I’m super excited to be participating with Susan Jacobs of Personal Style Consulting in her winter workshop series. She’s been a member of the Monthly Marketing Bundle program for many years. One of the things she inspires us with is how she’s embraced producing workshops. They are a way for her to channel her compassion and her passion for helping women enjoy the process of getting dressed. Workshops have also been a very lucrative arm of her business. She charges a fee, fills the room, provides value and then gets hired by attendees to work with them one-on-one. And as a result of her private workshops, she gets invited to do corporate workshops. She once gave me a monetary figure for the result of one workshop and it was in the multi-thousands. Is there value in giving workshops? Oh yes!
With this upcoming workshop on the topic of aging and how that plays out for women with style, I get to be a guest and “see” her do her magic. Her testimonials are wonderful, and I’m sure I’ll be adding one to her list after February 11th. I can’t wait to join Sue and her attendees as the two of us shine a light on this topic.
As I prep for our February 11th workshop called A Timeless Style Conversation, I thought I’d share Susan’s answers to six questions I posed to her a while back. I think you’ll enjoy this!
1. What makes workshops work for you?
Workshops serve to jumpstart current clients or clients who have strayed away as well as introduce me to prospective ones. They can see what I do, how I work, and the range of content that I cover. The workshops have a high turn over rate from attendee to a client and here’s why: it gives me an opportunity to be on their level, an approachable, reachable person who can help them in a variety of ways, through a variety of methods.
2. What gives you the courage to turn an idea into an actual workshop that you host and conduct? Have you always been a natural presenter?
I never really thought of it as courage. I am passionate about sharing. One-on-one appointments are wonderful, but the world needs this information. That fact drives me. So as I moved ahead in my image consultancy career, I challenged myself to find ways to deliver my knowledge in larger venues. That’s where the small workshop idea started.
The content that I share comes mainly from the MMB material spiced up with stories from my consultancy. I follow my passion, what I love to talk about.
Secondly, I make sure I am listening to my clients and women in general everywhere, and any time I am in their company to see what they’re saying, where their challenges are. That’s what I’m thinking about when I create a workshop. I use ONE subject, say DRESSES and structure it so I can address their issues; I turn those frustrations into deliverable content, so their stress evaporates.
As for being a natural presenter: Years of being a Teacher Librarian and conducting In-Service Training for fellow teachers set the stage for me doing presentations in this industry. BUT when I had my first large audience, I was petrified. Once I started to speak, I was fine, floating, soaring!!!
3. Do you get scared? Which parts of the presentation scare you the most? How do you deal?
Scared, no. I pay attention to details as I create my workshops and always, always have a natural link from one topic to the next, so it makes sense and flows easily to the listener. That logical flow helps keep me on track without using notes.
When I plan the interaction segments, I make sure to have set the tone for a safe, friendly non-judgmental environment: That part is well adhered to.
Again in the planning stages, I make sure to try to anticipate potential problem areas before they materialize. Scared is a strong word. I will say I am very aware of my making sure every single attendee has her moment to share, her moment with me, her moments of praise and acknowledgment. That’s important, and if anything makes me nervous, it’s in not ‘touching’ each one of them personally. You can never predict some things that will happen. Then, it just does!!
4. Where do the people come from? Can you name a few ways you get people to sign up?
I am very active on my Facebook Business page where I build up to the event with related topics. I’ll ask for feedback on certain topics, and then put the marketing piece out there and see what happens. It works very well for me. I’ve also been doing a weekly Facebook Live Tip video for the past year. I’ve picked up a lot of new followers from this. My audience is growing. They’re reaching out for information on my services and events. Other than email blasts to those people won aren’t on social media, this works for me.
5. Do you give your workshops away for free as a way of promoting your business or not? Explain.
Never ever do I give them away for free, not anymore. I feel if you can determine where the pain points are for your demographic and market your talk/seminar/workshop in a way that will get their attention, you can price it in a way that is fair for all those involved. In my opinion, there must be some financial investment for it to draw the ideal client for me. I’m not saying pricing is easy – it is not – but it is key to branding your business and setting the expectation for the quality of your work for the attendees.
6. What surprises you about giving workshops?
I am always surprised (well not anymore I suppose) at the quality of women and how much camaraderie happens amongst complete strangers. So much so that one of the most frequent remarks, when I do my follow up evaluations and feedback, is how much they loved meeting the other women and loved getting to know them in this venue. It actually is something that sells future workshops – that expectation of meeting quality women, taking away invaluable information and having fun while learning.
Can you see yourself having success with workshops? They’re absolutely what grew my business. If you aren’t doing them already, I encourage you to begin. So does Sue!