Over the last year or so it feels as if everyone has got a course to sell. I’m clearly part of their key demographic as I can’t open Facebook without being told how one course or another is going to transform my business. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. I need to learn things and if someone with the right expertise can teach me, I’m happy. What I do object to is being told that if I want to create a digital product and free up my time, I must create a course. Frankly, that isn’t the best option for me. I’d rather just say that I’m running workshops.
The world of digital products
Even though I run a service based business I can see the sense in developing a product. If you have something that people can buy online without you being involved, you can make money in your sleep. You create (or source) the product once, put your time into marketing and then multiple people can buy without any extra work.
However, a course is a bit different. Whilst it’s true that you can create the content then deliver it to a group, you need to spend time following up. I’ve done some superb online courses but they all have a workshop element to them. You study on your own but you ask questions in an online group and follow up with a group video chat on Zoom or Facebook Live. It’s that personal interaction that helps me to learn and delivers the value. So to me, a course isn’t a time saving product. It’s a workshop.
The value of workshops
I love workshops. Having the chance to learn something new and valuable is really exciting and it helps my business. I always lacked the confidence to run my own until last year when I was invited to speak at a retreat. I asked knowledgeable business friends for guidance. Their advice can pretty much be summed up as “you know something. They don’t and they want to.” So I talked about blogging for an hour and a half. People took notes and told me that I’d said useful things. The best thing about it was the questions they asked. It means that now I’ve decided to start running some workshops I know what to add for next time.
Running a workshop gets you in front of your audience, showing your expertise. The fact that they’ve all paid to be there can earn you more money in less time, but it’s also great for your reputation. The people in the room will talk about you. They’ll also go away and put what they’ve learned into practice. Eventually they’ll get so busy that they don’t have time to do it themselves any more. Guess who’ll they’ll call then?
Face to face
Now, I like technology. I love the fact that I can talk to someone face to face when we’re miles apart. I even like group video calls. However, on balance, I prefer workshops where I’m in the room. There’s just a buzz to them that you don’t get anywhere else. If you need convincing, read this blog.
Which is why I’m starting up some face to face workshops. I’ll be starting in and around Leicestershire but I have plans to travel so watch this space! If you’d like to find out about my plans first, you can sign up to my email list here. Or if you’d like to invite me to teach blogging at your place, get in touch.