One of my favorite thing to do is work with people one on one to help them understand how to grow or launch their businesses. Next favorite thing would be to host workshop were I am able to help a group of people at one time comprehend what is going on in their business and how they can fix it. Hosting workshop has become the new style conference for entrepreneurs or future business owners who want to learn. They are easy to attend most times you can find them locally without having to spend thousands of dollars.
However, today I want to talk about how you can take all the stress out of planning a huge workshop to showcase your expertise. First let me state there is nothing wrong with those super huge workshops that are happening all over the world, however for the business owner who wants to have more of a local impact vs global impact it can be daunting and stressful. This is where your public library comes in hand if you want to grow your business locally. In the last two year, I have been able to remove stress of planning this elaborate pretty pinterest style learning workshop with working with the city of Austin Public Libraries.
When planning workshops most people are consumed with getting their audience to pay to attend their event. Tickets can run as low as $25 all the way up to thousands of dollars for an all day workshop. This truly depends on the type of workshop you attend. Workshop host need to cover the cost of venues and much more depending on how elaborate it is. This is something I never wanted to deal with. It causes me anxiety to even think about it. This is where getting paid by your public library comes into place.
All states, cities and library have an annual fiscal budget that they must adhere to. There is a line in the budget for almost everything. The great thing about you want to exert your expertise their is probably a line in your city budget and your public libraries budget for “education”. You are removing the need to wonder if people will pay to attend your class and putting the press on the library or city to cut the check. Once you become a vendor and have a contract of course a check will come. Heck, Austin Public Library system now pays invoices via paypal right after your session. I am old school and prefer a check.
Become A Vendor
If you’re wanting to go the route of working with the city or public library one step you will need to complete is becoming a vendor of the city. This is how you will be paid. Whoever your point of content is they will ask are you a vendor so you can be paid. The first time I did this I will be honest it was rather hard. I am going to be real the city of Austin did not make it easy to navigate their website and understand what I need to do. Personally, I suggest going to your city website and ask them exactly how you do everything to make it easy for you. You will need to know your type of vendor code and all that fancy stuff.
Okay, so my first paid hosted workshop at the public library I did not have to pitch myself. My story is a little different, I met Ms. Doreen at a tech conference and we hit it off. Mentioning her the missions I was on and she invited me to coffee a week or so later to hear more. The ball started rolling really fast when she offered an option for me to host workshop at her local library. However, when I decided to work with other libraries, the city and more I had to pitch myself as an expert and explain what I wanted to do. Do not be scared about pitching yourself for this position or charging your worth.
Treat this as a job search and interview process. You will find the contact for the head librarian at the branch you want to work with contacting them via email outlining you would like to host a paid workshop at their facility. Giving them an overview of who you are, what you are trying to achieve for your local community by hosting these workshops and even providing a list of workshop ideas. Let them know you’re open to discussion of rates to discussed in person. Closing with you would love to met with them to discuss the possibility of working together.
Hosting a paid low key workshop at your local library is a great way to grow your expertise in your industry. Even, if you’re scared to dip your feet in the charging to do so, you can always reach out to host a free workshop. A plethora of libraries allow you to use the room for free if you’re a member.