“Which social media platform should I be using as a freelance trainer?” This is a question that comes up a lot within the freelance training community.
Should you be using LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or even TikTok to market your training services? Is there a “best” platform for trainers?
Is it even essential to use social media?
Today’s blog is just a quick one designed to get you thinking.
Which social media platform to use
Which social media platform(s) you use really depends on two things:
1. Why are you using social media in the first place? What do you want to achieve?
2. Where do the people you want to reach congregate on social media? (If you ask existing clients, what are their preferences? Where do you see potential clients online? Which platforms create the most conversation?)
If you want to use social media mainly to attract corporate clients then there are going to be more people of the type you are trying to connect with on LinkedIn. But if your purpose in using social media is to drive traffic to your website or get known for what you do in a short space of time then Facebook or Twitter might be better for your business. If you have clients in visually-driven industries or you train in a creative field, then you might find it easier to connect with people on Instagram or Pinterest.
Focus on one social media platform first
One thing I would say, particularly if you are just starting out on social media for your business, is that you don’t need to use all the social media platforms straight away (or ever!).
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to try to do too much; they very quickly get overwhelmed, disillusioned and then give up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just using ONE platform. If you concentrate on one, you can give it 100% attention, get really good at using it and your results will be 10 times better!
Maybe a challenge for you over the next three months?
Do you even need to be using social media?
It’s very easy to assume that we have to use social media to grow our businesses. Personally, it has been a hugely important part of growing The Trainers Training Company, building the Trainer Talk community and connecting with some fantastic people over the years. I still use social media extensively because it works for me and I’m deliberate about what I do.
However, it’s worth noting that a growing number of brands are either reducing their social media presence or ditching it altogether. Australian business coach and entrepreneur Leonie Dawson talks openly about her decision to stop using social media for business. Social media algorithms present challenges in terms of getting social media content seen. Plus, there’s always the risk of a page being taken down without warning.
Finding the right balance
In my experience, social media marketing can be a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal. But it has to be used strategically and with clear intentions, otherwise, you can quickly lose a lot of time!
I would always recommend devoting just as much time, if not more, to things like growing your mailing list, driving traffic to your website, email marketing and other activities where you control the client data. This way, you’ll still have a way of reaching your potential clients even if the social media algorithms limit your reach.
Ultimately, good things happen in business09 where you place your attention. If your clients are using social media, then find out which platform they love and get good at using it. If social media isn’t a priority for your clients, then it doesn’t have to be a priority for you.
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which social media platform to use – only what is right for your business.
And remember, you can always shift your focus if the platform you’re using isn’t working for you.
Note: I first published this article in March 2012 and updated it in August 2021.