If you read Part 1 of this article, you learned about the two things you should analyze at the start of the new year… fees and demand! Now, here’s the thought process that ensures your speaking business is on the right track.

I love when readers send in questions…

In fact, huge thanks to premium member Shawn Shepheard for inspiring this week’s topic.

He wrote, “How do you plan your whole year? Many speakers just go gig to gig without a master plan.”

Yes, Shawn. You’re absolutely right.

Like ships lost in the night… Many speakers just coast from gig to gig without a clear direction or strategy. These are the speakers who plateau in their earnings – or leave speaking entirely.

But, that’s not you!  I know, because you’re here… learning how to plan your revenue for the entire year in a single sit-down.

Today, I’m going to share a system I use to analyze demand and make important fee decisions for my business. Follow this process and you’ll be able to set realistic and beneficial goals for your new year.

Yes, there’s a little math, but nothing too complicated.

It’s as easy as … say… deciding to scrap your silly “no-caffeine” resolution one week into the new year.  Mmmm… lattes!

Simple Habits Can Pay Dividends

Oftentimes, it’s the simplest tasks now that have a huge effect later.

For speakers, the most important simple task is tracking your data. If you haven’t already, set up a tracking system for this new year. Then go back into last year’s books and fill in as much data as you can.
Here are the specific pieces of information you’ll need for your new year’s analysis…

  • How many inquiries did you receive in total?
  • Which ones did you win and lose?
  • What were the reasons why you lost each gig?
  • What were the lead sources for each inquiry?

The lead source portion is key.

That’s because you need to reframe how you think of demand in the marketplace.  Your time spent on stage is no longer the end result of your marketing efforts.  Instead, it’s the most important first step – a step that can actively earn you new leads and increase your demand.

If you'd like to use a system to track all your gigs, check out GiGS.

Your Obvious (and Not-So-Obvious) Goals

Setting your goals for gigs in the new year can be a little bit of a balancing act. On one hand, you want to strive for a higher number of gigs so you can generate more revenue.  But on the other hand, you don’t want to set your fee so high that you price yourself out of the marketplace.

Let’s imagine that you did 20 gigs last year and you decide to increase that number to 25. Our rule of thumb says:

Take your number of desired gigs and double it to find out how many inquiries you need to achieve that goal.

So, your obvious first goal is to earn 50 inquiries in the new year.  Great, now what?

I can almost see the gears in your head turning…

Hmm… to earn more inquiries I’ll need to lower my fee a bit, double the new content I put out, 10x my podcast listeners, write a new book, schedule six more workshops… blah, blah, blah.”

Before you start brainstorming new ways to increase your demand, look at the relationship between your total number of inquiries and your booked gigs from the last year. Winning 20 gigs is great. But if you ONLY received 20 inquiries total, you have a bigger problem.

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