Workshops are a great way to build and connect with your customers and community. They can be used as an entry level introduction into your world or an advanced learning environment where your customers receive tailored and intricate tools to accelerate their own skills.
One of the best things about workshops is that in most cases they are easy to create and cost effective. Workshops don’t need to be a grandiose event or program, but rather a simplistic to-the-point format and environment where people can easily reach their intended goal.
Before you dive in, it’s necessary to understand what your intentions are first. Why do you want to create a workshop and what for? Is it to purely gather customer information through a free program that you can later up-sell a product/service (this strategy is used often)? Or is it to create an immediate additional revenue stream where you can share knowledge and teach people a specific skill set with a one off entry/free. There are many ways to approach a workshop format either online or in person, however it’s important to work what’s going to be more valuable for you based on what you are doing and what stage your business is at.
Once you have worked out your own intentions, it’s important to communicate your workshop and it’s purpose clearly with your audience. Prospective attendees need to know in advance exactly what they are signing up for, whether they are paying for it or not. What is going to be covered, what will they learn, how they will be able to apply this information/skills in a practical way, what will be achieved once the workshop is completed. Setting appropriate expectations will ensure that you are attracting your perfect attendee and also mitigate the chances of any dissatisfaction.
You don’t have to promise people the world. You aren’t giving them top secret information but rather helping to breakdown a task/topic into bite sized steps so that your attendee is able to approach that particular thing in future with greater ease. A bit stuck or feeling self conscious? Read the blog – You Don’t Need To Know It All – Learn Something And Provide To Others.
Setting up a workshop is cost effective and really comes down to how you wish to do it and at what scale. Personally, I think it’s best to keep things simple, small and your own personal goals bite sized until you grow and build confidence in what you do.
If you’re looking at an online gathering, you can utilise free social media tools such as Facebook and Instagram live which most people are already familiar and comfortable with (you’ll get more immediate buy in) or you can use some of the many free webinar platforms out there such as ezTalks, AnyMeeting or Mikogo.
If you want to do it in person, there are plenty of local clubs and halls that will allow their spaces to be rented out at a very low cost (in some cases free) and you can also look at local cafes during off-peak times where you might be able to work out a deal with the owner for a cost per head that includes coffee and a small snack. In person events do carry a little more risk as you may need to cover some costs, however if you create rules surrounding a minimum number of participants in order for it to go ahead, then you can control expectations and protect yourself if you don’t muster up enough interest.
Case Study – Episode 9 – Niche Massage, Nowra
Amy from Niche Massage is looking to expand her business and services by creating workshops for others. It’s a great way to scale the business without a dramatic investment of time and money. After all, you already have the knowledge and use it on a day to day basis so why not share it with others to bring them more value and education.
No matter what you choose to do, keep your goals in check. A successful first workshop will have happy attendees receiving what they expected (and hopefully more), and an increased customer network and advocacy of what you do. Most importantly though your overheads are covered. Don’t focus on profits to begin with. Get comfortable with the format and experience before gradually building over time.
Have you created a workshop? How did you find it and what lessons can you pass onto others from your first experiences? Leave a comment!