yourself. Cool, cool. So exciting.
That brings me to the third type of stage, which is the speak and sell stage, right? That’s a Stage that you would get on because you have something to offer to a group of people. You would be able to contact an event, an event host and say, “Hey, I actually have this course that your people might love. If there happens to be a stage spot at some point, here’s what the course is about. Here’s why your people might love it. I’m happy to split the profits with you.”
That’s pretty standard, right? If you can get in front of the stage and make an offer to the people in that room, it’s pretty standard that you guys would actually split the profit 50/50, because they’re doing all the work to get the people in the room. You’re the one making the offer. It’s a 50/50 deal. When you are ready to make this offer, definitely get support with your offer.
If you’re just starting out in business, right? It’s great to start out, offering something for free, like a discovery session, a complimentary session and breakthrough sessions. So you can sit down and see if it’s a fit to do more work together. That being said, when you’re ready to make an offer from the stage, let us know. It’s something that we love supporting our clients with.
That brings me to the fourth type of stage that you may want to land, which is a get paid to speak Stage. That kind of Stage is an opportunity for you to come and usually be like a guest faculty for you to be a paid speaker. I’ll be honest, that type of stage I’ve gotten paid to speak about a dozen times, anywhere from 500 bucks to 10,000 bucks.
The reason I’ve gotten paid to speak is because people saw me speak somewhere else. Are you picking up what I’m laying down? So it’s not so much like, “Hey, I just want to go out there and build a career as a motivational speaker and everybody’s going to hire me to come and speak.”
No, that’s not quite how it works. How it works is we build our stage. We get out there, we bring a message and then over time, people start to see us speak and people start to get the transmission. Now we are in demand as speakers. Okay. I hope that’s helpful.
So rather than swim around and the fantasy that I just want to go out there and get paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak when nobody knows who I am…I’m going to go ahead and burst your bubble, wake you up with total love and a kick in the pants to get out there and keep building your own stage because you have everything you need, sister. You have everything you need to get out there and solve problems for people. Start small, start in your local community and get out there and bring your message.
Now, the last stage that I want to talk about today is the sponsored stage where you would actually pay to speak.
I want to take a moment and pause for a quick rockier business commercial break and let you know that we just launched a Make Money with your Message Bonus training for anyone who buys my book, Women Rocking Business. The book hit number one, when it was recently published with Hay House, the book is a 12 step system for any woman to go from just having an idea to building a six or an even seven figure business with simple and elegant business strategies that are based in women’s values. You know, women are starting businesses one and a half times faster than men, but we’re also failing faster than men. But when we learn to build businesses that align with our innate values of collaboration, rather than competition empowerment, rather than power over.
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When you pay to speak, you have a chance to usually sponsor a booth. You are taking a calculated risk. I’ve spent up to $25,000 to get on several stages and every single time it’s monetized. The reason it’s monetized is because I’ve been able to get on stage, make an offer, and I have practiced that offer. I’ve nailed that offer. I’ve gone out of my way to make sure my people are going to be in that room. I’ve made sure I’m the only offer in my niche. Does that make sense? So if I’m offering aRock the Stage course on stage, I don’t want other people there who are speaking about how to be a public speaker.
I want to be the only one at the conference teaching people how to be speakers. If I’m going to spend 10,000, 15,000, $25,000 to be on that stage, I want to know I can monetize that stage. So at the point, when you are ready to start paying to speak, and I tell you that not to overwhelm you, not to intimidate you, but at the point where you are ready to start playing around with it, it can be a fantastic way to monetize. I started out paying I think, a thousand dollars to sponsor an event and I turned that into $5,000. Last year, when I paid $25,000 to be on the stage, I turned that into $125,000. That’s after years of speaking on stage, nailing my offer, I had a sales team on the floor with me.
We had follow-up sessions on the books, right? We had a whole infrastructure around that sale that I made. I spent a lot of time with the event coordinator on the phone before I made that investment, really making sure that I was the only speaker covering my topic. I also was making sure that my ideal clients were in that room.
Okay. So those are all things you want to consider when you’re thinking about paying to speak. When you pay to speak and you get to sponsor a booth alongside the event and the stage opportunity, make sure you bring a team member to work that booth with you, and we’ll teach you how to do booths in another episode.
For now, what I want to say is landing a stage to accompany the booth… It’s always going to be a higher ROI. Anytime you can get on stage and speak and send people to your booth, you’re going to have much higher results. Okay? Being the one standing at the booth at the back of the room is not nearly as magnetic for people as even a two minute stage spots. So whenever you’re going to pay the sponsor, a booth, do everything in your power, everything in your power to even get a short speaking spot to accompany that booth. Okay? That’s my big advice for that type of landing stages.
When you guys reach out to meeting planners, your job is to reach out to them every single possible way: Facebook message them, call them, email them, you know, acknowledge who they are and acknowledge what they’ve created, acknowledge the amazing group they’ve brought together and then share with humility what it is that you can bring to their audience. Mention how excited you are about the possibility of contributing to their audience. Let them know what is the topic you love to speak about?
Here’s a hot tip. This works for online stages too. This works for podcasts. This works for radio shows. So again, those five types of live stages are to build your own stage, to speak for free, start small, start in your local community, speak at local bookstores, local day spas.
Then there’s the speak to sell stage where you can get onstage at a conference because you have an offering that that audience is going to want.
Of course, there’s the get paid to speak stage. I got paid to speak at Microsoft headquarters last year at a tech conference for over a thousand women. The reason I got paid to speak was because of my TEDx talk. Right? So for those of you that are excited about getting paid to speak, your job is to keep getting out there and speaking. That’s when you get recognized and other people will also invite you to come speak and even pay you and fly you around. It’s super fun, right? But it starts with you getting out there.
The last type of Stage we covered today is the sponsored stage where you would pay to speak.
That being said, I’m curious what the next step is for you. I’m curious, what is your one, right next action step so that you can go out there and land your next Stage. I want to invite you to go and take the Stage Superpower Quiz because when you know your stage superpower, it’s gonna support you to take the stage and create trust with your client base and build your business totally authentically.
We launched the Stage Superpower Quiz recently, and we’ve already had thousands of you take it. It’s really cool to find out what is your stage superpower that’s going to help you land these stages. Some of you are humorous like Ellen Degeneres. Some of your motivators like Oprah, some of you might be truth tellers like Brene Brown or visionaries like Michelle Obama.
I am so excited to help you discover your stage super power and really understand how to use that leadership to help you grow your speaking business. You can take that quiz at womenrockingbusiness.com/quiz. Again, that’s womenrockingbusiness.com/quiz. Thank you for being the very, very best part of the Women Rocking Business community. I will see you next week. You’re amazing. Your clients are waiting for you. Get out there and shine your light and book that next Stage. Pick up the phone and call some meeting planners because really, truly your clients are waiting for you. They’re not just waiting for someone like you. They’re actually waiting for YOU.
You’ve been listening to Women Rocking Business. I’m Sage Lavine. The next step is to join our private Facebook group. The Women Rocking Business Sisterhood and introduce yourself over there for the real and vulnerable conversation of what it really takes to launch and scale a business you love in that Sisterhood group. We have each other’s backs, each other’s sides and each other’s fronts. This is true collaboration. So go grab a seat in the Sisterhood because we can go so much further when we go together, you’ll find a link to the private Sisterhood group and do our upcoming events in the show notes.
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