Article Category: Book Reviews

Make Money Speaking – Book Review: Rain Making (Ford Harding)


Maybe you are (or want to be) a professional speaker seeking to make more money by finding new clients?

Maybe you are a professional who would like to leverage your speaking skills to grow your business?

In either case, this book is for you.

This is a book review of Ford Harding’s book —  Rain Making: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field — which offers abundant advice for marketing your skills through speaking, writing, and other pursuits.

What’s in Rain Making?

Rainmaking is divided into four main parts:

  1. Marketing
    Covers basic strategies for building your reputation and generating leads.
  2. Networking
    Describes the myriad ways to build your professional network and maintain it.
  3. Sales Tactics
    Uncovers selling and pricing fundamentals.
  4. Strategy
    Bringing it all together.

Rain Making is full of practical advice that you can apply immediately to improve your marketing efforts.

I particularly liked the numerous real-life stories and anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book, often to lead off chapters.

My only disappointment was the single chapter on web marketing which I felt could use a significant rewrite and more pages. (Perhaps a decade of experience in this field leaves me wondering how just 5 pages can cover such an important topic.)

Successful Marketing Is…

A core theme of Rain Making is that successful marketing and sales comes down to three variables:

  • Increasing your network size
  • Increasing the percentage of buyers (people in your network who hire you)
  • Increasing the revenue per client

The author points out that your strong communication skills are a key advantage to improving all three variables.

How Does Rainmaking relate to Public Speaking?

This book aims at two audiences among Six Minutes readers. Which group do you fall into?

Group 1 – You are (or want to be) a Professional Speaker…

Rain Making teaches you the fundamentals for many of the business aspects of public speaking such as:

  • How to use print or online media to market your speaking skills
  • Creating publicity for yourself
  • Building a network of people who might hire you, or recommend you
  • Landing that coveted (and lucrative) keynote gig
  • Pricing yourself
  • Knowing when to turn down low-paying speaking opportunities

Group 2 – You use (or want to use) your Speaking Skills to Complement Your Growing Career…

Rain Making is littered with tips and techniques that show you how to leverage your strong communication skills to give you an advantage over your competitors:

  • How to generate public speaking opportunities
  • How to organize seminars and conferences which allow you to network and build your credibility
  • How to use your one-on-one communication skills wisely
  • How to deliver presentations that impress your potential client

What Other Reviewers Have Said

Bob Potemski:

The ideas, concepts, and tactics are applicable to all training professionals who have to market their training functions, especially you independent training consultants whose livelihood depends on your marketing abilities to sell yourself to a new customer.

Emily Grandstaff-Rice:

Rain Making is a superb guide to obtaining work, and frankly, an easy how-to book on becoming a true professional.

Reg Nordman:

Buy it, read it, and keep it close.

Suzanne Lowe:

So, fear not, you potential readers who feel like you can’t clear the decks to read one more business book. I’ll bet this one can actually make an immediate improvement in your revenue results.

Aspiring Solo:

The author, Ford Harding, speaks with authority (the book cover points out that his books are required reading for certification with the Society for Marketing Professionals).

Many people shy away, even run, from the tasks entailed in selling one’s services. Harding walks his readers through the practical, logistical and psychological. He addresses the shyness factor and how to overcome it using reason and common sense. Introverts can do it, too, argues Harding.

Tim Klabunde:

Rain Making is a book for professionals who are interested in learning how to develop their career. Its easy to understand focus on marketing tactics and strategies makes it an excellent tool for developing successful marketing strategies for an individual or company.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review.

Rain Making: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field by Ford Harding Andrew Dlugan 1 January 26, 2009 Practical advice teaching you the things you need to do to build your network, add clients, and increase your revenue.

This article is one of a series of public speaking book reviews featured on Six Minutes.
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Comments icon1 Comment

  1. Hi Andrew, Five pages on web marketing – that’s amazing. When you consider now that there are people who are building speaking careers solely using web marketing eg: Garr Reynolds. Olivia

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