Tips & Talk 58 – Workshops: A Way to Scale Your Handmade Business

Makers of all sorts are leaning into this up and coming sales strategy because it provides a solution to one of the biggest challenges you have as a handmade creator – limited production time. Even if you hire people to help you in certain facets of your business, there is a ceiling to how much you can make without taking the leap to factory production – which I know is a major turnoff to most of you.

Enter in this perfect solution. One that allows you to scale your business while retaining and actually enhancing, your position as an expert in your field.

I’m talking about offering workshops. Guided trainings where the result is the attendee learns the techniques and completes a project using their newfound skill. We’re going to go deeper into ways you can do this here.

But first let’s address the obvious advantage. You teach a class one-to-many in a live face-to-face setting or even more online where your attendee count is unlimited. There is no cap on your earning potential as there is when selling your physical handmade products.

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Transcript
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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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Several weeks later,

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the party consists of a short training with Q and a

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from yours truly.

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And then an opportunity for you to give a shout out

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about your business.

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You can tell us about a promotion you currently have going

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on or share a collaboration that you're considering so that you

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can find a perfect partner for the event.

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A little bit of learning and visibility for your business.

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There is a catch though spots are limited to keep the

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party to about 45 minutes or so.

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That means you should grab your spot right away.

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It's totally free to make sure you're included.

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Why not do that right now?

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Pause this episode,

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go to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com forward slash bash to sign up and then come back

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I'll see you at the bash.

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It's a trend you've probably seen it already.

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Makers of all sorts are leaning into this up and coming

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sales strategy because it provides a solution to one of the

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biggest challenges you have as a handmade creator,

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limited production time.

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Even if you hire people to help in certain facets of

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your business,

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possibly even including creation of your product.

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There is a ceiling as to how much money you can

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make without taking the leap to factory production,

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which I know is a major turnoff to most of you

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enter in this perfect solution.

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One that allows you to scale your business while retaining and

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actually enhancing your position as an expert in your field.

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As a jewelry designer,

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quilter chocolate tier,

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whatever your specialty,

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a version of this solution could work for you.

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I'm talking about offering workshops,

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guided trainings,

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where the result is that the attendee learns the techniques and

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completes a project using their new found skill.

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We're going to go deeper into the ways you can do

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this in a minute,

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but first let's address the obvious advantage.

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Here. You teach a how to class to many in a

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live face-to-face setting,

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or you can teach to even more online at this point.

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Let me address an objection.

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That's possibly coming up in your mind right now,

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and that is why in the world.

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So would I share my secrets on how I make my

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products? You're possibly concerned that someone will then go and make

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their own soaps versus buying yours,

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or you're afraid that they may even start their own business.

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Both of these are highly unlikely,

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and I'm not going to suggest that you share all your

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secrets. Only some basic directional steps that ensure a good result

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for those taking your workshop.

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Think about retail shops that offer wine and art parties or

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painting on ceramic pieces of their choice.

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My daughter and I recently had a wonderful experience making our

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own candles at blank.

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Mason, a shop near us.

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We had a marvelous time.

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I might add.

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There were two reasons.

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This model,

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isn't a risk for your business.

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First following your guidelines makes it fun and easy doing it

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on one's own.

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Does it provide that same experience?

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I think your attendees will actually have new found appreciation for

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what goes into the creation of your products.

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They'll have discovered for themselves that the quality you provide is

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difficult and takes skill to achieve.

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Also in a classroom setting like this,

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all the product elements,

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tools and workspaces are easily at hand in Nicole.

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In my case with our candles,

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there were different sizes and colors of vessels to choose from.

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They provided the right wax,

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a vast selection of scented oils and decorative accents,

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the right WIC and the proper tools to use,

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not to mention the candle making step-by-step direction.

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So we were guaranteed a beautiful candle to take home.

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All this prep and ingredient accessibility would definitely prevent us from

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ever trying this at home.

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These workshops are easier to organize today,

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more than ever.

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I suggest you start with an in-person workshop,

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select a basic design or better yet create a new product

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specifically for your workshops.

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Write down the steps.

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So you have a firm grasp on how you'll direct your

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students. This guidance on direction could even be printed out as

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a takeaway too,

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if you'd like,

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that would work particularly well.

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If you're making something consumable like popcorn balls or cake pops,

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then you'll figure out what products you need to have on

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hand. This would consist of ingredients or elements included in the

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finished product,

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as well as any tools required for assembly.

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Can they share tools or will you need to buy more

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for your after that planning is done,

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you'll want to determine how much each piece will cost for

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raw materials.

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Only unlike other pricing structures.

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You're not including your production time here,

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but you will include your teaching and class prep time.

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Here's where the profitable upside comes in for you.

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You incur the cost of materials for each student,

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but your time does it increase as your attendee count grows.

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That's how it becomes scalable.

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And as a pricing PS here,

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you're going to also allocate for business expenses and profit in

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the cost of each ticket.

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Now, where will these workshops be held at first?

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Maybe you try it out at home with a few of

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your friends,

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just to get the kinks out.

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If you already have a space in a production studio outside

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of your home,

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you're all set for a formal class.

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If not check out rooms,

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which may be available through your park district or art center,

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even consider schools,

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church, basements,

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or form a make and take section of your exhibit at

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a craft show,

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checking with the organizer that it's allowed.

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Of course,

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as you gain experience with an in-person workshop,

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your prep time will go down and as anything you'll perfect

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your system.

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At that point,

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you can take it online.

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This bumps up the profit potential significantly because you truly have

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no size limitation.

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You can conduct these classes,

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streaming live duplicating with only small adjustments.

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What you've already done in person,

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or you could create a product kit,

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including a video tutorial that can be purchased through your website,

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allowing customers to independently watch and make on their own time.

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Yes, there are a few more steps to putting this together.

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Things like promoting the workshops to get attendees and the tech

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behind doing it online.

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But the upside here is so great.

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I want you to first recognize that workshops are something to

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consider. And second,

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understand that as a product creator,

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your income potential can go beyond the sales of your beautiful

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and delicious products.

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Your upside is boundless.

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

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of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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