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How to get access to decision makers without spending a penny

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Getting your business strategy working for you can be as easy as pie, says Sharon Gaskin.

Most freelance trainers have tight marketing budgets and are always looking for ways to get results with less spend. Did you know that there is one marketing strategy with a high probability of success that won’t cost you anything?

 

This strategy is actively building links with other freelance trainers

 
When you first start out as a freelance trainer and you are considering your marketing strategy you may think about things like getting referrals from old contacts, going to networking events, or public speaking. I’m pretty sure that actively networking with other trainers wouldn’t be right up there at the top of your list. And the reason why it probably wouldn’t be on the top of your list is that when you first start out as as a freelancer it’s natural to assume that other freelance trainers are the competition and so you wouldn’t go anywhere near them, let alone try and network with them!

A really good reason for building links with other trainers is that they can pass you work they don’t want to do

  • There are several reasons why this might happen:
  • They might be already booked on the day the client wants and it HAS to be on that day
  • It might involve travelling a long distance or overnight stay and they don’t want to do it because of family commitments. I used to travel all over the UK and go abroad but I don’t like doing it now because of my children and I know that the same applies to a lot of other people I know too.
  • They may not be licenced or qualified to deliver what the client wants - so, I’m thinking here of things like MBTI, SDI or Level A/B.
  • It’s not their specialist area and there are other people who could probably do it better than them.
  • The rate being offered is less than they would like. This is tough because there’s something that doesn’t feel right about implying ‘Well of course I wouldn’t do if for that but….’  However, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably better to give your friends the opportunity and let them make up their own minds whether it’s worth it or not
There are at least five reasons why – just possibly – another freelance trainer would say no to some work. And when you are in this situation with a client, as I have been myself in the past, you want to be able to recommend someone else - you don’t want the client to have to go to the trouble of finding someone else, you want to still be there on their radar. When you can recommend someone else, when you can provide an alternative the client will generally be very appreciative and more likely to want to carry on using you in the future.
So far I’ve said that the main reason you need to build links with other freelancers is so that you can get work but it’s important to remember that it’s not just 1 way. By   having a great network you will be able to pass work on to other people too and that makes you feel good.  A win-win situation!
Sharon Gaskin is the Founder of The Trainers Training Company, which helps freelance trainers create successful and profitable training businesses. You can also read her blog here, join her Freelance Trainers' Network group here on TrainingZone and follow her on Twitter. For details of upcoming Workshops and Events for freelance trainers click here.

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