If you’re part of training team in an organization, you may have a range of courses you offer as part of an internal program. How much response do you get when you let people know about your courses? Could it be better?
It’s a crucial question right now because training budgets are under scrutiny and organizations will be looking at their programs and asking whether all these courses are necessary. If the take – up isn’t very good, there’s a chance some courses may be cut ( also some training jobs! )
I often hear people say something like, ” We’ll let everyone know the course is running and see what response we get. “
This can mean different things. It could mean:
- the course is listed in some internal training directory
- the directory is sent out to people, maybe with a training calendar showing all the available courses and some dates
- the program is on the HR or Training page of a website for people to find if they happen to look
- a separate flyer for the course is sent out by hard copy or email
- the information may be sent to everyone or just to certain people who will choose who to send on the course
Often, however the course is listed, there’s precious little information given about it other than the title and a few lines describing the content. This is is nowhere near enough to get people’s interest. As an independent trainer, I know I have to market my services to get people to buy them. But a lot of people in internal teams don’t do enough to promote their courses. They don’t always see the need. They just think they need to list the course with a few details and, if people are interested, they’ll come.
It doesn’t work like that, people still need persuading to give up their time and go on a course. So how do you promote a course successfully? Here’s a very quick guide to marketing.
One – focus on the problems people are facing, the difficulties they have which the course is meant to help them with. In other words, what’s the need that’s given rise to the course?
Two – use these problems as your main ” hook ” to get people’s attention. The description of the course should set out these problems so that people can identify with them.
Three – tell people how the course will solve these problems. What benefits will they get from attending, what will they learn, how will that help them?
Four – give the course an interesting name that reflects the benefit or the solution they’re looking for.
Here’s a brief example.
A typical listing for a course might be like this:
Title: Time Management.
This is a 1 day course for all managers and will cover topics such as Delegation, Organising your work area, Making To Do lists, Handling emails.”
Title: How To Get More Done In Your Day.
How often do you get to the end of a day and wonder where the time went? Do you find yourself constantly juggling several tasks at once and never actually finishing any of them? How many times do you set out in the morning with the best intentions but find that interruptions and distractions have thrown you off track before you even get to lunchtime?
Well, this workshop is just for you. It will help you to plan your day, deal with distractions and actually get things done. You’ll learn how to:
- write and use a To Do list the right way (most of them are useless and you’ll find out why)
- prioritize your work so that you can focus on the most important task
- deal with interruptions and distractions without losing valuable time and wrecking your plan for the day
You get the idea.
It’s not a question of using ” hype ” or over – promising, it’s just a question of helping people see exactly what they’ll get from attending. And that’s what they need to persuade them to give up valuable time and go to a training course.
The other point is that people don’t make a decision the first time they see something, they may need to be reminded several times before they respond.
So, if you really want to see the numbers go up on your courses, give some thought to the way you market them.