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At the start of a new year, many of us find ourselves taking stock of where we are and thinking about where we would like to be within the next 12 months. As a business owner you might be looking at your triumphs and challenges over the past year, and considering how you can bring in more training clients or, more precisely, training clients that are an ideal fit with how you want your business to grow.
At the same time, the pressure to make positive changes in your training business may feel overwhelming. Where should you start?
In this week’s blog, I’ve put together three simple strategies that you can use straightaway to grow your profile over the next three months. These are small, easy to implement, and should help you boost your visibility and attract repeat business as well as new clients.
Strategy #1 to raise your profile: Personalise and differentiate
People tend to buy from companies with which they feel a personal connection. They might identify with your back story, your tone of voice, or the values you reflect in your marketing, but on some level, there will be a sense that your business connects with who they are.
Think about how you can create an emotional connection with your existing and potential clients. Here are some ideas:
- If you send out a regular newsletter, look at whether you have the facility to personalise the content so that each individual subscriber’s name appears within the copy. This is usually done using merge tags (check out these handy guides from Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft, and Madmimi). Experts agree that personalised campaigns usually attract higher conversion rates.
- If you spot a newspaper article, magazine, book or small gift that you think one of your clients would find of interest, send it to them with a short, handwritten note.
- Alternatively, send a client a handwritten thank you card for their booking, referral or their past business.
- Set up a series of templates that let you respond to clients at various stages of a project, so that you keep the lines of communication open throughout a project.
Strategy #2: Become the face of your business
This second strategy follows on nicely from strategy number one, as it’s all about helping your potential customers get to know you. If you are a freelance trainer and currently work alone, then you may want to leverage the fact that your clients get a personal service where they benefit from your unique experience and knowledge.
To do this, I’m going to urge you to put your head above the parapet and become the face of your business. You might:
- Include pictures of you on your website
- Showcase videos of you training (or, at least, talking about your training)
- Feature your personal story on your About page
- Get into conversations on your social media pages
- Take pictures of your day and post them to Instagram
- Write a blog about your journey as a trainer, freelancer and/or business owner
The aim of this strategy is to get your face and name out there and associated with your business.
Strategy #3: Be an expert
As a trainer, it’s important for your clients to see you as someone who knows their stuff. Long before they attend one of your training sessions, there are lots of ways that you can demonstrate your expertise.
Building your reputation as an expert in your field is great for referrals, new enquiries, and even your search engine optimisation, as Google looks to reward websites with genuine authority in search results.
To build your reputation and authority in your field, why not try one of the following?
- Create a blog where you feature opinion pieces based on your expertise
- Say yes to public speaking opportunities
- Look for guest blogging openings
- Create a lead magnet, such as a free ebook or professional development materials
- Add a FAQs page to your website
- Comment on your clients’ social media posts from a position of experience
One thing at a time
My advice would be to pick one action point from each of the three strategies above and commit to putting them in motion, one per month. This month, for example, you might personalise your newsletter. Next month, you might add a video of you talking about your business to your website’s Home page and, the month after that, you might write a short ebook for free download.
The key is to measure the outcomes of each action. Do your conversion rates go up with personalised newsletters? Does having a video on your website keep people on it for longer and, if so, does that affect your website traffic? How many people have signed up to receive your free download?
Measuring the outcomes of these activities will help you decide what works and what doesn’t for your audience, what you might need to tweak, and which strategy seems to have the best payoff.
If you’re still stuck or feel that your training business could do with a boost in 2016, you’ll be pleased to know that I offer one-to-one mentoring, as well as group mentoring and workshops. Book a 30-minute no obligation Skype session with me to find out more.