Ever wondered how successful freelance trainers market their business? In this post, I share marketing tips from the best freelance trainers. Which ones will you try?

1. Alex Hewlett

Differentiate between ‘No never’ and ‘No, not yet’. Follow up the ‘Not yet’ respondents (preferably with their permission!), and keep following them up. It’s surprising how often an initial contact becomes work 5 years later, because you keep in touch.

Find out more about Finance Trainer Alex Hewlett at Attainment Training 

2. Ginette Tessier

Get on video! People buy from people and video comms are only going to increase. Whether it’s a short video of you training, an online course lesson extract or a piece direct to camera, it will help begin the process of ‘Know, Like Trust’ – which is essential for anyone to buy from you.

As well as regularly planned communications or broadcasts, staying in touch ad hoc with the personal touch can really help. I had a client come back to me more than a year after the last delivery, simply because I’d stayed in touch two or three times just through sending an article I thought was relevant, or tagging a post in LinkedIn that I thought she’d enjoy. Which is another tip – if not already, connect with your clients on LinkedIn!

Find out more about Online Training expert Ginette Tessier at Get That Course Online!

3. Emma Shaw

Create a personal brand and live and breathe it in everything you do. Think about who you are, what you’re about and your values. This can help you create a persona or ‘tone of voice’ that should run as a thread through all your comms, blogs, social media posts as well as in your website. It helps people to get to know you and put a personality to your service. Think about a brand you love and consider what their ‘personality’ is. How powerful is that in creating emotional connections and customer loyalty?

Find out more about Emma Shaw at ESpresso Learning

4. Jasmine Gartner

Networking. I went to loads of events, kept up or reached out to existing contacts, spent time on LinkedIn. I think it let people know I exist and want the work. Resulting in me getting lots of work.

Find out more about Employee Engagement Trainer and Consultant Jasmine Gartner 

5. Emma Williams

Blogging – has given me articles I can direct people to, raised my profile, people give me great feedback when they meet me again and you can use it to build video / e-book resources very simply. I used the 30 Day Blogging Challenge to get an initial body of content together.

Find out more about Emma Williams at EJW Solutions 

6. Angela Mitchell 

Adding value to community conversations online be that Facebook or LinkedIn. Share resources and build credibility. This has helped me get my name noticed and create engagement with new people. It is time-consuming but I build slots into my day where I focus on this solely so that it doesn’t distract from other work.

Find out more about Angela Mitchell at Juicing The Lemon 

7. Sue Ritchie

Get on Twitter. This is where I started from. I moved to Lincoln where I knew 2 people and set about following lots of local business people in the hope they followed me back, and they did. From there, I learned about face to face networking events and my network just grew. Twitter has given me a platform for sharing my writing (blogs and books); connections with thought leaders in my industry; workshop attendees; 1:1 clients; corporate clients; invitations to speak at events; a tribe of fans who love my writing; opportunities to be a regular on my local BBC Radio station – and paid work from that. If your clients are there, then you should be too!

Find out more about Leadership Coach and Trainer Susan Ritchie 

8. Colin Foster

Whatever you choose to do, JFDI – and do so regularly whether that’s networking, writing newsletters, blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever. You have to start somewhere but once you’ve started, keep it going – so don’t try to do too much that you can’t commit to and then plan the time into your diary so that it happens – as I’ve done with my new newsletter – that way, it won’t become a chore… or a panic! And don’t be afraid to ask for help & advice!

Find out more about Microsoft Office and Productivity Consultant Colin Foster 

9. Jennifer Lindsay-Finan

Always do a great job! Delivering excellent service will almost always lead to repeat business or a referral. It’s easier to keep customers than get new ones!

Find out more about Jennifer Lindsay-Finan at River Park and Smarter Working Group

10. Anne Walsh

Be as helpful as you can be to the people in your class. It’s hard to beat word of mouth. Use your blog/website to create answers to questions you see come up over and over again…

Find out more about Anne Walsh, the Queen of Excel at Excel Expert

11. Emer O’Leary

Invite delegates to join your mailing list at the end of every course. Pass around a sheet of paper and ask them to add their name and email address if they would like to receive articles and updates from you (Do ensure all requests for personal data are GDPR compliant). The people who’ve experienced you live and like you are the most likely to work with you again and/or refer you to others.

Find out more about Graphic Facilitator and Trainer Emer O’Leary at Collected Works 

12. Peter Gathercole

I gave an explanation to members on the lift theory. Used it to promote one of our courses by first telling them what the problem is in care. Then what it means as care providers. Explained what we do and how this will solve their problem

Find out more about Health and Social Care trainer Peter Gathercole at Endeavour Care Training 

13. Gaynor Humphries

Using LinkedIn to search for potential decision makers in local business and build your connections, I didn’t have a name, but searched by job role & company and sent a personal message, we’ve since met, had a very productive meeting and potentially I’ll be delivering training for over 200 staff!

Find out more about Gaynor Humphries at GTraining 

14. Krystyna Gadd

Give away stuff for free, not ordinary stuff, but good stuff. People then think if that’s what she will give away for free, what will the paid stuff be like? Don’t wonder what you will get back, but give and give generously.

Find out more about Krystyna Gadd at How to Accelerate Learning 

15. Kirsten Baynham

Be clear about what your USP is – know what learning products you are a real specialist in.
Go out there, do your thing in the industry where you have credibility and have a good understanding of.

Find out more about Kirsten Baynham at Mind Bubble Learning 

16. Shelley Fishel

Blogging and giving away great tips people can put right into practice.

Find out more about Microsoft Office Trainer and Consultant Shelley Fishel at Tomorrow’s VA and The IT Training Surgery

17. Alison Reeves

Shoot a short video of you explaining something and use on your website and social media profiles to demonstrate your abilities.

Find out more about Bid and Business Writing Trainer Alison Reeves at Write To Win 

18. Sheridan Webb

Ask! Stay in touch with people and ask if you can help them or if they know anyone else who may benefit from your help. Being direct (in a polite way) works for me. People aren’t mind readers and satisfied previous customers or colleagues are usually happy to help.

Network in the right places with the right people. I’ve wasted so much and money at local business networking events! Generally enjoyable and perhaps a good way to develop your confidence and skills, but unless you offer the sort of training that any business employing more than 6 people needs, you are unlikely to find customers or referrals there. Mix with fellow trainers and HR people. Get to know them, help them out and wait for them (or ask them) to return the favour. It takes time.

Find out more about Bespoke Training Designer Sheridan Webb at Keystone Development and Power Hour Training 

19. Audrey Bodman

Webinars. Run a free webinar on a regular basis to help your ideal customer get to know you. Prove you know your subject well. Webinars made a major difference to my business and enabled my potential customers to get to know me with minimum risk. Be prepared to share great information and strategies that will help them. Don’t use webinars to constantly sell. Content should be 85/15 ratio. 15% used to raise awareness about your product or service.

Find out more about Telephone Training specialist Audrey Bodman 

20 – Sharon Gaskin

Have a marketing plan for your training business. These are all such great ideas, but don’t try to implement them all. We only have so many hours in the day and it’s impossible to do all of these. If you try, you only get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Choose 3 marketing activities that have the best chance of working . Your 3 activities should

  1. Have a realistic chance of reaching your target market
  2. Should be things you enjoy doing

If you don’t enjoy them, you won’t do them.

When you’ve decided what your 3 things are, stick with your plan and see it through. Consistency is the key to success!

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