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Why workshops don’t sell online (or do they?)

Sep 29, 2014 | Vee's blog, web tips | 0 comments

Why workshops don't sell image

Image courtesy of suphakit at

This week I was chatting with a networking colleague who had decided to give up on a workshop he wanted to run for mothers planning to return to work. Despite loads of social media activity, email promotion through partner organisations who already serve that audience, he hadn’t had a single sign up.

So, as this is a common problem I hear about, I thought it was worth examining this more closely and see why people don’t sign up to workshops online and what can be done to change that.

Know Like Trust

We all know that people buy from people who they know, like and trust. Networking events, (where you go to a physical venue and meet people in person) especially regular meetings, are great places to go to meet new people, build up relations with them so they know like and trust you enough to either buy directly from you or recommend you to someone they know who might use your products or services.

So with this in mind, when it comes to marketing online, how come people are disappointed when total strangers who don’t know like or trust you, don’t buy your workshop or programme? Even a low cost one?

The marketing funnel for this particular workshop was a PDF of a leaflet giving details of the workshop being included in an email campaign managed by a partner organisation. The call to action was to email the event organiser.

There’s several things that could be done differently that could have resulted in a different more useful result.

Make it easy to find out more

total strangers want to check you out online way before they’re ready to pick up the phone or make direct contact. So provide a link to a web (sales) page where they can find out more. Include more information about the trainers and the course. Paint a compelling picture of the benefits of attending the course and a painful picture of the consequences of not attending

Provide an opportunity to know, like and trust

consider how can you build know like and trust into the sales copy… a video specific to the training course on the web. A few blog articles around the problems encountered/solved by the course.

Not ready now

There could be a million reasons why the prospect doesn’t sign up for the training which isn’t related to the cost at all… maybe the date and times didn’t suit, venue too far away, maybe they’re just not ready yet. It’s a mistake to assume they’ll come back again and check out when you might do another date. Even if they have the best intentions of returning, they will loose the link, forget, get distracted with other stuff. What could you do to keep them? Consider providing a sign up to something useful that is free. It could be a free report, a cheat sheet, 10 tips, a video of you demonstrating some tips (note some! Not all!! – they have to attend the course for that!). Obviously something relevant to the course you’re selling. Remember the know-like-trust element – here’s a perfect opportunity to gain that element.

They’re interested, but…..

They’ve given you their email for that useful information you gave away for free, so they will most probably be keen to hear more from you, which is where your regular newsletter comes in and a chance to build up more know-like-trust. Soon they become a raving fan and primed ready to book on to the next course you run.

Bringing it on online

Consider providing an online training programme. Think of ways you could provide training, by either getting your workshop filmed and breaking it up into manageable bite size modules which you could drip out in a membership programme and combine it with group support on Facebook or a weekly teleclass. How many more people could you attract now that your course isn’t dependant on people being able to turn up at a particular time or venue?

Is it difficult?

Well that depends on whether you’re a techie or not! There are loads of online tools that help you manage your online marketing process effortlessly and choosing the wrong tools can cost a heap of time and money not to speak of HUGE headaches trying to figure it all out. If you’re not a techie, then don’t despair! That’s what I’m here for! Book a free 30 minute no-obligation consultation with me to find out how I can take the headache away and make sure you don’t waste time and money on tools you don’t need.



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Inside this FREE GUIDE 6 Simple Tweaks to Increasing Website Conversions WITHOUT Increasing Traffic, you will discover my 6-step process to:

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  • Learn what elements to include (and remove) so that your web copy is compelling and flows in a way that visitors take the action you want them to take (e.g. click here, sign up, buy, phone etc)


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