Workshops and Classes at 1871

Taught by Susan Silver

1871 is Chicago’s main entrepreneurship and start-up incubator, located in the Merchandise Mart downtown Chicago. Susan teaches classes there regularly. Here are some of her latest workshops:

Marketing Budgets Workshop

Class description: Unless you’re Coca Cola or Nike, it’s a pretty fair guess that you don’t have as much money as you’d like to spend on the marketing you need to do to grow your company.

This workshop will teach you how to lay out a basic strategic marketing plan to help you grow your business. We’ll talk about core strategies and tactics that will help you do things like generate awareness and convert visitors to paying customers. Along the way we’ll do some rough prioritizing, budgeting and calendar development to help you more effectively focus your limited dollars and staff resources.

This workshop will help you save a whole lot of time and money chasing tactics that don’t help you move the needle. So before you go hiring a blogger or building a Facebook page, join us!

Awesome workshop once again, Susan! Thank you. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to know how to put together a marketing plan/budget/calendar. My hard drive is littered with beginner attempts. Thanks so much!

Marc Teer

Founder, Black Spectacles

Marketing Positioning Workshop

Class description: “I still don’t know how I got Yanni on my home page.” – True quote from a prospective client who didn’t take the time to write a positioning statement for his company before investing in marketing.

Don’t let this very unhappy client be you! Most entrepreneurs know that a positioning statement can help them, but oftentimes it’s low on the priority list when there are bills to pay and cash flow to generate.

This workshop focuses on the 5 key things everyone should know when they talk about their business – whether it’s to potential customers, investors, agencies or your own employees.

And even if you already have a positioning statement, we’ll help you refine and tighten yours to make sure that all of your company’s marketing and sales efforts work together efficiently so that you’re not wasting dollars or people time.

I attended the Positioning Workshop yesterday at 1871 and thought it was excellent, as was your presentation on marketing budgets. I particularly liked your no-nonsense take on data analysis and your acknowledgement of the reality that most start-ups don’t have the finances or bandwidth to broadly test marketing ideas.
Steve Dillinger

CEO, Classroom IQ

Real World Research Workshop

Class description: How do you gauge customer satisfaction? How do you learn more about who’s buying what you’re selling? How can you identify what new products your customers need?

Research can help answer all of these questions and more, but only if it’s well-executed. Susan Silver of Argentum Strategy ( will explain how to make sure you use your time (and your customers’) most effectively by being strategic about the research you do. This class is designed to be interactive, so please bring a survey you’ve done or are thinking about doing to discuss with the class. We’ll be talking about creating surveys that are well structured, include the right questions, and deliver solid insights.

Interested in having Susan speak at your next event? Click here.