As the year 2012 draws to a close, I complete 1 year as an entrepreneur. During this last 1 year, I completed 6 batches of NLP Practitioner certification courses in Pune without rescheduling even a single one (something that many trainers have to do more often than not due to lack of participation).
Not only that, as I finalized my books of accounts, I realized that my business had been profitable beyond what I had imagined for my first year. Those of you who may be starting up as an entrepreneur or may have been in the field for a while and still trying to find your feet, may want to know how I did it. Read on to find out how I did it. Read it,apply it, agree with it (or not), comment on it, like it, share it.
#1 - Go out there and do it.
I know too many wannabe trainers who just keep thinking up ideas of what they could train on. They even go and get trained and certified. But they never get off the ground.
You want to fly high. You first need to take off and lift off the ground.
Go out there and announce your first training.
#2 - Publicly announce your training.
I know some trainers who never make a public announcement of their trainings or themselves so that their competitors don't get to know much.
Guess what. NEITHER DO YOUR CLIENTS!
Go out there PROCLAIM YOURSELF & YOUR OFFERING.
#3 - Do Your Own Push-Ups.
If you are a start-up or a relatively new trainer, you might have a temptation to tie up with companies that offer to market your trainings for you.
Chances are they will ask you to market their brand name and their trainings for them using your own resources - time, effort and money.
RUN LIKE HELL away from them!
This will not only consume your valuable resources (with no returns), it will also divert your focus from your own trainings.
Forget those training firms that promise you to market your trainings for you.
#4 - Avoid the web of business networking dinners / meetups.
Work Hard & Spend Your Time Meeting Your Potential Customers.
What makes you think that you will be able to get business from these networking dinners / meetups?
The people who come to these meetups are there to sell their offerings and have no interest in buying your offering.
Go to forums where you can directly meet your target clients. This will yield you business more effectively and efficiently.
#5 - Driving your car? Don't expect help from the driver of another car.
If you are a start-up trainer, you might think that you could ask and receive help from other trainers. After all, they had started up some time. They would know the pain and struggle of being a start-up. They would want to help others in the same situation, wouldn't they?
Ask yourself, can the driver of another car help you with your driving even if they wanted to?
Other trainers are busy with their own training and marketing of the same.
Your best bet is to spread your own word and don't expect anything from other trainers.
Help will come in its own form which you may not even have imagined.
#6 - What's Your Price?
If you are a start-up trainer, you might have wondered what is the right price for your offering. You might even have thought that pricing it low would help you gain an easy entry into the market.
The lower you price yourself, the more you devalue your offering. A lower price will not attract true seekers of knowledge. It will only attract those who are skeptical of your skills and/or those who are skeptical about seeking the knowledge you have to offer.
Secondly, competing on price is a sure way to head yourself to losses since someone else can easily come and down-price you.
Instead, find out what the best in your league of offerings charge. Then price yourself slightly higher than those.
Then Offer something extra which they do not offer!!
Even if you offer 1 extra which they don't offer - you make yourself stand out better than them.
#7 - Dying of Thirst & Finding Salt Water.
Would you drink salt water and quench your thirst if you were stranded on a desert and dying to have a drop of water to drink? And even if you did, will it quench your thirst or will it make you more thirsty?
Don't ever make the mistake of taking up an assignment which is not fit for your strengths nor those for which you are not best suited.
It is better to pass up the opportunity to someone else and earn the goodwill which will earn you your assignments that fit your strengths and for which you are best suited.
#8 - Raise Your Own Bar.
Invest in yourself. Reinvent yourself on a regular basis. Invest in obtaining yourself accreditation and professional memberships in your own field.
It is one thing to be good in your knowledge and content. It is a totally different level of game to invest in and publicly announce your commitment to your field. And a professional accreditation and membership does exactly that.
The market is filled with products. Only a few commit themselves to internationally accepted standards.
Commit yourself to internationally accepted standards. Learn from someone who demonstrates the same commitment.
#9 - Hakuna Matata, The Circle Of Life.
What goes around comes around.
Did you choose to go to the cheapest course? Did you search for ways and means to extract discounts? Were you always looking for how you can get your training for free?
If you were the one who made your choices simply on the basis of the price you pay without any consideration for the value offered, then be sure that is the exact type of clients you will get.
This is not based on some spiritual karma theory. This is based on a factual premise that if you have not invested based on value, your mind is not tuned towards value. Hence your entire approach towards marketing your product will be based on cost (not value). This will directly attract inquiries from people who are looking for a cheap bargain.
#10 - Start With The Why!
Start your venture by identifying why you want to be in that venture. And by why, I don't mean revenues & profits. Those are the outcome of your venture.
Your why has to be the purpose you want fulfilled by your venture. Your why has to be about your beliefs, your values, your sense of your vision for not just yourself but for your clients and the community that you will build with them. Your why, your purpose is what you stand for!
Identify your purpose and then Always stay connected with this "Why", with this intent, with this belief, with your values. This will automatically direct your actions towards attracting clients who value the same thing, who believe in what you believe in. And this will directly impact your sales process. If they already value what you value and believe in what you believe in - then it is just a matter of timing.