3 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOUR CREATIVE WORKSHOP IDEA IS A GOOD ONE
If you are worried that no-one wants to learn what you want to teach or that no-one will show up to your creative workshop, you need to run your idea through these 3 validation methods.
Worrying that people won’t buy or show up to your workshop is common and actually very valid fear. But here’s the thing, too many people think that whether people will show up or not must remain a big mystery until the day of the workshop, it doesn’t. You do not have to guess if there is a market for your workshop topic and you definitely shouldn’t.
Validating your workshop topic idea before you get too deep into the planning stages means that you wont be wasting valuable time, energy and money on creating a workshop that no-one wants to buy tickets to.
What do I mean buy ‘validating’? Well essentially its conducting research and taking the guesswork out of the equation.
If you’re thinking it sounds like a big task I can assure it’s not and its so worth it. I’ve done it plenty of times, and chances are you’ve discovered me and my work because of some sort of market research that I conducted and you participated in!
This really is an invaluable process to go through, saving you so much time, energy, money and heartache. It’s so disheartening when you have this amazing workshop planned and ready to go but no-one signs up. So, why does that happen? Simple - you’re creating something you think people want, not what people actually want.
Validating your workshop topic shouldn’t be a huge and time consuming task,you just need to do enough research to feel confident there is an engaged audience, that there are people out there in the real world that would be interested in your topic. Ok so lets’ dive into how you can do this.
3 Ways you can validate your workshop topic.
1 - Searching
Simple - search the internet too see what other people are looking for and engaging with. Pinterest is especially good for this, people forget that Pinterest is actually a search engine. Start searching for ‘how to’ + your craft - Eg: how to make rubber stamps. Pinterest shows related keywords that people search for, like ‘for wedding invitations’, ‘handmade cards’. If keywords for your topic show up that’s a good indicator that people are looking for HOW TO do that. There’s an active interest in it.
Google - to see if there are other similar workshops to yours out there somewhere else in the world. What are they offering? At what price point? Take note of it all. We often to jump to the conclusion that competition is a bad thing - it’s not. It means there is an audience and an opportunity for you to reach that audience in your local area.
Amazon - are there books about your topic? What related items come up? Maybe your topic has its own dedicated section - that totally validates demand.
Udemy - online learning site, with every course you can think of - does your workshop topic show up there?
2 - problem spotting
Take SEARCHING a step further and look into what specific things people are talking about, questions they are asking, what do they want to know and learn?
A great way to do this is read through the comments on craft blogs, related to your particular craft niche, Etsy forums, Facebook groups.
These are places where people are often asking how do I do XYZ, take note of these types of questions, can you solve them or address them in your workshop?
3 - ASKING
So you if you’ve done number 1 and 2 you’ve already identified forums and groups for your craft niche, theses are the places you want to start asking specific questions.
The types of questions you ask are super important.
Don’ ask these kinds of questions: ‘who would be interested in learning about knitting scarves?’ in a Facebook group. You might get a ‘me’ here and there but you won’t get any valuable feedback.
Instead ask probing questions like - ‘What is the one thing you wish you could learn about knitting?’ Or ‘What is your biggest struggle with knitting?’, ‘If you could change one thing about learning to knit what would it be?’ or ‘If you could learn to knit one thing what would it be/who would it be for?
The answers to these questions will give you clear idea of what and why people want to learn the skill you want to teach.
You could write this as a post or create a survey using something like survey monkey add the link to your post. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to give you their answers, people are busy, they want to help, but they want it made easy!
A survey is also useful if you have an email list you could send the list out to or post it to your Facebook business page if you have one. Another quick and easy way you can ask is by using Facebook polls and Instagram polls, I use these quite often to get a sense of what people want or are interested in.
The key point is to remember you only want the right kind of people to be taking your survey and answering your polls, if your Dad’s Uncle Bob is taking it, the answers probably aren’t going to be useful to you!
Your workshop idea might have a crossover of two topics, like art for healing anxiety or rubber stamps for wedding invitations - be sure to ask your questions in both types of groups.
The people answering don’t need to be the exact people in your local area that could attend your workshop, they just need to be the same type of audience. If you can find local Facebook groups or pages and forums that you can post and ask your questions in then even better!
If through all your researching you feel that your workshop topic is taken and that there is no room for you - think again.
Other workshops or courses on your topic is a good sign, it means there is an interest and demand for your topic. There is always room for more than one ‘expert’ and remember you will have your own take on the topic, your own delivery style, your own twist. Maybe you will focus on a slightly different audience, a specific age group or community group.
The answers you find within these 3 ways to validate your workshop topic will give you a clear indication if there is an interest in your idea, if people are already attending similar workshops and what they want learn more about. Your answers will point out the demand.
If people out there in the world are talking about and searching for your workshop idea then you are bound to get bums on seats. If Google and Pinterest come up empty then you might want to think again….