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The A-Z of freelance training


In a series of articles, Sharon Gaskin gives us the low-down of freelance training.

A is for Action

As we are at the start of an exciting New Year where better to start than here? I’m a great believer in taking action. The most successful freelance trainers I know are the people who don’t complain about how difficult business is, they just get on and do things that will move their business forward. These are the people who are constantly seeking out new learning opportunities, grasping new ideas and concepts and taking action as a result of what they have learnt. When you decide to take action, you have already set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd who just plod along hoping for things to get better. You are making a statement that your business isn’t just a hobby - you are serious about making it work!

B  is for Building Relationships

One of the best ways to get in front of clients and ultimately get work is to build good solid relationships with people.  People buy from people who they know, like and trust. So, any freelance trainer trying to sell their services is going to have to be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into developing and nurturing these relationships. And the key words here really are time and effort. Don’t think that just by going to a networking event and collecting a few business cards you are well on your way to getting work. The chances of someone calling you after an event and saying ‘Hey, come in and run a management development programme for us’ are practically nil. You have to be patient.

C is for Charging What You Are Worth

When you are just starting out as a freelancer or when times are tough there is a big temptation to take any piece of work that comes along regardless of its value. But there are many good reasons why you should only charge what you are worth:

  • Low day rates will not pay the bills
  • You will have to work more days to achieve your financial targets
  • When a great piece of high value, rewarding work comes along you won’t be available to do it
  • Your confidence and motivation will become eroded as you get stuck in the trap of low value work

So you need to stick to your guns and charge what you are worth right from the start.

D is for Determination

Freelance training can be a lonely business and it’s all too easy to feel like giving up and heading back to the relative security of corporate life when you’ve had a bad day. Like any self-employed person and business owner you are going to need determination by the bucket load if you are going to succeed. When you feel down try focusing on the things you have achieved, no matter how small, rather than the things you haven’t. It always works!

E is for Expert

Don’t try and be all things to all people. Specialise in one area and put all your efforts into building your expert status. It will pay dividends as it will:

  • Steamline and sharpen up your marketing activity - you will be clear about who your target market is and where to find them
  • Enable you to charge a premium for your expert knowledge and skill
  • Get clients to seek you out and come to you rather than the other way round!

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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