How to Build a Client Base as a Corporate Trainer
Employing, a full-time, staff trainer can be a big expense. Sure, in some cases a trainer can do double duty as an HR generalist, for example, still that’s one salary taken up where it could be used elsewhere. Many companies would prefer to keep things lean and focused. This is why many opt to contract with professional, corporate training businesses.
Still, building your client base can be a real challenge. It’s not as if corporate trainers advertise on television or billboards. Instead, you have to get creative in order to draw the attention of potential customers.
Create a Strong Online Presence
What have you done? Who have you worked with? Who do you have relationships with? What are your qualifications? When a potential client needs a corporate trainer, one of the first places they will look is online. Chances are they won’t know your name. Your goal is to ensure that when they start their search, your name shows up quickly.
The way to do this is to establish a strong presence online. This means creating a professionally developed website, opening social media accounts, creating a portfolio, blogging, and building relationships. When somebody Googles ‘corporate training in my city’, you don’t want your website to be buried three pages in.
Your real challenge is to make this happen as quickly as possible, and as organically as possible. This takes consistent, hard work. Write thought provoking blog posts. Share content that is relevant to your base. Participate in conversations on the topic of training and development, issues that impact business in your area, and best practices in training. Develop relationships and listen to people’s needs in the area of corporate training.
Earn Referrals From Existing Clients
Every time you have a satisfied client, try to turn that into more. Ask happy customers for positive reviews, testimonials, and referrals. Share the reviews and testimonials on your website, social media, and landing pages.
Use a warm-sell approach with referred clients. Send a simple, no-pressure introduction. The more that you can communicate to potential clients that you have a successful track record and can be trusted, the better.
Advertise Your Classes And Training Events
Hopefully you aren’t waiting for corporate clients in order to teach and train. There are opportunities to teach at events and conferences everywhere. If something is happening that is relevant to your areas of training expertise, start networking. Is there room for you to teach a class? Is a company taking part that could benefit from having their material presented by a professional? Always jump on opportunities to teach. You might even consider designing courses that you invite people from many businesses to attend.
That’s just the beginning. You have to get word out. Share your offering on social media. Post about it in local classifieds, and share them on local classified websites. Here is one that aggregates of a variety of events in Manchester.
Create Products And Give a Few Away For Free
Let’s be honest. Service oriented business like training can be a hard sell. Beyond recommendations, it is difficult for people to truly know if you have the chops to deliver thorough, motivating training sessions that have a measurable impact. It’s asking quite a bit for companies to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in your services with only the hope that they will be satisfied with the outcome.
Fortunately, there is a way to foster a sense of confidence when it comes to hiring you. Simply put, turn your services into a product. Then, give a few away for free. Probably the best and easiest way to do this is to create an online training video that you offer for free. You might even consider a series of engaging presentations. Choose a topic that is widely useful enough to have some value to most. Then, dig into it. Show off your best. Be engaging. Be compassionate. Be clear. Show subject matter knowledge. You want to accomplish two things. First, you want your training video to truly be valuable to potential clients. Second, you want to leave no doubts about your ability to teach and motivate.
This is a business where it can be a bit difficult to establish oneself. However, it is hardly an impossible task. The key is to impress the clients you do earn enough to gather their endorsements. Be willing to share your gifts in order to convince people to pay for them. Make yourself as visible as possible, and develop relationships as a way to build trust and thought leadership. By taking these steps, you will begin the process of building a solid client base. As long as you continue to deliver quality training, this can be quite a lucrative source of recurring income.