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Holistic Wealth

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC and Michele McGrew

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Low-Cost Workshops That Lead You to High-End Clients

There's a key to growing a practice we discovered years ago: One of the most effective ways to enroll high-end clients is to give them a taste of who you are through low-cost workshops. The first time Michele put that strategy in place, she quadrupled her income, jumping from $20,000 to more than $80,000 in less than a year. And although our business has grown dramatically since then, we still love hosting live, local workshops. They're a fun way to share our mission with potential clients who often leave wanting more help from us.

Want to lead your own client-attraction workshops? Follow these 5 simple steps.

Step 1

Choose a topic your potential clients are hungry for. We've talked a lot in this column about the need to determine who your Divine Right Client is — the type of person you'd most love to work with — before you begin your marketing. "If I build it, they will come," is a romantic notion. But it won't fill your workshops. That's why the first step in creating a compelling workshop is to decide on a topic your potential clients are hungry for. Start by asking yourself these four questions.

Question 1. "What topic is most important to my ideal client?" It may seem counter-intuitive, but you don't want to create a workshop that has mass appeal. Instead, focus on a topic that draws in the distinct people you want to work with. What were your favorite clients struggling with that motivated them to hire you? That's a great place to start brainstorming topics new clients will be eager to learn more about.

workshop - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Question 2: "Will this topic lead potential clients to my programs and services?" Like a tour guide, your job is to create a clear path to the solutions your clients want most. A well-designed workshop is only the first step. What's the next step people in your audience would need to take in a private session or program with you? Think a step ahead before you land on your potential topic.

Question 3: "Is this a topic I'm passionate about?" When you're passionate about your topic, everything you do — from creating the content to marketing the workshop — will be easier and a lot more fun. So even if you've got a topic potential clients want to hear, don't present it unless it inspires you as much as it does them. It's your excitement and engagement with the content that's contagious to your audience and leaves them wanting more.

Question 4: "How do my life experiences make me uniquely qualified to present this?" It's true, in this age of instant global communications, there's rarely a new idea. Dozens of other people might be presenting on your same topic. The good news is, if so many people are talking about the topic, that's a good sign that more people want to hear about it.

So don't be discouraged if you find that someone else is already teaching on a topic you want to present. Instead, focus on what makes you an authority. And what makes your workshop stand out from the rest.

Step 2

Choose a venue that helps fill the seats. Once you've got your hot workshop topic, the next step is to find a great venue. To make this easy, start by brainstorming every location in your community where your ideal clients are already hanging out. Consider bookstores, yoga and wellness centers, massage or chiropractor's offices, metaphysical gift shops, even the local library.

When you've got a venue in mind, take a field trip and check out the space and the energy. See if it feels right for what you want to create. Then check out the most important element: Does the venue have a built-in following?

Partnering with a place that can market your workshop is the fastest, easiest way to fill it — especially if you're just starting out. When you align yourself with a venue that has a built-in audience, you increase your exposure and decrease your marketing efforts.

We've had great experiences with healing centers and metaphysical bookstores in our area. Because they have a big following in our community, they're able to promote our workshops to everyone on their mailing list, exposing our work to a new circle of prospects. They also include our workshop in their paid print ads, on their websites, and through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Plus, they put flyers up in their shops, which get a good amount of foot traffic.

As the presenter, you want to provide the venue with some compelling information about your workshops. Give an overview of the theme followed by three to five bullet points that focus on the benefits and results people will take away from the experience. The only thing readers really want to know from your description is what's in it for them.

Step 3

Create a safe space for healing to begin. Hosting a holistic workshop involves more than sharing information. It's about creating an experience that resonates with your guests on every level. So even when your content is stellar, environment matters.

Before your guests arrive, take time to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Make the space visually and energetically pleasing. Include items that inspire a sense of wonder from the moment a guest walks into the room, like stones, shells, pretty tablecloths, anything that feels like it brings the theme of your workshop to life.

Make a point to appeal to your guests' other senses as well. Consider burning your favorite incense. Or playing uplifting music in the background to help people shift from their daily lives into your transformational space. And of course, consider one of our all-time favorite tips: Give your guests chocolate. It's a small touch, but people remember it.

Step 4

Deliver content that connects. Long after your workshop is over, many people will forget the information you shared. But, they'll recall the way it connected with them. That's why it's important to present good information in a way that's entertaining and memorable. And you can't share all your wisdom in a two-hour workshop, so don't try. The more you overwhelm your guests, the less they'll understand or retain.

Our recommendation? Pick three to five main points to share and stay on topic. Once you present each point, illustrate it with a personal story, a client success story, or an experiential activity that brings it alive for your guests. For every activity, allow some time for guests to reflect and share their experiences if they want to. This connects them with the content (and you) even more deeply.

Finally, wrap up your presentation with a quick recap of the main points. Then close with something memorable. You can share a story that summarizes your main message. Or lead your guests through a brief visualization that recaps the theme. Or even hold a closing circle to seal the energy. Then before you say good-bye, take one more moment to WOW your audience: Give them an inspiring activity to complete "within one week" to help them integrate what they've learned from you.

Step 5

Give guests a next step that's easy to say "Yes" to. Remember, every person sitting in your audience is there because they resonate with your message. Your workshop gives them a taste of who you are. But your full body of knowledge is much more than anything you can deliver in a couple hours. Honor your guests by giving them an opportunity to go deeper with their healing by offering a next step that's easy to say yes to: A free phone consult that allows you to check in on how they're integrating what they learned.

First, make sure you gather your guests' contact information long before the workshop ends. About two-thirds of the way through your presentation, pass around a sign-up sheet. Then simply say, "All you have to do is put your name on this sheet and I'll contact you to set up a free 30-minute conversation to help you integrate what we've covered today in your own life. No strings attached."

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