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How to Convince Your Boss to Pay for Training & Education

Fellow Social Media Managers, are you looking to take part in training that will help you stay on the cutting edge of social media practices? Young professionals often feel that signing up for training or admitting to your boss that you’d like to take additional training means that you are somehow not qualified for your job.

However, this line of thinking is completely untrue. All professionals who desire to stay at the top of their field require continued education and training throughout their careers. It’s possible that even your clients, boss, or company leadership are also actively involved in a training or continuing education program. 

Did you know that your company may have funding set aside to be used specifically on employee professional development? Not sure that you’ll be able to convince those in charge that social media training is even beneficial?

Note: If you are self-employed, training or continuing education can be treated as a business expense and can typically be written off. Consult your accountant or CPA on how to handle this for your business. 

If you answered yes to one or both of the questions above, then you have come to the right place. The ever-evolving nature of social media requires that Social Media Managers, such as yourself, constantly adapt to the changing landscape. You realize that getting training from experts on the subject is the best course of action and now you need to convince your company that your training is worth the investment. 

Follow these steps to convince your boss to pay for your training and education:

Start By Doing Some Research:

Before you approach leadership about funding your social media training, and even before you decide where you want to take part in said training, you should first find the answers to the who, the what, and then how about the training organization or program. Specifically, 

  • Who is the organization offering the courses?: Find out more about who is conducting the coursework. Specifically, look to see if the person or organization offering the courses are subject matter experts in the field of choice, in this case, social media. 
  • What kind of courses are being offered?: Familiarizing yourself with the various courses being offered will help you form an idea of what professional development or company/department goals you wish to achieve by participating in specific training. For example, you may come across a class that focuses on building TikTok strategies, which may lead you to formulate goals and focusing on classes that center around only TikTok.
  • How do you attend the sessions?: Find out how much it costs to participate in training, how will you attend or participate in courses, and how much time will you need to devote to learning.., take these factors into consideration before finalizing your plans and open a discussion with leadership at your company.  

The point of doing this preliminary research is not only to familiarize yourself with the courses but to also gather enough information that will enable you to educate the decision-makers on the reasons why this specific offering would be to the benefit of both you and the company. More often than not, leadership will not have the time to look into what you’re presenting further. Your job is to sell leadership on the advantages of the training in one sitting if possible. Similar to pitching any new idea, never assume you’ll get a second chance to make your case and give as much information as possible the first time.

Choosing Your Courses:

Now that you’ve thoroughly examined your chosen training organization’s coursework and determined the requirements to take part in the training, your next is to nail down the specific courses you want to take. Start by making two lists: one list of the courses that you’re specifically interested in, and another of the courses that fall in line with your company’s goals.

Once completed, trim your previous list down to 3-5 options by combining the criteria of the two lists from before into one main idea. For instance, if there is a class that you like for yourself, but it may not align with your company’s business or marketing objectives, then you should favor one that meets both (you and your company) criteria instead.

Once that is decided, list the courses out and give a short synopsis explaining the objective of each course, why you want to take it for your professional development, and why it would be in the company’s best interest to have you take part. For example, say you want to take a course about creating social media strategy:

  1. How to Create a Social Media Strategy: Taking this course will teach me how to create effective social strategies taught by a social media management and training agency, October Social Media, which has proven to be effective across multiple industries. The results from such coursework will enable me to align all of our social channels together with our company’s goals, creating a more uniform social approach that will produce results.

Doing this for each of the courses you’ve selected now will make crafting the letter to your company’s leadership easier because you will be able to quickly pull the major selling points of each course and/or the overall training program when crafting your request letter.

Writing & Sending The Email To Your Boss:

Your final step is to create your request letter and send it to your boss. As previously stated, you want to give the recipient as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision with as little work on their part as possible. Use these 3 questions to help yourself form your letter:

  1. What do you want to do?: Consider this your introduction. Don’t try to dance around your objective, keep it brief and get to the point. Also, give your top 2-3 reasons why you want to attend this specific training. For example, your opening sentence can read like, 

“I’d like to sign up for social media training to support my role at {insert company name}. I found a great course at October Social Media, called October University that offers training specifically designed for Social Media Managers.” 

  1. How will the training elevate your performance?: Go into detail about the reason you believe taking these courses or enrolling in the training program is important to your professional growth. Be transparent about the areas you believe you need to improve upon and explain how the courses will help you do so.
  1. How will paying for you to attend benefit the company?: Explain why the benefits of the coursework will outweigh the costs of the training for the company. Refer back to the detailed list you wrote of the 3-5 courses you want to attend and summarize.

Lastly, include the costs and time commitments required: i.e. the price of the courses, travel, etc.; when the courses begin and how long they last; and if you’ll require time away from work. Also, don’t forget to make yourself available to meet with or answer any questions or concerns your boss or leadership may have.

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