9 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid in Launching a Top-Notch Workshop
By Jenn Monaghan
We all make mistakes.
When I first started freelance writing, I interviewed a top-tier realtor about a new development coming to the neighborhood. I was so excited about the interview that I published it on the company website the very next day — prompt, professional, and acutely ahead of schedule, I thought to myself.
Unbeknownst to me, I’d made a huge mistake: the details I had released in the interview were not to be made public for another month. I had officially leaked some pretty significant information.
This mistake felt catastrophic. Not only was I embarrassed, but I kind of assumed this would be the end of my freelance writing career. I mean, who would want to hire me after word got out about my mistake?
As it turns out, everything would be fine. I was down a client (and a good one, at that) but my freelance writing would live to see another day.
The point of my story is this: When it comes to your own Mini Workshop, you’re gonna make mistakes — some big, some small, but none of them will be the end of the world.
To help set you on the right foot, I've put together a list of 9 Mini Workshop mistakes to steer clear of. While none of these mistakes are catastrophic, they're certainly best avoided.
Let’s dive in.
Making your workshop promise too big
If your workshop promise is too big, it might feel unrealistic to your audience.
They might find themselves thinking "can I really achieve all of that in under 90 minutes and for only $27?" When your audience doubts the validity of your offer, they're probably going to move on to the next best thing.
The best thing you can do is to keep your workshop promise small. Ask yourself: what's one small problem I can help my audience solve or what's one item I can cross off my audience's to-do list?
Remember, you're delivering a Mini Workshop.
Ignoring the results of your workshop
What are your workshop buyers going to walk away with from your workshop?
Maybe they'll walk away with 3 new meditations to practice when they feel overwhelmed. Maybe they'll walk away with three new story-based email templates. Maybe they'll walk away with all the information they need to set up their online banking.
Whatever it is, the results of your workshop should be crystal clear to your audience. You want your audience to be able to envision exactly how the results will look in their own life.
Using complex Jargon
When it comes to launching and delivering your workshop, you should aim to use the most plain, easy-to-comprehend language possible.
While complex, industry-specific jargon may sound impressive, it's only going to leave your audience feeling in the dark. If you really want your audience to connect with your workshop, you need to make your content digestible.
Remember: your goal isn’t to dazzle your audience with fancy words or complicated equations, it’s to help your audience get results.
Overlooking the need for workshop validation
We’ve seen too many business owners spend months creating offers that no one buys.
This is why we teach a “backward” launch process — sell first, build second.
Before you spend a week creating a fancy checkout page or pre-recording videos for your workshop, be sure to validate your workshop topic with your I'm thinking about post, or your ITAP. The whole point of the ITAP is to determine whether or not your audience is interested in your topic.
You can adjust your workshop based on the feedback and interest levels you receive from your audience. If your topic doesn't seem to resonate with your audience, you can go back to the drawing board.
Going quiet in the launch stage
Once you post your ITAP, it’s essential to keep your workshop momentum high.
This means continuing to promote your workshop on an ongoing basis — posting on social media, sending emails, and continuing the unscalable conversations. During the launch stage, you should be talking about your workshop on a near-daily basis.
If you're not showcasing excitement for your upcoming workshop, how can you expect others to get excited?
It's time to take to your preferred platform and get posting!
Delving into the history of your subject
Everyone loves a solid piece of history — right?
Well, for the most part. But when it comes to a 60-90 minute workshop, your audience could live without the history of your topic.
Your audience wants information and guidance that will help move the needle in whatever you're helping them achieve. While history can prove to be a fascinating addition to any story, it rarely helps to support or accelerate results.
For this workshop, stick to the meat and potatoes of your workshop that will help them do the thing.
Cramming too much information into your workshop
Translating your expertise into a 60-minute workshop isn’t easy.
After all, this is a subject you have a great passion for— you could talk about this subject all day! But when you feel that “more is more” attitude creeping in, remember this is a Mini Workshop — not an upper-level college course.
Here's the thing: You don't want to overwhelm your audience.
While it may take time, narrowing your area of focus is one of the best things you can do for your workshop. Rather than walking away from your workshop feeling swamped and confused, your attendees will actually have learned something valuable.
As a general rule, stick to the main points of your workshop that will help your audience get results.
Forgetting to send workshop reminder emails
It goes without saying that life is busy.
We can sign up for a workshop we’re really excited about, only for it to slip our mind when the date rolls around. In managing everything from family and work to events and health, it’s easy for small details like times and dates to be overshadowed.
This is why workshop reminder emails are such an important piece of the workshop puzzle.
After all, you want to ensure that people actually remember to show up — they want to be there, they just need to be reminded of when and where to show up.
In the weeks (and days!) leading up to your workshop, make a point in sending a few reminder emails to your attendees. They'll appreciate the nudge!
Skipping your pre-delivery tech run-through
Your live session is just around the corner and you’re setting the stage for delivery.
Before you go live, you’re going to want to schedule a brief tech run-through — this should be at least a few days before your delivery. This is where you’ll double-check the following:
- Your Zoom settings are correct
- Your Zoom link works
- Your mic is connected to your computer and working
- Your slides are functioning and in the correct order
- Your screen share is enabled
- You know how to access and respond to the Zoom chat
- You know how to download and save your workshop recording
Ideally, you’ll go through your entire workshop with a friend or family member. But if you’d prefer to do it on your own, simply start a Zoom meeting, share your screen, and hit record.
You can watch through your footage and ensure that everything is smooth and functioning well.
Making mistakes—in both our lives and our careers—are inevitable.
Even so, sometimes we like to do what we can to minimize our mistakes. In knowing how to steer your ship clear of the above mistakes, you can help to streamline your launch process.