The Art of Launching a Low-Tech Workshop (Without Spiralling Into Doom)
By Jenn Monaghan
If you’re a technophobe like me, the notion of selling online may feel impossible — almost like a whole other world we’re not qualified to join.
Up until a few years ago, I left selling online to the smart internet people of the world.
I figured that if I still didn't understand what cookies were or how to download the latest version of iOS (still trying to figure out what that is), there was no hope left for me. My fate was determined: I was set to be a consumer—and only a consumer— for life.
Against all odds, things changed when I entered the Mini Workshop world.
What once felt impossible slowly began to transition into a slight realm of possibility. I learned that if you shave it down to the basics (and ignore all of the bells and whistles) selling online could actually be pretty simple.
When it came to workshops, this same notion of simplicity ran true: a low-tech workshop could sell just as well as a high-tech workshop.
Now we were talkin' my language ;)
Instead of downloading new systems and researching complicated software, I stuck with what I knew: Zoom, Google Docs/Google Slides, PayPal, and good ol’ fashioned email.
I kept it simple and, to my surprise, it worked.
If you want to launch a workshop but your tech fears keep getting in the way, this one’s for you. I’m sharing a guide to the only four tools you need to launch a low-tech, budget-friendly Mini Workshop.
The best part?
You probably already own (and know how to use!) the majority of these tools. It's game time.
It all starts with Google Slides. After all, this is where you’re going to create the presentation that will guide your workshop.
Truth be told, I didn’t know I had Google Slides up until a few years ago. I learned from a slightly more tech-forward friend that anyone who has a Gmail account has Google Slides — who knew?!
If you’ve never used Google Slides before, here’s what you need to do: open your Gmail account, select the Google Apps tab (top right corner of your screen) and select the orange icon labeled “Slides”.
Fortunately, Google Slides is free and incredibly intuitive to use.
When it comes to building the presentation for your workshop, all you need to do is add the main points to the slides and hit save. It doesn’t have to be pretty and it doesn’t need to contain a ton of copy — it can simply act as a point of reference throughout your workshop.
Inside of Sale-A-Day, we make it even easier: we have a really simple, fill-in-the-blanks template for creating an awesome presentation.
A Zoom Account
Of course, you also need a Zoom account to host your workshop.
This is where you’re going to sign in to deliver your workshop and connect with your attendees. When someone purchases your workshop, you can send them a confirmation email containing the Zoom link.
If you already have a Zoom account, you’re golden. If you’re new to Zoom, you can sign up here for free. You will need to pay for a basic account if you’re planning to host a workshop longer than 40 minutes or with more than 100 participants.
While there are other platforms for hosting, we suggest sticking to Zoom. It’s the easiest platform to use and the one most people are familiar with.
Ah, yes, getting paid.
Now that you have a place to create your presentation and host your workshop, it’s time to find a way to sell your workshop.
This is where Google Docs comes into play. Just like Google Slides, you can find Google Docs inside of your Gmail account (and—you guessed it—she’s free).
Creating this page is simple: all you have to do is write a brief summary of your workshop in the doc, add your times and dates, and then include a payment link at the bottom of the page. Just like that, you’ve created the checkout page for your workshop.
When someone is interested in your workshop, all you need to do is send them the link to this doc. They can read about your workshop and make a purchase using a secure payment link.
A payment link
Once you have your Google Doc checkout page set up, you can move on to the last tool needed: a system to receive payments.
Fortunately, this next step is a lot less tech-heavy than you might think.
If you don’t already have a payment system in place, I’d recommend PayPal, Stripe, or Payfunnels. Once you connect your bank account to your new payment system, you can start receiving payments.
When you get a payment notification, you’ll know that someone bought your workshop! From here, you can manually send them a confirmation email with any necessary information as well as the Zoom link for your workshop.
If you have an awesome idea for a workshop, don’t let your tech fears hold you back. From one technophobe to another, launching a low-tech workshop can be easy with these four tools. Trust me when I say that if I can do it, so can you.