Advanced Attention Acquisition: How To get $100,000 Each Weekend On Stage. 

Attention and Engagement are the ignition points for faster revenue—the DNA for faster growth. 

Speaking on stage is a considerable revenue acquisition opportunity that most businesses neglect. 

Jordan Schumacher is the co-founder of Thought-Leader. His company shows founders and other subject matter experts how to land speaking gigs and use them to grow their influence, business, and more.



  • Year one – Thought-Leader grew revenue to $4m,
  • Year two – Revenue was $7.5m, 
  • 2023 – is projecting revenue of around $15m,


Public speaking accounts for 10%-25% of the revenue. The primary revenue is add-on merchandise sales, and other income accounts for the rest. 

Thought-Leader has reversed the traditional business model: Thought-Leader prefers to pay: they partner with organisers to sponsor critical events.

Old Way 

As a keynote speaker, you might get $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 to speak at an event. 

New Way – Thought Leader way

  • Thought-Leader pays the event organiser to allow them to speak: allowing them greater control over the audience’s experience.
  • Audience size, fit, and ticket price (higher-ticket audiences are more likely to buy high-end coaching services like Thought-Leader)
  • Typically Thought_Leader generates $40,000-$60,000 in sales each day. 
  • The team only sets foot on stage if they can generate $100k+ during the weekend, with at least a 4x all-in ROI.


How Thought-Leader optimises profits ( and you can too)

Step 1: Skip the Keynote

There is no value in being the Keynote speaker for Thought-Leader. Their focus is selling sponsorships, time on stage, other speaking spots and sales from booths during the event. 


Step 2: Thought-Leader optimises for 

  • Prime speaking slot: Ideally, when energy is high, 20-30 minutes on the main stage on day one or two. They make it clear they need 200+ attendees at their talk and negotiate time, location, and email blasts to try to hit that.
  • Booth: Where his team can chat up attendees, collect info, and schedule sales calls.
  • Capped up-front investment: They typically aim to keep sponsorships $30k or less and sometimes try to negotiate a revenue split on their sales rather than pay more upfront.
  • Host a post-event webinar 2-3 weeks after the conference. It is a great way to deliver extra value to attendees and organisers and squeeze more profitability out of each event sponsorship.


Step 3: Maximise Revenue opportunities

Four-part playbook to maximise sales


  • Pre-Event: Almost every event hosts an online community for attendees. (Many sponsors don’t use it). In the weeks leading up to an event, they’ll introduce themselves, socialise, and direct mail every person individually, inviting them to their session – with many incentive hooks to attend. 
  • During the Event: Their goal is for all Thought-Leader sales reps to be booked every hour on the hour, ten hours per day, every day of the event. To lift the probability, roving sales development representatives work the crowd and schedule sales calls. 
  • Post-Event Follow-Up: Automated lead follow-up with a 14-day automated sequence that uses daily email and occasional SMS follow-ups to offer free resources, training, and case studies of their successful clients. Sales Development Representatives manually text/dial every lead generated at the event – no stone is left unturned. 
  • Network With Organisers: The most profitable events are often ones you’ve never heard of. Building relationships with each organiser to understand their future events in detail is critical to future revenue streams. 


How is your business going above and beyond this year to lift and gain the attention of your future ideal buyers? 

The costs to acquire revenue growth are growing faster than the published inflation rate. 


  • Criteo surveyed more than 800 senior advertising agency professionals across the U.S. and EMEA to understand major digital media channel trends. They found in their report – The Advertiser’s Guide to New and Emerging Channels in 2023.
  • U.S. agencies anticipate that the cost of running digital campaigns will rise by 22% in 2023.
  • Social media campaigns will increase the most of all digital channels (greater than 22%)
  • The cost to run global digital campaigns will rise 25% on average.
  • Cost-per-order is now a top metric alongside Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS), 
  • Retail media scored the highest for ROAS, with most U.S. media agency respondents saying this will deliver a greater return on investment (ROI) than search or social. 

What is retail media – this is a marketplace (buy and sell) where retailers sell advertising spots to buyers who want to reach their customers. The key is – like audiences – if your ideal buyers happen to have the same or similar profile to Specsavers customers – then a deal may be possible. 

55% of media agency professionals are confident that this year’s client revenue growth is possible. 

The biggest problems for their clients are 

1) Growth – lifting revenue,  

2) innovation – finding ways to deliver better, faster, simpler for less cost, 

94% of media agency professionals in the U.S. agree that brand clients should be exploring new digital media channels. 

What are agencies advising their clients to focus on in 2023 – 

  • 51% focus on improving campaign performance,
  • 45% improving client brand awareness, 

How are your innovation, strategy and planning to lift your 2023 revenue, profitability and total shareholder returns going? 

Let me know if you are up for a chat about your challenges to find better solutions. 

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