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Two of the definitions for the word ‘profile’ are ‘a concise biographical sketch’ and ‘degree or level of public exposure’. I think that an effective trainer profile – or any professional profile, for that matter – lies somewhere between the two; a combination of biographical information and the perception of your reputation by people within your industry.
Your trainer profile might also be described as your personal brand or your professional identity. Whatever you call it, your trainer profile is central to how you sell yourself and your training services.
Decide on your message
Before you do anything to communicate your trainer profile to the wider world, it’s essential to decide on your key message.
- What is it that makes you unique?
- What makes you stand out from other trainers?
- How do you want to be seen?
Think about the key benefits that you offer. Do you want to be associated with helping high growth companies? Does the training you provide directly link to an increase in profits or staff productivity? Are you an expert on leadership or teaching a specific skillset, such as IT skills?
If you can pinpoint what you want to be known for, you can then begin to build your professional trainer profile around your key message. For example, if you want to be known as a trainer who helps executives manage the leadership challenges associated with high growth, then you would talk about your experiences with high growth organisations whenever you have the opportunity to share your background, opinions or experience.
The secret of success is to make sure your message is consistent.
Traditional ways to create an effective training profile offline
So, how can you create an effective training profile? I recommend a mix of traditional offline and current online methods.
Traditional ways to grow your reputation include:
- Face-to-face networking
- Public speaking
- Publishing magazine articles in industry publications and journals
- Word of mouth recommendations and referrals
- Membership of professional associations
- Attending conferences and events, such as Trainer Talk Live
Public speaking can be a fantastic way to increase your visibility within your industry. If you can find events connected to what you do, try reaching out to the organisers about speaking or running a workshop on a relevant topic. Even a five-minute presentation can help to make people associate your name with being an expert in your field.
I also think it’s important that you follow up with any contacts you meet. Even if you don’t see how the contact can directly influence your work at the moment, you never know what opportunities may be on the horizon. Above all else, following up with new contacts is polite and can go a long way towards showing what an approachable person you are.
Online methods to raise your training profile
As well as using traditional methods, you can raise your training profile online using a number of methods:
- Write blogs – both for your own website and as a guest blogger
- Take part in online networking, whether that’s by building your network on LinkedIn or in Facebook groups and Twitter lists
- Consider using your own name for your business and web domain/URL
- Brand your e-signature on your emails
- Review books that are relevant to your field and expertise on popular platforms such as Amazon
- Contribute to online forums
- Run webinars
- Offer a free lead magnet
- Create Slideshare presentations
These are just a few ideas to show how you can communicate your knowledge and expertise within your field. By combining a range of on- and offline methods, you should increase your visibility.
Managing your training profile
It’s helpful to get into the habit of Googling your own name occasionally. What are people saying about you? What pages, links and conversations are most visible? Do the top results for your search reflect the profile you want to have? If not, now’s the time to start growing your profile so that new, relevant search results knock unwanted results out of sight.
Another tip is to set up a Google Alert for your own name, so you can see whenever anyone within your industry mentions you or your training services.
Your training profile will constantly evolve with your career. For this reason, it’s worth setting 10 minutes aside once a month to check and update anywhere that you have a profile. By doing this, you can tell people about new awards you’ve received or articles/case studies that you’ve published, as they happen. This will help to keep your profile current and show potential clients that you are constantly growing and updating your skills.
Do you have an effective trainer profile? What do you do to grow your professional reputation or make your business more visible? I’d love to hear more in the Comments section below.
If you need help creating your trainer profile, it’s something I’ll be covering in my forthcoming online programme – How to create a successful and profitable training business. Help and advice are also available through the Trainer Talk community.
You can also download your free audio copy of 7 essential steps to building a successful and profitable training business for more actionable advice.