More and more of us are looking towards managing our own time and work and becoming self-employed can be extremely rewarding and also, if done well, a profitable way of doing this. Not having to work nine to five, answer to any bosses and having total flexibility regards where you work from, is highly attractive!
Indeed, one of the options that had led you here is perhaps because you are considering the option of becoming a trainer?! So let me explain what you can do to get started if you are considering the possibility of going self-employed.
1. Buy or Develop the Training Materials
It is actually quite easy and, with the training programs you can buy from a site like this whereby the training is already packaged and provides everything you need, you can really start a business very quickly. So, in other words, off-the-shelf training materials.
Think about what you want to teach as the training needs to be fun for you
Focus on something you have a passion for and would enjoy teaching and you will find it significantly easier to succeed! If your passion is marketing then focus on teaching marketing.
If you love being involved with soft skills, then make that subject area your training niche!
You may not have the skills to design training packages and want to focus on providing training and, in this respect, we can help you to design custom-made training packages.
You can often charge each person anything between £100 and £500 PER PERSON to attend your training. So, certainly, this can be a profitable business for you!
Focus also on providing high-quality training so that repeat business and word-of-mouth become key and inexpensive ways for you to expand and market your business
2. Marketing Your Training Business and Services
Using a Platform Such as Meetup.com
Before talking about the idea of creating your own blog or website (as that might be the first thought you have) I want to run another idea by you, that many new and established trainers do.
I recently did a detailed post on this:
Create a Portfolio of Your Work
When you’re starting out as a freelance corporate trainer, you’ll need to market your services to potential clients.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a portfolio of your previous work.
This can include training programs you’ve designed and delivered, as well as any articles or blog posts you’ve written on the topic.
If you have a website, then you can use this to post your portfolio.
Join Relevant Professional Organizations
Another great way to market your freelance corporate training services is to join relevant professional organizations.
This will help you network with other trainers and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.
Marketing Yourself as a Trainer with Your Own Web Presence
In addition to the comments previously regards word-of-mouth as a very efficient way to build a successful business, also consider getting your own website made.
It is extremely easy these days, for example, to buy a domain name (website address) i.e. £10 a year, and then to create a simple WordPress website.
Even a one-page website can give you an added presence and, by including what is known as your NAM information (name, address, and phone number) on each page of your website, you immediately increase the chance to show in locally-based web searches.
If people search for “training provider” and they do so in Preston and your listed address is Preston, you immediately are going to be better off.
Make sure also to develop a free Google Business Listing and to ask clients to give you a recommendation.
There is a lot more to SEO (search engine optimization) but those few tips will get you started.
3. Preparing for Training You Give
Make sure to read the guides that we have added on this site, as these can also help to guide you as you become a self-employed trainer:
- Room Layout and Setup Considerations for Training
- Training Days, What Can Go Wrong & Solutions
- You might also be interested yourself in How to Start a Home Business.
- Think also about teaching for diversity in the classroom, in your preparation.
- Some useful tips also on teaching on your first day.
4. Developing Your Own Skills as a Freelance Trainer
One of the very best ways to build your training business is to provide kick-ass training! Learn to be a great trainer and deliver high-quality courses for your clients and students.
By being a great trainer, word-of-mouth and repeat clients will save you tonnes of time, effort, and money on needing to market yourself in the longer term.
Dr Valeria Lo Iacono (our director here at Symonds Training) provides the online ‘Train the Trainer’ and ‘Freelance Corporate Trainer Training’.
Having taught at several universities and studied pedagogy (teaching methods) and delivered training herself, Valeria provides the core fundamentals of how to be a good trainer in the online course.
5. Setting Yourself Up as a Company or Business as a Sole Trader or Ltd/LLC Company
How you register as self-employed will, of course, depend on the country you live in.
- If you live in the UK, then this process is extremely easy if you wish to start off as a sole trader or Ltd company. You can be set up the same day. The best place to start is on the HMRC site.
- In the United States, it takes slightly longer but it is something many bloggers do and you might want to become an LLC. More info here on the U.S.
- Australian – great starting guide here to start your business.
Whatever country you reside in, the process is generally the same and more than possible as a freelance trainer or corporate trainer.
The easiest way to make sure that you are paying your taxes correctly and declaring everything correctly (in addition to claiming back what you are entitled to) is to get an accountant.
6. Additional Steps You Can Take if Just Starting Off
i) Earn a relevant degree or certification
While you don’t necessarily need a formal education to become a corporate trainer, it can certainly help.
If you have a degree in the field that you wish to teach (such as in business, or another related field), then you’ll have a head start on the competition.
Alternatively, there are many online and offline training programs that will help you to become an expert in the topic/s you want to end up teaching.
Even trainers themselves have to start somewhere when it comes to getting the knowledge to then provide training.
ii) Build up your experience
The best way to learn how to become a successful freelance corporate trainer is to gain some experience first.
If you can, try to get a few years of experience working as an employee in a training and development role, as this can help. This will give you a good understanding of the industry and what clients are looking for.
Alternatively, any type of teaching experience you can get, even if in voluntary work, can really help.
iii) Set your rates and create a contract
When you’re starting out as a freelance corporate trainer, it’s important to set your rates and create a contract.
This will help you protect yourself legally and ensure that you’re getting paid what you deserve.
Dr Valeria (Lo Iacono) Symonds
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