By Caterina Rando, MCC
When speaking on other people’s stages I have paid 0%, 10%, 20%, 30% and 50% and I have paid those commissions when asked. Sometimes promoters ask for a fee to speak plus a commission. I have had promoters ask for 50% plus 50% of any future commissions on sales to audience members.
Any promoter can ask for any commission they want. As a speaker you have to determine what works for you and NEGOTIATE what you feel does not work for you. If you are not comfortable with the percentages promoters are asking, you can ask them to reduce their commission. I will often negotiate the terms of the agreement because I do not only want to speak I want to feel good about going to speak at an event.
If a promoter wants 50% commission, I want them to take that high a commission only after I have covered my travel and other costs to be there.
If a promoter wants 50%, I am often happy to give them 50% on the sales from that day because I know the big sales are coming later after someone comes and spends a couple of days with me.
Also when a promoter is asking for a high commission–40% or 50%–ask them what else they will do for you. Perhaps they will have staff to stay at your booth so that you do not have to pay someone to be there. Or they will do a dedicated mailing out to their list after the event offering what you offered at the live event to those that could not attend.
Also, before you say yes to a promoter, do your research on that person. Ask them what speakers they have had before. Use your personal network to ask around about them. You are getting into a financial arrangement with someone and you want to know that they operate with integrity.
Ideally you go to one of their events before you consider speaking for them so you can see if what they do resonates with you and your message.
I have worked with promoters who have been great and who have delivered to me some great clients. I have worked with promoters who were good people but they could not fill a room. This is where getting out there and building your experience is needed. The more experience you have with working with promoters the better you become at working with promoters.
Let me know what other questions you have on this topic and I gladly answer them.