One of the best ways I have found to demonstrate expertise, gain a following, and generate leads is to teach. I’m not talking about eighth grade math or science class – I couldn’t hold the attention of a classroom of teenagers for 60 seconds. I’m talking about teaching your audience a skill, providing them with the tools they need to solve problems, or the confidence they need to tackle an issue they area facing.
That teaching often takes the form of workshops. This tactic isn’t just something I use. It’s a widely used technique to get people in the door of a business or to demonstrate expertise in a crowded market.
Walk into any home improvement store and you’ll usually see a list of workshop dates and times on a board near the door. Home Depot normally has both adult (advanced) topics and an ongoing Saturday morning kids workshop. Want to build a birdhouse with your daughter, but not sure you have everything you need? Home Depot probably has a workshop planned for that.
Workshops are a great way to teach your audience how to accomplish a task, project, or improvement. Workshops are a way to translate your expertise into consumable knowledge that your audience or market wants and needs.
Here are three keys you can use to deliver a great workshop and generating leads.
Workshops are meant to be a concise and focused concentration on a particular problem or task. Narrow the subject and outcome of your workshop to a singular topic and your audience will leave with a better understanding than if you make your topic too broad or try to cover too much. Schedule your workshops to be at least 60 minutes, but no longer than 4 hours, depending on the complexity and technique you are using to deliver the material. Longer durations are useful when the participants are gaining knowledge and then immediately applying what they have learned.
At the end of the workshop participants should leave with something tangible. Something that indicates progress toward their goal. That could be the clichéd birdhouse or a list of action items they are to complete. The purpose of taking something tactile is to both demonstrate forward progress and to provide a means to continue outside of the workshop.
Your workshop should provide you with a way to follow-up with participants. A best practice is to use a feedback form that simply asks the participant if they need help completing the area of the workshop or asking for they are interested in a service or consultation you offer. Once you have demonstrated expertise in an area, your audience is more likely to accept your offers. Just remember to integrate the outcomes you are looking for, consultations or service offers, with the subject of the workshop.
Delivering workshops provides you with a great opportunity to generate leads. An audience that demonstrates their interest in an area that you have expertise, invests time to learn more about their need, and accepts your follow-up offers are likely to be great leads for your business.