5 Ordinary Mistakes That Could Shipwreck Your Next Product Launch

mini workshop sale-a-day

By Jenn Monaghan 

You’ve nailed down the perfect topic for your first workshop — you know your audience is gonna love it and you’re basically an expert in the field. 

The only thing keeping you up at night? 

You’ve never launched a workshop before and you’re kind of terrified you’re gonna blow it. Yep, we know the feeling. 

We’ve launched quite a few workshops in our days—and while they’ve generally gone well—we've learned a few lessons along the way. 

Things like: don’t cram too much information into a 90-minute workshop, resist the temptation to go overboard on theory, and, whatever you do, don’t skip your pre-workshop tech run. 

We want you to learn from the mistakes we’ve made with our own workshops. After all, that’s the beauty of being part of a like-minded community — we get to learn from one another. 

So we’re gonna give it to y’all straight…

…Here’s our simplified guide to the five most critical mistakes to avoid in your first workshop launch. In steering clear of these minor blips, you’ll be well on your way to a pretty awesome workshop launch.

Cramming too much information into your workshop 

There’s a reason we refer to our workshops as mini — they’re designed to be short and sweet. 

Let’s face it, today’s internet browsers have the attention span of a goldfish. If what they’re tuning into doesn’t fully capture their attention, they’re moving on to the next best thing (even if they’ve already shelled out their wallets for our workshop).  

The goal of our workshop attendees is simple: to get results in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Remember, your workshop isn’t about brain dumping information onto your audience — it’s about helping your audience achieve the results/outcome you promised from the get-go. People are looking for quick solutions to their problems — your Mini Workshop is the answer they've been looking for. 

Writing confusing workshop headlines 

One of the most powerful writing tips I’ve learned is only three words long: clear over clever. 

I learned this tip in a writing workshop and I’ve applied it to every headline, email subject, or title I’ve written since. 

The idea is to write a sentence that conveys the most simple message to your reader possible. After reading your sentence, your readers know exactly what you’re saying — it’s so crystal clear that they can almost see it. 

When it comes to our workshop messaging, too many of us opt for clever instead of clear — we use puns, we use flashy words, and we craft headlines that grab our audience’s attention, yet our readers have no idea what the heck we’re talking about. 

Something like “Unleash your energy with my trusted vitality methods” or “Discover your highest level of productivity by channelling self-realization and igniting your soul” 

Sure, these headlines sound great—but most people will have no idea what they mean. Remember what we said above: if your audience is confused and can’t envision your promise, they’re gonna move on. 

Above wit, humor, or even intelligence, opt for clarity in your workshop messaging. You want your audience to take one look at your headline and know exactly what they’re getting into. 

Prioritizing theory over teaching 

When we’re really excited about an idea, it can be tempting to share the theory behind it. 

There’s no denying that theory can be a welcome addition to any workshop. It can help to establish the background of your topic and it can help to better explain a complex topic or idea.

But at the same time…theory can tend to bore our audience. 

When our audience is bored, they’re going to jump ship and move on. While it’s okay to a shine on a taste of theory, you’ll want to make sure the majority of your workshop focuses on practical, action-oriented advice. 

Although theory can be helpful, it rarely helps the audience move the needle in achieving results.

Focusing on too big of an idea 

Go big or go home, right? 

When it comes to putting butter on your popcorn, of course—never look back. When it comes to choosing your workshop topic, not so much. 

This is the most common mistake that first-time workshoppers (yes, we just made that term up) make — they focus on too big of an idea

If your workshop topic is too big or too general, your promise is going to feel unrealistic. Your audience will read your workshop invite and think “Can I really learn how to do X in under 90 minutes? Probably not.” 

Keeping your workshop promise small is one of the best decisions you’ll make in your workshop. You want your workshop promise to feel doable and you want your audience to know exactly what they’ll walk away with. When we can picture what our results will look like, hitting “purchase” doesn’t feel like such a gamble. 

Here are some ideas for transitioning from a big topic to a smaller, more specific topic:

  • How to eat more healthy >> how to pack more greens into your daily food plan  
  • How to train a puppy >> how to socialize your puppy and introduce them to other dogs 
  • How to sleep like a baby >> how to establish a healthy bedtime ritual to destress before bed 

Did you notice how the second workshop topics paint a more accurate picture of what the workshop would look like? When your audience has a specific picture of what your workshop will teach, envisioning their results will come more naturally. 

Skipping your tech run through 

Ah yes, technology — the friend we love to hate. 

We love how simple the technology is that’s associated with a Mini Workshop. Even still, tech blips happen…

…You can’t see your audience. The chat window disappears from your screen. You’re on mute and your audience is wondering what the heck happened. 

We can’t stress this enough: do a test run of your workshop before you go live. It can be with yourself, a friend, or a partner. The goal is to ensure that your technology is functioning correctly and that you can rule out certain hiccups before going live. 

We know firsthand how scary launching your first workshop can be. If you're still struggling to get that first workshop off the ground, give this guide a quick read. In this guide, we highlight 8 actionable tips for launching your workshop once and for all.