The Transition phase of training industry
The need of training and development has increased to never before heights in the business world yet only 20 to 30% of trainers are doing a profitable business. The conventional “demand and supply” rules are not fitting as per the definition in the training industry. The number of trainers who are failing is disproportionately high to the number of trainers who are winning even when the demand for training is incredibly high. The reason is, most of the training and development professionals lack strategies to grow their business in this techno-friendly era. Training and development industry is constantly changing and the strategies that worked a decade ago is not relevant anymore.
Training industry has taken a new paradigm shift with technological advancement, and with growing internet access, the mode of digital learning and the demand for digital training products are becoming more and more popular. The service providers of training and development industry aka trainers, coaches, mentors and professional speakers are mostly trading their time to deliver the learning and development strategies and let us call this as “Time Trading Business” model.
Most of the trainers do their business only by trading their time so when a life coach is not booked for a coaching or a training program the income from your training business becomes questionable.
The biggest mistake that most trainers do is not focusing on building their learning and development assets in the digital training world. Digital asset creation and building a personal brand is becoming crucial for the sustainability and the profitability of the professionals in the training and development industry and this is called as “Asset Building Business” model.
If you want to know more about Time Trading and Asset building model, view this video.
The need to craft your brand positioning
It is never late to the party.
If you do not have a great online portfolio as on today it is absolutely okay you can always start to build one. A personal or a business brand is not something you can build in a day but can be built in few months with conscious effort towards your brand positioning.
The growth of a brand depends on the brand positioning. One way of doing this is to shift your focus towards building products in your niche. Let us look at one by one.
PERSONAL BRAND Vs COMPANY – Which one is good for you?
There is a ton of noise out there about branding.
In simple, Personal Branding is about a personality. Examples of personal branding could be Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins, Sadhguru, Sandeep Maheshwari etc., so the point is, more than the company, you are connected with the prominent personality representing the brand.
Examples of Company brands could be Reliance, Nike, Amazon, Mind Valley, Udemy, IATD etc..
Which is good for a training and development professional, is it a personal brand or a company brand?
Today there is a very big misconception that for trainers and coaches only personal branding is applicable. The truth is branding depends on the vision you have for the brand.
For Instance, Vishen Lakhiani of Mind valley has both a personal branding website as well as his company brand mindvalley but he started of building his company brand first. So, there is no hard and fast rule that you should have a yourname.com website when you want to grow a training and development organization.
Let me give you my own example. I have a company brand called Goldmage and right now we are just a team of two people contributing to this brand. My vision is not to be the center of attraction and develop a cult of followers rather my vision is to create lots of digital assets regarding training and development in my niche, which is to help struggling trainers to grow in the online world and I would love to take the help of other master trainers in the future to get to this goal.
The thumb rule is your brand positioning depends on your vision in the niche that you are trying to contribute.
Why build digital assets in training and development?
The only way to reach out to your learners globally and exponentially is through creation of digital assets. Training and development is all about contribution to the growth of your learners. When the learners succeed, the trainer succeeds.
How can you reach out and add value to millions of learners who are seeking your knowledge and expertise if you are not present in the digital world!!
The question is how to increase your digital presence and serve your learners?
I created this article to add value to my learners who are trying to position themselves in the training industry. This article is a digital asset. Likewise I have my youtube channel where I post a lot of inspirational video content to add value to my subscribers. My channel is a digital asset. I express my opinions and post relevant information about my niche in my Facebook business page, this page is a digital asset. Likewise you can use every social medium as your digital asset to build your brand. When your learners start seeing a lot of value in your digital presence they follow your brand to educate and inform themselves. This is where you start seeing online engagement with your learners.
In the above paragraph, we saw about planning your online presence and providing value to reach out to your learners. The next step is to move beyond engagement.
Engagement to conversion
No brand can win if its products and services resemble every other product and offering – Philip Kotler
Posting online can increase your presence, but only when your contribution matters to your learners you create engagement; when there is meaningful engagement, there is potential conversion.
Let me give you my own example, I started GoldMage in March 2020 and I did not create the website to just post my profile and contact information. I created the website to take the engagement of my learners to next level (i.e.) conversion.
I created a Beginners guide to online course creation, a 60 minutes practical training program which elaborates step-by-step of how to get started with creating, designing, publishing and selling your first online program. Because I had been engaging my learners through my classroom sessions and YouTube channel, my learners knew that they will receive value if they invest in my course.
This is my first course and a low ticket training program but money is not the main focus rather building a trustworthy relationship is the focus. Online content creation is a time-taking process but worth every single moment you spend on it. Creating online content with the right marketing strategy will drive you to success.
Benefits of recorded online video courses
While Live webinars have a personal connect with your participants, for a beginner, marketing a live webinar and getting learners inside your live classroom is a bit tedious. Live webinars should be used for marketing your course and not just providing information. A lot of trainers in the beginning stage try to run classes in Zoom sessions, struggling to get enough learners to register to the webinar. I would say, Live webinars is a game you play when your personal brand or company brand has a specific reach and you have enough marketing budget to get learners to attend the paid webinars online.
If you see today’s digital training trends, most successful coaches and brands use live webinars to sell their low ticket programs or market their high ticket programs. So unless you have a learning and development product to sell in your webinar, it is a tedious process to get paid participants to attend your online class.So the best way to get started is to create your product in your niche.
Why micro niche is crucial for digital training?
What is a micro niche and why should you have one?
Most trainers still classify themselves in broad categories aka sales trainers, leadership trainers, behavioral skill trainers, corporate trainers and today these words do not communicate who you are and how you can help your learners clearly and that is why you need a micro niche.
For Example, If you say you are a fitness trainer,it is a broad niche, but if you say I help women to lose weight post pregnancy that is micro niche. Everybody cannot be your target audience. You cannot build a product that can solve all the problems. Your solution is for a specific crowd and that target audience will help you to define your micro niche.
Let me give my own example, online course creation is a very broad niche. Digital coaching is a very broad niche. Helping trainers who are beginners in creating their first online course is a micro niche. I am not serving the entire globe. I am serving to training and development community and within that community my target audiences are trainers who do not have digital presence at all.
In order to determine your micro niche, you need to determine your target audience. Once you have clearly defined your target audiences build an online course for them in your niche. It could be a free course or a low ticket course but this is your beginning in creating value in the digital training world.
The idea is to create a plan for digital presence and position yourself for a micro niche through a product. It is high time to shift your focus to build digital assets for a successful future in the training and development world.