I got some questions recently about hosting workshops so in this blog post I’ll share some information with you on how to get started!
One of the questions is why I started teaching workshops. And the answer is simple 😀 When I lived in Ireland, many people around me got married. My friends were in their late 20’s and early 30’s, I had a nice network who referred my work as a wedding photographer, and culturally people just loved to tie the knot. I was photographing weddings regularly! When I moved to Berlin in 2016, I was welcomed with a very different reality. Most people I met were single and didn’t have the urge to settle down with a ring on their finger.
As I was photographing fewer weddings, I was looking for another income stream. So I started teaching photography and started the Paparazzi tours in Berlin. When the weather got colder, I started the macrame workshops although they remain popular in the summer also! At the time I was still working a 9-5 as well! For a long time I wanted to be fully self-employed and the workshops opened a whole new world for me! Within 6 months, I was making more income than I did with weddings! On average I got to meet 40-50 strangers who often become friends!
So whether you’re working 9-5 and you’re looking for some additional income, or you’re a creative but things are slow, teaching workshops can add a whole new income stream to your business! One of the things I love the most about the workshops is the number of wonderful people I meet! They come from all walks of life and I get to meet people from all over the world. So sometimes it feels like I’m travelling although I’m not! It’s a great way to meet new people and to connect with other creatives. Have you thought about teaching workshops? Or do you like participating in them?
The second question I often get is “What Can I Teach”? This is a great question that can be easy but also really tough. As you’re your own boss, YOU get to decide! What are your hobbies? Do you have a passion for something? What do you like doing? Remember, you don’t have to be Van Gogh to start teaching paint classes or be Taylor Swift to teach about singing or music.
A book I often recommend is IKIGAI by Hector Garcia. This book can help you find the intersection of your passions, skills and market demand.
Picking a subject is just a starting point. This can also change over time. I started teaching photography classes but realised I missed being behind the camera so now I offer both. I started knitting classes but I found it hard to teach and therefore stopped it. So it’s a bit of trial and error at the beginning. Do some research in your area as well. Is someone already doing what you want to teach? What are people interested in doing and will your workshops sell? Is there something local to your area that you can’t find anywhere else in the world?
You can also diversify one topic. Let’s take macrame as an example. I could teach a beginner class and advanced. I could teach different styles or focus on plant hangers and dreamcatchers only. Or I could teach how to make macrame jewellery. It’s certainly good to have a few ideas in mind and offer more than one class.
Throughout the years I’ve seen so many workshops. To give you some ideas: yoga, pottery, painting, Rav drum lessons, walking with dogs/alpacas, cooking classes, cocktail tastings, furniture making, cycling tours, history classes, embroidery, beer tasting. You get the idea! There is NO limit in something you can teach!
Where do I find clients?
𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗼 𝗜 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀? So you have a great idea but not sure how to get paying clients? There are generally two options. 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲. 𝗢𝗥 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳!
Hosting sites are websites or agencies that will advertise for you. On these sites, you can book different workshops and the platform is completely owned and created but them. It’s a great way to start and you just have to upload the text and images and you’re pretty much good to go. As your ideal clients might know these websites, it’s easier to get your first bookings in.
But there are also downsides… You depend on them to pay you, you can’t upsell or cross-sell, you don’t own the client database, if they are out of business you are as well and they sometimes take HEFTY commissions up to 30%!
For that reason, I also started self-hosting. YES, it’s more work. But I actually love the whole process. You’ll need a booking site or website, payment providers, email providers, social media for advertising etc. But the biggest plus is, you own EVERYTHING YOU DO! Having an email list is a must! You can provide customised packages, offer special discounts, host larger groups, collaborate with other creatives in your area and you pay no commission.
To maximise your income, I would suggest to ultimately combine the two. Would you pick a hosting site, do it all yourself or do a combination of the two? What would be your biggest concern about self-hosting?
How do I price my workshops?
𝗜 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗺𝘆 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 €𝟭𝟬! 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆! Yup, you read that right! I hosted my very first workshop with some friends! This way I knew I would get honest feedback and I could learn how to teach people and what was missing. They also were kind enough to give me a testimonial so it didn’t look like I was a complete newbie online.
After that, I slowly increased the price. It’s of course very important to at least cover your cost! Do you need to hire a studio, do you need to purchase materials, will you offer a drink or some snacks? And the most fearful expense… taxes! Make sure you’re all set up legally! And in certain circumstances, you’ll need insurance.
Once the cost is covered, allow yourself a salary! The idea is that you’re creating a profitable business and not a charity (although it’s a great way to give back to your community also!) Can you upsell your offer? Do you offer more than one and are there cross-sales possible? Or can you offer extra materials to purchase? What does your product suite look like?
𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂? 𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗳𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀? Maybe the newly released 2-hour Intensive is something for you!
During this call, we can discuss any topic where you can use a hand! 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗯 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝘁 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘀 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲.
A kickoff questionnaire
A 2-hour deep-dive over Zoom to clarify your goals that align with your desires
1 Week of support
A list of additional resources (books and tools etc)
The price? Only €190! The first 5 spots were already taken! But… I decided to keep the price for the whole months of July! This price will increase in August so be sure to book your spot at the discounted rate. Take the quiz and let’s start your transformation!
𝟮 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵?
Disclaimer: To be fully transparent, please note that this blog post contains affiliate links and some purchases made through such links might result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). Not all links are affiliate links as I just want to share knowledge and tips with my readers and this blog is not aimed to make a ton of money! However, every little helps of course to fund future travels.