Winning money-making strategies
ome of my NSA col-
leagues enjoy being a
one-man or a one-woman
show, with few or no
employees. In addition to
their speaking presenta-
tions, many have collateral products
and services. This business model has
brought many speakers great profes-
sional and financial success.
But what happens when the
volume of business exceeds what
a single speaker can provide,
even with a support staff?
Is your product—including presentations, public seminars, publications, online programs, consultation
—in such high demand that you
know a single content expert cannot
handle everything? If so, consider
developing a business where many
speakers can deliver your company.
Lessons from the Trenches
Here is what I have learned during
the past 25 years as our team developed Fitzgerald Health Education
1. Broad expertise. Our successful
business has a number of experts on
a variety of topics and wide availability. By adding consulting speakers, the company has experts on
more than 100 topics and virtually
all requests for speaking can be fulfilled. We also have developed a robust program of online learning and
offer more than 70 live company-sponsored seminars per year.
2. Consistent high-quality content. My
team and I developed a
product that many
speakers can present. For
some, this can be the
most uncomfortable part
of developing this type of
business—the person with
a speaking practice thinks
that he or she is best suited
to deliver certain content. In
reality, each speaker provides
his or her own experiences and
views on a topic. The result is that
evaluations differ little from one
speaker to another, and the customer
outcomes and acceptance are nearly
identical, regardless of the presenter.
3. High company standards.
We have created a program to
develop the consulting speakers
and their presentations to our company’s standards. Clear expectations
ensure the delivery of an outstanding product, no matter who the
speaker is. This system also safeguards that our success does not
depend on one person.
4. Stellar reputation. While the
company name includes my last
name, the name “Fitzgerald” is well
known in the industry and recognized as the place to access programs
and publications from the student to
the expert. The company’s identity
goes way beyond the work and
influence of one person.
Sadly, we have all heard of
speakers with highly successful solo
practices that could not survive due
to personal reversals in health or
relationships. A business where the
work and organization’s mission can
be continued in the absence of its
founder is an enterprise that can
be sold and still be viable. We have
developed a speaking business that
has residual value beyond my or the
leadership team’s presence and reach.
Practice or business? This is one
of the important decisions to make
in your speaking career.
Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP- BC,
NP-C, FAANP, CSP, FAAN, DCC, CSP,
is a woman of letters. She is the first
nurse practitioner to earn the CSP credential, and she is the founder, president
and principle lecturer with Fitzgerald
Health Education Associates, the industry leader in nurse practitioner board
review and ongoing continuing education for healthcare providers. She and
her husband Marc Comstock, MBA,
co-own the company.
Practice or Business?
Dr. Margaret Fitzgerald