There are A LOT of elements to planning workshops which can definitely get overwhelming especially when you’re new to doing them. “What topic would people be excited about? How do I get them to come? And if they come, how do I get them to book?”
Today, I’m going to take you through the planning steps and the behind-the-scenes secrets that people don’t normally talk about when it comes to planning and hosting really awesome workshops.
In the 4 Step Process for Gaining New Bookings Effectively, I went through the framework for gaining bookings. To quickly recap, what you want to do is to get in front of your audience, connect with them, start to build that relationship and then invite them to book.
A workshop lets you do ALL of these things and that is why it’s a GREAT traffic generator, lead generator AND booking generator! Personally, I LOVE workshops! They are highly effective since they’re like an all-in-one marketing strategy. So let’s dive in planning one that let’s you do all that.
Step 1. Get in front of new people who are your ideal clients
There are 2 parts to this one. If gaining new bookings is your ultimate goal then you need to be getting in front of new eyes. Hosting workshops to your existing community and patients is good for nurturing them, but it won’t give you that traffic you need for new bookings.
Secondly, make sure that you are getting in front of new people, and those people are your ideal clients. The best way to do this, especially when you’re just starting out, is going into someone’s community. Ideally, their venue, to host the workshop.
In How to Creatively Find Your Ideal Clients, the two-part exercise helps you uncover some creative places (you maybe haven’t thought about), to strategically get in front of your targeted ideal clients. Because, as much as possible, you want to host your workshop in a place that is closely aligned with your ideal clients so that you are making your efforts count. Otherwise all the other steps that come after won’t be as effective.
Step 2. Start thinking about the topic
Again this is a 2-parter. When thinking about a topic, you really want to consider something that’s going to be exciting for people AND naturally leads to what you do.
Now this is where some people get hung up. They’ll create this awesome workshop but then it never actually leads really naturally back to what they do. In the end, it doesn’t become the next step segway to working with them.
On the flip side, I’ve seen practitioners create detailed and educational workshops but they’re not exciting to people. They’re not what they want, so no one actually shows up!
So, when brainstorming for workshop topics, create two lists.
List 1: Your Ideal Clients
Think of your ideal clients and the micro problems that they have.
What are the things they often ask you?
What are smaller bite sized problems or desires they have as it relates to their bigger problem or health goal (get really specific here)
Those little micro problems are what they are interested in. By basically giving them what they want, you create a topic that is exciting to people.
List 2: Your Ideal Patients
Consider some of your favourite, most amazing patients now (or have worked with in the past).
What made them ideal patients?
What did they know, understand or believe before working with you (that made them so great)?
What did they need to learn or try before you to get to that place?
The answer to these questions are the things that you can teach them within your course or workshop to naturally lead them to working with you (and also being awesome clients).
So work backwards from being a patient and try to align what they need to know, understand and believe with what they currently want. This naturally creates a topic that is both exciting and naturally leads to more bookings.
Step 3. Get crystal clear on the takeaways
Identify what exactly is going to be covered because we don’t want to overwhelm people. Remember, less is more.
All you need are 3-5 takeaways (MAX) for them to walk away with at the end. These can become actionable steps
Consider WHY they should care about these takeaways. These become eye opening “aha moments” for people so they’re more motivated to take action
Doing this will help your audience have a shift in their beliefs within the workshop and be aligned and committed to working with you.
Step 4. Be sure to include next steps
Getting people to the next step is the MOST important part of workshops, but honestly, the most forgotten.
At the end, always give people 1 or 2 next steps to continue their journey if they want to take things a little further. This basically means either an offer or an invitation to something you do.
If your goal is to get leads, you can offer them something for free in exchange for their email address.
If your goal is to get bookings, the next step would be to offer your service or product.
Don’t just skirt around it or mention it at the end. Be direct in letting people know how they can continue this journey if they liked what you went through today. Without this step, you can offer a great workshop but get nothing from it yourself in return.
To summarize, get in front of new people who are your ideal clients, wherever you’re hosting it and make sure those two criteria fit or it’s not going to be the best use of your time.
Secondly, make sure that the topic is exciting to people and is in a format that they want. This should also naturally lead to working with you.
You want to have no more than 3 to 5 takeaways that are a combination of action items and “aha moments” that begin to shift their beliefs and lead them to more naturally wanting to work with you.
And finally, give them those next steps. Offer them something in exchange for their email or make an invitation to your services, packages, protools or programs.
If you want to learn the 4 steps my clients are using to build fully booked practices (without having the marketing take over their life) check out the free training below. And as always, feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions.