You Ask, I Answer: Tips for Offering Workshops and Trainings?

Jordie asks, “What are your experiences in offering workshops / trainings? I am looking to craft and launch workshop myself so I am super interested to hear how you did / and are doing.”

Workshops and trainings are a core part of what I do, so there’s definitely a logic and process to it. First, figure out what the audience is willing to pay to learn – it’s got to be something you can’t easily Google. Second, figure out how much of it there is – is it something so tactical that it’s just a short video like this with no followup? Is it a webinar? Or is it a full-blown course? Third, build the curriculum around it.

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In today’s episode Jordi asks, What are your experiences offering workshops and trainings? I’m looking to craft and launch workshops myself, because I’m super interested to hear how you did in doing.

So good.

Good question.

workshops and trainings are definitely a core part of what I do.

So there’s definitely a logical process to it.

When we’re building these things, there’s a lot that goes into them, first and foremost, figure out if we’ve got something that is a good fit for our workshop.

So one of the things that I always find tricky, is, there’s a lot of workshops out there where, you know, people are asking you to pay money for something that frankly, you can Google.

Right.

And my hesitation in offering a workshop like that is what’s the extra value? What’s the added value that I could put in a workshop that you couldn’t Google? Right? Is there a unique methodology, a framework, something that isn’t just recycled hash, right? If you look at you know, the so so many workshops on like, Instagram strategy, and they’re all the same, right? It’s like, you should comment on people’s videos and posts, you should post a story every day.

Like, that’s pretty commonplace.

Like, what’s, what’s new, what’s unique? What’s something that would be worth paying for? would be valuable? And the bench test for that, as always, will it save somebody time? Will it save somebody money will make somebody money? If what you’re offering in a workshop, or any kind of of content doesn’t answer one of those two questions.

It’s not worth paying for, it might be cool to learn, but it’s not worth paying for.

Second, with whatever topic that you come up with, got to figure how much of that there is.

So I’ve seen people with varying degrees of success, take something that’s very tactical and atomic and blow it out into like a full hour and a half workshop.

But the reality is, what they were teaching could have been taught in 10 minutes, right? I’ve seen other people and I’m guilty of this one, who will take a topic that honestly should be a six hour course and try and cram it in 30 minutes.

You know, when when somebody asks me to deliver a talk at a conference, like oh, yeah, can you do like, marketing ROI measurement in, you know, 18 minutes, like, yeah, I suppose.

But it’s like saying, Can we do neurosurgery 30 minutes, like you can.

But you’re gonna have to take some shortcuts.

So figuring out, does the content fit the time available, is important.

And then third is building the actual workshop.

And there’s three things you need, we’re going to follow Bob stones, 1968 framework for direct marketing, right? His thing was lists offer creative for workshops, for courses for trainings, it is marketing, platform and content, same exact thing list offer creative.

So starting with marketing, do you have an audience, if you have not built an audience, building a workshop is kind of putting the cart before the horse, right, because you don’t really have any way to sell it to I mean, if you’ve got a big pile of money laying around, and you want to spend a whole bunch on advertising, then yeah, for sure, you can get a workshop out there and even get some ROI on it.

Because if you can spend $1, but get $1 20 back, you’re gonna do okay.

But it’s easier, it’s a lot easier to have a platform to have a decent sized newsletter to have a decent sized social media following to have, you know, repeat a good number of repeat readers of your blog, whatever that is, you need to have that platform in advance in order to make it easy to sell.

By the way, this also applies to books too.

All this stuff.

Second is in the original framework was offer it for us in workshops, this platform, how are you going to do this thing.

There are so so many different ways to deliver a workshop there are LMS systems learning management systems, with that have like your quizzes and all these things.

There are just stock downloads.

I for a lot of my stuff, I use a service called gumroad.

gumroad is just an e commerce delivery platform.

You pay the money, and you download the files.

And in the in a lot of my workshops, it’s a video file, it’s an audio file, it’s PDFs of the content.

It’s typically a transcript of some kind, just to make sure that at least for me, I’m delivering the workshop in as many modalities of learning as possible.

Some people are our video watchers, you are right now, some people are readers, some people are listeners.

And so whatever format people consume information and try to give it to them.

And then finally of course is the content and a lot of the workshop stuff is going to follow Going to follow the what? Why how framework? Right? So what is the thing? Why is it important? How does it work? And so when you decompose your workshop topic into all the little sub chapters, each of those is going to be, what is it? Why does it matter? How does it work? And I find that that format for me, tends to, tends to best convey the information because in a lot of cases, there’s a big question, what is the thing like, what, what do these words even mean? Why does this matter? And then how does it work? So something for example, like doing regression analysis, what is that, and if you’re not familiar with it, I can’t launch right into why it’s important if you don’t even understand the words coming out of my mouth.

So that’s that framework for putting together the content.

And again, same as the direct marketing framework, lists, offer creative got to do the platform first.

Doing that building your platform first also gives you a sense of what the audience cares about.

Right? When you look at what you’re getting traffic to on your blog, on your newsletter, you know, what gets clicks? What gets engagement on your social media posts, you can very quickly tell.

Some topics are made for a workshop, right? There’s a lot of interest in other topics, not as much.

I have given.

I’ve lost count of how many workshops at different conferences, and I’ve had some workshops where Yeah, there’s three people in the room.

Right? It was just not a topic people were interested in like, well, you three, you’re gonna get like the deep dive.

And as far as I know, everyone walked away having gotten some benefit from it.

But at the same time, it’s one of those things where other workshops I’ve given, you know, packed room 100 people like, Okay, this is this is actually too large for a classroom style.

So you’ve got to be very focused on building your research to know what it is people want.

One of the ways that I recommend doing this is building question lists.

So going to sites like ask calm and Cora, and just answer calm and all these different companies that run these q&a sites.

And again, just make it you know, select all on the screen, copy and paste into a text document, and then look at the questions that keep coming up over and over again.

So a Reddit is another phenomenal source for this.

One of the questions that keep coming up over and over again, where people clearly either they don’t want to, or they don’t know how to Google for the answers.

And that’s a great place to build your workshop from because you know, these are perennial problems.

And you also know that if you need to, you can answer the questions lightly in those forums, then, gently encourage people to take your workshop if they really want to dig into it.

So that’s the methodology for building out that workshop content and for building out your platform is figure out what people want.

Look at search data to go into, you know, Google Trends or the SEO tool of your choice, and start digging in, like, what are the common things that people keep asking us? services like keyword spinner and stuff to, to copy the, you know, people also ask or auto suggest questions from Google.

Those are fantastic ways to build that list of questions that you can build an entire workshop around.

So how is it working? Pretty well, it’s it is more than beer money, it’s less than mortgage money.

Let’s put it that way.

And that’s with not the world’s best marketing.

yet.

I do put it in my newsletters.

I do share it on social media, but for the most part, I don’t promote them as heavily as I promote my company because my company is and all the services and products we offer a much higher ROI than the workshops.

The workshops are there.

If you want to learn a specific topic.

I need to put together a list of all the workshops that are available and probably take down a couple of the ones that are a little on the old side.

So long, lots of detail as to what it is how these things work.

You get follow up questions, leave them in the comments box below.

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