10 Tips for Choosing The Best Photography Workshop or Course - Kyle Goldie

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I’m Kyle! I'm an educator, husband, traveler, photographer, podcast host & Calvin & Hobbes fan since '85.

Here, you'll find a lot of free content wrapped around marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and all the things in relation to building a creative business. So, if you want to learn more about taking your creative business to the next level, you're in the right place.

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10 Tips for Choosing The Best Photography Workshop or Course

Entrepreneurship

Alright, so you want to attend the best photography workshop or course you can, but you’re not sure where to start your search or how to navigate all the noise that you can find online. Believe me, I totally get it. And with everyone cranking out podcast episodes, YouTube shows, blog posts, and Instagram stories these days — how do you know who to listen to.

And more importantly, how do you know which person to invest into? After all, that’s the real question. You dont want to waste your money, and I don’t blame you one bit. Neither would I.

Personally, I have been to some great workshops filled with immense value, and I’ve been to others that were not only a waste of money – but a total waste of time.  So, take it from me. Take note of these 10 tips for how to choose the best photography workshops to attend. Or heck, really any workshop.

 

10 Tips to Help You Decide Which Workshop or Course to Buy, Enroll or Attend

  1. Be very specific about what you are wanting to learn and walk away with. Are you wanting to learn the business side, the creative side, or both? Not every workshop offers both, and not every workshop offers the specifics about what you want to learn.
  2. Be very intentional about the goals you want to achieve, and pick the workshop that is best suited towards helping you get there quickly.
  3. Avoid workshops that have a lot of fluffy marketing material. If you don’t understand what you’re going to learn, don’t attend.
  4. Take names off a pedestal. Don’t just be attending workshops or conferences because a well-known person is going to be a speaker (or a host). Even the biggest names in the industry might not go deep with the information you’re wanting – and that’s the biggest, most important thing to consider. Someone with a “smaller” name might have the exact information you’re wanting to learn and spend more time with you individually to help you understand it.
  5. If it’s just the business side of things that you are wanting to learn, is you flying out to a workshop or conference even worth it? Keep in mind that you are not only having to pay for the workshop, but you are also having to pay for the flights, hotel, eating/drinking out, and all the random stuff that comes with traveling. You can easily be spending double the workshop cost when everything is all considered together.  That’s why I created my online courses for photographers & wedding pros. So you can save money, earn more, and get access to content that isn’t even possible to completely go over at a 1-2 day workshop because there’s so much content within the courses themselves.
  6. Do you want access to the creator of the workshop/course for 1-2 days, for 6 weeks, or for the lifetime of a program? Keep in mind that with the right educator, you don’t need any longer than an hour (or a day) with that person to get your value out of your cost of entry. No matter what you’re wanting, just do your own cost analysis to determine what it would take to get your true return on investment. So, whether a workshop or course is $50/month, $500 for a seat in a class, $1000 for a course, $2000 for a weekend, $3000-5000 for some 1:1 or group coaching, or maybe even more… doing your due diligence on the kind of VALUE you get in return from information can truly be invaluable. After all, if you even learn ONE SINGLE STRATEGY that can earn your business $10,000 a year extra for the next 10 years of your career – that ONE piece of information is worth $100,000! Heck, would you pay $10,000 for something that could make you a MILLION dollars? I would for sure! (My online business course for photographers & wedding pros has over 100+ lessons).
  7. Is the information current? Because as the nature of information is, it must keep up with the trends of the industry, the technology available within it, and the buying habits of the people interested in hiring you. So, even if the workshop or course has been around for many years, do your due diligence to see if the information is current.
  8. Ask yourself. Are you at least 90% confident that buying the workshop/course will give you the answer(s) to the questions that you’re wanting to learn? If so, you’re mitigating your risks. And at some point as a business owner, you have to take risks in order to improve what you’re doing. To truly hit that next level, you have to get out of your comfort zone.
  9. Always be learning. I see so many business owners (of any size or industry) get confident and comfortable with where they are and that business is going “fine,” so they stop pushing themselves… and all of a sudden (a few months or a year later), business slows down or dries up entirely. But why? Things were working last year… why is this year slower? I see that all the time. Don’t have those slow years. Stay on top of your education. Personally, I ALWAYS have a coach or course that I am personally going through to better my own education. What’s a thousand bucks if it’ll help me bring in more? Return on investment is all I care about as a business owner, second of course to customer service (which really ties back into ROI).
  10. And the most important of all – do your due diligence. Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype of an event. Really figure out the types of results that the educator/host/speakers get the people that they teach. Remember, an educator of any type is only as good as the results they get their students/participants. And the same goes for in-person workshops versus online courses. So, look through their reviews, case studies, and testimonials from previous (or current) students of theirs. Ask around. Post into Facebook groups. Get recommendations and follow up. And reach out directly to the workshop/course creator. Personally, I find the most value in that personal interaction I get with the creator him/herself. Are they present? Are they able to give support? If so, how much?

 

I could go on, but you get the picture. You should always be investing into yourself, no matter the stage of your career.

Even if you’re brand spanking new into the world of photography or weddings or if you are a seasoned veteran with 20 years experience. No matter what, there are ALWAYS things to learn, strengthen on, and improve/optimize. The moment you think otherwise, is the moment you are getting in your own way of leveling up.

Let’s even say this… if you are already earning six-figures, but you want to systemize and automate your processes so that you can work FEWER hours and still earn the same level of income (or more)… invest into a workshop or course that can help you do that. (Mine can help you do that, too, btw).

Bottom line summary: Do your due diligence when deciding on which of the best photography workshops to attend. And when you’ve narrowed it down, at some point – just take the leap. Especially with courses. Even if you walk away with one golden nugget that helps you book even one extra job… most course prices are so low that you will have hit your return on investment (and profited) after only a single booking. (And yes, a $1000 course is cheap if you’re going to be booking many extra jobs from what you learn). If you think $1000 is a lot of money to invest into your business knowledge (knowledge that helps you make money), invest in a mindset coach to help you improve your money mindset. No shame. That’s exactly what I did in 2016. I spent $3500 on a 6-week online course that included group coaching via Zoom. And you know what, when I changed my own money mindset, I learned how to get out of my own way and truly begin to serve both myself, my family, and the community around me. And it all started with my mindset.

But maybe you’re not even sure where to start.

Maybe you’re not even sure what truly needs to be worked on.

Sure, you can say “I want more leads.” “I want to book more clients.” “I want to make more money.” “I want to work fewer hours.”

Awesome.

But, with only that information – it’s going to be very hard to give you exact advice on which workshop, course, or conference you should attend.

You need to be VERY specific about what you want to learn. Not just “I want to learn how to improve my business.”

I mean… “I want to learn how to build an email list from scratch, grow that list using lead magnets and Facebook ads, and levarage that list to grow my side-hustle affiliate marketing business.”

THAT is very specific, and with THAT information you will be able to get very specific advice and recommendations about the best workshops, courses, or conferences for you.

If you’re a photographer in the wedding industry, an example would be…

“I want to learn how to book more of my ideal clients, fill my calendar, increase my rates, and build my portfolio all at the same time.”

Okay, great. Well, if that’s what you’re wanting — an in-person workshop is going to be what I recommend for you. Because if you are wanting to build out your portfolio AND learn some awesome business knowledge along the way, getting your hands on a camera and doing a good styled shoot or two is going to be very valuable for your portfolio. But if you’re going to get access to both, be prepared to spend more money.

If it’s just business knowledge you’re wanting to learn and level up, I truly and honestly believe that courses are the way to go – unless it’s an in-person, high-level mastermind event where you are surrounded in a like-minded community of high-level achievers who are all truly working towards a common goal. And by high-level mastermind, I mean the events where it’s not $500-1000 to attend. I mean the events that are $2500-5000+ to attend and they truly go deep with the information you want to learn, and you have access to the host(s) and speaker(s) for your personal Q&A during the time you have with them.  Personally, I have attended many masterminds and I have sometimes received more value in the relationships that I have built from other paying participants/students than the mastermind lectures themselves. But either way, the value is there in thanks to the event. It’s just a matter of what you personally pay attention to, soak in, and take action on.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear stories (or seen first-hand) about photographers & wedding pros paying a lot of money to attend conferences and workshops around the world (or courses from the comfort of home), and they don’t take action. They don’t pay attention. They don’t soak in the information that is being given to them.

If you’re an action taker, getting your return on investment from the right workshops, courses, or conferences should be a no-brainer. But if you have a bad habit of going for the “fun” of it and focusing really heavily on just the creative aspects, you might not see the type of return on investment that you are hoping to find – at least financially speaking.

I will leave you with that for now, but as always, please feel free to message me using the contact form on my site. I’m here to help.

And if you’re looking to level up your own education through online courses for photographers & wedding pros, make sure to check out mine here. And remember, do your own due diligence. Go through the testimonials, read the reviews, watch the videos, figure out what’s included, and make an education decision based on potential return on investment.

See ya inside.

 

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