Ten years ago, I signed up for a Collage Workshop, because I had learned how to make paper in my backyard and didn’t know what to do with the paper I had made. I signed up for a collage workshop, and then I spent the next few years learning the craft and eventually I was good enough to begin selling my work. People began asking me if I taught classes on how to do collage. I thought I would give it a try, and now, a few years later, I have my own studio where I teach weekly collage workshops. I am meeting interesting people who share my passion for being creative, and making some extra money in the process.
If you ever thought about teaching workshops to share your passion, here are some tips to help you get started.
What’s your specialty? Cooking, sewing, camping, gardening, or are you a whiz with computers? Choose a topic that you are passionate about. Is there anyone else in your community teaching this topic right now? If not, then this is your chance to see if people what to learn what you know about. And even if there is someone else teaching this topic, you should still give it a shot, because you will be able to offer a new perspective.
First, you will need to think about the format of the class. Will you simply talk about the topic, do a demonstration, go on a field trip, or do an interactive workshop? What materials and supplies will you need? Do you already have them on hand? How long will the class be? A few hours? One day? Or will it run for a few weeks? Will the participants need to bring any materials with them? Do the students need to do any work prior to attending the class?
Think about who might be interested in this topic, then gear your class for that audience. For example, kids’ classes will need a different approach than one geared for seniors.
Promote Your Workshop
How will you get the word out? Craigslist.org, your local paper, other online sources, postcards and fliers are all excellent ways to get the word out. Check with your local community center or adult education program to see if they are interested in putting your class into their schedule. If you’re teaching a class about gardening, for example, contact your local gardening clubs to see if they can help promote the class. Or, if you’re teaching an art class, call your local art museum! Would your workshop be a good theme for a kid’s birthday party? What about a local women’s group or church? Think about offering a free “teaser” presentation to some groups so people can get an idea for what you are offering. Check out Meetup.com to see if it makes sense to publicize your classes there.
What will you charge? Think about the preparation time involved, set up, clean-up, and the actual class time. You should also consider how much people in your town would be willing to pay. Will you need lots of tables and chairs or special lighting or electricity requirements? Will you be creating handouts for the participants? Will there be significant printing costs? Some instructors ask for an additional “materials fee” to cover extra paper, paints, or other materials used in the class. Where will you hold the workshop? At a community center? Church? Library? Art Gallery? School? Art stores? Is there a cost associated with this?
Teaching a workshop about your hobby or passion can be a rewarding and lucrative experience. Doing your research and being prepared is the key to success!