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Seb Anthony

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Going Freelance


Hi All

I have recently been made redundant and am currently having to work my notice.

I have been training for 12 years as a Soft Skills Trainer in the UK and the company are offering me to return as a Freelance Trainer. At the moment no negotiations have been made as yet, however , they have made noises that they will offer around £200 per day. I

In my experience Soft Skills Trainers have been booked for my company for the work I currently provide (generic public schedule) at around £400-£700 per day.

Am i being sold short or is the standard rate in the "current climate"(sorry) around this figure? I know my worth and love training, but before I sign any agreements I want to ensure that the company is not capitalising in on the economic downturn to my expense.

There are conflicting messages around the web and wondered if anyone has a generic answer to this.

All help, links etc gratefully received!

E Humphreys

7 Responses

  1. interesting…..
    There are a number of questions.
    1. They are making your JOB redundant but offering you the chance to have it back as a freelance~this kinda questions the actuality of redundancy.
    2. How does £200 a day compare to your current salary?
    3. How much work are they offering at £200 per diem, (five days a week on this rate works out to about £50k per year, not bad during a recession)?
    4. In the past they have paid £400-£700 per day but are they currently so strapped for cash that it is £200 tops or they can’t afford to trade?
    5. Would a £200 per day contract preclude you from earning any other income elsewhere?
    6. What other conditions would they insist on; professional liability, no travel expenses etc?
    7. The long and short of it is that there are no hard and fast “rules” regarding day rates for freelancers, some years ago I had a client apologise for not being able to pay more than £750 per day on the same day as a prospect derisively told me that he wasn’t in the business to “subsidise some lazy freelancer to only work one day a week by paying as much at £175 per day”…you are worth what you accept as payment and that is by your negotiation.

    I’m sorry that this isn’t very helpful…I was in a very similar place in 1991; same sh*t, different decade!

    Good luck
    (currently with an almost empty diary!)

  2. Freelance rates
    I agree with Rus. I’d just add that you may want to negotiate the number of guaranteed days they are offering at this rate and over what period. For a large number of guaranteed days it may be a better deal (though does then bring in to question the legitimacy of redundancy) but with little or no guarantees £200 a day sounds pretty low.
    Best of luck

  3. Some advice
    We’ve had a few articles on freelancing on site recently that may help if not with this direct problem, then more generally as you set off on the freelance route. The first includes everything you should consider when setting a day rate:

  4. How to: Set a fee for your training services
  5. Freelancing: How to stand out from the crowd
  6. Twenty things every trainer should know before going freelance
  7. I hope these help and good luck!

    Editor, news

  8. Think of all options
    Initially it may seem like a lower daily fee but there are other benefits to take into account.

    The freelance market is competitive and you will not be the only person in this situation, at times when redundancies are being made across all sectors more freelance trainers come into the industry. If you do decide to go it alone you then have to develop your materials and find your clients. Are you financially covered to allow this setting up period? Do you know who your target market is? Are you ready for freelancing in your heart, or just considering it because you’re being pushed?

    Doing some freelance days with your current employer could be an ideal way to start your freelance career, particularly if they allow you to find other work outside the organisation.

    It certainly does need a lot more investigation as to their expectations, number of days they can commit it, and what you want from the deal.

    Oddball Training

  9. How long is the work?
    I guess Rus covered most aspects of this already along with everyone else. Just to add a bit more.

    The main parameter in determining the rate seems to be the amount of time guaranteed for work to be available and it seems that what you get is directly inversly proportional to the amount of time you can work for them. In other words, if you are freelancing and want to deliver for a single day, £400 – £700 seems to be the range (with variation of course depending on subject and your value), but if you win a contract for a year to work as a trainer, then even £200 a day is high considering the current climate. Just saw someone was excitedly advertising for a 18 months contract for soft skills trainer at £35K.

    So, the number one parameter to work out is the number of days you are going to work in a given contract and be paid for. The lower the number, the higher you can ask for.

    Hope this helps.

    Trainer Notes, Materials & Resources

  10. Going Freelance
    Hi Ed,

    I think you need to think about your own financial situation and work out how much you actually NEED to earn in a year,not what you would like to and assess if this business model would be sustainable for you. Also,it might be hard to think long term at the moment when you have just been presented with this situation,but if you are really serious about going freelance and want to have a successful business you may regret being tied into such a low rate further down the line when better things come along as I’m sure they will.

    I’ve just recorded an audio class on How To Get Associate Work which will look at many of the questions you raise here 0 it will be available on Wednesday as a FREE resource for you to download – just go to and sign up and you will be able to access it next week. Hope that you will find it useful.

    Kind Regards,


  11. Decisions.. decisions
    I agree with much of what has already been said here and will add…
    £200 a day is not 200.. take away income tax, NI, cost of running the business etc and you will be on less than 100.

    The cost of sale is expensive and a provider selling into a company at 400 will be paying 200 (or less!)
    If you can guarantee (say) 20 days at that rate then that is not too bad – but it is a scale thing.
    For example I delivered 6 days in the past 2 weeks – but it cost me 5 days of time to get the contract (extreme – it was going to be 50 days till budgets were cut and this is the reality of the market. It is tough.

    Aim to work 100 days and the rest is business building – so develop your business plan based on that. Now are you going to work as an associate or sell direct? will you offer open programmes?

    the name of the game as an associate is to offer anything and everything – the name of the game as a direct seller is to specialise – both sector and topic – then you should be fine.

    Take some time and build your business and marketing plan – remember a website is no good without visitors and generating traffic is a near full time job. Invest time in your infrastructure – logo, brand, materials etc

    Network like you cannot imagine – get out there and put time into this vital activity.

    Sites like TZ have excellent content and articles – also look at TrainerBase.

    Be prepared for stiff competition as more people like you join the market – but remember purchasers rarely buy on price – set a price (one for associate and one for direct) and stick to it or walk away – a brave but very important point.

    Quality over cost..


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