**16 Must Do Action for more days, higher fees and better clients
Recently, I compared notes with a returning Independent Trainer coming back to the UK and we talked about what you need to do to get back into circulation, get meaningful engagement with L&D decision makers and to generate more days, charge higher fees and make more money.
Here is a list of 16 essentials that will make up your 2017 To Do List! – Deadline – Christmas Morning!!
- Quality Photo Portrait – No, the cropped photo of you at a wedding with shoulders and handbags all around you is not going to get you to your £2,500 daily training rate. – Take the time to find an amazing photographer who is going to produce a professional picture of you that will build and support your premium brand.
- Business Name – And don’t panic – if you have registered something awful, you can re-brand using your blog or website as something more sexy, catchy and searchable – remember – your company name is unlikely to attract any new enquiries via a Google search if it is all about you, as this will not be about your service or fit the customer’s search request.
Take the time to brainstorm over many pages and take an hour or two to do this and come up with 100+ ideas that could work. Don’t edit as you go – just vomit ink on the page!
Now pick the best combination of your words, make sure the final result is not taken in your own country and quickly secure the domain name for yourself. Job done.
- Business Card – Go up market, don’t put a fax number on it – It is not 1995. You do not need your postal address either. This is 2017.
And what about a strap line – Who do you help? What is THEIR outcome? Be creative.
- Deal Sheet – Who have you worked with? And what have you done with them? Some corporate customers will give you permission to use their name and even provide testimonials, endorsements and references that can really help you, so go for it. Some will not. And some are rather precious about their brand, so do be careful and NEVER break copyright laws – They are a venue generator for ambulance chasing lawyers. You can avoid trouble by putting all of their logos on a PowerPoint page, printing it out and taking it to meetings. When you flash this rich and colourful page in front of a decision maker, they will be impressed by the variety and depth of your contacts and will trust you more as a result.
- Professional Profile – Why not slip a bit of sales cleverness in here. Give yourself a strap line – “Regarded as the best X in country Y”, or put a verb in play – “Matthew helps Independent Trainers to maximise their revenues by providing Z.” Add a little about your core offering, prizes won, books published, key differentiators and a major customer name or two to really make this document work for you.
- Posts – I still encounter people who have yet to publish articles on social media. This is a big missed opportunity for them – A social media post is a flashing beacon of light illuminating your existence in the darkness of competition, short decision maker attention spans and shiny object distractions.
To start, simply think of the decision makers in your field and where their pain lies. What problem do they want you to solve? What do they want you to deliver? How do they want you to deliver it? These are the posts that you must be thinking about, drafting, improving. And then get it edited by someone good. And…put them out to LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and on your website / blog site as well.
6a.Tag, tag, tag & tag – That is the magic way for your posts to live on forever and continue to do the marketing for you, even when you are sleeping.
- Logo – It does not cost a fortune to get a cracking logo that will be visually appealing, high in impact and help key contacts to like you and remember you. Take some time to brief the agency on your requirement. What is your persona? What is your delivery style? What do you represent? What is your promise? Who are you target market – your avatar? And, what is UNIQUE about you?
- Course Outlines – In olden times, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was OK to put out the most boring copy imaginable and get away with it. Surprise surprise.
Things have changed.
Now we need a punchy title employing corporate world language and the benefits to be gained by attending delegates. The content should be in short blocks with a subtitle, exercises and the educational outcome for the participants clearly stated. In modern times, this outline is selling you. Let your outline super-copy do some of the heavy lifting in convincing your prospect to pick up the phone and bring you in for a cosy briefing chat.
- Exercises – Theory is so last millennium. The current trend is towards dynamic action based learning with full delegate inclusion – sweat, board markers and tears.
Include plenty of decision making, discussion, physical movement and innovation in your bag of tricks. If your training does not wow the crowd, you will be a one time, one hit, “I wonder what happened there?” trainer.
- Model – You have got to have a model. I have the Matthew 5 M’s for Accelerated Business Growth Model, and the Consultative Selling 13 Pillars. They give credibility, a framework for delegates to help them implement your brilliant ideas and a differentiator to set you apart from all the other trainers and coaches knocking on the decision maker’s door.
- Blog Site / Website – I see so many people proudly unveil their expensive semi – animated websites as they confidently assume that a brochure site will heat up the phone and pay their rent next year. It will NOT. Isolated websites can no longer compete with blog sites where the SEO is instant and connected. You need a WordPress blog site to take off and get customers, along with a stream of high quality, original material in the form of blog posts and other products (more in a moment) that are tagged, tagged & tagged to bring you new traffic that is pre-qualified and ready to be warmed by your words of wisdom.
- Repurposing your content – PRODUCTS – This is the single most neglected area for Independent Trainers wishing to grab more days next year. They are missing the better fees, the hungry corporate customers and important opportunities for expansion.
I mean, how hard is it to read your best post into your smart phone to create a podcast? Today, there is no excuse – I started Podcasting in 2007 and it was a major technological challenge to get them rendered and uploaded on to the decent podcast sites. And, sometimes, it cost money to do so as well!!!
- Make a FILM – If you have got a nosebleed just thinking about recording the sound of your own voice, then you will probably pass out at my next suggestion…
When you add Camtasia (PC) or Screenflow (Mac) to your computer, you can record over your PowerPoint slide deck to create an MP4 film – This is the future. Films are it. Films are what people want – You can add them to your training. You can add them to your marketing and you can add them to your social media to really bring up your marketing game to a competitive level.
- Show Reel – When you have made enough films and have purchased your Hey Mic to record your live speeches, you can then paste together the best of your output to make an outstanding and memorable training show reel to wow all that see it. You can send this to corporations, agencies and speaker agencies as well. You will officially be playing in the big leagues.
- Key Note Speech – If you seriously want to move your fee levels up from discounted subcontractor rates to the main professional independent tier, then you need to turn your training experience, your life experience, your persona and your model into a Key Note Speech.
This will be something persuasive, charismatic, fact filled and moving. And, it will set you apart from the also trained, the theory pedlars and the chaff.
Use minimal visuals – stunning pictures work well, a bit of punchy music and, “Meet the audience where they are” with your content, technical detail and pitch level.
Record all your speeches for feedback and improvement purposes as well as to bulk out your show reel.
- Webinars – What do you get when you put your films, keynote speeches, products, models and charisma into a live show? A mind blowing webinar that acts as an unbeatable demonstration vehicle for all those people who are a little too far away to meet and warm up with a lunch.
Think of this as 3 months marketing achieved in 60 minutes.
Essential for your webinar is to get interaction, to have real decision makers at the other end and to put your best work into producing something lively, interactive and value packed.
That’s it – Your Things To Do list for the rest of 2017 – And the incentive? If you get started, keep going with persistence and focus, you will enjoy more training days, with better paying clients, more interesting delegates and you will end the year with a smile on your face, a pot full of cash and a fist full of great testimonials saying that you are an AMAZING Independent Trainer.
Need help to get started? How far down the list did you get when you switched from, “Done that!” to “Oh, I’d better do that”?
If you need some help, support or advice please do feel free to E Mail Matthew at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing You – May every training day you deliver in 2018 leave you happy, richer and more fulfilled through delivering great wisdom with great value to a fully appreciative audience who then clamour to have you back again.
And. All the best with your To Do List in 2017.
About the Author – Matthew Hill provides coaching and courses for Independent Trainers wishing to build their brand and IP, up their marketing game, deliver effective independent content and enter the big leagues when it comes to compensation and client acquisition. He has worked in 30 countries and worked with people representing 80 nationalities. This year he wrote his 4th book – Going for Growth in 2017.