Running your own wellness workshops is an amazing way to build your brand, collaborate with other professionals, and connect with new potential clients. If your goal is to have a busy practice, be well-known in your niche, and to make money doing what you love, then getting comfortable running your own workshops is a must!
But when you are just starting out, running your first workshop can be super intimidating. What if no one comes? What about stage fright? What if people don’t like the content?
If your fears are holding you back from running a workshop, now is the time to take action! We are challenging you to set a date and commit to planning your first workshop this month.
To help you get started, we are sharing all the steps you'll need to take, plus tips from experienced nutritionists who told us what they wish they had known while planning their first workshops.
Pick a Venue
Deciding where to host your workshop might seem daunting, but this should be the easiest part of the process.
If you’re holding a free workshop, you should be able to easily find a local wellness-oriented business that would be happy to host you in order to offer value to their customers, and potentially attract new ones. If you’re selling tickets to your workshop, you may still be able to find a venue to host you for free, or you may need to pay a small rental fee to them.
If it is your first workshop, select a small space so it doesn't feel empty with a small group of attendees.
Here are some potential businesses you may want to reach out to, to ask if they would be interested in hosting your workshop:
- Juice bars
- Boutique fitness studios
- Healthy restaurants (during off-hours)
- Wellness centres and clinics
- Natural beauty product shops
- Meeting room rentals
Take Action: Send emails to five local businesses introducing yourself and explaining the type of workshop you’ll be giving and why it will benefit their customer base. You do not need to wait until you have created your workshop content to do this! Locking down the venue and a date first will force you to stop procrastinating.
Create Your Workshop Content
You are probably thinking that creating the actual workshop is the most important part, but it’s not. In fact, we recommend choosing your main topic but not structuring it too much. Try to present 3-5 pieces of actionable information that people can take home and implement right away, any more may be overwhelming.
“I use my workshops as a way to connect with people I otherwise would have never met in clinic. I make space for stories, connection, hugs and laughter in the workshop plan. Those things might take up more time than the content, but that’s what keeps it authentic and engaging and people come back for more of that. At the end of the day we are all craving connections and growth.” - Ashleigh Norris, CNP
Create an outline of what you will cover in the workshop, but don’t plan to spend the whole time presenting to the participants. Open up the floor to ask questions, and be flexible if your guests really want more information about one specific point you shared.
Ashleigh also cautions against over-rehearsing. She encourages you to show up in integrity, and present from your heart, not your head. No matter how much you practice, you may still mess it up. So be ready to just roll with it.
Take Action: Write the title of your workshop, then jot down the 3 to 5 most important points you will make about this subject. Decide the order in which you will present them, and how you will present the information (slides, demonstrations, etc.). Then you can begin working on fleshing out the more in-depth details.
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
“We put so much effort into organizing valuable information to help people, but you have to spend about the same amount of time, if not more, marketing and promoting your workshop as you did putting the workshop contents together!” – Maya Eid, CNP
Marketing and promoting your workshop is the most important part of the process. If you don’t get the word out, it won’t matter how awesome your content is, because you won’t have anyone to teach! Be ready to spend as much time on marketing your workshop as you do designing it.
You don’t need to have a million Instagram followers or a popular blog in order to market your workshop. You can leverage your personal network to get the word out.
“Consider all the ways you can get your workshop marketed to the right people. Don't neglect relationships you have built with friends, family or others in your neighbourhood, as this is your first one and you are working on building your audience.
Create a visually appealing poster and send that to anyone you know so they can share it with their friends, and you can potentially hang it somewhere in the neighbourhood. Then share that poster on social media as well.
Don't forget to create a Facebook event and invite your friends, and encourage them to invite others and share." – Jaclyn Iriwn, CNP
Jaclyn also noted that it may be a good idea to reach out to other people in your niche, and ask them if they could share details about your event with their audience, as you would be more than happy to do the same for them in the future.
Take Action: Make a list of all the people who support you and who would be willing to help you promote your workshop. Once your date and venue are set, create a Facebook event and ask them to share it.
Provide Take-Home Value
Send your workshop attendees home with some great resources so they can implement the tips you shared with them. Resources can be printed and handed out at the workshop or sent in a follow-up email afterwards.
All materials should feature your logo and contact information in case they are shared, like a functional business card. If you are a member of That Clean Life for Business, you can use the platform to create beautiful, branded, take-home resources like meal plans, recipe books, and shopping lists without hiring a graphic designer, or spending hours on it yourself.
Sending the attendees home with resources also gives you a great excuse to follow-up with them after the workshop, to see how they are making out with the tools and information you provided.
Take Action: Plan out the take-home resources and start putting them together. Be mindful not to make them too complicated. Small changes that are easy to implement usually work best.
Upsell Your Services
If the goal of your workshop is to get participants into a group program, or to sell one-on-one services, consider offering some kind of incentive. Let the attendees know at the beginning of the workshop that you're going to be offering a special bonus to anyone who is interested in working with you, but wait until the end to give details.
When you're new, sometimes "selling yourself" is hard to do. But there are many ways to upsell yourself without ever coming across as "sales-y"!
During the workshop, give your attendees the chance to see your depth of knowledge and personality. Make mentions of the fact that you work one-on-one with clients, so they know that is an option.
Here are some simple ways to sell yourself without feeling sales-y:
- Don't be afraid to say "I think I'd need a chance to assess full health history in order to answer that properly" if someone asks a complex question about their personal health. Just be sure to also give the best answer you can, so they feel like you care.
- Use client examples or case studies during your presentation. "For example, my client Julie thought she was eating healthy, but wasn't able to finally shed weight until we addressed her blood sugar imbalances."
- If you're getting off-track with a specific topic of interest, say "I have to move on to the next point, but if something about this topic really resonates with you, please know that we can always sit down together and dive deeper!"
You should also send personal emails after the workshop to continue nourishing the relationship, and even encourage them to book with you. At the very least, add the participants to your newsletter list, so you stay in their minds.
"Collect newsletter sign-ups at your workshop: It may seem pushy or feel slimy to request people's email addresses at first, but it's not! Remember, attendees of your workshop are already showing interest in you and your offerings, so it's likely they'll want to continue to hear from you and attend other events that you host.
You can set up an iPad so they can easily enter their contact information, or you can leave a sign-up list at each of the tables for them to write it down. No need to force people; simply allow them to sign up at their own will and make mention of it during your workshop as well to encourage sign-ups. A fun and friendly joke usually helps here!" - Rachel Molenda, CNP
Now it is your turn to plan how you will upsell the participants of your workshop. Here's how:
Take Action: Decide what you're going to up-sell at your workshop and brainstorm some selling tactics that you are comfortable with, so that you don't freeze up when it comes time to promote yourself.
Just Do It!
The first time you do anything will always be the most challenging. The best part of running your first workshop is getting it out of the way, and proving to yourself that you can do it. Nearly everyone procrastinates and stresses over their very first event, but take the leap and do it anyway!
"Looking back, I think I overthought everything about my first workshop. I wanted it to be perfect, and as a result, I kept procrastinating. Looking back I would have told myself to just DO IT, not over thinking, and stop worrying about it being perfect!" - Jordana Hart, CNP
Commit to getting your first workshop done in the next 30 days, you'll have the rest of your career to perfect it, but you'll never get there unless you start.
Take Action: Commit to the challenge by leaving us a comment below with the working title of your first workshop. We can't wait to hear it!