The eSpeakers Marketplace platform is a secure, convenient way for organizations to research and hire speakers, trainers, coaches, and consultants.
Buyers use Marketplace-powered speaker directories to search for experts by price, topic, availability, and more. Buyers can see details about individual speakers by clicking into their profile and seeing the content that the speaker has posted about themselves, which includes video, programs, fees, social media feeds, and more.
Buyers can also post a public "call for speakers" that appears on the eSpeakers job board. Speakers can use their eSpeakers PLUS or PRO account to view and apply to these jobs.
Once a buyer has selected a speaker for their engagement, the Marketplace platform facilitates agreement of an online contract, and also accepts the speaker's fee from the buyer, which is passed along to the speaker, less any applicable fees.
Where Is My eSpeakers Profile Displayed?
The eSpeakers Marketplace platform publishes a directory of speakers under its own brand at
The platform is also used by other organizations to publish directories with their own branding on it. Each of these directory publishers selects the speakers from the eSpeakers catalog that they want to be listed on their directory. Inquiries and calls for speakers that come through these directories are identified as such when viewed by Speakers in EventCX. These inquiries are sent directly to the Speaker via email or mobile app notification and the Speaker should follow-up quickly using the Messages window in EventCX for the best chance of landing the job.
In addition, some speaker bureaus power their web directory with the Marketplace platform and act as their own broker. Inquiries that come through these bureaus are handled by the bureau. The bureau will contact you outside of the Marketplace platform if they have work for you.
When this article and other documentation refers to "the Marketplace platform" or "Marketplace", it generally refers to any of the directories using the technology platform, no matter the branding.
What Does the Process of Getting Hired and Paid Look Like?
The Marketplace platform is designed to make it very easy for a Buyer (the event organizer) and a Speaker (or trainer / coach / consultant) to connect with each other and complete a transaction.
The steps look like this:
Buyer creates a JOB on the Marketplace platform.
Buyer and Speaker communicate through platform MESSAGING and agree on specific terms.
The CONTRACT is digitally signed.
Buyer pays a DEPOSIT to speaker through the platform, which lands in the speaker's bank account, less applicable fees.
On the day of the engagement:
Speaker does a stellar job and the Buyer is thrilled.
The BALANCE of the speaking fee, along with agreed-to travel and materials fees are collected from the buyer by the platform and deposited in the Speaker's Stripe account, and from there into the Speaker's bank account.
Buyer leaves a glowing review for the Speaker (which raises Speaker's search rank on the directory).
How Does Online Contract Signing Work?
Online contracting is built right into the workflow when a Buyer hires a Speaker, in a way that makes things very natural and simple for both parties.
Once a Buyer and a Speaker are engaged in a conversation (via the Messages window) about a JOB that the Buyer has entered on the Marketplace platform, either of those parties can initiate an OFFER.
That OFFER, once accepted by the other party, becomes a binding contract between the Buyer and the Seller.
The offer, or contract, contains these five components:
Fee for speaking/training/consulting (always in USD)
Flat travel fee (if any)
Material fee (if any) for books, virtual training, etc.
Terms: a paragraph or so about when and where the speaker needs to be, for how long, and what they should do. This is written in plain language and should be free of legal jargon so that both parties clearly understand the intent.
An agreement document: the offer-maker chooses the
Default Engagement Agreement
provided by eSpeakers, or uploads a PDF document from their computer. This document is where the legal terms should live, and is typically more than one page.
These five components combine together to form the OFFER. Once the offer is accepted by the other party, we generally refer it as the "contract". Contracts are between the Speaker and the Buyer; eSpeakers is not a party on the contract.
Online contracting offers simplicity and security. When the receiving party ACCEPTS the OFFER, they must be signed into their password-protected eSpeakers account. They are required to initial the screen showing the OFFER details, and the IP address of the computer they are using is captured, along with the date and time.
What Happens If a Contract Is Canceled by One Side?
An offer that has been ACCEPTED is considered a binding contract. What happens when one side or the other backs out of that agreement depends on: which party is backing out (the Buyer or the Speaker), whether a deposit has already been paid, and how far away the event date is.
If the SPEAKER breaks a contract:
Any money paid so far (e.g. DEPOSIT) is returned to the Buyer
If the BUYER breaks a contract
Any money paid so far is retained by the Speaker (e.g. DEPOSIT)
If the event date is less than 45 days away, the Buyer is responsible to complete payment for the BALANCE of the Engagement Fee. The Buyer is not responsible to pay any agreed-on TRAVEL or MATERIAL fees.
...or if the Terms or Agreement executed as part of the accepted offer state otherwise, those terms apply instead.
How Do the Client's Payments Get to Me?
The eSpeakers platform handles the process of getting money from the Buyer to the Speaker. Because it is online and streamlined into the hiring process, making payment is very easy and secure for the Buyer, and it relieves the Speaker of the administrative chore.
Immediately after accepting a Speaker's OFFER, the Buyer is required to pay the DEPOSIT of 50% of the speaking fee via one of these payment methods:
Paper check through the mail
Once the payment has been received by eSpeakers, applicable fees are taken out and the balance is deposited into the Speaker's Stripe account.
On the Speaker's calendar, the event becomes confirmed only after DEPOSIT is received.
On the day the engagement starts, the platform automatically debits the Buyer for the BALANCE:
50% balance owed on speaking fee
Travel expenses, if any, per the contract
Materials fee, if any, per the contract
The balance collected is deposited immediately into the Speaker's Stripe account.
STRIPE ACCOUNT TO BANK ACCOUNT
Once the money is in a Speaker's Stripe account (which happens within seconds for credit card and bank account transactions), the money belongs to the Speaker. Speakers can "payout" from their Stripe account to the bank account whenever they like, or they can
configure automatic payouts
to sweep the money into their bank account automatically.
PAYMENT VIA PAPER CHECK, WIRE
If the Buyer chooses to pay via paper check sent through the mail, or a wire transfer, the process remains exactly the same but takes longer.
The eSpeakers platform sends the Buyer a printable invoice, against which the Buyer prints a check and mails it to eSpeakers Processing, or initiates a wire transfer. On receipt, eSpeakers deposits the amount, less any fees, into the Speaker's Stripe account and the the rest of the process happens as it would with any of the other payment methods.
The online payment process has a naturally high success rate of collecting payments from Buyers. eSpeakers facilitates the transaction but responsibility for paying always rests on the Buyer.
What Are the Commissions or Fees?
When a Speaker receives a job through the eSpeakers Marketplace, the platform has acted as both marketer and accounts receivable and there are fees associated with both roles.
Jobs that come to you through the Marketplace platform have a FINDER'S FEE, or commission, associated with them. The Finder's Fee varies from brand to brand. For instance, on the eSpeakers.com branded site, the Finder's Fee is 10% of the engagement fee. On the WSB DirectConnect brand, the Finder's Fee is 25%.
The Finder's Fee for each job in Marketplace is always prominently displayed so that the Speaker knows what it is. Speakers are never obligated to accept jobs that come to them via the Marketplace platform.
Finder's Fees apply only to the main ENGAGEMENT FEE, and do not apply to TRAVEL or MATERIALS fees that may be part of the offer.
The Finder's Fee is deducted from the DEPOSIT that is collected by the platform from the Buyer when the contract is consummated.
In the case of a Speaker performing an engagement at NO CHARGE (for a charity, for instance) the Finder's Fee is $0.00.
PAYMENT PROCESSING FEE
Payments from Buyers are collected using
Stripe payment processing
. For bank account payments,
is used in combination with Stripe. Both of these services have extremely simple interfaces and were selected because they make it so easy on the Buyer.
Payment processing fees are passed through from Stripe and/or Plaid and are not a profit center for eSpeakers. While the Finder's Fee applies only to the main engagement fee, processing fees apply to everything collected from the Buyer.
The processing fees charged by Stripe and/or Plaid are:
2.9% for credit cards
flat $7.00 USD for bank account debits
These fees are the same or lower than most other ways to accept payments online.
For paper checks received and processed by eSpeakers:
flat $10.00 USD per check
Speakers will notice that for typical engagement fees, credit card collections are the most expensive by far. Speakers are free to encourage Buyers to pay via one of the other methods.
How Does the Lead Board Work?
has helpful information explaining how Speakers interact with the job board.
How Can I Get More Jobs Through the eSpeakers Marketplace?
for tips on increasing your search result rank on directories. The higher you rank, the more views your profile gets.
Why Do I Have to Give Stripe My Social Security or Tax ID Number?
When you create a Stripe account, through which the eSpeakers platform will pay you for your work, you are required to enter your US social security number or other tax ID number.
The reason? The United States Government. In particular, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Stripe needs that tax id number to comply with government reporting regulations (
more information on the Stripe.com site
You should be very careful about giving out your tax ID number. Stripe is well recognized in the industry for its security and performance, but eSpeakers still encourages you to do you own research so you're comfortable.
Does eSpeakers Send Out 1099 Tax Forms to US-Based Speakers?
No. Or at least, not often.
eSpeakers is considered a Third-Party Settlement Organization (TPSO). When a speaker is booked for an engagement through the eSpeakers Marketplace platform, the contract is between the speaker and the event organizer. eSpeakers is a third party who handles the payment.
As a TPSO, eSpeakers does not send out 1099-MISC forms. There is a 1099-K form that we may issue in cases where a single speaker has been paid more than $20,000 USD over more than 200 transactions in a year. That's unlikely to happen often (200 engagements in a year is a lot!).
This should not be considered tax advice, and we encourage you to seek counsel from your accountant if you have further questions.