1.Make Up Your Mind
There are four questions you must ask yourself which will help you decide.
i) Am I passionate about training?
ii) Do I have what it takes to be a successful trainer?
iii) Can I make a career out of freelance training?
iv) Will I be able to support myself and my family, till I have a steady flow of income?
Take as much time as you need to make up your mind about taking up freelance training as a career. Once you take a decision, there should be no looking back.
2.Determine Your Value Proposition
Once you have decided to take the plunge, the next step is to define your value proposition. Now it is time to identify what is your uniqueness. Find out how with your strength you can provide value to your clients/learners. Ask yourself, how you can solve their business problems. Basis the answers you come up with, develop your value proposition. According to Peter Sandeen, a strong value proposition is a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for. As its value proposition, Uber excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that lies at the heart of its taxi service. What is going to be your value proposition as a freelance trainer?
3.Develop Your Capability
4.Build your Personal Brand
Why is it important to build your personal brand? In today’s world, where attention spans are limited and peoples’ memory very short-lived, one needs to add value and build a strong personal brand to sustain. Create your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and share your perspectives, success stories at regular intervals. Enroll as an expert on Quora, open your twitter account and even consider starting your own YouTube channel. Create your own Blog Page and start writing Blogs regularly. Create a schedule for your social media branding and implement it. For example, you may want to publish a blog every alternate Monday and tweet something related to your core area of expertise everyday morning. In the digital age, social media can be a powerful tool to build your personal brand. But please remember not to go overboard because it may just backfire.
5.Build your Network
Networking is extremely important. A lot of your business will come through your personal and professional contacts and referrals. There are many ways; you can build your professional network. Be part of professional forums. Attend national or international conferences in the HR and L&D space where you would get to meet many leaders from the industry. Some of them can be your potential future customers, lead generators or business partners.
Two things one must remember always:
i) Networking is not just about increasing the number of your connections and friends in LinkedIn or Facebook. It is also about staying in regular touch with them.
ii) Networking is not about only ‘receiving’, it is about both ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’.
Don’t attempt to be a solo player always. Go ahead and enter into meaningful collaborations with other partners. You may tie up with an established training company who may engage you in their training assignments from time to time. You may tie-up with another trainer with complementary skills. For example, if you are an out-bound trainer and you also know a trainer who trains using theatre as a medium. You both can co-facilitate sessions where you would complement each other very well. As a freelancer, you won’t have all the resources in the world. So, you need to collaborate with others to maximize the results of your efforts. Let’s remember that we are living in a VUCA world and collaboration is the only mantra to accelerate success.
7.Market your Solutions and Services
Define a marketing strategy for your offerings. Prepare a good marketing pitch outlining your solutions and services. Create a decent website where people can access details about your offerings. The website can also feature pictures, videos of your sessions and testimonials from your clients and trainees. Moreover, define and implement a robust digital marketing strategy for your offerings.
8.Stay Engaged with your Client
Long term engagement with your client is the key. With each of your key client accounts, you may want to build a long-term engagement plan. For example, if you are planning training sessions for frontline managers for your client, you can integrate a project assignment for participants with every training session. Participants may be asked to complete a project after the training and report it back to you as well as their supervisors within 90 days. This way you stay engaged and always have your foot in the door.
Hope you find the aforesaid steps useful. Are you now ready to begin the journey? If yes, here is just one caution about the biggest hindrance that may surface on your journey. That is the misconception that you are going to become an Ideal Trainer. Your journey is not about becoming an ideal trainer, rather it is about becoming an Ideal Learner. Remember we are students in the journey of life. I am reminded of the immortal words of Anukulchandra, “If you want to teach, think not you are a teacher only. ‘I am a teacher’: this ‘teach-conceit’ hinders one from learning.”
All the very best as you begin a fulfilling, meaningful and inspirational journey.