Sue Jacobs is a personal style consultant based in London, Ontario. I can almost say I’ve known her nearly her whole career. I met her in Vancouver at the 2010 AICI conference. She has taken most of my on-line classes so I’ve gotten to know her more and more. She’s also a member of my Monthly Marketing Bundle program. In our monthly strategy calls, I get to find out what everyone’s been up to. Sue’s very often up to creating and delivering workshops.
Sue and I are creating and delivering the May 7th Confident Consultant Class on this very subject! We’ll be busy giving all kinds of details like time lines, exercises to do in class, followup and more. What we won’t have as much time for is hearing about why and how she seems to tackle workshops with such zeal. When I asked her to answer six questions I had for her, I got to see the workings of her mind and what gets her over the scared parts!
So here’s Sue and her six answers to my six questions.
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 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 largely 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 acknowledgement. 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 write a monthly newsletter where I always advertise my events. I also have a link from my newsletter to my website where all workshops / events are described in detail on my EVENT page. I often write a brief blog about it, which I then share, on the social media outlets – all of them. Facebook is a huge resource for me and works every time.
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 whilst learning.
Want to learn more about the May 7th CCC and what we’ll be covering? Check out Your Blueprint for a Winning Workshop: Clients, Cash, and Credibility with Brenda Kinsel and Sue Jacobs
Visit Sue’s website here.