There have been quite a few studies over recent years citing the fact that many people value experiences more than things. The takeaway? Your business could benefit from branching out into the experiential world in order to boost profits. Think: the farm that runs veg growing classes; the winery that hosts educational wine tasting sessions; the restaurant that organises its very own baking workshops.
Here at Ticket Tailor, our platform is packed full of examples of great businesses who’ve diversified their offering with fun workshops and classes. So much so, that we cited this as one of the key event industry trends of 2023 in our end-of-year round-up.
These savvy entrepreneurs have all cottoned on to the fact that there are a whole lot of people out there who are excited to learn new skills. And that they, as business owners, happen to have those skills within their repertoire.
Sound interesting? Read on for some top tips for turning your own hobby or skills into a lucrative business side-hustle – with lots of great real-life examples throughout.
#1 Start with something that you do anyway
Not sure where to start when it comes to running a workshop or class as a business side-hustle? Things might feel less daunting if you begin with something you do anyway. Take The Farm On Central owners Savannah and Michael Kilpatrick as an example. In a recent interview we ran with them, they told us that, “The thing about growing food and then selling it, is that often people don’t know what to do with it! So even simple things like Facebook Lives demonstrating how to cut up a Napa cabbage has been helpful to people.
When we had an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, it made sense to offer classes on canning salsa. It’s something I’m doing in my kitchen already, so creating an event and inviting people into my home to watch was an obvious next step.”
Starting with something relatively simple and familiar could be a great way to ease you into things, so you can get a feel for whether running a class is right for you.
#2 Don’t be afraid to explore multiple angles
Once you’ve found your feet with the whole teaching thing, it can be a wise move to start thinking about how to maximise on this new strand of your business. Just because you start out running baking classes, for example, it doesn’t mean you can’t add a few more strings to your educational bow further down the line. In fact, doing so can be a great way to reach new audiences through tapping into the different interests of those in your local area.
The Riverford Field Kitchen, a beautiful restaurant that serves only ingredients from the farm on which is sits, provides a great example of this 👆. Head over to their events page, and you’ll see they run a diverse range of workshops and classes, from sourdough baking to ‘Grow Your Own Flower Garden’ and spring wreath making. Nice!
#3 Turn your produce into a learning experience
Whether you grow flowers, produce wine, or farm organic veg – having access to your own produce provides ample opportunity when it comes to learning experiences.
You may choose to run tasting sessions, for example – like LaBelle Winery, a stunning set of wineries that offer a whole host of tasting experiences in which attendees get to try an abundance of LaBelle Winery’s wine.
Alternatively, you could host how-to classes, teaching attendees how to grow their own produce. We love The Riverford Field Kitchen’s Grow Your Own Kitchen Garden workshop – which promises to teach attendees all the skills they need to grow a thriving veg garden packed with delicious cooking produce.
#4 Consider a range of different audiences for your workshops
One way to make even more of a success of your classes or workshops is to think outside the box when it comes to those you’re marketing to. Instead of solely focusing on getting individual attendees, for example, you might consider running classes for businesses, as part of a team building exercise. Or, say, putting on fun workshops for kids’ birthday parties.
Offering more tailored sessions like these can help you to broaden your reach, in turn making your side hustle even more profitable.
Laura Letters Life provides the perfect example of this. Calligraphy class host Laura Edralin offers not only standard workshops, but workplace workshops and calligraphy parties, too. She also runs one-to-one workshops, as well as online and in-person sessions.
Read all about how Laura turned her calligraphy hobby into a thriving business.
#5 Turn your social media habit into a tool to grow your business
Find yourself regularly scrolling and/or posting on TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms? It may be time to harness that habit by creating some great educational content for your business, to compliment your workshop side hustle.
If we’ve learnt anything from all those make-up, cooking, and fitness tutorials, it’s that social media platforms provide a brilliant space to impart tips and knowledge. With this in mind, regularly posting help content online could be a great way to spread the word about your business and build a thriving community around your brand.
Head over to Pure Land Farm’s TikTok channel to see what we’re talking about. These guys have built up a serious following through posting lots of super informative content about farming. Their content has a real educative feel, giving viewers lots of great tips on how to earn a living through growing food. These guys are somewhat pros in the space of farm diversification – so much so, that Megan the owner has just published a book to help others do exactly the same.
#6 Tap into seasonal events to make your workshops appeal to more people
Running a workshop year-round is a great way to establish a community and build up repeat custom. But, if you're looking for ways to make sure your workshops are selling out, or want to give them a chance to stand out among the competition, why not look at how your workshop could be bespoke to a seasonal event? Take The Outside In, for example. This lovely terrarium workshop, held in a beautiful plant studio in York, is set to run a special Valentine’s ‘For Two’ Terrarium Workshop this Valentine’s Day.
Tapping into seasonal events is a tried and tested promotional tool – and there’s no reason it can’t work just as well for workshops and classes!
Diversifying your business with a workshop or class – a quick summary
Running workshops or classes can be a great way to boost your business’s revenue while doing something you love. Starting small can be a good idea. Then, once you’ve found your feet, there’s nothing to say you can’t keep on diversifying with different types of classes, for different audiences. Making the most of your homegrown produce with tasting and cooking sessions can help broaden your profit-making potential. Finally, social media can be a great complementary tool for workshops and classes, helping you to share even more knowledge and build a loyal community around your brand.
👉 Head over here to find out all about how Ticket Tailor can help you run your side-hustle seamlessly with feature-packed, low-cost workshop ticketing.