At the end of my Workshop – How To Create a Successful and Profitable Training Business – I always do a round the table review with all the delegates so that they can share their thoughts on the day. One one of the Workshops a couple of years ago I had this comment:
Now, don’t take this the wrong way Sharon, it’s been a great day and really useful but it’s made me realize I’m not really cut out to be a freelance trainer! Before today I thought I was really organised, I’d got my business cards done, ordered my stationery and had a website done. But now I know that those are just the easy bits. With a background in admin they’re also the things that come naturally to me. The hard bits are doing the marketing and selling and I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy that – even after today!’
I thought it was an interesting observation that going out and getting business is a challenge whilst getting your business cards and website sorted doesn’t really require a lot of effort and actually isn’t that important. Dead right!
One of the things I often come across whilst working with new freelance trainers are comments like this:
‘Once my website is ready I’ll go and talk to them.’
‘I’ll go out networking once I’ve done my business cards…’
When I hear things like this I wonder if not having a website ready is actually an excuse for not going out there and talking to people, a delaying tactic for confronting the fear of the unknown.
Don’t let the fact you haven’t got a perfect website or wonderful logo ready hold you back from making important and valuable contacts. When people meet you for the first time, it’s you that they are interested in not your glossy brochures or snazzy business card. I know a number of very successful freelance trainers who haven’t even got websites at all! If it works for them it can work for you too.
So this week – instead of trying to make your marketing materials pretty why not pick up the phone and make 3 calls a day. Go to a networking event with or without your cards! Have coffee with someone. Get comfortable about talking about yourself, your business and what you offer. Doing these activities will help you feel more confident about marketing and building relationships and over time will produce results. Your website can wait.