When I first started my business (writing and consulting), I found out the hard way that to build true wealth you have to learn one thing:
Time is not money.
Time is something poor people trade for money. There’s only so much time in a day, that’s why they’re poor.
Americans have this crazy idea that we should:
Graduate high school > Go into massive debt to go to college > get a good job where you can work for 40 years > save 20% of your measly income every month > never take outlandish vacations > don’t invest in anything risky > get promoted if you can > get more debt to buy a house > work your butt off for someone else to profit bc you have debt > do this your entire life > you’re crazy if you want more than this American dream > retire.
This is insane.
You know what’s worse?
Most of the people on this platform searching for entrepreneurial advice are freelancers, consultants, coaches — people with service businesses.
It’s smart. We start our own business, a business that can scale, a business that can get us out of the rat race disguised as the American Dream.
But, the problem is, most of us end up selling our time. So, same shit — different toilet.
OK, let me get to my actual point here. People who sell services for a living need an easy, scalable tactic for getting out of the “selling time” race.
Workshops are an excellent way for service businesses to pull in extra revenue. Lots of it.
You don’t have to sell your time.
Why do you think you see so many consultants slingin’ online courses en masse till the cows come home?
I figured I’d wise up and see what all the fuss was about.
I’m interested in doing an online course. But, before I invest mad time/money into that, I decided to host my first workshop. It required
- 2 hours of prep time
- 6 hours of instruction time
Workshops are an easy way to learn what resonates with your market. If you’re thinking of doing an online course, workshops are how you test material.
I made over $1k (didn’t necessarily expect to do that on my first run).
Now, I’m going to show you how I did it.
What makes a good workshop?
- It’s something that people walk away from with actionable advice
- Give attendees tangible value (the value for attending my workshop is a writing pitch, a writing portfolio, and the first email campaign sent out for lead gen)
- The instructor has hands-on experience with what they’re teaching. I teach a workshop on growing a writing business for freelance writers — I teach this because I’ve done it myself, earning over 6-figures from my writing.
Steps to creating a highly-profitable workshop
Step 1. Build some cred
- Write in your niche. Get articles published in Medium publications. Write on LinkedIn and share your articles in LinkedIn Groups within your niche.
- Give a talk at a college or an event. This is much easier than you’d expect. Contact colleges/universities near you — specifically, contact folks in the department that matches your business (i.e., if you want to host marketing workshops, give talks to marketing classes).
- Get on the Meetup app and offer your free advice to some groups in your industry or niche. Local libraries, chamber of commerce, and other orgs are great options as well.
- Test the waters. After a few talks, you’ll know what resonates most with people in your target niche/industry. Get feedback from attendees on what works, what doesn’t, and what they felt was missing.
- Collect emails. As you go around talking and teaching at various places, ask people if they want to see some of your content around the topic. They’ll say yes. Ask them to either sign up on a piece of paper with their email or have them put it into a digital form.
*Note: Do not add something to your workshop/class because one person suggested it. Only add parts that are suggested by multiple people (at least 3). Do not take out anything that one person suggests you omit, etc.
Step 2. Pick a hyper-niche
When it was time to pick a topic to teach, I decided to be hyper-focused.
I could teach freelancers how to build a business. But instead, I focus on a smaller niche within freelancing— freelance writers.
Your niche should ideally be a something you’re a part of (like how I’m a freelance writer). People trust someone who’s “been there, done that.”
The more defined your niche, the more relevant your workshop will be, and therefore, the more money you can charge.
Step 3. Make your workshop worth 10X in value what you charge
In my workshops, I walk writers step by step from portfolio creation to landing high-paying clients.
I charge $300-$1,500. But, writers that attend my workshops walk away with clients who will pay them $20k+ in a year. My workshops provide IMMENSE value. Make sure yours do the same.
You also need to spell this immense value out to potential attendees.
For example, I let writers know that when they apply my tactics to their businesses, they’ll earn $20k+ per client, per year.
So, the $300 ticket is chump change compared to what they’ll earn in the long run. It’s less than they’ll be charging per article.
Step 4. Be a Ferarri, not a Kia
If you’re going to sell something expensive, you need to look expensive.
Have you seen a Ferrari showroom?
And what about Kia?
Now, I’m not saying Kias are bad cars. I’ve had one. Got me from point A to point B just as good as my BMW.
And, I’m not saying people that own Kia dealerships aren’t wealthy — it’s just that they have to sell about 40 Kias to match what Ferrari makes selling one car.
Kia nets an average of around 19% per car. A Kia costs around $15k. So, a net of almost $3k per car.
If you’re going to make serious money, then you need to elevate your brand. Be the premium coach that charges $5k per month for a 30-minute call per week.
Be the writer that charges $500 minimum for an article.
Charge $300 per ticket to your workshop, not $25. Elevate your expectations of yourself. Elevate the way others perceive you.
After applying the methods above to my first workshop, I made over $1k. I only needed to sell 4 tickets to do that.
It’s much easier to sell 4 tickets at $300 than it is to sell 20 tickets at $50.
The most difficult part will be getting in front of the right people — the people that will pay for your Ferrari workshop. But, the more you get out there and speak for free, the quicker you’ll find the folks you’re looking for.