The success of training courses is not only measured by their effectiveness, but also by their commercial viability. You may have developed a ground-breaking course that is a leader in its field, but unless people and businesses know about it, you could be talking to empty seats when it begins.
Fortunately, increasing the number of bookings for your courses isn’t rocket science; it’s simply a matter of preparation and planning.
1. Meet a demand for training
It is vital that you do your research before introducing a new training course to your portfolio. While you may have received requests for specific courses from your existing clients, are you confident that those courses can fill a classroom and turn a profit? Developing, constructing and implementing a course can take a great deal of time and money, so you need to know that there is a real demand out there. In order to do this, reach out to existing clients and do a little market research. Check online training course providers to see what your competition is, and look for training niches that aren’t already well represented.
2. Create concise course descriptions
Quite often, the main thing that persuades an individual or business to book a place on one of your courses is the description that accompanies it. Make sure your description is concise and not overloaded with information. Create a catchy title and a sub-heading. If you really want to grab the attention of potential new clients, start the body of your description with a catchy one-liner – perhaps with a reference to a real-world event for context. Avoid jargon wherever possible, but try not to come over as patronising.
3. Use an online training management and marketing platform
An online marketplace for training courses brings course providers together with individuals and organisations actively seeking quality training. Jivjav is such a marketplace, and its user-friendly interface allows providers to list their courses for free. A range of options designed to boost course bookings are available, including advertising on a commission basis, referral programmes and ‘Featured Course’ slots.
4. Offer discounts for referrals
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools in marketing, and you can give it a boost by offering your existing students a discount on their next course in exchange for a referral. Who better to extol the virtues of your training courses than your loyal clients? Create some flyers and distribute them at the end of your classes so your students can hand them to their colleagues, friends and business contacts.
5. Engage with your target audience on social media
Social media allows you to actively engage with discussions in your field of business. Devise a social media strategy that follows the so-called ‘411’ rule. For every four social media communications that offer real value and information to your followers, send one hard and one soft promotional message. This approach will show that you aren’t simply using social media to line your company’s pockets, as you will be offering constructive advice, contributing to discussions and answering the queries of your followers. This is a fantastic way to gain trust – which is absolutely essential when you are trying to market training courses online.
6. Shout about the benefits of your training courses
When marketing your courses, try to stick to the cardinal rule of advertising: Talk about the benefits of your courses, rather than the features. How will your courses help the professional development and performance of attendees? And what makes your training courses better than the competition?
Your priority as a training provider will always be to deliver the highest quality training possible. But with some planning and the right tools at your disposal, you can ensure that your courses make money too.