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The A-Z of freelance training: Part 5


In the final part of her excellent series on freelance training, Sharon Gaskin tackles the trickier end of the alphabet: from V to Z.


V is for Value

In the last article I mentioned the importance of nurturing your relationships with your existing clients which is just as important as seeking out new business.  A really good way of making you stand out from the competition and keeping your client coming back to you is to add value. When I was a buyer of training, I had a budget to work to for sure but often my decisions were made on factors other than price. Added value - things like knowledge of the business and credibility with people within the business, flexibility and reliability were much more important to me. So think about ways you could add value to your clients:
  • Introducing new contacts
  • Providing a little ‘extra’ that they were not expecting
  • Recommending and finding a trainer for them to work on a project you can’t source
  • Giving them a no charge meeting to discuss business issues
These little things can often mean a lot and will go a long way to ensure that your client keeps coming back for more.

W is for WordPress Blog

Blogging should be part of any freelance trainers overall marketing strategy. It’s a great way to showcase and demonstrate your expertise, build your profile, get found on the net and drive traffic to your site. And the best thing about having a WordPress blog is that it’s free and really simple to update yourself. If you can use Microsoft Word you can use a WordPress blog.
Many people are put off starting a blog because of the time involved. It’s just another thing you have to do which you might feel you could do without. And then there’s the worry of what to write especially when you have to come up with something fresh day after day.
Blogging does not have to take a lot of time. Blog posts are not articles and they can be as short as you want them to be – 100 words or so is fine. You can become more efficient with your blogging by writing several posts at once and scheduling them to appear over the course of a few weeks. And as for what to write, well, I often find the topics of my blogs come from things that have actually happened to me in the course of a day or week, conversations I have had with my clients, problems and challenges they are experiencing or just things other trainers are talking about. You will probably be surprised at the amount of material you have if you just make an effort to jot a few bullet points down a the end of the day.     

X is for Xcercise

When you are self employed it’s really important to take care of yourself. When you are ill you don’t get paid, it’s as simple as that. Regular exercise is one way of making sure that you stay fit and healthy but it has lots of other benefits too. It makes you feel good about yourself, gives you more energy and helps your mind to stay positive. When you are exercising you often get a lot of creative ideas – I’ve lost count of the number of projects that have been hatched out walking the dog! And time spent away from your desk and computer screen will mean that you are a lot more productive when you get back.

Y is for YOU

One of the questions I get asked a lot when people are setting up their training companies and websites is ‘Should I try to make out I’m bigger than I am in order not to put the big companies off?’ What they mean here is should they use the word ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ on their website and promotional material to give the impression that the company is not just a one man or one woman band?
I would say it’s up to you. But one thing I would say is that ultimately when people buy training services from a freelance trainer they are buying your skill, your expertise, your personality – you as a person. You are your USP so make the most of it!

Z is for Zone

Training Zone of course! What a great place for freelance trainers to learn, share and network!    Thankyou for letting me share my ideas with you all.

Read The A-Z of freelance training: A-E, The A-Z of freelance training: F-J The A-Z of freelance training K-O and The A - Z of freelance training: P to U.

Sharon Gaskin runs The Trainers Training Company which helps freelance trainers to create successful businesses. You can also read her blog here and join her Freelance Trainers' Network group here on TrainingZone.

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