Marketing Strategies for Training and Development Services
By Nancy Wagner
The key to successfully marketing your training and development services company requires you to show expertise in the topics for which you provide seminars and workshops. Start by identifying your target market -- who has problems that your training and development classes help solve? Once you know who fits into your target market, you’re ready to reach out to these prospects until they’re convinced your company provides the best solution to their training needs.
Ask your local chamber of commerce to partner with you to provide a seminar to its members. Check with your local college about forming a partnership to provide training and development to area businesses. For instance, Clackamas Community College, in Oregon, partners with training companies, identifying the best solution for each business they work with and recommending outside vendors to provide training and development services.
Companies that need training seminars and workshops want such services from experts who are known in their field. Consider writing a few informative, tip-filled articles about your training specialty for publication in local business papers, magazines and Internet sites. Use these published articles to get in the door with prospects by providing a link to the online version or sending photocopies of the article. If your current clients need to do more training, send a copy of the published article to them, too, and follow up with a phone call to get the classes scheduled.
You need to remind prospects that your company offers training by sending marketing messages at least once every few months. You need to do this until the prospect is convinced your seminars and workshops provide a solution to his problems. Marketing emails offer an affordable means of consistently communicating with prospects. Include tips, information, case studies and articles that make the message benefit-oriented. You can also announce new seminars, links to articles you’ve had published and other useful information that shows your company is an expert in the area for which you provide training and development services.
Getting your company’s name out there means creating a Facebook business page so prospects can join in the conversation about your offerings. Each time you post a message to Facebook, make it interactive so it gets lots of “Likes.” Ask people to share your posts. Use questions that make the reader think and want to comment. With prior approval from your clients, mention the successful seminar you just did, show photos of the training session and gather testimonials to add to your page.
Develop a webinar and invite qualified prospects to a free session related to the topics for which you provide training and development. The goal is to convince prospects that your expertise, materials, method of delivery and enthusiasm make you an excellent choice to provide on-site training services. At the end of the webinar, offer to consult with participants about their specific training needs. To make the results of your free webinar go further, ask participants if they know of other companies they could recommend that need similar training services.
Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.