In this episode, you’ll learn 7 key phases of a beginner level photography workshop to prep for, so that YOU can rock your first (or next) class. Everyone plans for the workshop, but there’s SO MUCH MORE around that to take into consideration to leverage workshops into the big picture of your business.
Let’s get the 3 big elephants in the room outta the way:
“CAN I teach a workshop? Am I good enough?”
If you can work with clients, you can teach a workshop.
Our knowledge is right under our noses – we’re too close to it to SEE how much we know. We know A LOT more than someone who has zero experience with their camera. That means, you’ve got a lot to offer a newbie!
“Do I need to know all the camera makes / models?”
You do NOT have to know all the gear out there to teach a workshop.
Have your attendees bring their manual. Inside my program, PPW, I have a tool for your students too that doubles as a way to ease your mind.
Am I creating my competition?
Nope! You’re not creating your competition. You’re creating dreamier potential clients who could continue to work with you or they go out and tell their friends about you, your workshop, and YOUR approach to photography.
Before we get into the 7 Phases, in full transparency, I have a done-for-you workshop package called, “Profitable Photography Workshops.”
I’m an advocate for teaching fun, in-person, beginner-level photography workshops, because these simple classes are THE BEST + fastest way to get in front of a room full of your dreamiest potential clients and make a high impact, memorable connection.
Allow me to highlight a major benefit of these workshops:
You get your potential clients’ undivided attention for about 4 hours – that’s HUGE!
No other platform (email, social media, etc.) allows you to do this quite like a transformative workshop.
Here’s the thing: You cannot treat this like a “one n’ done” thing. Like: “Ok, I did a workshop for 10 people” and then WAIT for them to come to you, begging to work with you again…
it doesn’t work like that.
In this ep, I’ll share the 7 Phases of a Workshop to consider + prep for.
For this, here’s a workbook for you to fill out as we go:
Whether you grab PPW or not doesn’t matter. I want you to set yourself up for success. These workshops are easier than you think! Here’s the 7 Phases broken down:
Phase 1: Planning
- Logistics – when, where, etc. (think about the EXPERIENCE for them + EASE for you)
- The transformation – what are you really selling? What does your community really WANT?
Phase 2: Promotion
Now it’s time to let people know about your workshop. This is the plan I see most:
- Workshop created / planned
- Sales page up
- Announce “Registration is now open!”
THAT plan is not sustainable. For more launching strategies, definitely listen back to episode 021 with Kyla Roma if you haven’t already.
With PPW, you get my entire launching bonus – it’s my blend of timeless content to a content plan. It’s definitely work up front – creating content – but then that content is RE-USABLE. It’s timeless. It gives you data to work with moving forward.
For your first workshop, I recommend reaching out to everyone you know and simply asking them if they know anyone who ________________. (Fill that blank in really well…)
Fill that blank in one of two ways:
- Straight forward – speak to learning their camera. “Finally use your BIG, fancy DSLR KNOWING how to use all the buttons.” This is straight forward, but COULD be emotionally stronger…
- Highlight the transformation – wants to use their camera to ____________ (make art, preserve memories, etc.) << this is what you planned for in Phase 1
Then consider where you’ll promote:
- Offline / Online
- Facebook Groups you could offer this to? Reach out to the admin – you’re cultivating their group culture by getting the group together offline.
- Create + stick to a content plan
Phase 3: Pre-Workshop Connection
So, you’ve sold seats. Now what?
What can you do to keep up their engagement + excitement from the time they purchased their seats to the day of the workshop?
I like to get them talking. Ask questions. LISTEN to them. Magic is happening: a potential long-term relationship is sparking.
I have a couple of handouts to keep them busy + learning too (included in PPW).
My advice here: this can be systemized.
Create timeless content you can use over + over and utilize an automated email sequence – I love using ConvertKit.
Phase 4: The Workshop
There are 2 parts:
- Technical + Creative Content (the curriculum – where most stop)
- Emotional + Marketing Content – what stories can you tell that feel like a perfect fit for the workshop content AND give you the opportunity about your photography biz?
Does this scare the heck out of you? To think about selling during a workshop? It so does NOT have to feel that way – I don’t feeling like I’m up on a soapbox selling and making people’s skin crawl either – so I can assure you, this is not that.
I’ve got 6 years of direct sales background. We’d call this “planting seeds” and then at the end, you’ll INVITE them to work with you further (whatever your goal is). This is in part of the workshop curriculum I already created for you.
Also, plan your photos with intention – the ones with GREAT stories to them. Personal. Client.
Phase 5: Immediate Follow Up
You’ve got 24 – 48 hours to re-engage your workshop attendees. What are you gonna do about it?
- Facebook Group?
- Email TY?
- Invitation? Free or paid?
Allison Redmon tells you what she does in the next episode, which I LOVE!
Let them know you CARE and you want them to succeed.
Phase 6: Student Stories
Who was your star student?
Get a testimonial!
- You could have your invitation planned (for a case study / story convo)
- Consider how you’ll conduct this? Video, audio (Zoom) or text?
- Before / after photos?
You may want to weave them into a check-in plan, meaning, they may not be ready yet.
Encourage your students to send you their work AND the stories behind the photos. Why are they excited about what they send you? THAT’S what your next round of potential students really want to do.
Phase 7: Continuing Contact
Most students won’t move forward with you. That’s normal! They just received so much value from you, they’re good for right now. Just because these students don’t move forward with you right now doesn’t mean not ever.
First, as mentioned in Phase 5, people want to know you care. They weren’t just another seat. So just like you checked in immediately following the workshop, do it again and again. It can taper off over time, but keep them on your radar (so that YOU stay on theirs).
Plan ahead how you’ll do this:
- Automated check-ins (email sequence or newsletter type content)
- Personal 1:1 check-ins. If so, where? FB, direct email, in-person meet up invites, etc.
Ok, I’m gonna stop now.
You might be in brain overload to think about ALL the pieces that a workshop can entail. Here’s the secret: your first, second, or fifth workshop doesn’t have to be perfect.
Here’s a quick summary of the 7 Phases to Consider Before Your Next Workshop:
- Phase 1: Planning
- Phase 2: Promotion
- Phase 3: Pre-Workshop Connection
- Phase 4: The Workshop
- Phase 5: Immediate Follow Up
- Phase 6: Student Stories
- Phase 7: Continuing Contact
This is all included in the free planning guide here:
“What’s easiest for me right now?”
Watch for when you’re arguing for the bells + whistles. You can add them later. Start with simple.
Create the minimum viable option for your first or next workshop.
The good news, most of the work is done. Use the proven workshop package for lifestyle + documentary photographers at profitablephotographyworkshops.com.
- 7 Phases of a Successful Beginner Level Photography Workshop WORKBOOK
- Done-for-you Workshop: Profitable Photography Workshops
- Email service provider of choice: ConvertKit
- Episodes mentioned: All About Launching with Kyla Roma and Allison Redmon’s Workshop Success Story
- Related Article: Create a Revenue Stream with a FUN Photography Class for Beginners
- Connect with me: Intentional Documentary™ Podcast group
- (For Photographers) Peek at the Awesome Things Happening in Documentary Family Photography this month
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