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A – Z of freelance training: Part 3


In the third part of her series on successful freelance training, Sharon Gaskin takes us from K to O.



K is for Keep Going

Let’s face it, being a freelancer can be very lonely and it can be very easy to beat yourself up when something goes wrong. If you’re not careful you can get on a downward spiral of self doubt – when that happens you may feel like giving up and going back to corporate life.
One way round this is to build up a group of people who you know, like and trust, people that you can be really open and honest with and that you can talk to about your business and how you are feeling. And of course you can do the same for other people too – it works both ways.

L is for Letting Go

Too many freelance trainers limit themselves unnecessarily by thinking they have to do everything themselves. It’s perfectly natural to assume – especially if you have just started out - that it costs too much money to get other people to do things. But if you want to grow your business and get it to where you really want it to be you have to find ways of contracting out some of the things that other people can do better than you. It will free you up to do the things that you do really well, the things that you enjoy doing and will allow your business to grow and develop.

M is for Marathon

‘It’s a marathon – not a sprint.’ How many times have you heard that one? But in the case of freelance training it happens to be true. If you are expecting to get quick wins from going to a few networking events and making a few calls for a few months you are probably going to be very disappointed. Training consultancy is a people business, when people buy your services they are buying you – and they will only buy from you when they know,like and trust you. And that process takes time. 

N is for No Cost Marketing

It can be very easy (particularly in the early stages of a training business) to get carried away and spend money on a web site, glossy brochures, logos, business cards and advertising. I’m cringing now at the memory of spending around £1000 on an ‘advertorial’ that didn’t bring in any interest and about the same again on leaflets that just ended up being taken down the tip.
But the good news is that there are plenty of no cost and low cost marketing methods that you can use that don’t involve digging a large hole and pouring large amounts of cash into it. The best and simplest one I know is just to make a list of people you know. And I mean everyone; family, friends, friends of friends, past colleagues, other trainers. This gives you a great starting point for referrals and introductions. For free!

O is for Opportunities

When you first start out as a freelance trainer it’s natural to assume that you shouldn’t really mix with other freelance trainers - after all, they’re the competition and there are only so many opportunities to go round! But my own experiences have proved that other freelance trainers can actually help provide great opportunities and leads for you and therefore you should make it a priority to actively build links with them. I also believe that there is more than enough work to go round for everyone and that if you share, support and reciprocate with others then opportunities will naturally follow.
Sharon Gaskin runs The Trainers Training Company which helps freelance trainers to create successful businesses. You can also read her blog here and join her Freelance Trainers' Network group here on TrainingZone

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