In our Ask the Expert series, we will share with you real questions asked by our solopreneur clients, and how we answered them.
This week, we’re looking at the all too common desire to run workshops while still in the early stages of business building. In this case, the client is still refining her niche.
“As I am working on re-defining my niche, I am trying to fill a 6-week workshop to help people begin their writing journey. I don’t have a particular crowd of people I’m looking for (hence redefining my niche), so how do I sell my workshop then?
When I talk about it, I say,
“This workshop is designed to help you move forward in your writing journey. If you’ve ever wondered, ‘How do I get started writing? Telling me to write isn’t good enough!’ Then this workshop is for you.”
I will mention 2-3 things we will be discussing through the workshop to give people an idea on what to expect if they enrolled. I also tell them that it’s to help them begin their writing journey because we’re going to flush out the first chapter of their book.
I am just wondering how I can sell it as I am redefining my niche.”
I love this question. This is such a common issue among early stage entrepreneurs. Most solopreneurs would love to run workshops.
I don’t know for certain what stage your business is in, but based on the fact that your niche is not certain yet, my assumption is that this is a relatively new business.
First, let’s be clear, filling and selling workshops is DIFFICULT! This is true for most entrepreneurs, even mature ones. I get it! Every entrepreneur wants to sell and fill workshops so they can get their business earning more money quickly. However, it requires far more effort than most new business owners think it does.
Here’s where things get tough: if you haven’t gotten clear yet on your niche, you’re an early stage entrepreneur. This means:
- You are still clarifying who your ideal client is, and how to speak compellingly to them
- You likely haven’t yet figured out the client attraction thing yet
- You have yet to build your KLT (Know, Like, Trust) Factor
- You have yet to build a tribe of interested potential clients
This means it’s going to make it very difficult for you to fill a workshop at this stage of your business.
But let me share my top favorite method for filling workshops here. I have to:
- Have a system for generating enough speaking gigs, preferably locally in your city
- Create a compelling talk that will rock the stage and sell tickets to the workshop
- Get on the speaking circuit fairly frequently (like twice a month) in front of other people’s audiences.
All of this is not beginner entrepreneurship! Filling workshops easily doesn’t happen until your niche is clear.
In my Ten Steps to a Bulging Bank Account, I’ve outlined the steps that are required for a business owner to be successful, in the right order. I would suggest you introduce workshops as soon as you have mastered the step of successfully signing clients. I believe it is premature before then because it will be too difficult to fill.
Go ahead and download the full 10 Steps to a bulging bank account poster here:
As you can see, it’s a fairly simple set of steps. Not necessarily easy, but simple. The problem with many people is that they get these steps out of order, and jump to the later steps without first focusing on the initial, basic steps that will set up all of the others.
These steps aren’t rocket science and I guarantee that entrepreneurs have heard of all of these steps before. However, the magic happens when you do these steps in the right order. Doing these steps in the wrong order is what’s getting in the way of sales. And in the case of this entrepreneur’s question, filling and running workshops before you know your niche is simply not doing things in the right order.
I hope you’ve found this helpful.