You can listen to Keir's episode on Apple, Spotify, Google and more.
Keir Wotherspoon started as a personal trainer in 2012.
However, prior to that he was working in a factory, but keen to change his life, so he quit his job, sold his home, and headed off to university.
After getting his degree he opened his own gym which he ran for 5 years before deciding that he still was not living the life he wanted. So, he entered the world of high-performance coaching.
And that is what he joined me on this episode of The Instructor podcast to discuss – personal and professional development, how to take the opportunity and how to overcome imposter syndrome. Throughout the discussion Keir gives many examples of what driving instructors can do to develop themselves and their business.
Keir talks frankly about how he used to hide behind his qualifications and used them as an excuse not to follow his dreams.
One of the big influences on Keir’s choices was when he started helping a driving instructor with his fitness. As their relationship developed, they found the coaching steering more towards personal development rather than fitness.
Over time the instructor’s mindset completely changed.
He was loosing interest due to working to many hours and doing too many lessons, this only increased his stress level. Keir helped him change and reduce his hours, increase his happiness and now he is happier.
Keir talks about the importance of marketing yourself correctly and charging the correct prices. He uses the example of driving instructors going after a specific niche, such as people who need to pass inside a month, or people who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks.
You get what you pay for. So, if you need to pay a bit more than the average lesson price to achieve that fast pass or have someone take their time helping you overcome your nerves, then it’s worth it.
We discuss the way people treat learner drivers on the road and how we can handle those situations better, including sharing a study that was done comparing how people reacted when cars remained stationary at red lights.
The Rolls Royce was left in peace, the Ford Fiesta received a lot of beeps!
Very much the same way learner drivers and current drivers are treated differently on the road. Learners are often viewed with disdain, while experienced drivers are given the benefit of the doubt.
We also take the opportunity to discuss my imposter syndrome and how 12 months ago I would not have had the courage to do this podcast. How I was afraid to do anything or take a chance. So many instructors are in this position, and we need more to offer up the quality they have.
Keir’s biggest tip is to adopt a role model mentality.
He shares how he can’t really remember the specifics of what he was taught by his instructor, but he remembers his influence, his calmness and how he made him feel.
Who do you want to be when you get in the car? Do you want to be the person who cares about the student and prioritises their safety and learning?
By being a role model, making people feel a certain way and influencing people it enables you to increase your prices because people want to work with you.
Keir offers some wonderful thoughts on working with the people that make you happy. He suggests working with a wide variety of people initially, until you find out who you actually enjoy working with, then marketing towards them.
By targeting a specific niche, it does not rule anyone out, but it does make it more likely for you to attract and work with people you enjoy.
By working with everybody and anybody you will become resentful towards your job as it’s taking a large part of the enjoyment away.
To target the person, we want to work with, we need to address their pain points. So, if someone wants to pass their test quickly, we need to be able to offer that. Someone panicking about the first lesson? We could meet them beforehand or at least have a call.
Keir’s final piece of advice – You are the biggest asset withing your business and if you’re not working on yourself, then everything else will go to shit. When you work on yourself, life gets better.
Wise words, I’m sure you’ll agree.
You can find Keir Witherspoon:
You can find the audio version on Apple, Spotify, Anchor , Google and more.
Amanda Leek creates online content marketing for social media, blogs press and PR for quirky and unusual companies. She finds unusual stories and brings them to life with words.
Amanda runs an online membership called ‘Pounce’ providing marketing tips, advice and prompts for smaller business that would struggle to afford agency prices. taking inspiration from her background in journalism.
As a journalist Amanda worked for local newspapers covering finances, technology, and business as well as arts and culture.
We discuss Amanda’s time as a journalist and how her coverage of road traffic collisions played a role in her departure leaving journalism. We share our thoughts on why RTC’s are not covered on a large scale in the news despite 5 people dying every day, on average throughout the UK.
Is it just as simple that it is not as exciting as crime with intent? Or is it that it is now that common that it’s not news, because it happens all the time?
Amanda explains how much personal relationships play a part in both marketing and sales, using me as the example. Because she had seen my videos and posts she classed me as personable and trustworthy, which would lead her to coming to me for lessons, rather than googling for strangers.
The persona I put across online is that I’m not threatening, and you can only create that persona by being visible online.
Reviews also play a big part in this.
Amanda points out that if you have a lot of positive reviews from women, that will make other women feel like you can be trusted, thus creating a niche market.
Being a stranger, doesn’t make you threatening, but it does make you an unknown quantity. Whereas if you have your picture in your profile, you’re visible online and you have plenty of good reviews, it puts you in a much more positive light.
Referrals are important and are often a first port of call for any customers, whether that’s online reviews or friends passing on details. But these should not be relied upon as the only source of customers. The average 30-year-old may not know anyone who’s taken lessons, so will need to look for instructors themselves.
By marketing yourself in the right way, you can not only get more customers, but you can also get more of your type of customers.
Even just by having a website with your contact details is a step in the right direction. It’s a place where people can find you and a place where you can put those reviews.
The best reviews talk not just about how good a driving instructor you are, but how you are as a person. How you teach. How you approach lessons. How you put the customer at ease. Reviews that include some personal traits show the person, not just the instructor.
Amanda goes on to discuss the need for using both a Facebook business page and a personal page. That a business page is excellent for sharing content, but without paid adverts it will not reach as many people as a personal page, so we need to use both.
Facebook book is about sharing. Sharing pictures of birthdays, holidays, celebrations and driving test passes. Plus, people love to look back on them when they spring up in their memories.
It’s also great when a student tags you in their posts. Not only do you get put into other people’s feeds, but it’s a ringing endorsement. Getting those posts in your local Facebook groups are a massive boost too as this puts you into feeds you wouldn’t usually be in.
If you only post on your own page, you’ll remain in your own circle.
Stories are also key.
Students focussed on price are not thinking long term, but by telling stories about how some of your students have succeeded in trying circumstances, it get’s the readers to think more about this. To put themselves in that position. To imagine themselves passing a test and having that freedom.
And that’s what we want.
Customers coming to us looking to learn safe driving for life.
You can find Amanda Leek at:
Publishing pounces Facebook page
Paws to Pounce Facebook group