• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

INAS Changes Business Model for 2024

INAS Changes Business Model for 2024

INAS Changes Business Model for 2024 672 445 I Need A Speaker

Looking back, 2023 was an exciting, productive year of growth. I Need A Speaker continues to hit new milestones, changing the way speakers connect with audiences. And we’re doing it one person at a time.

I Need A Speaker was launched in 2020 to solve a problem. I was part of a committee to plan a speaker event. The committee had $1,000 to spend on a speaker, and the team was unable to identify the right speaker based on personal networks. Team members also knew that with just $1,000 to spend, we couldn’t afford to work with traditional speakers’ bureaus to find the right person for our theme, our event, and our audience. Traditional speakers’ bureaus often serve speakers who charge at least $5,000 for in-person events and sometimes $3,000 for virtual events. Then the bureaus add one-third of the speaker fee to cover their services in making the connection. Even at the lower end of their roster, we couldn’t afford any of those speakers. We were at a loss. The discussion around finding a speaker was futile, yet it lasted a painful three hours.

That day, I drove home from the meeting, wondering why there wasn’t a central place to connect qualified speakers at any fee range with the people who want to book them. So I built it.

For the first two years in business, I continually fought the association with any type of speakers’ bureau. I didn’t want my business model to resemble those in any way. In 2023, I participated in a tech business incubator program. As a participant, I was tasked with talking to speakers and event organizers to find out what they really want. I was surprised by what I learned.

Buyers told me that they wanted qualified speakers with the brand materials that reinforce credibility. In other words, people who book speakers want the confidence that comes with – at minimum – a speaker sheet and a sizzle reel. A speaker sheet is a single sheet that includes the speaker’s image, background, credentials, signature talks, and contact information. A sizzle reel is a brief video of the speaker in action, typically speaking before an audience. Some event planners call these materials social proof, and others refer to them as proof of performance. Regardless of the terminology used, planners agree that the materials are a basic requirement to consider booking a speaker.

Speakers told me that they wanted help elevating their skill set and developing their brand. They want to know how the public speaking business works. Often, they ask how to get started and move into progressively more desirable bookings. Speakers also said they view the value of services like those offered by I Need A Speaker are deserving of a 20% commission, paid from the speakers’ fee.

Based on what I learned in this process, I and my advisory board have implemented some changes to our business model.

  1. We will charge a 20% commission on bookings made through our website.
  2. We will offer training and branding packages for emerging speakers.

Our site and services will continue to evolve over time to continue delivering value to the people we joyfully serve.

Wishing you every success in 2024!


Photo credit: Image by Canva

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