Commercialize Your Influence: Events, Workshops, & Retreats

Welcome back to our series on Commercializing Your Influence! Each week we dive into strategies you can use right now to build your personal brand and create new wealth streams.

Our own clients from around the world are working in niches such as health, speaking, wellness, spirituality, business, education, events, and coaching. And they have all used these models with their own personal brands and marveled at how quickly and elegantly they work. Now, we’re sharing them with you!

This week, we’re looking at another client favorite strategy: leveraging events, workshops and retreats to amplify your influence and build wealth. Ready? Let’s go!

The basics of elevated in-person gatherings

You may be reading this in the aftermath of the pandemic, so we’re sure it hurts to think about all the in-person events you used to organize and attend … and we totally understand. We miss hopping on a plane and landing in an exotic location to spend days with our private clients, too. It may feel like it’s been a lifetime since you’ve been able to host this way, but retreats and events ARE coming back. And there are also ways to host virtual events and create magical big-ticket experiences in your niche through online platforms.

If you are able to arrange in-person events, workshops, and retreats, elevate EVERYTHING. Think private chefs, discreet facilities, and private staff since discretion is everything when you are dealing with this level of clientele. In fact, make sure that exclusivity and privacy are featured front-and-center when you describe your private event in any promotional copy. Assure invitees that there will be no Facebook Lives or Instagram Stories while they’re working with you. Offer beautiful and unforgettable experiences that take place in total privacy.

Most of our clients offer private events at $50K per day; That’s the starting price point whether the experience is virtual or in-person. The format varies quite a bit depending on the client’s expertise and goals, so consider which type of event would work best for your ideas and niche. Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing:

  • You could host a private client in your own home for a day of one-on-one work.
  • If you’re offering a lifestyle experience, you might spend the day at the client’s home showing them how to infuse your revolutionary teachings into their private lifestyle.
  • This format also works well for health or wellness treatments and private skills coaching
  • You could host a client in a beautiful location like a truly luxurious Airbnb or the presidential suite of a five-star hotel. Depending on your area of expertise, you might also be looking for private residences, wellness centers, or other beautiful venues that can be transformed into beautiful VIP private experience centers. 
What gets done is up to you and your client, but make sure everything is thoughtfully planned out ahead of time.

Organizing an exquisite private event

Most Icons ask their clients to do some pre-work before attending a private event, workshop, or retreat. Give them some exercises, brainstorming, and writing to do and ask them to submit it before you meet so you can tailor your teachings to their needs and goals. You can also adjust the setting and the programming so your client feels immersed in a welcoming, bespoke environment the entire time they’re with you. Above all, though, pre-work helps you determine how to get your client to the transformation you need. This is crucial to ensuring they feel their investment has been well spent.

Consider how you schedule the days carefully. You want to discuss and explore your teachings, but you also want your client to have a beautiful, luscious, rich experience. Break up the work with meals created by private chefs, intersperse conversation with spa treatments, cap off the experience with a basket of extraordinary gifts for your client to take home. Strategically sprinkle in relaxation so the work flows organically and feels fabulous. Every activity should lead seamlessly into the next.

With retreats, raise the price

When it comes to retreats, you’re entering the realm of $100K+ offers. Our clients generally run retreats for between 2 and 10 days, and ask anywhere from $100K up to half a million dollars per attendee. Groups are extremely small and intimate, several couples or a half dozen extraordinary clients, definitely no more than 12 total attendees. Keep the guest list tight to maintain that feeling of exclusivity.

Venues will be similar to those you’d pick for a private event, though since you may have a longer guest list here’s a hot tip: look into wedding reception venues. Many of them are positively exquisite facilities, typically available during the week, and often come with built-in access to catering and staff. If that style of venue won’t work for your needs, look into Airbnbs, hotel suites, and the other options mentioned above.

You’ll also want to consider pre-work for your retreat guests so you can plan for in-depth delivery of your ideas, and you should likewise be prepared to up-sell toward the end of the experience. A retreat often serves as an introduction to your philosophy with the hope of selling attendees into a larger, longer-term package before they depart.

Invite a select few to VIP Clubs

Finally we’ve got VIP clubs, which are best for those who’ve already mastered selling at the luxury level. Say you’re working with private clients and you’re wrapping up their general experience with your work: maybe you’ve taught them all the skills that they need to understand your fundamental ideas. Now, you want to move those people—your valued alumni—into a VIP club, a sorority, a secret society of sorts. This will be an invitation only, gated-off space where only the select few who are “in the know” get to rub elbows with you.

Once a client is part of your alumni group, they will be invited to curated experiences that you’ve organized and crafted yourself. This is you behaving as the icon, asking 4 to 6 of your absolute favorite clients to travel or learn or have other impeccable experiences alongside you. All the while, they’ll be exploring your deepest teachings with you as their guide. Give these VIPs a beautiful private community experience where they’re learning in the midst of something that is next-level experiential.

The critical up-sell

Now here’s the key strategic move you must make: build in a pitch for longer engagement toward the end of your private event. If a client has joined you for a $50K day, discuss a three-month package during which you’d guide them personally through what you’ve taught them inside the single-day experience. Many of our clients offer a one-day blueprint delivery experience, then offer up continued skills coaching over a longer period of time. Our fashion stylist clients offer a one-day wardrobe assessment, with a follow-on of quarterly consultations, updates, and personal shopping trips. There are many different ways to parlay a single event into an ongoing relationship, so consider how you might do this in a way that suits your subject matter.

Remember that events, workshops, and retreats are meant to be intense and immersive. These are opportunities to delve into your deepest teachings and learnings. Make sure to cultivate a private community feel by providing opportunities that are exclusive, intimate, and marvelously experiential.

Want to learn more about commercializing your influence as an Icon, including leveraging events, workshops, retreats, VIP days, and more? Watch our masterclass BEYOND INFLUENCE: How Elite Influencers, Creators And Personal Brands Are Landing Massive Deals And Clients.

Watching it is your first step toward new worlds of wealth and success.

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