July 2014 Featured Article

Attracting Prospects to Your Workshop

newcustomersHopefully by the end of the previous article I've convinced you to give a niche workshop a try. It's a fantastic way to boost your authority, share your expertise with an intimate group of dedicated clients, and make a good deal of money in a short time.

However, it begs the question – how do you get prospects to attend?

The beauty of these workshops is there are many built-in triggers to get prospects to want to attend – exclusivity, fear of loss, and guilt. All you have to do is leverage them in your marketing and you will get people to come.

Today, I'm sharing a few techniques for getting dedicated, driven clients to your events, while commanding a high price.

You'll discover why the limited size of niche workshops works to your advantage…

How you can leverage your event to create brand new customers…

And why niche workshops are the perfect vehicle for selling higher ticket items…

The Power of VIP Status

The beauty of small, exclusive events is the feeling of belonging to an elite group.

You can go all the way back to elementary school for examples of this. Think of the cliques kids establish right away – the “jocks” and the “nerds”, “popular” and “unpopular”, and so on. The movie “Mean Girls” is a prime example of this.

Society as a whole encourages the need to belong to a group. Specifically, the desire to be a part of a group with power, status, and prestige.

That's why there are VIP tickets to rock concerts, sports games, etc… You spend more money to get special treatment – meeting celebrities, better quality food and drink, and prime seating. And, of course, bragging rights.

Niche workshops offer an opportunity for your most dedicated clients to spend quality time with you. And when you are marketing these invitations, you need to keep that point front and center.

The best place to start advertising your event is with your list. These are people who are already invested in you and your Expertpreneur® business in one way or another. Whether they downloaded your lead magnet or bought your most expensive product, they are interested in what you have to say.

Create marketing communications with VIP status in mind using this template to fill in your specifics: “I am offering an ‘exclusive opportunity' to special clients like you. You came to me hoping to overcome [fears, frustrations, problems]. And you have taken steps to achieve that.

(E.g. fill in their problem)
However, I know you are ready to take it further. To [see hopes, dreams, and aspirations] more quickly.
(E.g. what do they hope for)

That's why this October (or whenever your event is), I will be holding a special VIP Workshop where I will personally coach twenty of the most dedicated clients on [whatever your chief service is]. I will be sharing my most advanced techniques, and by the end of the event, you will be much closer to [their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.]

vipstatusAs I mentioned, there are only twenty seats available. Since space is limited, I want to be sure only the most dedicated clients attend. If you are dedicated to overcoming [fear/frustration/problem] and achieving [hope/dream/aspiration], you can go to this website to fill out an application. The deadline is next Monday.

Once the deadline has passed, I will contact selected candidates for an interview.”

This approach does a couple of things: Chiefly, it establishes exclusivity, as well as fear of loss. There are only twenty tickets available to get personal time with you. That means everyone else is going to miss out.

In addition, this is a special event, so there is a risk of it never happening again. If they don't go, they may lose the chance forever. And potentially never achieve their goals in life.

You also turn the tables on the selling process. Typically you have to put in effort to close a sale. In this case, your clients are applying for an opportunity to spend money with you. Sounds like a nicer position, doesn't it?

Beyond all of that, what do you think a ticket for an event like this would cost? Quite a bit, right? When you set up your workshop like this, you can charge a lot more. The price will weed out prospects who are fussy about spending money, and ensure you only sell tickets to serious clients.

With an event this special, I would recommend sending this invitation out through physical mail. Make it look like an invitation to a wedding or a VIP gala. Your prospects will be truly surprised.

Getting New Customers

As I mentioned in the previous article, another way to offer a niche workshop is to target beginners looking to get on the “fast track” to success. Many successful events are marketed this way.

First of all, “fast track” events can be a great way to draw in a local client base. You can use lots of fun, and unique techniques to fill up the space.

Lets say you're a martial arts expert, and you do three workshops a year for Tai Chi 101.

The class is designed for total beginners. However, upon completion, they receive a certificate or award showing their expertise, and they are able to move up to intermediate or advanced classes.

In this instance, your workshop would be less expensive – $20 per person. It could even be free, depending on how introductory and short it is.

The low ticket price qualifies your leads. Only beginners would be interested in this. And you could take a grassroots approach to getting people to the event.

Believe it or not, a great way to attract local clientele is Facebook. If there are local groups related to your industry, you can join them and advertise there. One note, though: be sure to participate in the group a bit – become friendly with the members – before you ask people to spend money with you.

You can also send postcards through the mail. The US and Canadian post offices offers zip code mailing which guarantees delivery to every door within a certain region. Let them know this special event is happening close by, and it's specifically designed for them.

If you're feeling really old-school, you can place flyers on car windows. There's actually a book by Dan Kennedy and Jeff Slutsky called “No B.S. Grassroots Marketing” that covers a plethora of ways to reach local audiences.

No matter your approach, the results are beneficial to your business. You're drawing in clients you wouldn't have gotten before, by offering a high value, personal session. They'll meet you face-to-face, and get to love who you are. A much more powerful impact than if they get to know you online.

Strategies to Move Tickets

All this said, it can be challenging to sell tickets to events. Nothing is guaranteed.

However, there are tactics you can use to establish urgency and engage your prospects.

First of all, scarcity is a great tactic to use right up until the event. As tickets sell, send periodic updates reminding your prospects the event is filling up. A good time to do this is when you're half sold out. If they don't get their ticket right now, they will miss the opportunity forever.

Another great tactic is to apply guilt to your communications as time goes by. Anyone with a Jewish or Italian mother will be familiar with this strategy.

For example, if you're a financial coach you might say, “You came to me because you are unhappy with your life. You're not making enough money, you have no free time, and you're worried about never being able to retire. You wanted to change all of that.

Well, each and every day you make excuses and take no action, you're giving in to your situation. Opportunity is passing you by.

You could come and spend two short days with me in October and change the course of your life forever. That's all it would take.

Of course, sitting on the couch and staying home is easier. And [The ticket price] seems like a lot of money.

However, what is [the ticket price], if it earns you financial freedom for the rest of your life? While you lounge on the couch, you're another day poorer and still unhappy. You're avoiding your real concerns – no money, little free time, and no security.

What is more worth your time?”

To the point right? It addresses the issue square on. This approach can be very effective, when done right. Especially for those who are coach and inspire people to take action.

Last but not least, you could consider a free gift. A limited-time offer, perhaps with an “early-bird special.” Or, in conjunction with a holiday.

When dealing with these scenarios, people expect to see special offers, so it doesn't necessarily take away from your value. What is most important is to be very clear about the time frame, and stay true to your word. If it ends on a certain date, it must end on that date.

If you have a recording of a high-value presentation, or perhaps an actionable section of a book you wrote you could repurpose, these to act as perfect “immediate” gifts. Or you could offer a physical item, like a notebook with your logo on it.

No matter what, any of these efforts will sell plenty of tickets.

Wrapping it Up

workshopNiche workshops are a great way to drum up a lot of business in a short amount of time. And, as I've showed you, they can be adjusted to appeal to all different audiences.

Also, these kinds of workshops are great to add to your product ladder. You can use them to draw in new audiences, and as a way to leverage your dedicated customers.

They also serve another purpose – a vehicle to sell your highest priced products and services.

A live event is an opportunity to build a huge relationship with your clients. And that's part of the appeal for them to go. They want to be a part of your world.

And once they're with you, you can offer your premium coaching solutions, info products, and mastermind groups at high prices. Earning you big profits all in one weekend.

Your strategies may not work perfectly the first time. That's okay! See what works, what doesn't, and don't be afraid to try new tactics the next time. Ultimately you'll create a reliable source of qualified leads and revenue.

So, get out there, set up a niche workshop, and win over your prospects. You'll make huge strides in your business.