There are lots of ways to share your expertise with your online audience: Blogs, Vlogs, Webinars, Courses, Online Workshops, Live Video Conferences, and more. Workshops offer a great forum for new online educators. They Can be one-time, live, or prerecorded offerings with general or focused content in your area of expertise.
An online workshop can be a valuable experience for both the creator/facilitator and the attendees. You have something to offer and an online workshop is a great way to offer it. The first question to ask yourself, whatever your content might be, is why create an online workshop? Does this format support your audience in gaining the skills, learning, knowledge, and experience you want to offer? A short, video-based, live workshop can be a great opportunity – let’s make it the best workshop it can be.
Why use the online workshop format?
The online workshops format can bring your offering to people further afield than your local community. This broader audience lends to great reach and affect as well as the potential to increase your earnings. Running an online workshop allows you to share your knowledge and skills in a simple format with more people. It’s a great way to start bringing your learning opportunities online and to experiment with what works best for you and your audience.
If you want to offer online learning to your current or future student-base, consider the following 5 key components of an amazing first online workshop.
#1 Start Basic
An online workshop can be as simple as a Zoom room or a Google Meetup call with a prepared powerpoint or it can be more complex. If this is your first digital offering, keep it simple. Choose a platform for your event that meets your needs. Remember: this is only your first attempt, it’s a learning opportunity not a make-it-perfect experience. Save yourself some extra dollars and use only what you need or tools that you already have.
When deciding the topic of your workshop, consider offering foundational skills, knowledge, or experience. Creating an introductory learning opportunity not only attracts new audience members it can also draw in current clients and students who want to learn from you. Start with a basic course and avoid the rookie pitfall of trying to make your first offering the biggest and best, stocking it full of everything you could possibly share. This is overwhelming for both you and your audience. Start small, start at the beginning, and keep it simple.This will be the first of many offerings so let it be a first step, not a giant leap.
#2 Know the Value
As you start to hone in on the content you want to share, take a moment and consider what your audience needs. What foundational knowledge does your target audience need to have in order to work with you?
Think about how you want to structure the learning experience, and look at what the attendees will come away with. What product, skill, knowledge, or experience will your students leave your workshop having gained? Will they find this take-away of value?
What will the attendees be able to do with what they learn from your workshop? Answering this question will help inform your promotional strategy. Showcasing the usefulness of the learning is a great way to spotlight your workshop to potential students. When you understand what needs your potential students have and can identify the gaps in their foundational skills, knowledge, and experience you can create a workshop of value.
#3 Kick It Off Then Make It
You now know what you want to offer, and who would benefit from your workshop. The next step is to start building interest. Yes, before you have even started creating the actual content of your workshop, pick the date your workshop will go live and about 3 months before that, start marketing.
This point often makes people very nervous. How can I market something I haven’t created yet? Easy! You aren’t marketing the content, you are marketing the value of the content. The 3 months leading up to your workshop are spent showcasing the value of the learning students will receive from taking the workshop. Your promotional material highlights how the skills, knowledge, and experience can be used to improve the lives of the attendees, and how this learning opportunity will meet their needs.
Starting with a foundational workshop will allow you the flexibility to create the actual content quickly (remember to keep it simple and accessible). When given too much time to plan and create, some educators get lost in the process, overcomplicating the offering and never actually getting it off the ground. Remember, this is the first of many workshops. More important than getting all of your information into this one workshop is getting the experience out to the right people. A workshop stuck in conception has no value for your audience. A simple workshop that actually runs starts you and your students on a journey of learning together. A journey forward.
#4 Launch to Your Target Audience
Ok –you’ve got your workshop idea, you understand its key value points and how it will serve your audience. It’s now time to launch it into the world. Before you start promoting on every social media platform, through your newsletter, blog and anywhere else you can think of, pause for just a moment. A scattershot promotion can be a drain on your energy and resources and may not return much for your efforts. Discover where your target audience is spending their time online. Do they scroll through Instagram or Facebook, do they watch Tik Tok or YouTube videos, do they hang-out in Clubhouse or on Twitter? Learn who your target students are and where you can find them online and you won’t have to plaster every inch of digital real estate with advertisements for your workshop.
Once you know where to promote then you can decide how best to promote. If you are using YouTube to get the word out then medium-length video content will ignite your audience. If you are on Instagram and Facebook a combination of informational posts and video sharing can help to highlight the value of your upcoming offering. Knowing where your studentship is and how to best promote in that sphere will support you to connect with the community who will be most interested in your workshop.
#5 Be In Service To Your Clients’ Needs
This final point is more of a reiteration of what we have discussed before, but the point bears repeating. Create your first offering with a clear understanding of what your target audience needs. Structure all aspects of the workshop to meet the expectations of your students. Build anticipation by in advance what skills, tools, knowledge, and experiences attendees will gain by participating. By taking a student-centered approach to constructing your offerings you can make sure that the workshop is not only wanted but needed by your community. The preliminary work of surveys, questioning your clients and current students, and researching what other workshops your target audience is attending will guide you in creating valuable offerings. Put in the time and effort to have this understanding and you will soon have your first successful online workshop.
If you want more guidance or are looking for support in managing your digital marketing, book a Discovery Call now. We can help you bring your services to those who need them most.