Want to lead workshops this year? I asked Sage Lavine, the queen of workshops, to share her secrets with us. This girl does something I’ve never seen… she sells out HUGE workshops in remote places, and people show up from all over the world. /

Pssst… a lot of these secrets apply to creating a program, too!

Live workshops, events, and retreats are a truly powerful way to transform a group of people, and a proven way to grow the financial sustainability and profit of your business quickly so you can give back to the world in ALL the ways you want.

I actually started my business in my living room with 8 women sitting around on my cozy purple couches in my Santa Cruz bungalow just a few blocks from the beach… they were women’s empowerment workshops, and from those gatherings I created over $5,000 a month in income. Now, using and evolving the same workshop format I started with, I have thousands of clients who have created millions of dollars collectively themselves, from leading events. They’ve made a huge difference in the lives of their clients as well as created events that contribute to a greater social good on the planet.  

If you’ve considered leading workshops as a way to build your business, or if you already do, I’d like to share my 10 best secrets for using workshops as the fastest way to grow your business, reach more people, and add between $2,000 and $10,000 of monthly profit to your income.  

Hot Secret #1: Lead with generosity by offering a free evening 2-hour talk.

Offer a free introductory workshop as a gift to your potential clients. This honors your feminine nature of generosity. You provide them with a taste of who you are and what it would be like to work with you. Then offer a free consultation to see if it’s a fit to do more work together. This is the hottest way to attract clients: instead of chasing them down, they’re coming to you.

Hot Secret #2: Offer to speak for free to an existing group.

There are so many groups in your local community looking for speakers!! Check out your library, clubs, membership organizations, meet-up groups, community centers, eWomenNetwork, chamber of commerce, Rotary clubs, LEADS groups, telesummits, local collectives, day spas, gyms, practitioners’ offices (perhaps your chiropractor or your doctor), networking events, and conferences.

Research which groups might be interested in your message, and contact them with a specific description of your talk and how it will benefit their members/attendees.

Hot Secret #3: Craft a magnetic talk title.

When you develop the title for your talk, use clear, simple language; don’t get caught up with trying to be clever! People need to know what they’re getting. If you’re too clever, they’ll just be confused.

Using numbers and benefits in your title will help your audience perceive the value of attending. Here are some examples:

  • 6 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Health
  • 9-Week Lose-Weight-Without-Dieting Program
  • 5 Months to a Stress-Free Life Immersion

Hot Secret #4: Jump in and let go of perfectionism!

You do NOT have to be perfect or polished right out of the gate. You only have to be a couple of steps ahead of your potential clients. If you wait until you’re perfect or have the best possible script, you’ll end up procrastinating and never get yourself out there.

The more nervous you are, the more prepared you’ll want to be. But don’t let your inner perfectionist hold you back! People want you to be authentic when you speak, so just be you!

Hot Secret #5: Fill your seats first and plan your talk later.

Do you have the “What if nobody comes to my party” fears? Me too. Most of us do! I advise my clients to spend four times as many hours marketing their speaking engagement as creating the content for the talk. You can be the best speaker on the planet, but if the room is empty, what does it matter?

Fill the seats first, and plan your talk later. Knowing people have signed up or you’ve got a venue booked will hold you accountable. No more excuses—you’ll have to show up and do it!

My #1 favorite way to market an event and get people in the seats: Call or email your current clients, colleagues, coworkers, friends, and family. Ask them to tell people who might be interested in your workshop.

Hot Secret #6: Increase your sign-ups with the “invite a friend” strategy.

When people register for your workshop/speaking gig, invite them to bring a friend. Let them know how valuable it is for them to have a friend accompany them so that after the event, they can support each other with staying inspired and accountable to putting into action what they learn from your talk.

I love this strategy, as it really is a win-win-win: it’s a win for your participants, for their friends, and for you!

Hot Secret #7: Share valuable content, but leave them wanting more.

Women often overdeliver in their talks to compensate for a mistaken belief that we’re not enough. I’m here to tell you, YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.

For a two-hour event, share 2–3 primary speaking points. Don’t inundate your audience with everything you know. Give them a few key concepts or tools. If you overstuff them with information, they’ll feel they don’t need anything else from you and won’t be willing to pay for your services.

Give them some great content, including some of your best stuff so that they leave inspired, with new knowledge, and wanting more.

Hot Secret #8: Practice your introduction and your offer the most!

You don’t want to overscript yourself as you prepare for your talk. Create an outline of what you want to say so that you stay on point, but don’t read it! You’ll sound stiff and insincere, and you’ll lose all credibility. If you’re worried about getting off track, creating a slideshow can help you stay on topic.

The two parts of your talk to practice several times are the introduction and the offer—the part where you talk about your service or product. The more you practice these parts, the more confident you’ll be and the more you can be present with—and really connect with—your participants during the parts that matter the most!

Hot Secret #9: Start with the end in mind.

When you plan your talk, I recommend starting with your offer when considering the content.

You’re probably thinking, “Start with the offer? Isn’t that SALESY?” On the contrary, dear! If we don’t get you making money as a result of this talk, you may not be in business much longer. So, let’s embrace the fact that you’re a professional, you’re giving the talk to serve, and you’re going to offer your services.

When you begin with the end in mind, you can reverse engineer your content so that your participants are prepared to understand what you’re selling, and the right people who want more of you and your incredible wisdom will raise their hand. Remember that you’re not trying to turn everyone into a client, just the ones who are ready.

Hot Secret #10: When preparing your content, ask yourself, “What do my participants need to know in order to be prepared to take the next step with me?”

Let me give you an example: Let’s say you’re a dating coach who helps people find their next long-term partner. You would ask yourself, “What do people need to know in order to feel confident about investing in my dating coaching?”

They might need to know that there are strategies for setting up an online dating profile to sort through potential candidates before the dreaded dinner date happens. They might also need to feel like they can affect their love life, like they are not a victim to whomever the universe sends them next. When they begin to feel empowered about dating and hear about your services, they will be more prepared to invest.

Claim your date! Take a stand for your next workshop by stating your date and topic below. Let’s celebrate you!

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