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The Six-Figure Workshop System for Wellness Entrepreneurs

Wellness Workshop Mastery

Hi there, wellness entrepreneur! Welcome back.

Today’s blog is part of the Six-Figure Workshop Series, all things that you want to know about Creating A – Workshop System In Your Business to grow your audience, grow your e-mail list and convert to paying wellness clients.

This is the system I personally use to grow two six-figure plus businesses. I first started utilizing the system with my brick-and-mortar physical therapy, yoga wellness cash-based brick-and-mortar practice. I use workshops in person, in studios, and some online. And then when I was transitioning to an online business, I use online master classes, webinars, and workshops to grow my six-figure plus online business as well.

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How Will This Workshop System Help You

So this six-figure workshop system can be used to help you grow an online business from the start. Or if you want to transition your brick-and-mortar to more online services to free up time, or if you’re feeling maxed out, if you’re a bodyworker and you’re like, “There’s only so many sessions I can do in a day and a month, but I want to bring in more profit and revenue,” workshops is a great way to transition online and start to bring in clients immediately.

Plus, when you become a master in delivering workshops, you will also streamline knowledge you’ve gained through the years of acquiring certifications, going to trainings, acquiring degrees and so much more. All this information can be utilized in workshops, so you shine as the expert at what you do and how no one else can deliver that combination of knowledge and expertise because no one else has your experience and your expertise combining all that knowledge through the years.

Enjoy this six-figure workshop series!

Also Read: Christina Zheng’s Journey from Helping Women to Running Her Physical Therapy Clinic

All About the System and the Process

Today, we’re going to talk about a system that’s repeatable and reliable to bring you clients into your business so you can get fully booked, hit your first six-figure year and then scale beyond. It’s a process that can get you to six figures and beyond. It’s a skill that you’ll learn and if you stick with it, you can continue to refine and refine. And that’s how you’ll move from a one-to-one type of format in terms of marketing, maybe through DMs and personal conversations and a lot of referrals to more of a one-to-many model in both your marketing as well as possible containers in which you can help people through group programs and on-demand programs.

If you want to do that, if you want to expand beyond one-to-one, and this is the system of teaching workshops, master classes, webinars, classes, retreats, for example, as a front offer, low to mid-range ticket offer that not only pays you but brings clients into your world, warms them up, nurtures them so they get to know you more and converts them to that next step of whatever program you might have. Of course, for a lot of my clients, it’s the ethical high-ticket wellness offer or any other back-end type programs you might have.

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The High-Ticket Wellness Offer

So let’s talk about this a little bit more. It’s a process that’s actually not groundbreaking. It’s a process that’s used in the online world quite frequently. You’ll see it all the time where people are hosting master classes, webinars, online workshops, boot camps, online retreats, seminars, summits, all types of offers, challenges, and they feed into a bigger ticket, a higher-ticket program on the end. It’s just a free or low-ticket offer to bring a bunch of new people into their world and give them value and then convert those appropriate and ready ones into the next step.

The Reality for Brick-and-Mortar Wellness and Yoga Space

However, somehow, that’s not being repeated in the brick and mortar and wellness and yoga space. What I see most frequently in the wellness and yoga space is very skilled teachers and practitioners teaching workshops and delivering a ton of value and leaving it at that where they’re making a few hundred, maybe a thousand dollars in a day, which is nothing to shake your head at. It’s good money. However, they’re leaving a lot of money on the table and worse off, clients who could really need their help beyond a two-hour workshop or even a weekend retreat are not getting that personalized or advanced level or next step help because only a very meek or small pitch for the next program was made. It was very soft spoken. It was delivered only once or it wasn’t made at all.

No next offer, no call to action was made in the workshop at all.  And how do I know? Because as a yoga teacher myself, as a physical therapist myself, for massage therapists for over two decades now, I’ve been attending workshops, trainings, con-ed classes because I love to learn and I love to embody and practice what I preach where I go to a lot of classes and workshops to keep up with my own health and wellness.

And so I’ve seen a variety of circumstances where teachers don’t deliver and give a call to action at all to ones that do, but it’s done very meekly and quietly, almost covertly, where if I had wanted to work with that practitioner more,  I’d be hesitant to reach out to them.

Do they have a program? Do they want to work with people? Am I a right good fit for those that program?

All those thoughts hold me back from taking that next step where if a practitioner would have instead confidently pitched that program and planted seeds, which is what I teach my clients in the Business Coaching Program, on how to do this and set up this exact system, then I could have more confidently took that next step to work with them more.

The Best Parts When You Use This Workshop System

And here’s the best part. When you’re using workshops, whether they be online or in-person or retreats or whatever that front offer is, that’s natural and easy for you. Most wellness practitioners love it. Most wellness practitioners love teaching workshops, love teaching classes, love leading retreats, so it’s typically something you’re already good at and just love doing.

And the next best part is you’re already getting paid for it. You’re already getting revenue for it. My husband used to joke with me and he was like, “Why are you teaching these classes and workshops for like $35 or $40? “  And I was like, “Dude, I’m getting paid to market.” Do you know how many people are putting money into Facebook advertising, et cetera, et cetera, which is not bad. But at the time I was just starting out and I had little revenue. I was like, “I’m getting paid to grow my business.” So not only am I getting a paycheck from teaching these workshops, which could be anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand dollars for a two-hour workshop, depending on how many people showed up and how much I was charging, but not only am I getting that revenue, I would sign anywhere from one to five clients off the back-end of that workshop.

And that is how I grew my brick-and-mortar physical therapy, yoga, massage, wellness, brick-and-mortar business over six figures. And it was repeatable and reliable.

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The Reason Why A Lot of Wellness Entrepreneurs Don’t Pitch Their Programs

I think the reason why a lot of wellness entrepreneurs aren’t pitching their programs or thinking bigger scale beyond just teaching the workshop is a, maybe they just don’t realize what’s possible. And so they don’t have a system in place to see their program, deliver the value and let their audience know of the next step. Or b, they just have a lot of fear and reservations about being too spammy and selling.

And truthfully, that mindset is so outdated. Yes, there are old school lineages of thought that say: “As a practitioner, if you’re good, you shouldn’t have to market yourself that referrals should just come. People should naturally just reach out to inquire to want to work with you or in the yoga community lineages of charging money where that’s taking away from the spiritual growth.” All that is old mindset based in a different time.

And I found personally that in a two-hour workshop, especially if I have 20 to 30 students and two hours of time, I’m not going to get into the personalized attention that someone might need, especially, for example, if they had a very significant scoliosis or a sciatica. I really needed to work with a lot of those people one to one.

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Why Pitching Your Program Is Important

And the people who attended my workshop might have not met me otherwise if I had not hosted that workshop because through the workshop, because they went to a particular yoga studio or were on the e-mail list of a partner that I collaborated and helped to promote my workshop, that’s how they found me. And they got to know me in those two hours. And that gave them the confidence when I delivered my pitch at the end of the workshop to come up to me after the workshop and say, “Alison, I think I need to work with you one to one. I’ve got this problem going on and I’ve saw a lot of other practitioners, but I think you can actually help me.”

And I would work with some of these people for years afterwards. I still have some of these people that we solve their original problem, but now come to me for wellness or, “maintenance” or progression in sport performance or just keeping their body moved so they can enjoy retirement, for example. But they wouldn’t have gotten to that phase in their life if I was too scared or I thought pitching my program was selling.

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How I Deliver My Workshops Now

And let’s be honest here, when I first started delivering workshops, I was quieter. I was shy and introverted all throughout my youth. So just to get up and be in the limelight and teach the workshops, and I had a lot of thoughts on: Were they good enough? Was I delivering value? 

So I used to fire hose my attendees with a ton of information in two hours, for example, and barely delivered a pitch. But over time, I grew the skill on how to deliver workshops more confidently. I received feedback from a lot of people and I started to learn how to adequately plant the seeds of client examples, client stories, what I do in my programs. And I realized it was to the benefit of the audience. The more I slowed down and stopped firehosing people, I made what I was teaching in workshops more simple, less steps, less how to’s, just less information overall.

And instead started putting in stories. Then I noticed the audience asking questions. I noticed the audience would start to get more engaged. They’d talk more. They would open up more. They were captivated by the stories. And that led to a higher conversion. 

So if you’re looking, if you love to teach workshops, you love to teach retreats, you want to grow your private practice, or maybe you have a membership or an online program or a group program that you really want to fill on the back-end, then this system is a great way to fill that where you’re actually getting paid to market. And if you’ve never taught a workshop before and you’ve been considering it, but you don’t really know what to teach, then stick with me here because I had to figure all this out myself.

Fortunately, over a decade ago, I had a mentor who I learned from and she utilized workshops to grow her practice, and that’s how I first got some ideas for topics, got into a system for my own processes and teachings. But eventually the topics I love to teach and my audience loved as well and where the best converting were from my actual clients and patients, the problems that they told me that they had, the struggles that they had, the questions that they would ask me most about, the most common issues I saw people bringing into my world that would kind of inform a lot of the topics that I would teach around studios.

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The other way I got to decide what type of topics I would teach is when I started making more connections with yoga studio owners, a lot of yoga studios and wellness clinics and offices know their audience. They know what their clients and their patients need. So when they get to know you and understand what you specialize in and what your expertise in, a lot of the times they would tell me, they’re like, “Alison, I have a lot of people with this and this. They would really like that. Can you teach a workshop on that?”

And I would fit it to their studio. And over time, I had a handful of studios I would work with in a year and about five, sometimes seven or eight workshops that I would teach in a year. And I would just cycle through. And I did that one to two workshops a month on average or trainings, which was more of a mid-ticket, mid to high-ticket offer, one to two, sometimes three or four in a month for over a decade. 

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And I went from no one coming to my workshops, I think my first few were I shouldn’t say no one. But my first few workshops had one to three people. And then it became five people and then eight people. And then it started getting into the double digits of 13 to 15 and upwards to 20 to 30.  And then sometimes they were in between all that. There would be some flopped workshops where I’d be testing a new topic or a new title or the timing just wouldn’t work out. Maybe it was I didn’t realize it was a special holiday weekend or a peak travel time where a lot of people were out of town. So then it would drop back down to maybe eight or five people on a rare workshop. 

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But even if I had a small attendance, I would look at those people. I’m like, “Okay,  this is my opportunity to really connect with those three to five people because they’re not in a big crowded room with a lot of people. I am going to serve them to my highest and really get to no one.”

And I would convert off those workshops, too. So it really doesn’t matter the number of people showing up. If you give your all and you have a process where you can give them value without firehosing them so they do have some takeaways, they do have some wins, especially if it’s a paying workshop or a retreat. And you’re planting seeds of success and what’s possible for them beyond the workshop, including your next step programs. 

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A Client Story: How We Started Her Own Workshop Using My System

When my client Christina first started with me, she had a couple of patients and she was a traveling mobile physical therapist. So going to people’s homes around town in San Diego, which works well because you can keep your overhead really low. However, the downside to this is the travel. San Diego, like many towns across the US, has a lot of traffic, so you can end up spending a lot of time in the car and not getting paid for it unless you’re building in that travel time and your prices are high. But a lot of people that do mobile therapy are first starting out and their prices aren’t that high yet.

And that was kind of the scenario with Christina, and she was taking some insurance, which is great, too, because she was able to get a lot of people in the door. And she came to me with the idea of really wanting to teach workshops. In fact, she had e-mailed out. I think it was one of our first weeks together. She had the idea of reaching out to a bunch of different studios, YMCAs, Pilates studios in our area to see if they would host a workshop. 

Now, here is where I see a lot of practitioners getting stuck because they’re emailing out a few studios and they’re hearing back: “Oh, we only allow teachers that teach with us, teach a weekly class with us, teach workshops,” or “No, we don’t do workshops,” or “Oh, our workshops aren’t open to the public for teachers,” or “We’re fully booked this year.”

You can get a lot of no’s in this process. But Christina was very diligent and reached out to a number. She had a list of studios she reached out through and YMCAs and she got in the door because of her persistence with it. So if you’re getting a lot of no’s, make sure to stick with it. Just keep reaching out, keep building those contacts. 

And you want to think of this process from the studio or whoever you’re reaching out, the director, the manager’s perspective. You don’t want to say, “Hey, can I just teach a workshop for you?” You want to make it easy for them. You want to give a very clear and compelling e-mail that highlights your expertise, that shows your research that you have looked at into their audience and what their audience might like. You’ve looked at previous workshops that they were hosting and maybe filled a gap that’s not being offered. You give one to three suggestions of different types of workshops that you can teach so they don’t have to think about it, do the work for them and keep with it. Because over time, then you’ll get in the door, and when you get in the door with one, then that opens the door to more.

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Because when other studios see that one workshop promoting you and if you show up consistently and promote yourselves, because other studios are watching, even if you don’t realize it, when you teach that workshop or training or retreat, other studios are watching. And if you fill it, then they will see, “Oh, she’s consistent. She does the marketing. She’s not just one of those teachers that says they’re going to teach a workshop, that says they’re going to promote and does nothing and flakes off and cancels at the last minute,”

because there are a lot of teachers doing that. And that’s why many studios will only go with an experienced teacher or a teacher who’s currently teaching with them, because they know them and they also know that not only will they be reliable, but their audience knows them as well.

So you need to prove yourself that you are reliable, that you will connect with their audience, that you can fill a room even if you don’t teach there.

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I’ve taught workshops in New York all over the nation. Even when I didn’t have a weekly class there and I was able to do that because studios would see and I would show them, “Hey, look, I taught this workshop in this and this state. This is my process on how I marketed it.” And I filled the room and I would show them pictures and I would tell them about the number of students that showed up. And I’d say, “Your audience, your demographic is very similar to the studio.” And I would work with the studio to get a workshop set up.

So Christina, she stuck and she was persistent with making new contacts and getting workshops set up. And her and I worked on the process on how to deliver value for the workshop. She had a variety of paying workshops that were two hours and then some one-hour free workshops, and she knocked it out of the park. After delivering workshops, she would give a clear call to action. And for a lot of those, especially because she was just starting off, it was just one sentence highlighting her program. But it was clear and confident. And I did help her to plant some seeds of some stories along the way. The more workshops she taught, she got better and better. 

She started signing clients right off the bat in those first few workshops. And within just a couple of months, she was fully booked. And then within six months of working with me, she was able to move from being that mobile therapist getting stuck in traffic and traveling all around, to having her own beautiful brick-and-mortar clinic space so she could stay put and clients would come to her. And she got busy quickly. 

So you can do that, too. The key is to be persistent in both making those contacts and finding out where you can teach a workshop, where your specialization can help provide value to a community that is maybe there’s some gap in knowledge or you have a specialization in and there isn’t a teacher teaching of that subject yet and then get a marketing plan together to market that workshop because it is going to take effort to get students in the door, especially if there’s your first few workshops.

Also Read: Alison McLean Business coach for yoga teachers and wellness practitioners at Ignite Ur Wellness Business. 

But stick with it because the more that you do this, the more contacts you make, the better you’ll get at marketing, the better you’ll get at delivering the value for your people, the better you get at converting to those people that really need your help that next step of following the workshop. And then you can continue to repeat this process to six figures  and beyond, because you’ll see, for example, even big gurus in the industry like Amy Porterfield, still leads online master classes.

So it really is a system that can serve your business and a skill that when you get used to the skill of marketing, the skill of presenting, that can bring a lot of revenue and clients and clients can get great results that can really serve your business and your audience for years to come. Plus, in the beginning, you can get paid to market and build that client load, build that revenue. 

So then in the future, if you’re over six figures and you want to spend money on paid advertising, you can. But you’ll never feel forced to have to spend money on paid advertising in the beginning, especially when you’re not making a lot of money yet. So it’s a very low-risk way to grow your business.

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The Downside Of This System

The downside to this process, however, I want to caution you, is that it can take a lot of time. It does take time to market. It does take time to plan the workshops and make sure you’re delivering value and plan your calls to action and the sequencing of workshops. And then, of course, the delivering of the workshops. 

For me, I had to really learn how many workshops I could teach in a month with my trainings that I would also lead so that it was sustainable. I had to learn that if I taught a workshop or a training on the weekend, I needed to take Monday and Tuesday and block them off completely so I could rest. There was a time where I didn’t and I would go seven days a week leading a training and then Monday right back into patient care. I had to learn how to block off my schedule. I had to learn that if I taught a workshop in the evening after people got out of work and when they could attend like six to eight, for example, that I had to block off the next morning.

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So there are some learning curves because it is a time investment. But if you learn how to plan your schedule, plan in the marketing and plan in the rest time, then again, it can be a system that you can repeat over and over again, especially when you make contacts with studios that do want you to teach a workshop once a month or once a quarter or a couple of times a year. You get to know them. And then setting up the workshop with them becomes very efficient. You both know topics that will work. You both know the responsibilities when it comes to marketing. You can grow your newsletter list. They can get more exposure from your audience. It’s such a great collaboration.

Conclusion

I’m still using this process to this day. I still teach online workshops and now I’m getting back into considering doing in-person workshops and training, so stay tuned here. I’ve been really missing teaching. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like, but I’ve been really percolating on this that might look like to get back into leading trainings and possibly workshops in person and for sure retreats could be used in this sequencing as well if you love to lead retreats and you can even make sure that the value you’re giving in the retreats or a workshop for sure as well is a precursor to your program.

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So there are so many ways that you can play around with this and be creative again that it can be the precursor to whatever program you want to have on the back end as long as you are seeding that well. 

So today, consider how you might reach out and develop some contacts in different studios and wellness clinics and offices, whether it’s a chiropractor office or an acupuncture office, a yoga studio, a Pilates studio, a YMCA, a gym. Who can you make CrossFit box? It’s endless. Who can you make a contact with? Maybe look up a website, reach out to them and build it into your marketing program for the week of reaching out to different places to establish contacts and set up workshops, give yourself time because sometimes studios are booked and they say, “Okay, great! Your idea, your topic sounds great. We could totally get you in the schedule, but it’ll be six months from now.”

So know that it’s not a quick win. This is big picture planning, especially if you make a good contact and you deliver and fill the room and deliver a great workshop once. Most likely they’ll have you back again. And then if you get three to five contacts, you can be set for the whole entire year and years to come. So go slow. Take your time. Remember, it’s a repeatable process that will give back. You’ll get more efficient and also be creative. 

I teach my clients the 100K Brand when they’re really using their expertise and their life experiences to stand out in a marketplace and you can do that, too, for topics where if you look at a yoga studios workshops that teachers have delivered in the past, for example, where do you shine? What is your expertise that you can teach on that maybe a teacher hasn’t taught yet? That’s how I would fit in. I would look at what the gaps were.

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And for me, there are a lot of Vinyasa style teachers here in the area. And I would kind of look and say, “Okay, there’s a handstand workshop. There’s an inversion workshop. There’s an arm balancing workshop. There’s a chakra workshop. There’s a sound tuning workshop. But there’s no workshop on the low back,” for example. I’m going to teach on the low back.

So what are the gaps that you can fill based upon your expertise and your experience and then reach out, give some topic ideas for a studio, go to networking events in your town, the Chamber of Commerce, meet studio owners in person or online and just develop those relationships and pitch your workshop ideas, then help market, show up consistently, market with them, share it on your Instagram, share it on your newsletter. Be reliable, work with the studio owner, and then you’ll develop a relationship for years to come. And you’ll meet some clients and students that can become your client and student from years to come. 

So have a fun, be creative. This is your place. This is your time to shine. And if you want my personalized help with this, then just book your consult and we can get started right away.

So there you have it. A way to build a reliable and repeatable system in your business that pays you to market!

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Alison McLean

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