I am amazed at the number of freelance trainers I meet who are NOT actively using social networks. As I’m a great believer in the value of Twitter in particular I’m really trying to encourage other trainers to get on board and to start using it as part of their marketing mix.

A lot of freelance trainers who come on my workshops are quite non-plussed about it and say that it’s for people who have nothing better to do!  And I’m starting to understand that there are several valid reasons why trainers are not getting involved in social networks.

It could be that people don’t fully understand it or just don’t get it. I remember one client in particular saying to me recently that she wanted to start using Twitter and Linked In but was feeling slightly overwhelmed.

It could be that people have the wrong perception about it and think it’s all about cheese sandwiches! I remember one guy on my workshop being quite adamant about not using Twitter because he didn’t want to read about what people were eating and other such trivia!

It could be that people think it’s a waste of time and that time spent on social networking could be better spent elsewhere.

It could be that people don’t believe they will get any business from it. I think this is a big issue as there is no denying that there are many more self employed professionals and small businesses using social networking than there are large corporates.

I can understand these reasons for not getting involved in social networking. They are all perfectly valid. What I would say however is that:

If you don’t understand how to use social networking or are feeling overwhelmed it’s perfectly possible to learn how to use them.

It’s interesting how there are many social networking workshops and programmes springing up around the UK and I’m sure you’d be able to find one near you.

Simon Jordan and myself ran a 90 minute webcast last week Social Media Confidence for Trainers . If you would like a recording please get in touch.

You can also get tips and advice from other people in your network who are using them already.  And like all these things, the best way is probably to learn by doing, so just get started and get stuck in!

You WILL see a lot of stuff about cheese sandwiches and what  people are doing in their personal lives.

So if you follow me on Twitter for example you will see that I have 2 kids, that I have a son who plays a lot of tennis, that I spend a lot of time hanging round tennis centres, that I have a cute little cocker spaniel etc, but that’s a really good thing as what’s happening is that people are getting to know me as a person and getting to know, like and trust me.  So, cheese sandwiches are good!

It IS possible to waste a lot of time on social networking.

Twitter in particular can be highly addictive as it’s such a lot of fun to connect with people and join in conversations. But there ARE ways of ensuring that your networking time is productive.

Do people get business from social networking?

Well, yes they do. Many of the people who come to my workshops and programmes have found me and built up a relationship with me via Twitter and Linked In. Other trainers have given me several examples recently of business coming to them via social networking. And one of my clients was recently offered the opportunity to pitch to develop and run a Teambulding programme for a pharmaceutical company recently which came via a Twitter contact too.

So, there is really no excuse for not using social networking to promote your training business.  What are you waiting for?

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Won't be long!

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