Maximizing Attendance: How to Fill Your Workshops Quickly

Workshop leader teaching successful lead generation strategies

This is the Six-Figure Lead Generation Workshop Series. And today we’re talking about how to fill this workshop.

So if you missed last week’s blog, go on the sequence of How To Position Your Workshop So That It Stands Out In The Wellness Marketplace, whether you’re local to your community or if you’re online. Or if you have a brick and mortar and you want to bring in more online services, how do you create a workshop sequence that surprises and delights your attendees and leaves them wanting more to work with you and knowing about your ethical high-ticket wellness offer.

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Truth About Filling Your Workshops Based on My Decade Worth of Experience

But before we get there, where you’re actually teaching the workshop, you got to fill it. I want to start off by saying I’ve taught a lot of workshops over the last decade or more. And I want to remind you that my first few workshops did not fill. I think my very first workshop, I can’t even remember, but I think I had three people attend or five, somewhere in that neighborhood. And I think that stayed that way for a little bit. And then it grew to eight. And then it grew to double digits, people coming in double digits. And then it grew to 20 to 30 people with an occasional eight or flopped workshop, especially if I was trying out a new topic. And then I was able to fill workshops outside of San Diego.

So at the time I still had family in upstate New York, in Rochester, New York, where I’m from. So I’ve traveled back there frequently. And I did this a few times where I would teach workshops in upstate New York. And then I was also able to fill trainings and workshops outside of America. We’ve taught trainings internationally around the world.

So again, this process can be used to not only fill your workshops to hit six figures, but for any of your mid-range offers, such as retreats and trainings, and especially, again, leave them wanting more because all roads lead to your ethical high-ticket offer. Or if you do have the audience size and you’re growing that group program or on-demand program, the trick is not to market them all at the same time and know your funnel. And this process works. Again, if you are filling in-person workshops in yoga studios or clinics or online.

So I used to teach the Heal Your Low Back workshop or Yoga Therapy For Sciatica, Yoga Therapy For Low Back in-person. And eventually I brought it online. And the first time I taught my Heal Your Low Back workshop online, I did it the Amy Porterfield style. This was several years ago in 2018, I believe. And I had a hundred registrants. So just as a reminder, in-person workshops are great. They’re always having that in-person connection, it’s wonderful, but you can reach more people online and people can still get results. Your brick and mortar in-person services can transfer online.

People love that Heal Your Low Back online workshop. I even got yoga teachers loving it so much that they joined my Heal Your Low Back blueprint, my online program for the low back combining all my certification skills and modalities. So for sure, a hundred percent, you can bring your skills online and reach even more people.

And then I was able to transfer the same skill to business coaching. And when I first started teaching my Business Coaching workshops and webinars, because I had my processes, I was able to start filling those at 20 to 30 registrants from the start.

So what you need overall is consistency to just keep going, even if your workshops, your master classes aren’t filling at first, just keep going because they will. And stay tuned. I’m going to troubleshooting reasons as to maybe why they’re not filling when you first start marketing.

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The Marketing Plan For Filling Your Workshops

But first, let’s talk about the marketing plan and what that looks like in combination with continuing to market your one-to-one services, your ethical high ticket wellness offer, as well as preparing that workshop.

The First Step

So first, you want to get in a consistent routine of marketing your one-to-one services or your ethical high-ticket wellness offer or wherever your bread and butter is coming in. If you do have a group program, you want to continue to market that while you’re picking your popular topic for your workshop. So you’re always marketing something while you’re working on the creative aspects.

I like to think about it in the background. So for me, I will, for example, do my post, my reel, my story for my one-to-one services, and then I’ll get to work. So for example, tomorrow I’m teaching for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, a co-working space here in San Diego called Hair Hub and an online networking platform called Cleary. And I’m doing my podcast as well right now. And if you were to follow me on Instagram, you can follow me @IgniteUrWellnessBiz, then you’ll see I was also posting about the workshop I’m teaching tomorrow.

But through the weekend, I also was posting about my one-to-one services and still keeping stories going for my one-to-one services. So the foot is not let off the gas in terms of marketing my one-to-one services while I’m planning and marketing my workshop. Because when you take your foot off the gas of marketing that service that is bringing in most of your revenue, then your revenue will stop. The leads for that will stop or consultations will stop. So you have to keep it going. It’s an “and,” not an “either/or.”

And it comes to learning how to prioritize in your schedule and really schedule management. And that’s why I teach my clients the Success Scheduling System so they know what they’re marketing when and how to manage their calendar where they are able to stay consistent in marketing their ethical high-ticket wellness offer as well as market these workshops.

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You want to continue to market that and then start to think about that popular topic that you do want to teach on. For example, as you know, I picked the low back because a lot of people have low back pain and we’re going to get to how I knew I could stand out from all the other people teaching low back workshops.

The Second Step

So the next thing you want to do is decide on the transformation and the results that people will get when they come to this workshop. So for me, they were learning the framework on how to heal their low back.

And you want to think of the three to five simple steps to achieving those as I went over in the sequencing of the workshop, the lead generation workshops in the last blog.

So when you’re starting to think about those, it’s easy to go all in on now.

Okay, what am I going to teach in those workshop?

What is the exact sequence going to be?

What’s the value going to be?

And not think about the workshop plan. It’s so easy to get sucked in, but you really have to be aware of yourself and get it in your rhythm that after you pick the topic, the transformation, the results and the steps, next is marketing. You have to put a pin in the value section and get to work marketing. Otherwise, marketing is going to be saved to the very end, the last few days, maybe the last week, and you’re going to have a harder time filling it. Whereas if you had a luxurious amount of time to market this workshop where you can put in two to three stories a week, a couple of reels and posts and add it to your newsletter list or mention it in networking events, you’re going to have a much fuller room.

But the only way to know what to market, what to say and where to market is if you plan it. 

The Third Step

So next is thinking about where will you market? Is it social media and specifically what platforms will you be marketing in? Do you have any upcoming networking events where possibly you could mention it to people? Are you going to be reaching out to in the DMs, not copy and pasting, but maybe those people that you’ve collaborated with or talked to in your DMs, you can just say, “Oh, hey, did you notice I have a workshop coming up? Given the details, would you be interested?”

So where are you going to market? Write down your ideas. You want three to five places. Write them down now.

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And then you want to consider how will your workshop be visible? Are you creating a registration page and sending people from social media to a registration page, for example, via a link? Are you going to just say, “DM me to get registered for this workshop?” So you don’t necessarily need a workshop registration page, what is going to be your tech that you need to know or the simple pathway for your people to get registered for the workshop? You don’t want it to be complicated. You want your links to be easy to find.

You want your message to be consistent on your social media posts to the registration page, or if they’re going to DM you to get registered for the workshop, you want to make sure that you are able to DM them and get back to them in a timely manner so they do continue to take the steps to pay you and get registered if you’re doing a paying workshop.

So think of that process for yourself. What is simplest? You don’t have to go out and buy a whole bunch of software if you don’t already have a registration page, like hooked into your Kajabi or your e-mail software platform. Often those have landing pages connected to them. If you have Acuity or Calendly, those platforms also have the ability to host a group type class, and then you can just make Canva graphics and send them the Acuity link, for example. There’s so many ways to do it.

Take 20 minutes and decide. This should not take more than a half hour. If it’s taking hours, you’re stuck in the tech and you need help, reach out to someone. This should not take a long time. Just decide the process of how someone will see the workshop wherever you’re marketing or hear it, if you’re at a networking event, and then be able to sign up easily.

My client, Timie, first started teaching workshops and she didn’t have a registration page. She would just create Canva graphics and tell people to DM her and they would DM her. And after she had their e-mail and received their payment via a payment processing, like Venmo, I don’t recommend using that all the time because it’s not for business unless you’re actually clarifying it to be so, but it is a good way to start and if you’re just doing it for the first time. But for example, PayPal, after you receive that payment, then she would e-mail them the Zoom link. It can be as simple as that.

And after you figure that out, you want to get to work marketing it. And that means showing up in stories consistently, reels consistently, e-mails consistently, again, network events, DMs, all the places, all the places, all the time, consistently marketing the workshop and then sprinkling in again, still marketing your one-to-one.

So it’s going to feel like you’re showing up everywhere, talking all the time about everything that you’re doing. And you are. And people won’t get bored because remember, there’s an algorithm on all the platforms or most of the platforms and people aren’t opening all your e-mails anyways.

If you follow me, you’ll notice when I’m getting in prime time of marketing a workshop that I’m teaching. I still will promote my one-to-one. I have my call to action to my one-to-one and often the PS is to the workshop. Do it several times for several emails for at least two weeks, often three weeks. I will be highlighting that.

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Where Do Wellness Entrepreneurs Get Stuck

What often gets the wellness entrepreneur stuck is that they feel like they’re bothering people. They feel like they’re spamming people because they’re showing up all the time. And the other mindset issues come up like imposter syndrome as they start to think about people attending the workshop or delivering value. They start to feel like, “Well, who am I to talk about this?”

Or they have a fear of being visible and criticized. You need a self-coaching plan for this or a coach to help guide you through this. I do this for all my clients when they are launching something or if they’re just running into mindset blocks in terms of marketing. When you don’t have a plan to work through the mindset hurdles, which is normal, they’re going to come up because you’re a human being. And especially if this is a growth edge for you, if you’re doing your first workshops or maybe you’re doing it in a new way, transitioning from in-person to online or you’re teaching a new topic or you’re really positioning yourself as an expert and you’re doing the uncommon strategies.

I remember when I first started marketing my workshops as a physical therapist, yoga teacher, massage therapist, and bringing in the nervous system work over a decade ago. It wasn’t the hype around the nervous system, isn’t what it is today. And I felt very cautious about it. I felt like when I was marketing the workshops, especially when I was talking about yoga and de-stressing as a way to heal low back pain, I feel like people were going to come out of the woodwork and be like, “You’re not a physical therapist. What are you doing?” You don’t have, you know, and report me to the board.

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Like I was like some kind of witchcraft or something. It was a real thing. I remember my nervous system being like completely freaked out about it and completely fearful that I would somehow lose my licensing because of it, because someone was going to report me on Facebook because of my post or something.

So if you’re feeling this way, just know that you’re not alone. It’s normal, but you do want to plan to work with it. Otherwise, you’re not going to show up and market as much as you could. And the result of that is people aren’t going to hear your valuable information and get the help that they need. And you’re not going to have your workshop filled.

And in the beginning again, or sometimes when you’re just having that off time, a smaller workshop size is not a bad thing because you can really connect with the people that do attend. And I’ve had workshops of three to five people. And if I get two out of those people that convert into my high-ticket wellness offer, that’s still a valuable workshop to me.

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So, again, you don’t have to have crazy fill size room to hit 10K months for sure. You can do it having five to eight people and in signing two to three of those people, if yours have a 2K program, for example, that is three people, that’s a 6K month off of a two-hour workshop. Not bad, not bad at all. Of course, if you have more people in the room and you do a really good job sequencing your workshop, connecting with them, planting the seeds of the high-ticket wellness offer, really highlighting all your certifications and those uncommon strategies that you do teach and how there’s more in your high ticket wellness offer, then you have a higher likelihood of having more people convert.

My client, Lynn, she is so dialed in on this. She is a physical therapist for runners and she has a running form clinic that she does every month and her numbers will vary anywhere from two to three people coming to the running form clinic to 12 people. But she does it so consistently and she’s got her messaging and her sequence dialing in that she always gets discovery visits off the end of those running form clinics. And that is really when she got better at converting her DVs, that is how she went from 2K to 4K months to end 8K to 10K months and hitting her first six-figure year. Her story is here and you can read it a few blogs back. Check it out if you want to know more about her story!

So you have to plan to show up a lot. Marketing. The more you show up, the more people you will get to attend. Now, that doesn’t mean overworking. It doesn’t mean hustling. It doesn’t mean stressing yourself out. It just means consistently whatever that means to you. And it’s remembering not always more posts equal more clients. So the defining factor for that comes down to the messaging as well as the positioning of how you’re different.

How Can You Differentiate Yourself From Others Doing The Same Topic

So, for example, if you are teaching a popular topic like the low back, there’s probably other people teaching a similar workshop to you. So how are you going to differentiate yourself?

For me, for example, that really was stepping out of my comfort zone and highlighting my expertise of bringing yoga with physical therapy, massage with physical therapy, which is what really cued me in that combination of yoga and physical therapy on the importance of the nervous system, even before it was all hyped up at the time. And that brought a lot of people into my world who had tried traditional physical therapy, who had tried chiropractic work, who even tried acupuncture and just hadn’t gotten the results that they wanted. I was doing something new and different, and I would bring that verbiage into my marketing of the workshop so people would know, “Oh, this just isn’t material that you can get on YouTube,” “This isn’t just your average Joe low back workshop,” “I’m actually going to learn something different.”

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You want to start talking about that everywhere sooner rather than later. And then, here’s the thing. It doesn’t take that long to post a post or a story. You can do a talking head story in less than 60 seconds. I just did one today for that workshop for Carlsbad. Once you have that done and out in the world, I mean, give yourself a half hour, maybe an hour to do that. Then you can get on to the creative portion of creating that sequencing for the workshop and the value portion.

So the marketing doesn’t have to be all consuming. You’re doing both at the same time. So just remind yourself that if you want to get consumed into the planning of the actual workshop itself, do the marketing first, just get it over with and then get on to the planning. You will be thankful that you did that when you have more people in the room that already know about what you’re going to teach, that are hyped about it.

And actually, because you’ve been marketing you’re a high-ticket wellness offer, know your offer as well. So they’re more planned and primed to take that next step following your workshop.

Why Your Workshop Might Still Not Be Filling Despite All Efforts

Now, if your workshop is not filling, it comes down to these three things:

Number 1: Your messaging. It’s just not specific enough or your audience doesn’t know the specific results or transformation they will get following the workshop. The messaging is just not clear. You can’t just post come to my two-hour workshop on the low back anymore. Too many people are doing that. It’s too saturated. You really have to dial in on what specific result that they’re going to achieve.

How is it going to impact their day-to-day? Paint the picture of what’s possible for them following coming to your workshop or what are they going to get? Are they going to learn handstands or arm balancing? What’s in it for them for spending two hours of their day and investing money to work with you? Then if your messaging is dialed in, the results, the transformation is clear.

Number 2: You also want to check in if no one’s signing up, the frequency of posting. It might feel like you’re posting a lot, but you might have missed some channels.

I know sometimes I’ll get the workshops all dialed in on my emails, but then I will post on social media or I’m good about posting on social media and my emails, but I’ve been doing more connecting with people one-to-one and I won’t cycle back through all those people and just let them know personally that they could come to the workshop. And as soon as I do that, I’ll usually get a handful of registrants, if not 10 plus people registering immediately. So don’t forget your one-to-one and make it personal. Don’t copy and paste if you’re doing DMs. So check out with the frequency of how much you are marketing.

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Number 3: The third thing is you really have to take a look at positioning how you’re different. Is it clear of how this workshop is going to be different than workshops if you’re talking about living your purpose or releasing unlimited beliefs or limiting thoughts? How is that different from all the other people talking about similar things? You really want to position yourself so it appears like a new idea. It’s going to be different once out there. It’s unique to you. They can only get this information from you.

Then they’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve attended a workshop on this similar topic before, but I’ve never heard it from this perspective. So I think I need to sign up for this one as well.


And then it’s coming down to rinse and repeating all of this, continuing to market, continuing to refine the value portion and what you’re teaching in the workshop, refining the messaging, making sure the positioning of why you’re different and why they should attend this specific workshop, that it’s clearer and then you’ll get people doing it. And that’s the benefit of having not a ton of topics, but a few topics that you are dialed in. Every time you teach that workshop, the room will get fuller. You will get more clear and confident. You will get better each time.

And then it doesn’t matter if you’re teaching the workshop in-person or online. You can do both and you can grow both facets of your business so you have flexibility. So you’re not completely dependent on your body to do massages or to teach yoga classes or to do manual body work as a physical therapist. You can create diversity in your revenue, in your income and your lead generation. So you’re not always having to be in person.

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I’ll tell you, it is so freeing when you get there. So, so freeing.

Okay. So get to work on marketing your workshop, creating that workshop and telling the people. And if you’re getting stuck in any of the steps, then of course, reach out to me.

I teach my clients the six-figure lead generation workshop process. And the sooner you book that consult call with me and decide that you’re a good fit in the A Hundred K Awaken Business Coaching Program, the sooner you can start the process and start getting your ethical high ticket wellness clients, where you get paid to market, not just teaching a workshop for a few hundred dollars. That is how you go from 2K months to 10K revenue months.

So if you want to get started, I’ll see you on a consult call. If not, I’ll see you next week. Bye for now! 


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Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."