If you are ready to start offering live seminars in person, you might wonder how to find clients and fill seats. When I was building my business, I relied on networking to fill my workshops. BNI (Business Networking International) was a mainstay for me, since it offers weekly networking to build a referral team. This international organization has chapters literally all over the world, with some cities offering multiple meetings.
8 Steps to Find Clients for Your Workshop.
These are the eight steps I used to fill my first workshops and countless clients and used them successfully as well. They will work for you too.
1. Prepare a concise and compelling way to talk about your program. Keep the message short and practice it so you capture attention and get the main point across easily. Deliver this as your 30-second commercial during the weekly meeting.
2. Create a flier with a snappy headline and hand it out at meetings to help members refer prospects to you.
3. Send members a reminder email with details so they can forward to potential attendees.
4. Schedule coffee chats with members who have the most potential to refer clients.
5. Attend additional BNI meetings in the same city or neighboring towns to leverage your network and spread the word to as many people as possible.
6. Visit other trade and association meetings to connect with people in other networks.
7. Call the people on your list of low hanging fruit since they might be open to your workshop.
This is a proven strategy to promote your program. However, if you are looking to fill a workshop that is multiple weeks, you may want to add a step.
Try an Introductory Evening to Build Attendance.
When I was starting out, I offered a free introductory evening. It’s easier for your referral network to help you find clients for a free program. One or two free events become the funnel to fill your higher-end program. Talk about the power of your program and provide a sample of the available learning, then, sell your bigger program at the end. Another option is to run a low-priced, one night introduction that offers top-line basics of your program.
Be sure to give yourself enough lead time. You may need at least a full month to reach as many people as possible and allow your referral team to find clients to fill those seats.
To find clients for your workshops, networking is your best bet. This is also a great way to start building your list, so you can continue marketing to them in the future. Remember a free introductory evening lowers the risk to attract higher attendance. Once there, people will have the chance to get to know you. As you know, people do business with those they know, like and trust. This week, think about what you could feature in a one-time seminar, and then schedule it and start spreading the word.