David Miles has the smart marketing strategies you need.
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One of the challenges when you’re a freelance trainer is that if you spend all day training clients, it doesn’t leave you much time for marketing your business. So if you want to get more leads for your business, you need to implement smart marketing strategies which can be working for you round the clock even if you’re busy delivering a course or a workshop.
Fortunately, in the digital age, this is easy to achieve if you know what you’re doing. And it doesn’t need to be expensive either.
In this article I’ll be sharing five tips that freelance trainers can use to generate more leads and, ultimately, get more clients.
1. Define your value proposition
Before you can market yourself effectively – whether online or offline – you need to have a clear and compelling value proposition. Your value proposition is a statement (usually one or two sentences long) which sums up what you do and what makes you different from, and/or better than, your competitors.
One of the main places that a value proposition should be used is on your website. A well-crafted value proposition will ensure that when people land on your website they immediately know where they are, what’s on offer, and why they should read on and find out more about your training services.
Here’s an example of a value proposition for a fictional social media trainer:
Practical, fun and affordable social media training that pays for itself
Our courses have a 100% satisfaction rating and are proven to help you get new clients
If you don’t already have something like this for your business, check out this step-by-step guide to creating a value proposition.
2. Turn your website into a lead generation machine
Most freelance trainers have websites which don’t generate them any business whatsoever. But you don’t need to be one of them.
If you expect a first time visitor to your website to contact you straightaway, that’s the equivalent of expecting someone to marry you after meeting you once for half an hour
The biggest mistake most trainers’ make with their websites is that they try to turn first time visitors (known as cold traffic) into leads too quickly.
You wouldn’t expect to meet someone in a bar and marry them the next day – there’d usually be some form of courtship (a series of dates, moving in together, etc) between meeting someone for the first time and asking them to marry you.
If you expect a first time visitor to your website to contact you straightaway, that’s the equivalent of expecting someone to marry you after meeting you once for half an hour. It could happen, but it’s unlikely.
What you need to do is find a way to get that cold traffic to subscribe to your mailing list so as you can send them regular follow up emails to nurture the relationship until they are ready to buy.
The best way to do this is to create a lead magnet which your visitors can download in return for providing their email address. Make sure that the lead magnet is not a sales pitch. It needs to be something that’s relevant to your audience and which delivers real value.
For example, a PDF guide entitled ‘5 ways to get more leads from LinkedIn’ would be a good lead magnet for our fictional social media trainer to offer on their website.
Once someone has downloaded the lead magnet you can use an automated email marketing system to send them a series of follow up emails.
Again, these emails should not be a sales pitch. Instead they should expand on the information in the lead magnet – thus offering further value, demonstrating your expertise, and building credibility and trust so that your subscriber is more likely to want to talk to you about how you could address their training requirements.
3. Leverage LinkedIn
LinkedIn is far more than just an online CV or a site used by recruiters looking for candidates for job vacancies. If you use LinkedIn correctly you can get yourself noticed by learning and development managers, HR directors, and other people who are likely to be procuring training services.
There are lots of ways you can make use of LinkedIn to generate leads for your training business, but the first priority is to make sure that you have a fully completed profile. Above all make sure that your profile has a good headline. Far too many people simply have their job title as their headline – eg ‘Managing Director at My Great Training Co’.
That’s a big mistake. Your headline should be a bit like your value proposition and should make it clear what you offer and why someone should connect with you. Here’s an example: ‘I can train you how to get more business from LinkedIn’.
In other words, your headline should be about what benefits and outcomes your clients get from you, rather than being a job title.
4. Drive traffic to your website with Google Ads
Google Ads is the pay per click advertising system which delivers the paid listings that appear at the top and bottom of Google search results pages.
As an advertiser you tell Google what sort of searches you want to appear for, write the advert that you want to have shown, and specify the maximum amount you are willing to pay each time someone visits your website as a result of clicking on your ad.
Google Ads can be one of the most cost effective ways to get new leads and new clients quickly and easily – but only if you know what you’re doing.
The best piece of advice I can give if you want to try out Google Ads is to start small and target a very specific niche. If you try to rank at the top of the page for generic search phrases such as ‘freelance trainer’ you are likely to spend a lot of money and get nothing to show for it.
However, if you target more specific niche keywords such as ‘health and safety trainer Basingstoke’ you are likely to pay less for each click and also you’ll attract warmer prospects who are more likely to convert into leads.
With all this talk about digital marketing channels, it’s easy to forget that the traditional methods of promoting your business can still be very effective.
Groups such as BNI and 4Networking are a great way to use the power of a network to get in front of prospects and grow your business through referrals from people who have had time to get to know you and understand what your business is all about.
As a freelance trainer, the beauty of these particular networking groups is that they meet for breakfast and so you can usually fit the meetings in even if you are running a training course on the same day.
Most of these groups allow you to visit a couple of times before deciding if you want to become a full time member, so it makes sense to go along to a few meetings in your local area and get a feel for how your business could benefit from having a network of people acting as your virtual sales force.
Have you tried any of these marketing ideas already? Do you have any other tips for getting more leads as a freelance trainer? Leave a comment below and let us know what’s worked for you. We’d love to hear from you.
About the author
David Miles is founder of The PPC Machine