By T.L. Champion–
When we contemplate writing a book, we think about a novel full of mystery, intrigue and drama. But have you thought about writing a book that zeros in on your professional expertise, then packaging it with workshops to increase your monthly income?
When I started a monthly workshop series four years ago, I decided to leverage decades of experience as a writer and writing coach to help beginning and professional writers. By offering innovative content (like “how to achieve an earth-shattering story climax”), I have created a tribe of followers, while developing a sense of community for local writers.
Use a Multi-Faceted Marketing Approach
In facilitating workshops, you need a multi-level marketing approach to promote them. I rely on a simple, effective system that combines three marketing vehicles:
1) online newsletters (I use Constant Contact), 2) online partners, 3) public speaking.
Each of these techniques serves as an important component in creating a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote my workshops.
Online newsletters are a great marketing tool for workshop facilitators, but they’re only effective when paired with a database of qualified prospects (people who are interested in your subject matter). This is where having a multi-level approach comes in handy. Build your database by finding where your prospects congregate using the two other marketing vehicles mentioned earlier: online partners and public speaking.
Where Do Your Prospects Congregate?
Over the years I’ve found MeetUp.com to be my best online partner to attract new workshop attendees. In fact, attendees actually find me by searching for activities they’re interested in attending (like wine tasting, hiking or writing) in their community. My workshop postings on MeetUp.com effectively boost attendance at my workshops (attracting up to 50 percent of new attendees) and my monthly MeetUp.com membership fee is only $19.
Giving presentations to writing groups and libraries also promotes my workshops. I include a promotional offering geared specifically for my target audience – like hosting free coaching clinics. This approach builds my database (for the online newsletter) and relationships, since it’s a great way to meet writers on an individual basis to assess their goals and challenges.
I have several clients who use similar techniques. One client, Pat, is a retired nurse who’s written a book about the communication gap among doctors, nurses and caregivers for the chronically ill. As soon as her book published, Pat developed workshops centered on her knowledge and decades of service. She used her 24-chapter book to plan monthly workshops for two years in advance. The workshop reinforces the message of the book, and the book reinforces the workshops.
In addition, Pat gives profiles and assessments to family members concerned about their aging parents, to discover what level of care they need. Facilitating these workshops helps Pat establish herself in the community as a local expert. Caregivers come to her for advice, and they trust her expertise because she can address everything from finding the best doctors to knowing when to sign up for Medicaid and Medicare.
If you’re a writer who wants to earn more income, take advantage of your years of professional experience by writing a book, and then facilitating workshops to showcase your expertise. This strategy will boost your reputation in the community and position you as an expert on topics that have helped you earn income in the past.
T.L. Champion is an award-winning writer and author of Earth-Shattering [Story] CLIMAXES … for writers who want to go all the way (Amazon). As a writing coach, she helps writers one-on-one and facilitates the monthly “Write Here, Write Now” workshops, helping fiction and nonfiction writers (books and screenplays) achieve their dreams. She can be reached at TL@Champion-Studios.com.