Offering workshops – in person or online – is growing rapidly as a business strategy for service professionals. It seems like every coach, counsellor, and healer is either offering them or teaching you how to launch them. Do you ever find yourself wondering if it’s just a marketing gimmick? Just something else to sell and launch?
Well …. maybe!?!
The answer really depends on both the intention and impact of the workshop. In my (not so) humble opinion there are far too many folks out there teaching how to LAUNCH a workshop or group program and very few talking about how to deliver a powerful experience; something truly meaningful and effective for the folks attending it.
The truth is, doing group work is generally a good business model for service professionals. There is a limit to the number of hours in a day, and therefore a limit to how many clients we can serve if we only offer 1:1 work. Working with groups allows us to reach more people, scale our business and hopefully give ourselves a bit more breathing room.
Having said that, if all someone is interested in is selling to more people, then adding workshops IS a marketing gimmick. (And spoiler alert – they’re probably not a good fit to work with me).
However, if what you want is to be of service to more people, to provide powerful experiences to your clients that they can only get through the magic of a group process – then no, offering workshops is not a marketing gimmick; it’s a gift that you can give your people and your business.
Of course, even if it’s the right next step, it will only be as effective as your ability to create a meaningful experience for your clients.
The thing about creating the experience is that it really involves three distinct pillars: 1) A meaningful intention & message; 2) A strong, adult-learning centered design; and 3) Strong group facilitation skills. Almost always, the workshops I’ve been to have the first pillar in spades. SO MUCH good intention, a clear message, and often a brilliant concept. Sometimes the third pillar is there also – many coaches and counsellors have a natural ability to hold space in groups.
What is consistently missing is the second pillar: a strong design. And like any three-legged stool, when one leg is missing, it wobbles … painfully.
That’s where I come in. After years of attending less-than-stellar workshops and group programs by brilliant, gifted coaches, counsellors and healers, I realized that something in our industry needed to change – and that I had the ability to help. In addition to my coach training, I studied adult learning and instructional design and have done it professionally for over 10 years. (I’ve been delivering workshops for over 20!)
Learn more about how I am changing the world, one workshop at a time
If you’re ready to create your next Amazing workshop, my next DESIGN LAB starts June 16th