I am in a hall full of 250 odd trainers at Arfeen Khan’s ‘Make a Fortune Teaching What You Love’ train the trainer seminar. The advert had popped up on my Facebook feed.
Facebook’s research team knows I am in the training business, like all my other online activities it tracks. 1,400 people clicked and enrolled on Khan’s advert. A subsequent telephone call and form screened the 1,400 down to 250 who now sit around me in the hall in Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai on an early Sunday morning. The seminar is free. He is confident that 5 percent of attendees will sign up for the one year paid program based on conversion rate number rules.
There is a buzz in the hall. Khan is a celebrity coach, and the gimmicks are full blast on. Music, dance, fans and the related jazz. But it’s not all fun and games. There are three priceless nuggets I walk out with at the end of the day. Read on if you would like to know more. 🙂
Hesitant of coming across as me-centric, but since it is part of the classroom exercise replete with guided meditation accompanied with music et al, I scribble my ETR (Earn the Right) on my notebook. Khan calls it WHY someone should want to have me as their trainer. He assures us the me-centricity is needed.
It has become a common fad for everyone and anyone, in the world, especially in India, to become a trainer. The perceived glamour, independence and money is way too attractive to ignore, although it also makes everyone in the industry equally and easily replaceable. Unless I have a convincing ETR, I really cannot expect anyone to sign me on and keep signing me on.
So what makes a good ETR. Khan calls it our personal story unique to us, our passion ingrained in us, and the conversion of these two into killer content which has had a track record of success. Earn the Right has, thus, to be earned. Earn the Right should not take more than 2-3 minutes when said out aloud.
Khan’s ‘time up’ wakes me up from my reverie with a new-found insight on how to better market myself. Yes market. Arfeen Khan, Bollywood’s most sought after success coach and currently the third highest paid trainer and coach in the world is essentially a brilliant marketer who has no qualms admitting it.
When he started 11 years ago, 6 people came to his seminar. Twenty odd years later he has helped over 500,000 people in 43 countries create personal and professional transformation through business acumen, sales and marketing. And this is without a college degree or trainer certifications.
Charming, suavely dressed, with a guileless grin and Sheffield accent, he has his pulse on exactly what sells, and is unabashed about sharing it. True to his cause, the workshop pushes me next into identifying my ‘market’ which he calls the ‘tribe’.
To create content for ‘everyone’ is easy, however when something is for everyone it ends up for no one. To create content that is generic is just as catastrophic. Khan instructs us to choose our tribe based on our own personality; those who are like us, and will turn to us as their leader. This creates a sure-fire connection to our audience. The demographics of the tribe, their economics, age, emotions should be the frameworks for the design and delivery of content.
My third and final takeaway from the workshop is content and delivery needs to be built on a cause, and guided by passion. Or else it is doomed. What most ‘trainers’ do is learn content and then deliver it. Almost like machines. It has to be the other way around to work. Find your core skill, turn it into niche content, and then give it away to transform other people’s lives. “This has to be about people. Move away from you to others. This industry is not about you. It is about contribution.”
Arfeen Khan listens to everyone in the hall. I love his responses to the tricky situations we often go through as trainers. My favourite: How do you charge an X amount. “‘Ask’ for it.” How do you deal with your coachee/trainee who doesn’t perform. Tell them, “I don’t care. Coz if you don’t care, I don’t care!”
Post program, surrounded by starry-eyed dreamers, he concludes “It is easy to be famous in India. Too easy. Take advantage of it. India is obsessed with movies and cricket. Latch on to them in some form as clientele. India is also deteriorating as a society. It is desperately looking to be saved.” I laughingly tell him I am going to quote him on this. He laughs back.
He indeed has the route clearly marked. ETR, tribe, content including authoring a book and putting together video clips, and from there on strategic marketing, particularly Facebook marketing citing today’s example itself, all of which he covers in his one year paid program of clear-cut targets and deliverables.
Am I going to do his program. Nope. He does not believe I am his ‘tribe’. I am disqualified. His program is for those who have a dream and want to make it real. I am too old, already established and hence ‘set’ in my ways. What I take away, nevertheless, are three nuggets of knowledge, which he generously and freely gives out, on self-realization and fine tuning my service, market and delivery. Wrapped in a brilliant marketing strategy his wisps of committed giving to a cause, raise Arfeen Khan above sheer business to a teacher. Is that not what all training ultimately amounts to ?
Thank you Mr. Khan for a Sunday well spent.
PS. Takeaway 4: Facebook marketing and freebies PR tactics work. 🙂
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The ‘Make a Fortune Teaching What You Love’ train the trainer free seminar, a prelude to the one year paid program, was held on 28 June, 2015 in Mumbai. To know more about the full program, write to Support@arfeenkhan.com
[Images courtesy Arfeen Khan and Rama Arya]
Note: The above post forms part of my blog’s Giving Back series which explores giving back initiatives in India.