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How To

How to Set Up and Market Workshops that Sell

Workshops are a fantastic way to grow your fitness or yoga business. Here's how to set up all the elements you need to run popular, profitable events.

February 5, 2020

Workshops are a fantastic way to grow your fitness or yoga business and to elevate your reputation as an instructor. The brand exposure you get from marketing your workshops – especially on social media channels – is incredibly valuable. And workshops are a great way to attract new students who wouldn’t have otherwise tried out your classes or studio.

The keys to creating a successful workshop are: content, timing, pricing and marketing. The great news is, Punchpass makes it simple, quick and easy to set up all the elements you need to run popular, profitable workshops. 

Content: What to Teach

When creating your workshop, you want to go beyond what you and your team offer in class. Think about topics you’ve wanted to dive into while teaching a group class, but haven’t had time to expand on. Are there specific alignment or technique areas where you see a lot of students struggle? What are common questions students ask after class?

Sport-specific workshops — for skiers, golfers or tri-athletes — can be very popular and help your students better train and avoid injury. Consider offering a beginner’s series to attract and retain new students and build loyalty. R&R-themed workshops – especially during busy holidays – can also draw well, such as combining meditation, essential oils and/or journaling into a restorative yoga practice.

The bottom line in creating a workshop that will sell out is to consider your offering, its title and description… and don’t forget to ask yourself whether you would take one to two hours out of your busy life to prioritize attending. Of course we KNOW you have great taste, so let’s get that workshop set up for sales!

Timing: When & How Long Your Workshop Should Be

Timing alone can make or break the success of your workshop. For example, a fun, 80s themed cycle-thon for moms scheduled at 3pm on a weekday won’t draw many registrants because all your potential students will be in the pick-up line at school. But a recharge-your-batteries/pamper yourself restorative yoga class for those same moms, held on a Sunday afternoon when their kids are napping and daddy’s home to watch them, might be a winner.

You’ll need to balance when you have space available with when your customers are likely most available. Often weekend afternoon times are a good bet.

Most students will expect a workshop to be longer than a regular class. But you want to avoid making the workshop last so long that it’s a challenge for students to carve out the time from their busy schedules. A general rule of thumb is 90 minutes to (no more than) 2 hours.

You can easily use Punchpass to set up your workshop so that it appears on your website or Facebook page class schedule, and you can sell registrations online. It’s best to invite people to sign up and pay for their workshop in advance, so that you can plan for capacity, props, snacks, pen and paper, and assistants, if needed.

Some workshops work great as a multi-day Series. Beginner’s training is one that often requires more time, and helps support newbies on their journey. Consider a “Get Fit for Summer Bootcamp” that runs daily for seven mornings, or an “Advanced Kickboxing Moves” or “Yoga 101” series that’s scheduled every Tuesday night for six weeks. With Punchpass studio management software you can set up multiple sessions on your schedule and tie them to a single workshop title and payment option.

Pricing: How Much to Charge

The price of your workshop depends somewhat on your specialty – yoga, dance, group fitness, martial arts, kickboxing, and strength training are all going to be slightly different. Also, how competitive your local market is, and how many choices your students have for attending workshops and special events will be a factor. But as a general rule, you want to price your workshop so that students understand that it’s more valuable than a regular class but they don’t feel it’s so expensive it’s not worth attending. Of course, if you’re a world-famous trainer, the sky’s the limit!

For everyday fitness and yoga studio owners and their best instructors, pricing a one-time workshop is fairly simple: take your hourly class rate and increase it by 50 to 100 percent. If your single class drop-in is $20, then you would charge $45 to $60 for a 90 minutes workshop.

You can quickly set up your workshop so that your students can purchase it online using Punchpass software.

If you’re setting up a Series, you can charge slightly more per session that a regular class drop in. For example, if you are offering a beginner’s yoga six-week series, and your single class drop in is $20, charge $30 per session, for a total package price of $180. Incentivize students by offering a discount off a regular class pass or membership for every student who completes all six sessions. This boosts attendance and morale too!

Marketing: How to Get the Word Out

One awesome feature of Punchpass’ studio management software is the ability to create promo codes. Use this to generate a sense of urgency with students as you market your workshop. Set up a date that’s no more than a week before your workshop will run, and offer students who buy (using your Punchpass promo code) up until this date, your “early bird” rate. The promo code will automatically discount the price of your workshop at check out. (Learn more about Punchpass discount codes here.)

Once you’ve got your workshop title and amazingly compelling description (keep it short and sweet!) added to Punchpass, along with your online purchase option and discount code for early birds, you’re ready to create your marketing campaign.

We suggest promoting your workshop by:

  • Creating printable fliers to post where you teach, and around town on community boards and places your best clientele hang out
  • Create an event on your Facebook page, share it in your feed, and pay to boost it (you can boost and even for as little as $5 or as much as $500). Continue to share the event consistently for at least two weeks prior to your workshop. Make sure to include your discount offer and promo code for early birds!
  • Email your best clients. You can select a list of clients to email right inside Punchpass. Consider sending your invitation to students who attended specific types of classes, or whom you know are beginners, or have asked about the specific topic you’ll be teaching about.
  • Share passionately about your upcoming workshop after each of your group classes, and ask your other instructors to do the same. Consider printing up an “announcements” card that lives in your classroom, as a reminder for instructors to share about upcoming workshops after each class.

Whether this is your first workshop or you’re looking for fresh ways to host your hundredth, it’s worth the work you’ll put in. You will up your game as a leader, your students will gain more appreciation for you and your business, and you might even gain some new fans along the way.

Remember to have fun, and share the love!