There’s hundreds of options when it comes to marketing your business. Some are standard like TV, radio, Google and Facebook. But some are not immediately obvious, like hosting webinars, classes and workshops. 

As traditional marketing channels remain unaffordable and the newer ones like Google, Facebook and other social networks get cluttered with your competitors, it might feel like there aren’t many more options left that are relatively affordable for a small business. This is where it might be worthwhile looking at running events. And more specifically small events like classes, webinars and workshops. 

Classes and workshops were wildly popular before the pandemic. They were a great way to take time out of the business and learn something new. You’d decide what your topic of expertise was, write a presentation and learning materials around it, book a room and promote your event.

How I started marketing myself with workshops & webinars

This is pretty much how I started. I wasn’t in a position to spend $1000 a month on advertising to even a regional market. So I took the path of holding events instead. I offered a local hotel to do their social media in exchange for the use of their function room. It didn’t take me much to do their socials as most of the material I used was based on the photos that guests would take of the property. So that meant all I needed to do was promote my events to get people to turn up. I used the events on Facebook, Eventbrite and then got my friends in the market to help me share my events. And because no one else was doing them at the time, I had over 50 people turn up to my first free event.

From there I gained three new clients. The total cost of the event? Zero dollars. Total revenue gained from the event? $22,000 over four years.

You can see why I like doing free classes even now. 

Webinars replaced workshops as we were forced to isolate

When the pandemic hit, webinars became the way we held classes like these. And while I’m fortunate to get paid by a government program to host 5 webinars a week these days, that wasn’t always the case. Early on I tested out an online version of the classes I was holding in-person in my town. They were hard to get people to and most of the time no one showed up. But I kept going. Eventually, a couple of people would join me. Then it was 10 people. Then 50. Sometimes now I’ll have over 300 people on a single webinar. That only came because I was determined to keep doing it regardless of whether people turn up.

Even now I can sometimes have a webinar where I get no one to show up. So I now use the recording of those webinars that get a small audience to put content on my YouTube channel, IGTV, DTube, Facebook and other places online. 

Not many attendees? Repurpose your content on YouTube

But that’s just the free version of the workshops I run. I run most of these for free because they are good marketing and a great way to position myself as the expert I am at what I do. But I also run paid webinars as well. In these, I will be very specific about a skill that someone can learn that isn’t commonly found online for free. Or it will be a topic that is super specific to a single market or industry. This way you can ask people to pay a fee, even a small one, for your more singular expertise in a particular area. And that is stuff worth paying for. After all, you’re a business, not just a free information service. Best of all, you can run paid live events on systems like Zoom and even Facebook Live. 

If you are an expert at something in your life, classes, workshops and webinars are a great way to confirm your expertise to your potential customers and maybe even bring you in some extra revenue as well. 

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Dante St James is the founder of Clickstarter, a Facebook Blueprint Certified Lead Trainer, a Community Trainer with Facebook Australia, a digital advisor with Treeti Business Consulting, an accredited ASBAS Digital Solutions advisor and presenter, and the editor at The Small Marketer. You can watch free 1-hour webinars and grow your digital skills at Dante’s YouTube Channel.