If you’re planning to facilitate a retreat, it’s important to not only be able to design the perfect landing page but also to create an enticing retreat description that will sell people on your services. This doesn’t mean using flowery language or overly complicated sentences; rather, it involves making your description easy to read, relevant to the audience, and interesting while still conveying all of the necessary information. The following steps can help you create a retreat description that will sell both online and offline.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you do anything else, figure out who you want to attend your retreat. What are their personality traits? What are their needs and goals? How will attending your retreat benefit them? If you don’t know these things upfront, you risk appealing to people who won’t gain anything from it and leaving those who could benefit out in the cold. You also can’t market effectively unless you identify your target audience. So, before you begin writing retreat descriptions or purchasing ads, start by determining who you want to reach out to.
Create a persona or a fictional representation of members of your target audience—the type of person who would be likely to attend a particular event (and enjoy themselves). The process is relatively simple: First, write a paragraph or two describing an imaginary member of your audience. Then answer these questions about them: Where do they live? In what community do they participate most? What organizations do they belong to? Do they have family, and if so, how many people in total make up their social network? What’s their gender, age, race, and marital status? Do they have any special circumstances, such as being recently divorced or widowed or having retired from service in the military? How much money do they make each year; how much debt are they carrying; where did they go to school and with whom have they worked in their career; what kind of car do they drive; which brands do you associate with them? And so on…You don’t need to answer all those questions right now, don’t worry. You can revisit it later.
Identify What They’re Looking For
Most of your audience will probably be looking for how your retreat can help them transform their mind, body, and soul. So, it is important that you not only let them know about your retreat location but why it is unique and how it can help them transform. If your location has natural hot springs, include information about what research has shown about taking frequent baths in hot water with essential oils. If your retreat is located in a city or region known for its art scene, including what types of art classes will be offered so potential participants will understand how you can provide unique value during their stay.
It’s important that you not only let them know about your retreat location but why it is unique and how it can help them transform
What makes your destination relaxing? Do you offer farm-to-table dinners using local produce from one of your gardens? Are there great trails to enjoy nature walking meditation? Do you provide massages using organic products from one of your local massage therapists? Consider creating an infographic or a video showing off all these points.
Choose the Right Tone
It’s important to choose a tone that your target audience will respond well to. Are you writing an informational piece? A witty sales letter or a newsletter that feels like home? Understanding what type of tone your reader is looking for will help you craft an effective and engaging description. When in doubt, consider your personal preferences when reading. Is there anything about other retreat descriptions that have caught your eye? Is there a certain approach or format you prefer over others? Don’t hesitate to take notes on what works (and why) from other descriptions!
There are lots of ways to get inspiration for new copywriting ideas, but nothing can replace simple observational skills. Take some time to look at different types of copy and see what stands out. Pay attention to graphics and use those as cues for how text should be framed. All around us, we find examples that we can learn from; all we need to do is keep our eyes open! The better you understand your potential participants’ expectations, language preferences, etc., the more likely it is that they’ll engage with you – getting them one step closer to coming to your retreat.
Create Your Description Based on What You’ll Be Teaching
For people to feel good about paying full price, they need to be able to visualize what they’re going to get out of attending.
Most of your retreat description will be focused on your offerings and how you’ll deliver them. This is where it’s critical to include as much detail as possible in how you’ll teach people. For people to feel good about paying full price, they need to be able to visualize what they’re going to get out of attending. For example, let’s say you have an herbalism retreat, your retreat description should read more like: What do people get from a typical herbalism retreat? They learn how to identify different herbs by sight or smell; sometimes they walk away with one or two new recipes for teas and tinctures; but mostly it’s about getting together with friends (either new or old) in nature, learning something new—and hopefully having fun!
Use these same principles to craft all of your descriptions. Add vivid details so that readers can picture what their experience will look like before they sign up. Also, don’t forget to sprinkle in some personal anecdotes or stories that make your sessions more memorable and relatable for attendees! Then, create visual appeal with graphics. Graphics are important because people process information visually faster than through reading text alone. If you want people to click on your link, grab their attention quickly, and leave feeling excited, you need eye-catching images showing off everything they’ll learn at your event.
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
People buy retreats based on their motivations and expectations. While you can (and should) promote what your retreat offers, you can’t offer things that aren’t truly possible. You also don’t want to create unrealistic expectations; telling people they can lose 10 pounds in 2 days is lying. If you can commit to exactly what people will get from your retreat and how long it will take them to reach their goals then you won’t run into issues with false promises. More than anything else, be truthful about what your event has to offer because lies simply won’t do for most people when considering attending a retreat.
Be honest right off the bat by letting people know there are no guarantees, but if they put in some hard work over a set period then it’s likely they’ll see results.
Always describe yourself, your style, and even the food ahead of time – any attendee worth their salt knows they’ll be paying good money for your services. It’s up to you to sell yourself as well as what you have to offer because if someone feels like they’re spending a lot of money on something that turns out bad then chances are they won’t ever book again with you or anyone else in the future. The goal here is not just getting people to sign up but making sure they do so confidently.It’s about building trust and then backing up your teachings over time.
I hope that this blog post has given you all the information you need to create a compelling retreat description and makes your job easier by giving you more time to focus on what really matters-running an amazing retreat experience for those who attend! Do you need help planning your own retreat within the next year? Let me know! I’d love to partner with you in finding out what type of retreat would be most beneficial for your brand and how to market them effectively both on-and off-line. Blessings, Toni