Are you looking for a simple way to promote your workshop? Here's a strategy that can get you results quickly and keep your customers sold on your services.
Cooking workshops, writing workshops, and creative workshops are a great way of sharing your knowledge and expertise. Not only that, but they’re also a lot of fun! Workshops are a wonderful way of bringing groups of people together while they learn or practice a new skill.
Below, we’ll bring you the nine best tactics for promoting a workshop as the professionals do.
How to host a successful workshop
Step one: Preparation
When building your workshop, consider the following questions:
Will it be online or in-person? If in-person, where will it take place?
What’s the purpose of the workshop?
How long does the workshop need to be?
What do you need to facilitate the workshop?
What will the structure or agenda of the workshop be?
What will your participants need to have to take part?
How will you take bookings and payments?
Is it a one-off workshop?
Step two: Promotion
Once the preparation phase is done, the next stage is promotion. Use the tips below to narrow down your target audience and market directly to them using social media content, blogs, webinars, and more. Remember to communicate clearly at this point about the goal, length, location, and what’s involved in the workshop to create happy attendees.
Once you’ve started accepting bookings, make a point of getting to know your customers. By learning their names and understanding their personal goals, you can tailor the workshop to everyone’s needs.
Step three: The workshop itself
Once the scene is set and the area is ready for your attendees, the following format works well (generally speaking):
Get everyone checked-in
Go over any ground rules or emergency procedures as appropriate
Explain the agenda of the workshop
Break the ice! Ask everyone to share their names and a fun fact about themselves
Encourage collaboration and fun
Step four: Follow up
Once the workshop is over, remember to follow up with your attendees. At this point, you can ask for feedback, build relationships and create opportunities for future workshops, events, or webinars.
How to promote your workshop
If this is your first time promoting a workshop, or you’re getting back into the swing of things post-pandemic, here are some easy-to-use online marketing tactics to get you on track. This advice broadly applies to in-person and live workshops, virtual events, online courses, classes, and more.
1. Understand your audience
The first tip is to pick the right audience (niche) and to understand them. It’s important to get to grips with their demographics such as age, gender, and location. For example, a small in-person event will likely draw in customers from a 10-mile radius.
Virtual workshops may bring together people from across the country or the globe! Understanding your target audience and using this to plan your marketing strategy accordingly makes the next steps in the process easy as pie. It’s all you need to get people thinking “Oh, this sounds like me! This is exactly what I’m looking for!”
2. Use hashtags
Globally, social media is used on average for 2 hours and 25 minutes a day per person. With more than half of the world now using social platforms regularly, they’re the ideal place for finding and building relationships with your perfect clients.
So, where do you start?
Hashtags are a great starting point. They are still popular on most social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. And, if you use them right, you can make it easy for new audiences to find you and reach more people naturally.
You can choose one based on your event name but it’s better to make it unique to the goal of your workshop. More general hashtags can include the theme of your workshop, but you can also make a unique event hashtag for your attendees to use during or after the event!
For example, for a paint and sip workshop you might use the following general hashtags:
Followed by a hashtag unique to your event:
As the leader of your workshop, you yourself are often the USP. So don’t shy away from sharing the event with your network and followers, too.
3. Find an influencer
Getting the Kardashians to promote your workshop would be great but probably very difficult. What you can do, though, is consider the use of macro (<1,000,000 followers) or even micro (10,000 - 50,000 followers) influencers.
In fact, such a strategy could be an even better choice. These sorts of bloggers and accounts generally have more engaged followers and more conversions as a result. Remember to choose an influencer or influencers with a following made up of your ideal customers and target audience!
4. Create engaging social content
Your Facebook event page is your main marketing avenue. That’s why it’s important to make it engaging with various forms of content about your workshop that’s likely to be shared on your social media channels. Forms of content could include:
Blog posts, news, and articles
Graphics and infographics
5. Use discounts and giveaways
Give your attendees an incentive to sign up and book to attend using promotions such as discounts, giveaways, and incentives. Some of these can also be used to encourage referrals, shares, and engagement.
Examples of discounts may include:
An discount for the first 10 bookings
A tiered system of discounts based on how early they book before the workshop date, such as early bird incentives
A discount or partial refund for successful referrals
Giveaways could be:
A free ticket or promotional item
A voucher to spend
Merchandise from your business
A free e-book, book, whitepaper, or guide
A one-on-one session with you or another mentor
6. Write blogs
One way to encourage your target audience to come to you is with blog content. By writing about your workshop and related topics, you’ll be able to keep your audience excited. You’ll also keep your brand and your event top of mind.
Your content is like an evergreen marketing machine. It can be shared by you and your followers and it might be found via search engines, helping you attract more website visitors and new customers on auto-pilot.
When running a workshop, networking is often key. Initially, start by engaging with and involving your local communities. Whether that’s book groups, freelancers, or arts and crafts organizations, be sure to connect with them.
They may have attendees interested in your workshop, they might be willing to sponsor or advertise, or they could be able to offer you a space for your live workshop.
8. Collect emails and create a newsletter
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of engaging with your audience and building anticipation for your future events. Gathering emails and creating a mailing list is perfect for getting your content, news, and events out there.
It’s a great way to build lasting relationships. Interested followers and visitors can sign up for your newsletter, giving you an easy-access online community, full of potential students! Next time you’re doing a workshop, you can simply share the event details with your list and send them an invitation to join you.
Keep in mind that the subject lines of your emails are the most important part of an email. They determine if your subscribers are going to open and read the rest.
9. Run free webinars
Another great way to serve your target audience is with a free webinar. This can often be a lead generation strategy but also adds value to the customers that are already booked with you.
If you’re running a writing workshop, you could also do a webinar that covers common grammar mistakes, creative writing tips, or brainstorming methods. A pottery workshop could have a webinar about the history of pottery, pottery jargon, or how to paint ceramics. Not only do the webinars complement the workshop itself and add extra value for your customers, but you’ll also create a buzz for your upcoming event!
Use the right virtual tools
Between getting your event set up, posting to social media and taking bookings, running and promoting a successful workshop can be a lot of admin. So, it’s important to choose the right tools for the job to automate as much of this as possible.
One idea is to use a social media manager such as Hootsuite, which allows you to schedule your content and posts in advance. You can create your posts in bulk at the beginning of the week or month, and the software will automatically post to each of your social media accounts at the times you set.
Another big time-saving idea is to invest in a booking system or class scheduling software. These tools, like Occasion, have various benefits that cut out significant admin time. And they give you more time to focus on making your workshop a success. While each tool differs, We like Occasion because it offers:
An online booking calendar that seamlessly integrates with your website
The ability to drive event bookings from Facebook and Google
Automated reminder emails and follow-ups to help you drive repeat bookings and upsells
A showcase of all your upcoming online and in-person workshops
The function to sell tickets and take payments automatically, with deposits and automated invoices available
Whether you choose this platform or some other, it’s important to think about online booking software. It helps to automate many of the admin-intensive tasks that come with running an online event, class, or workshop.
Running your workshop should be a fun experience for all involved! You can promote your workshop successfully by defining your target audience, creating engaging content, and using tools to manage the admin side of things. Follow these steps and your workshop is sure to be a success!