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So you have made the decision to finally make the break and to become your own boss as a freelance trainer. But how do you market yourself to clients as a trainer?

Well, let me give you 7 key tips on how to start getting clients and also how to design your own workshops.

How to find clients as a freelance corporate trainer

Understanding the Challenge

You can easily buy the training course materials you need to provide workshops (saving you tonnes of time doing the research and design yourself).

So you have the motivation and you have easy access to the training materials at a very affordable price. The key focus from hereon is how exactly do you market yourself, as a trainer, to prospective clients.

1. Use A LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a social media platform that is extremely good for corporate trainers. As a platform, LinkedIn is very popular amongst business users and, more than any other platform, Linkedin is where we ourselves (as a training materials provider) also make a lot of connections.

LinkedIn in is great for client networking
LinkedIn is great for client networking.

If you feel that you really do not have the time spare to build your own blog or small site (we will explain how to easily do that shortly) then creating a LinkedIn profile if you do not already have one, is certainly a great start.

On your profile make sure to:

  • Include your LinkedIn Business Page (if you have one) also on your personal profile
  • Likewise, include your website URL in your profile.
  • Make sure you list your role as a Corporate Trainer in your skills and latest role.
  • Participate in groups such as the Training Managers group.
  • Create some content related to training (on your site if you have one) and post the links onto your LinkedIn profile.

Action: Allocate one hour to create a LinkedIn profile and business page. Follow the tips above, such as to include terms and keywords related to being a ‘Corporate Trainer’.

2. Creating Your Own Blog or Website to Bring Online Awareness of Your Freelance Trainer Services

It is very cheap these days to create your own blog or website and there is a great post about this here about how to start your own blog.

You can also read this post below.

In essence, a domain name costs around £12 ($10) and web hosting from around £30 a year ($40). There are many free web templates you can use and WordPress is the CMS worth trying.

Here’s some FREE TRAINING with a free mini-video course. The paid ‘Blogging Your Way To Business Growth‘ is also an excellent course worth considering.

Blog Your Way to Business Growth course

It is really worth signing up for the ‘Blogging Your Way to Business Growth‘ Course as the course has around 40 modules in it that you study directly online and it guides you through buying a website address, hosting (which you will need), installing WordPress and then building traffic for your site.

This video below is also worth watching as it will help any of you who are worried or anxious about having a blog or website online!

Action: I highly recommend setting up your own blog. The resources above will help with this.

3. Hold Your Own Workshops

As a trainer, you do NOT have to work for other companies.

Yes, if you can get a nice contract to provide independent training for a couple of big corporate clients, it can be a very good way to go as a freelance trainer.

Meetup.com events

Also though, you might want to think about holding your own workshops. To do this you would be looking to:

You can very quickly grow your group and start getting people signed up for your workshops. This, in other words, can be a very powerful and also affordable way to start your training business.

Even though many people run regular meetups, i.e. weekly, you can use meetup.com to promote and hold one-off workshops.

The trick on such a platform can be to run workshops that form some kind of sequence so that you can attract people to attend not just one event but following ones.

If you are interested in teaching health and wellness related workshops, for example, then hold an introduction to Mindfulness and follow this up with a more advanced mindfulness course and a life planning course and so on.

Likewise, if your focus as a trainer is on business courses through meetup.com, think about what individuals will want (as opposed to what a HR department will want).

So, with courses such as Starting a Home Business, you can target individuals looking for training, rather than targetting corporate clients. You might follow that up with an SEO Foundation course and an Online marketing course.

So think in terms of how you can get your students to follow you onto multiple courses through what we might call sequencing (meaning by providing related sequences of courses).

Meetup.com workshops that trainers can hold

Action: Spend some time to consider what your strategy is. Are you really looking to have a handful of clients and to work in-house for them as a freelance external trainer? If so, see point 5 below. If you are happy to hold your own workshops, start a Meetup account and build a group and start planning your first training workshops.

4. Create a Free Google Business Listing

It is FREE and easy to get a Google Business Listing so why not spend 10 minutes and set up your own business profile.

What you should make sure to do when creating the profile to add in as much information as possible. The more complete your profile, the more Google will value the profile.

Furthermore, try to get reviews. Google loves good reviews on your profile. If you have already taught people, ask them to give you a review on your Google profile. These reviews will help you to start towards helping your site come up higher in local search results.

Action: Allocate 30 minutes to set up your Google Business Account. Take the time to add photos and ensure you include the keywords that relate to your business, in the business description. Include words such as corporate trainer.

Any training courses you need designed

5. Target Companies Directly

Search engines such as Google provide you with a platform on which you have direct access to research, find and discover opportunities, in this case, potential clients.

Search for companies that seem to offer evening classes, part-time classes, CPD (continuing professional development), workshops and business coaching.

Searching by the term “Plymouth evening classes”, for example, immediately gives me the following results in Google:

Search results for lifetime learning trainers opportunities

The results are fascinating in that already some very valuable key search terms emerge, that you might want to make note of. Terms such as lifelong learning, adult learners, courses for adults and short courses, are terms you can search by.

Even in just this one search above, if I were based in Plymouth, England, there are 5 establishments I would contact to see if they need any new courses provided and if they need any trainers.

Places that offer short courses, adult learning and so on, are always looking for new courses that are topical and that can make them money.

Search the Internet searching by terms such as:

  • [location here]+short courses
  • [location here]+lifelong learning
  • [location here]+cpd
  • [location here]+evening courses
  • [location here]+corporate training

Action: Allocate an hour (you decide how often to do this) and find 20 venues or companies to target. Then email or call these leads and find out if there are are courses they need trainers for or courses they might be interested in. You may want to take a look at the courses we offer and suggest some ideas to them to proactively push new courses. A course such as Unconscious Bias can be especially topical.

6. Using Other Social Media Platforms

Pinterest (you can follow us here) is a great platform if you want a very powerful search engine that is free to use and on which you can build traffic quickly (more on Pinterest here).

Facebook is also a good social media platform to use, particularly having a page for your business.

You can also experiment with Facebook ads. Do not think though that you need to be on every social media platform that exists. It is better to focus on those that provide the best potential to reach your niche.

Action: I suggest to give yourself 30 minutes to add a Facebook Business page if you already use Facebook. Alternatively, consider using a Pinterest Business Account.

7. Use Pay Per Click Advertising

The most well-known pay per click advertising system is Google Adwords, which allows you to place an ad that comes up at the top of specific search results. You then pay every time someone clicks on your link.

You can see examples of Google AdWords every time you do a search on Google. The results you see at the top and on the right-hand side, marked as ‘Ad’ or ‘Sponsored’, are there because someone has run a Google AdWord campaign. 

Adwords example
Adwords sponsored ads in Google search results have the text ‘ad’ on the left side.

Tip: Pick what are called long-tail terms, meaning 3 or 4-word terms so that you do not pay a high bid cost for terms that are too generic.

Action: Consider using Adwords to sponsor very specific terms in sponsored search results.

Banner to click through to our full list of training courses

Conclusion

The internet has made it quite easy to build leads and contacts to develop a successful trainers business online.

All of the suggestions we have given in this post are affordable and starting your business as a freelance trainer really is one that can be done on a low budget.

Well, wishing you all the best with your own business as a trainer and please do let us know, here at Symonds Training, if we can help you in any way at all.

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Valeria has been involved with education for over 16 years. She has taught in the UK at the University of Bath and Cardiff Metropolitan University (where she got her PhD), in addition to working as a researcher at Exeter University. Valeria additionally has several years of experience of also working with Ofsted and Cardiff University in management roles.

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