How to get more sales by hosting craft workshops

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With 2020 fast approaching you are starting to think about what next year will hold for your craft business and just like me your first goal will be to increase your income. Today on the blog I want to explore how hosting craft workshops could be your answer!

Is hosting craft workshops right for you?

Hosting craft workshops won’t be right for everyone, true… but before you shy away from this revenue stream concept, bear with me and read on, because I want to tell you how it worked for my business… I think you will be surprised at how much of a difference it made!

How hosting craft workshops strengthened my business!

I taught many craft workshops over the years I ran Sara’s Texture Crafts and learnt a lot about how to create sell out workshops with inspiring themes. Let me share with you how that worked for me…

Watch the video here;

Or listen to the podcast here;


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Want to get your craft workshops up and running fast?

Check out the next issue of My Craft Biz magazine!

My craft Biz issue 7 – How to create workshops that sell out

In this issue we are going to discuss physical workshops and ask the questions you need answers for, in order to gain an insight to this lucrative craft business model and get you started on the right foot.


My Story

I must admit I was much shyer in the early days of my craft business. I struggled with confidence; Was I good enough? What would people think of my business? This meant that I sheltered myself from public encounters and opportunities like; shows, workshops and speaking engagements.

I don’t think that lack of confidence is unusual.

In fact, I wager that most of you reading this are in a similar position and wondering if clicking away from this blog post would be the easiest thing to do, rather than entertain the idea of hosting craft workshops! I beg you to stay though, because I really feel this idea is worth hearing out.

I transitioned from selling commercial craft supplies to handmade very early on in my business, because I knew that without offering something more unique, I wasn’t going to get noticed online in a saturating marketplace. My brand of handmade craft supplies was centred around what I excelled in and how best I could serve my existing customers with their craft needs and their knowledge gaps.

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This for me meant utilising my design skills to dye fibre and yarn for; knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, felt makers and other textile artists.

The idea immediately took off for me and it wasn’t long before I added craft shows to my revenue streams (side note: If you haven’t yet started showing with your crafts, then read this The 4 Reasons To Take Your Craft Biz On The Road).

At the shows I learnt very quickly that people like to ask questions and they like to know how to do things and in answering those questions it helped me sell more supplies.

It also gave me connections to local groups and craft guilds, who asked me if I was interested in hosting craft workshops or give talks.

I held off for as long as I could, I’ll be honest! Shy and lacking in confidence I thought about hiding from those who I knew would ask me again when they saw me at the next show… but the truth is you can’t hide forever and the more people ask, the more obvious it is that there’s an opportunity you are missing and so I caved in and agreed to host my first workshop… at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Alexandra Palace.

OMG what a task to set myself, this show was one of the biggest, if not arguably the most well-known craft show of the UK calendar!

I will do this to myself… ‘go big or go home!’

From that one class the following things happened that I hadn’t accounted for;

  1. Connections and Mailing List Growth - Lots of people started following me on Facebook and signed up to my newsletter before the workshop had run. After the workshop I had more people again. This was very exciting and gave me plenty of new customers.

  2. Connections for future workshops – I had very much thought that one workshop would just be one workshop. Yes, I appreciate the fully conscious mind would lead you to consider this the possible start of something new, but hey, I was very much a rabbit in the headlights throughout the whole process, consumed by insecurity! So, future workshops weren’t something I openly anticipated.

  3. Post show sales – accounting for the end of the month revealed a 10% growth in sales post the workshop and I could track this growth directly to the workshop attendees. I must admit I hadn’t expected this to be an immediate result of running a workshop to a new audience, but there it was!

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Buoyant from that first workshop and the results I could tangibly see, I reconnected with others who had asked me to host workshops and started booking more classes and it became a profitable part of my craft business structure.

I would say that the strengths it gave my business overall were there these;

  • Hosting craft workshops widened my audience

  • They increased my sales turnover, especially if I taught at a craft show I had a stall at. In the magazine I’ll give you plenty of tips on how to make extra money from your workshops, plus how to do it profitably!

  • They increased my social and mailing list audience

  • They increased my online sales turnover

  • They increased my word-of-mouth recommendations

  • They increased my authority as someone who knew her stuff – this is the cool bit that helps you stand out from the crowd!

 

Takeaway

I believe that hosting craft workshops is a great way to strengthen your craft business on many levels, one of course being the financial strength that helps you build up a sustainable income and even allows you to give up the day job!

I know that some of you will be worried that you do not have a supplies business to build a workshop experience off the back off, but promise me there are plenty of people who don’t specialise in supplies who teach workshops and sell out at every booked event (Look up your favourite artists in your niche… I bet many of them host workshops!) Again I’ll give you lots of class ideas in the magazine.

Think about how workshops might work for you and think about trying it out.

 

Tell me; Do you have any questions about setting up a workshop business?

I’d love to hear from you – comment below 👇 or email me!

 

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