What Comes First? The Event or The Community?
Ah, the classic chicken and the egg story.
And if you're a coach, wellness expert, yoga instructor, or another service-based provider that wants desperately to host a PAID event this year (and get PAID to do it), you're wondering:
Do I need a huge community to put on an event?
I've put together a list of three questions you need to ask yourself before you can actually sit down and launch a paid event. An event launch is similar to launching a product, course, or service, but unlike an online program, there's no replay and there's no "do-overs". People not only have to make the financial commitment, but they also have to make the time commitment. So keep that in mind when you're creating your program content.
1. What do people already pay me to do?
Sometimes, when business owners look to host an event, they go above and beyond creating a WHOLE new service offering that they're going to teach in a live event.
Which is silly, because people are obviously already paying you to do something you're GOOD at (teach yoga, consult on marketing plans, teach them how to declutter their house). So the first step to decided whether or not you have a PAID event in your future is to see what people are already paying you for and how you can package the knowledge you ALREADY teach (whether it's an e-course you have already launched or an e-book you sell) into an event.
•Write down a list of 3 things people already pay you to do
•Of those 3 things, what is one thing that you can talk on and on about? Break it down into a rough draft of four "modules" of how to go from a newbie to an expert at whatever it is you do (so if you're a professional organizer, your modules may be "Identifying Why You Want to Declutter", "Getting Over Your Attachment Feelings to Stuff", "Take Action to Declutter", "Revisit Why You Kept What You Did and Why You Didn't".
2. What is lacking in my current market that I know I can solve by hosting an event?
The way that my own signature event came about was because I was sick of going to terrible networking events that didn't lead me to meet any creative business owners who understood my struggle. So I made an event that I KNEW I would love going to. And it was awesome.
If you're thinking about hosting and teaching an event, envision an event that you would like to attend that isn't currently offered. A lot of times, people host uninspiring, content-filled workshops in a hotel ballroom. UGH! Make it fun! People want to have fun and be inspired. Host an event like that and you're already ahead of the curve, even if you're talking about underwater basket weaving.
•Do a freewrite of an event that you, personally, would love to attend but you can't find anywhere else. List five characteristics of the vibe of the event. Describe with the space looks like. Describe what your people are doing at said event. Is it inspirational? Is it a workshop? Is it bonding, talking, and chatting?
3. If I hosted a free event, would anyone come?
If you're brand new to your business, hosting a FREE event may be the way to go. And make it intimate, small and invite-only. That makes people more likely to come, because they feel special. Then, you can test your material on these people and if they LOVE it, go forth and launch (and ask those people who loved it if they would help you promote it, too).
Remember, the BIGGEST benefit to hosting an event is to treat your attendees SO WELL that they book you for bigger services or pay for an event with you. The event can be a money-maker, yes, but it's also a highly effective marketing tool to get people to join your "inner circle" community.
• Host a free event. This can be a workshop in your house for 10 people for free, or a big happy hour for 50 people at a local bar. Make sure you invite your immediate network, and ask them to bring one friend. It's free! What could go wrong?
Oh, and before I forget...the answer to whether the community or the event comes first?
If you're brand new and you've never hosted a successful event (free or otherwise), you gotta build the community first (whether through a free event or a small paid one).
If you've already got some encouragement from your free events, get on the paid train, sister! You got this.