Stop relying on word of mouth and start making real efforts to bring in new business.
How do you draw in new business for your training courses?
Do you have a set marketing strategy that draws in a certain amount of leads every month? Do you optimize your website to drive in more traffic? Do you pay for ads that will get you more exposure?
To our surprise, many of the training providers that we talk to don’t use any these methods. Most claim that they rely on word of mouth alone to bring in new business.
As a result, a number of training providers’ businesses solely operate on loyal clients who continue to schedule regular training.
Although this approach may be sustainable for now, having a pipeline of new business funnelling in is key for supporting future success.
Don’t settle when it comes to your client base. Use these 3 strategies to modernise your current marketing strategy beyond word of mouth and start bringing in new clients
1. Make yourself standout online
Today everything is done online. Your website is your main marketing tool. It tells potential clients who you are and why they should choose you for their training needs.
If your website is messy, unclear or out of date, then chances are you won’t be booking any new clients.
Go through this checklist to ensure your website is user-friendly and ready for business.
Is all of your content clear and relevant?
Ensure that all text on your site is clear and relevant to your services and your products.
Using straightforward descriptions for your courses, about page and other content fields lets leads know exactly what they will be investing in and what they will get out of training with you.
Is your website easy to navigate?
Nothing will drive away a potential client quicker than not being able to find what they are looking for or contact you.
Make sure you have a simple and direct navigation menu and call-to-actions (CTAs) on your site.
You always want to be one step ahead of your user. If they are looking at your course but have a question, have a simple solution waiting right there for them – perhaps a “Contact us” button.
Do you use images or videos?
Don’t underestimate the power of visual imagery. According to a study done by WordStream, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. This means that the first thing someone sees on a landing page is the image you use.
In addition, MDG Advertising found that 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business that has an image show up in local search results.
This doesn’t mean to just throw any old image up and call it good.
Use personal images that show who you are.
This will not only establish trust but it will make you stand out and seem more genuine than websites that use stock photos.
In addition to photos, videos are also a great tool to attract new clients. Having promotional videos on your site of your team or your training courses can be very advantageous because it gives potential clients more insight into who you are.
2. Don’t trust that leads will naturally find you – make an effort
Maybe you have heard the term SEO before? SEO, or search engine optimisation, is key when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
Although SEO can get complicated, here are a few simple ways to optimise your website and improve your rankings.
Use meta titles and descriptions
Make sure that your site pages have accurate and engaging meta titles and descriptions. These elements inform users and search engines what your page is about.
Not only will this help you get ranked properly, but it will also encourage the correct users to click through to your site.
Write blog posts
There are many reasons why having a blog can be very beneficial to your site.
First off, blogging gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with your target audience. It allows you to engage with individuals who may need your services and move them through the buyer's journey quicker.
Secondly, search engines, like Google, look at the whole of your website to determine your ranking. The better your content is the more a search engine will notice you.
Having a blog will ensure that you’re consistently keeping your site current and will also give Google more information when they are determining how valuable you are.
Another way that Google judges the value of your site is through the number of sites linking to it. This is where having a blog becomes very valuable.
According to LYFE Marketing:
"Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links."
People want to link to valuable sources of information. Therefore, if your website can act as a hub for useful resources as well as a platform where individuals can purchase training, then all the better.
Using interesting statistics, facts or images is a great way to build links. Get creative with your content and spread your knowledge around the web.
4. Paid advertising
Let’s face it, inbound marketing is great. If you get to the point where you can attract new customers every week simply through optimising your website then that is fantastic.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. This is when paid for advertising comes in helpful.
Here are three ways you can get your courses in front of more eyes without waiting for Google to notice you.
Use an education search engine
The whole point of marketing is to get your product in front of the right audience. One of the best ways to do that is to list your company and courses on an education search engine.
Unlike Google, an education search engine is specifically designed to connect with an audience that is specifically looking for professional training.
Find out who exactly your courses would be in front of when listed on an education search engine like findcourses.co.uk by looking at the UK Training Report: Industry Trends 2018.
Invest in email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to get more attention quickly. According to Eventbrite, 91% of people check their email every day, but only 26% of people who get event-related emails open them.
Many providers do not experience much success with email marketing, either because they don’t have the education in it or because they don’t have a large database of contacts.
This is when paid email campaigns can be very effective and worth the money. Find companies who have a database of training seekers that they can get your information in front of with the click of a button.
If you don’t have a large database of contacts or don’t have knowledge of email marketing, then paying a professional to spread the word can go a long way.
Utilise Google Ads
Google Ads is a great way to increase your exposure online right away. Google Ads is a platform that allows you to pay for ads that appear in search results for specific keywords or phrases.
For example, if you offer project management training courses, then you can set your ad campaign to appear when users search for "project management training" or "project management courses".
This ensures that you get your courses or services in front of individuals who are specifically searching for what you offer.
Learn more about Google Ads with this free checklist.
Don’t continue to stay stagnate with the same clients. Create a marketing strategy that will get your services in front of the right people and help create a new business pipeline in 2019.