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Do you ever hear freelance trainers say things like:

I’ve always been really lucky to have a steady flow of work’


‘Stuff always turns up, don’t know how but I’m not complaining ….’

I’m amazed how often I hear people say things like this and I must admit to being one of those people myself up until 4 years ago when I suddenly had a light bulb moment. I had just hired a coach to help me with my business. One of my first tasks was to make a list of all my clients so that he could get a better picture of where I was at. ‘Impressive’ my coach remarked after a quick scan through ‘ Plenty of blue chip clients here…….’ To which I replied ‘ Yes, I’m really lucky – work just seems to keep popping up!’ My coach looked at me and said ‘Work just doesn’t pop up you know. It’s always as a result of something you’ve done.’

Of course he was right and that one statement really changed my attitude towards marketing. The truth was that those clients didn’t come to me by accident. I got them all because of specific actions I’d taken, things like making a call to them once a month, having coffee with them, or keeping in touch by email. It made me realise that I’d been actively using marketing strategies without really knowing it!

What I also realised was that this fairly random and haphazard approach to my marketing wasn’t really good enough. I had been doing some of the right things for sure, but I didn’t really have a system in place to make sure that I did these things regularly and consistently. I didn’t really know what worked and what didn’t as I’d never really stopped to take a look. OK, I had been ‘lucky’ in the sense that I had a good client list but how much better could that client list have been if I had systemised my marketing activity? Since that day I have taken a much more focused approach with radically improved results.

These are challenging times for freelance trainers. More and more people are entering the market at a time when there is less work available. Competition is tough – buyers of training are more discerning and have more providers to choose from. In this type of market the most successful freelancers will be the ones who pay serious attention to planning their business and marketing activities.

Your Marketing Blueprint

Ask yourself the following questions and be brutally honest with your answers. Even better get someone else to do the exercise with you – they can make sure you don’t skip any difficult areas.

1. Where is your business right now?
2. Where do you want it to be by this time next year?
3. What specific marketing techniques are you going to use to get you there?
4. Why have you chosen them? Why do you believe they are going to work?
5. Can you do these activities yourself? If not, who can help you with them?
6. When are you going to do these activities? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
7. What system are you going to put in place to make sure that you do these activities when you plan to do them?
8. How and when will you review success?

Going through this exercise will help you to think seriously about your marketing, what you are going to do, why you are doing it and what might get in your way. But most importantly it will give you a blueprint for making it happen, all you have to do now is stick to it.


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