Save the Date – Get SotS for $.99

I know a lot of you have been asking, “Hey, Jeff, isn’t it time for you to run a discount on the Kindle version of Speaking on the Side?”

The answer is yes. And Valentine’s Day weekend seemed to be the perfect time to do it. Why? Because that’s when Amazon let me activate the “discount” setting.

Also, there’s something kind of romantic about starting your own speaking business. Like having extra money to pay for those fancy French chocolates you’re going to buy.

Watch this space for more information!

Get the Kindle edition – for free

Amazon speaking on the sideHappy holidays everyone. I uploaded a Kindle edition of Speaking on the Side, just in time for Cyber Monday. You can now download it FREE with the purchase of a print copy of the book:

Buy Speaking on the Side
and get the Kindle edition Free

If you already have a copy of the book, the Kindle version by itself is $3.97. I wanted to keep the cost low for people who are curious about creating a speaking practice, and for road warriors who’d like to review book content on a plane or in the airport.

Like any business book, Speaking on the Side can actually make a good corporate gift. You can:

  • Give away the print edition and keep the Kindle for yourself
  • Bundle it with other business and marketing books, like Marketing for Dummies and Choose Yourself
  • Use it as a grab bag gift
  • Get an autographed copy (Send me a note – I’d be flattered to sign and mail you one. Shipping’s on me.)

Enjoy it!

Speaking on the Side Readers Must Get My Haircut

jeff greene speaker
That’s right. Following in the footsteps of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, I’m requiring all readers of Speaking on the Side to get their hair cut *exactly* as I do.

Since I’m a more benevolent dictator than Kim, after you’ve cut your hair and I’ve seen the clippings, you’ll enjoy a special $5 discount on a copy of my book. Here’s how it works:

Step One – Cut your hair exactly as I do.

Step Two – Feel yourself immediately transform into a successful presenter who intuitively knows how to get paid to speak.

Step Three – Visit the SHOPPING CART PAGE

Step Four – Enter code: 7M7RX32A at checkout

Thank you, citizen speakers. May endless gigs be yours.

Last Minute Discount – Get Speaking on the Side for $10!

If your new year’s resolution is to crank up your speaking practice in 2014, let me help. Order your copy of Speaking on the Side, the definitive guide to earning money and happiness without quitting your day job, FOR ONLY $10 A COPY. That’s 10 Bucks a Book. Amazing. Unprecedented! Here’s what you do:

Step One: Click here to visit the SHOPPING CART PAGE

Step Two: Click ADD TO CART

Step Three: USE CODE HKERM4F3 at checkout

That’s basically it.

Note: my Ten Bucks a Book offer expires at 3ET on New Year’s Day.

So why am I offering it?

I want to make sure every budding speaker who’s looking to move out of his or her comfort zone and build a speaking practice on the side in 2014 has the right tools and resources to do it.

Now you have no excuses. It’s ten bucks. (And tax-deductible for most of you, I might add.)

Time to invest in yourself.

31 Things You Could Do Right Now to Grow Your Side Business

The end of the year is almost upon us. It’s time for reflection. Celebration. Charity.

And taking stock of what we *didn’t* accomplish during the previous 12 months.

Alas, we can’t do everything. There is only so much time. (That’s why it’s more valuable than money, which the government can print whenever it wants.) And so, whether deliberately or unconsciously, we prioritize. We do some things, and not others.


If one of the things you didn’t do this year was work on growing your side business (speaking, consulting, coaching, writing, training, babysitting, pipe-fitting, you pick!) here is some uplifting news:

There are still ELEVEN DAYS LEFT in 2013.

Which means you better get started. Below are 31 things you could do right now:

1- Launch your website (with WordPress, a Facebook “business” page, an account)

2- Contact someone you once spoke for / wrote for / babysat for pro bono, explain that you’re starting a side business, and see if they have any paid opportunities

3- Use LinkedIn messages to ask contacts if they can give you referrals

4- Develop a brand brief for your side business — define your target audience and what unique value you offer them, list proof points to support your value, and describe a brand “personality” so your outreach and promotions will reflect your personal brand

5- Write a blog entry that intrigues people about your subject matter. E-mail it to 10 people who could hire you

6- Offer to take a potential client out to lunch for New Year’s, in exchange for sharing some ideas for your business (make sure she gets to pick the restaurant)

7- Find a mentor — ask him to be supportively honest

8- Make some smartphone videos of you speaking off-the-cuff about your topic of expertise. You can do this even if you’re not a speaker. Post them on YouTube and Daily Motion and include keywords your target clients might be searching for

9- Create a survey with SurveyMonkey, Traitwise, or SurveyGizmo about a topic that would be of interest to your target audience and invite people to take it

10- Write up a brief white paper with findings from your survey, with an “ad” for your services at the end. Offer it up to potential clients and partners

11- Use the week between Christmas and New Year’s to write a one-page marketing plan for your side business

12- Set up an e-mail newsletter with MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Pinpointe and deliver some useful resources and ideas to your prospects

13- Print up some inexpensive postcards at VistaPrint promoting your side business. Attend a conference where you know your target prospects will congregate and leave postcards at the bar, on meeting tables, in the business center, and next to couches in the lobby

14- Hire a guy in a gorilla suit to show up at your prospect’s office and sing a song about your unique value

15- Follow a Twitter hashtag that’s relevant to your area of expertise

16- Join a LinkedIn group where professionals search for trainers, speakers, writers, etc. One of my favorites is Need A Speaker/Be A Speaker

17- Look in the mirror. Say, “I will get my side business off the ground in 2014” at least 15-20 times or until you believe it

18- Ask your neighbor, hair dresser, and uncle if they know of anyone who is looking to hire a consultant/trainer/coach

19- Set up an account with a frequent flyer club such as US Airways, Delta, etc. It will get you in the right mood to think about traveling to clients in 2014

20- Sign up for an online training course or webinar to learn how to be an effective coach, speaker, etc. Many of these are inexpensive and you can find them through Google search. Speaking on the Side also lists some good ones

21- Look up the trade association for your target client and go to the “board of directors” tab, where you’ll find several influential people to contact about offering your services

22- Call your first boss (if you are still in touch) and ask him for advice and anyone he thinks you should talk to. Our earliest supervisors often feel a sense of pride toward us and will be flattered to help if they can

23- Use the Google AdWords keyword planner tool to determine what people are searching for that relates to your area of expertise

24- Barter your services with a media company that serves your target audience, such as a trade magazine or conference production company. Offer to do some free work for them in exchange for marketing you to their audience

25- Run a pilot ad campaign on Facebook or LinkedIn. Drive traffic to a free whitepaper or free newsletter registration or free consultation

26- Go through your network and find the most successful person you know who would talk to you. Ask them for 5 minutes on the phone to explain your side business and the type of client you’re targeting. If they like your idea, ask them to refer you to one person they know who you could call on

27- Partner with a fellow speaker/coach/trainer/writer/cowboy to hold a joint webinar where you both show off your capabilities and share ideas

28- Attend a holiday networking party and use it as an opportunity to find out one good business growth idea from each person you meet

29- Make it a goal to add 500 Twitter followers by New Year’s. Use a tool like TweetAdder or ManageFlitter to build your influence strategically

30- Make 10 cold calls on Dec. 23. Sure, some people will be out of the office but those you reach will be bored silly, killing time before their vacations. You may make a friend for life

31- Get organized. Whether it’s setting up a task management system, syncing the calendars on all your devices, downloading an app like Evernote, or cleaning up your desktop, the amount of mental space you’ll clear up in 2014 will drive you to more important activities …like biz dev

And here’s a bonus: you can buy Speaking on the Side for only TEN BUCKS. I’m only doing this through New Year’s and then the discount code will expire. So please use it! Have a great holiday season. -Jeff

Buy the book here:

After you add it to your cart, use this discount code: HKERM4F3

Are You Finding Yourself or Creating Yourself?

Today I was at a coworking space in Woodbridge, NJ, owned by my friend Noelle, and I saw a magnet on the refrigerator with a striking message:

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Isn’t that powerful? Lord knows I’ve spent much of my life looking for the inner ‘me.’ Many of you have been doing the same — we’ve hired coaches, gone on retreats, gone to therapy. That’s all good, but maybe the answer is to choose a different verb.

Not find. Create.


Noelle + inspiring magnet

You could argue that I was ‘finding myself’ while hunting for speaking gigs on the side 7 years ago, looking for my nirvana in Ballroom A at the hotel in Seattle when at home my marriage was fizzling and my job was stagnating. Yet, that assumes there was something there to ‘find’ — an innate speaker, a
confident doppelgänger who, unlike his more introverted twin, was perfectly at ease charming audiences on stage and knew precisely what content would inspire them to record 4s and 5s for his presentation reviews.

No, that wasn’t it at all. I was creating myself! Would I have ‘discovered’ a knack for planning and delivering speeches had I not gone out and tried doing it? If there is any proof that I created this competency, it’s the fact that, in the early days, I got my share of 2s and 3s. Through the act of creation — building, testing, failing, practicing — did I find a passion for sharing ideas with others. Same goes for Speaking on the Side, a book I always knew I could write … but didn’t, until now.

I hope you get the implication. Don’t look for the speaker or writer or consultant inside of you. She is not there … yet.

Once you create her, though, it will seem as if she were simply a shell on the beach — always there, hidden, until the waves of everyday existence revealed her to you. Except you’ll know the truth.

Don’t find yourself. Create yourself.

Pretty powerful for a magnet on the fridge.

The One-Page Public Speaker Marketing Plan

I initially shared this concept during my “Get Gigs While You Sleep” teleseminar on SpeakerMatch last month. Then I received an e-mail from a reader who asked if I knew of any good marketing plan templates for public speakers. I didn’t. So it feels like the right time to put this in writing. Feel free to copy, borrow, steal, repurpose, chop, and puree. Would love to hear your ideas for improvements, too.

The One-Page Marketing Plan for Public Speakers
(Speaking on the Side edition)

The point of this plan is building a system with minimal up-front time. You’re defining your value and audience, creating a lead-gen strategy, then executing on what you wrote down. Finally, you turn the system on — and leave it on — making adjustments based on the data.

The template plan cuts to the chase and relies on lower-risk digital approaches. Excellent for those part-time speakers among us. It uses a “Mad-Libs” format, so once you fill in the questions for Steps One and Two, you’ll plug your answers right into Steps Three and Four.

Step One: Create a worksheet. Here’s what’s on the worksheet:
A) What do I speak about? (1 sentence)
B) What makes me different and valuable from other speakers? (2-3 bullets tops)
C) Based on A and B, who do I want to hire me to speak? (1 sentence; you can list 3-4 example clients too)
D) What channels are the people in C most active on? (You should know your audience: are they e-mail addicts? Do they congregate on Facebook? Read blogs? List 2 channels where you know you can find them)
E) Who are they influenced by? (4-5 media or social media influencers)

AdWords example

Step Two: Visit Google AdWords and use the Google Keyword Planner to find out what your audience is searching for. You can find it in the “Tools and Analysis” drop-down menu. Type in a few sample search terms, like I did in the example at right.

The Keyword Planner will give you a long list of what people are really searching for. Don’t worry about all the numbers. The important column is “Avg. Monthly Searches.” Write down:

F) What is your audience is searching for? (6-7 of the top-searched monthly keywords)

Step Three: Based on your answers in steps One and Two, start “prepping” your system:

  • Update your website to showcase A and B.
  • Set up a contact/opt-in form on your website.
  • Set up a low cost or free e-mail marketing platform, and connect it to the contact form.
  • Write a one-page PDF about F and have it auto-deliver to people who opt-in. Be sure it reminds them of B.
  • Write several posts and articles and content about F. If you have data from a survey you’ve done (maybe informally at a recent gig), convert it into a shareable infographic using a site like Or edit some video footage from a recent gig. Whatever the content, relate it to A.
  • Depending on D, set up a speaking profile on those sites and include A and B.
  • Bonus: Connect Google Analytics to your website, so you can track incoming traffic and leads.

Step Four: Now begin “activating” your system:

  • Break the content you created in Step Three into bite-sized pieces. Distribute that content to D on a manageable schedule. This could be on your blog, through Facebook, definitely to your e-mail list. Use your e-mail marketing platform and/or social posting tools like HootSuite to schedule the content.
  • Reach out to E and offer to customize some of this content into guest blogs or articles which link back to your website.
  • Rent a list of people who look like C and create a couple of e-mail offers, where recipients will receive some of your content in exchange for joining your opt-in list or following you on your social channels. Speaking on the Side lists some reputable e-mail list providers for speakers.
  • Run Google AdWords paid search ads targeting F and linking to your website and opt-in form.
  • Every month, look at your dashboards. Find out which keywords, messages, blogs, offer descriptions, downloads, PDFs, e-mail lists, graphics, and channels are driving the most leads.
  • Tweak your system to spend more time/money with the components that are most effective.

Step Five: Respond to inquiries! If you go through the trouble of creating a system, but then freeze up or “forget” when a prospect asks you for information about your speaking practice, you’ll have fallen prey to the Woody Allen principle:  80 percent of life is just showing up. If they fill out your form, you’re very close to landing a gig.

No government? No problem

In a couple hours, the United States Government will be shut down.uncle

Some people are freaking out about this, and the stock market is down, although not terribly.

Fortunately, I’m quite calm. I just ate a delicious turkey wrap sandwich, which could be part of the reason. Or, it could be because I know that no matter what happens in Congress, whether my taxes or my healthcare premiums or my mutual funds go up or down, I have a side gig I can count on.

Do you?

It’s not that hard to get started. You can build a website cheaply and effectively. There are tons of resources available for part-time speakers, writers, consultants, and experts. And since you have a LinkedIn profile, you can probably dig through your network and find someone who will pay you a fee to do a sideline assignment or gig.

Washington is nice. I’ve visited a few times. But it’s not exactly a reliable source of extra income. Might be time to create one for yourself.

Jeff on the Michael Dresser Show

Michael Dresser show

I did my first online radio show in support of Speaking on the Side with the eloquent Michael Dresser. He’s a very interesting personality and I enjoyed discussing the art of speaking with someone so well-spoken. Michael also gets awesome guests, including authors talking about an enormous variety of topics.

You can listen to the audio clip here.

If you’re a speaker or author and want to get booked on the show, drop a note to Suzy Greenman.

Paid speaking: where do I start?

I had a conversation with a business friend about getting paid to speak, and on the phone he wondered aloud, “Where do I start?”

Good question.

He already bought Speaking on the Side, which in my humble view is the best place to start. There are lots of other places to begin this journey, though, and I want to highlight a few of them here:

sweaty runner
1) Go for a run. Not a bad place to get started! I just got back from a half-hour run around my neighborhood. It was sticky, humid, and exhausting. But I thought of some great ideas along the way, including this blog.

2) Speak for free. Yes, you heard correctly. There is nothing like offering up some gratis gigs to get your speaking juices flowing. As Susan Levin of Speakers Community likes to point out, sometimes free gigs are where the money is. You never know who’s going to be in the audience. Sometimes, it’s a person who will hire you.

3) Put up your speaking website. It’s 2013. If you don’t have a website, you’re not “real.” In the book, I list at least nine ways to make a speaking website. Really, this doesn’t have to take more than an hour of your time. You’ll thank me, though, when a meeting planner surprises you with: “What’s your website?”

4) Catalog your expertise. What do you know a lot about? It doesn’t have to be “traditional” knowledge, like designing websites or corporate takeovers or knitting. Have you ever been laid off by 3 different publishing companies? Accumulated more than 1,000,000 frequent-flyer miles? Helped a grandmother rebuild her home after a hurricane? All those experiences translate into amazing stories, which can form the basis of a great presentation.

5) Write an article. And send it to the “communications director” or the “executive director” at five trade associations that sound interesting. (Here is a list with tons of trade associations.) At the end of the article, which should be informative but not too detailed, list your name and your speaking website and describe yourself as a consultant, speaker, and problem solver in industry X. Chances are, after they run the article in their newsletter, one of those trade groups will ask about your speaking fee.


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