How to Sell Workshops that Grow Your Business: Five Pointers to Get You Started Right

Creating and Selling Workshops

 

Creating and selling workshops is about much more than just teaching people something.

If you want to make the most out of any workshop you create for your business, then follow these five pointers before you begin.

 

Your Workshop Should Be a Part of a Larger Business Strategy

Those new to developing training frequently underestimate what goes into creating, selling, delivering and administering a workshop. They decide workshops would be a good source of new revenue without considering how it will impact their overall business.

Before you decide workshops are right for you, ask yourself:

  • Do you have the time, talent, resources and people to create and deliver a workshop that will benefit your overall business?
  • How can this new direction open up possibilities that you couldn’t achieve otherwise?

Creating a workshop is no small undertaking. Doing it well can deliver great results for your business. But jumping in unprepared can have the opposite effect – it can diminish your credibility and cost you more than it’s worth.

 

Your Workshop Should Drive Revenue

Have you ever heard the saying: it’s easier to keep an existing customer than it is to earn a new one?

When it comes to creating and selling workshops, this saying is particularly useful.

If you go through all the trouble of creating a workshop, consider how you can use it to drive revenue beyond simple ticket sales.  If selling seats to that one workshop alone is your only strategy, then you’ll have to find new customers over and over again – not an easy task.

To make the most of your efforts, consider:

  • What might participants be interested in purchasing after they take your workshop? Your services? A book? Another workshop?

Think through your entire business offering beyond your first workshop and then make sure your participants know what they can purchase from you next. If they really like your workshop, they will be enthusiastic about your other offerings.

Don’t leave them hanging with no other service, product or workshop to offer them.

 

Your Workshop Should Help People Learn

Many people want to create a workshop because they have valuable information to share and want a platform to share it from. They essentially create a lecture, call it a workshop and charge people for attending.

But people come to workshops to learn so helping them learning should be your number one goal.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think learning happens through lectures. That misguided idea of education was born of a time when expertise existed solely in the heads of experts. The only way to access it was to listen to them speak or to read what they write.

Today we’ve got overwhelming access to information. That expert knowledge isn’t nearly as important as it used to be.

If you want to truly stand out from the crowd with your workshop, then concentrate on delivering something that actually helps participants achieve something new as a result of being there.

To move away from lecturing, consider:

  • How can your workshop be less centered on you and more centered on participants?
  • How can you encourage people to contribute to the conversation and actually do things rather than just sit and listen?

People learn best through doing, participating and actively constructing knowledge, not through passively receiving information. The more skill-building activities you create, the more likely people will walk away having learned something new.

(Of course that’s easier said than done. Check out this post on how to create workshops that actually help people learn!)

 

Your Workshop Should be Professionally Designed, Marketed, Administered and Delivered

Your workshop can be an amazing marketing tool – but only if you pay attention to all the little details that promote not detract from your brand.

Don’t cut corners!

Don’t just throw together a poorly designed powerpoint presentation containing boring lecture notes. Don’t create ugly worksheets that make no sense to anyone once they leave the workshop.

Professionalism, and therefore credibility, comes out of a coherent and consistent approach to interacting with your customers in each and every point of contact.

From the moment someone sees your workshop advertised, as they read through your copy telling them what they’ll get from attending, as they move through the registration and payment process and as they attend the workshop itself, they are developing an imprint of you, your business, and your brand – so make a good impression!

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the marketing, graphic design, copywriting and instructional design experience to make sure your workshop delivers what you promise and makes you and your business shine?
  • How can you design trouble-free administration and logistics processes that enable participants to register, pay for and attend your workshop with ease?

By carefully thinking through every step of your customer’s movement, from the moment they discover you to their post-workshop experience, you can design experiences that create trust and confidence in you and your business.

 

Your Workshop Should be Priced Right

And finally, if you are going to do this, make sure you price your workshops so that they help you grow your business.

Detail everything you need to pay for to make the best impression and create a lasting impact:

  • What will you need to pay for to guarantee your participants have a memorable experience?
  • What do you need to pay for to guarantee your business can survive and thrive?

The cost of delivering a workshop involves more than the cost of the facilitator. Have you factored in the cost of space, customer service, materials, snacks, sign up and payment processes and printed materials and presentation design you will put in place?

How about all the costs associated with running your entire business (your overhead)?

Once you’ve got those figures, factor in how much profit you’d like to make after your costs are covered – profit that you can channel back into growing your business.

If you’re not sure about how to do this right, I’ve created a handy workshop pricing calculator to guide you through this process. By using this tool, you can experiment with how different ticket prices and numbers of participants will impact your revenue and profit for each workshop you run.

 

 

Got any tips you for others thinking of adding workshops to their business? Let us know!

Posted in 1. Should I Start a Business: Guidance for Those Thinking of Taking The Plunge, 2. How to Entrepreneur: Practical Lessons in Small Business Building, 6. Resources, Tools and Round-Up: Quick and Dirty Lists For Small Businessessing.

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  1. Pingback: Not Another Boring Lecture: Creating Workshops People Learn From – ALLISON HILLIER

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