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Are you on or in your training business from a marketing perspective?


If like me, you run your own training business then you’re probably finding that you are spending most of your time delivering workshops, courses and coaching sessions.  And then of course there is the preparation, the materials, the travelling backwards and forwards, the administration, the invoicing etc etc etc.  Phew!  It’s exhausting isn’t it and we are so busy that it doesn’t leave us much time for anything else. We are in a bit of unique profession aren’t we?  Most of us “are the business” We sell ourselves so to speak.  “We are “in” the business and when we are not delivering we are not earning, so it’s hardly surprising being ‘on’ the business (the marketing and the strategising etc) is a poor second.

We’re passionate about what we do, we’re passionate about our clients, learners, delegates, and coachees but the one thing we’re almost guaranteed not to be passionate about is the marketing!

It seems to go something like this:

When things are going well we say  what’s the point of marketing?

When things aren’t going so well we say what’s the point of marketing?”

So it’s quite likely that very little or no marketing is going on at all!  Of course we can include referrals, word of mouth , repeat business and contacts.  That worked very well when I set up my business 22 years ago, but the world is a different place now. These marketing tools have lost their magic and we may be at real risk of eventually ending up with no business at all.

Ten tips for trainers:

Here’s ten tips to make a start with balancing being in the business with being on it:

1. Never outsource ALL of your marketing to an agency. No-one else will ever be as passionate about your training business as you. So it’s a huge risk giving anyone else a major responsibility for marketing. You have to make time to focus on the key elements yourself.

2. Use the time management/self management/ organisational/leadership techniques you train others in to get yourself into a position where you can free up the equivalent of a day a week for marketing

3. Invest in many of the freebies out there on the Internet to automate as many ‘backend’ tasks as you can.

4. Outsource the routine tasks which sap your energies. There are many cost-effective solutions out there.

5. Be clear on the financial targets you want to achieve this year.  They should not be lower than last year. Don’t use the economy as an excuse to lower your sights.

6. If money’s tight, stick a list of your existing clients on the wall.  Spend two hours brainstorming how you can provide more value to them and secure more work in return.

7. Phone a client a day and LISTEN to what they  say, need, want.

8. Compile competitor intelligence – who are they, what are they doing?  Plan how to exploit their weaknesses.

9. Look at areas that you’ve probably not optimised and maximised. These include revisiting all your copy, checking that if you are advertising it is direct response, not brand awareness advertising, and checking the stats on your website.

10. Stop wasting time on endless networking.  It always amazes me how trainers network but neglect reconnecting with past clients, existing clients and potential prospects who they already have ‘on the system’ so to speak!

There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but these simple improvements can make a big difference and start the process of ensuring you are not leaving a lot of money on the table.


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