A lot of freelance trainers say to me, ‘I know I should be getting clients of my own but it’s just so hard. I don’t feel I can do it. And I just can’t compete against the big training providers’.
Sometimes I have to spend a lot of time with clients just trying to convince them not only that they SHOULD get direct clients but that it is perfectly possible. There does seem to be a real perception that big companies won’t use ‘one man’ or ‘one woman bands’.
Now there is just an outside chance – I obviously don’t know the policies of every single organisation – that this might be true in some cases. But in the majority of cases this is NOT true. I have done work for some really large organisations – Zurich, Europ Assistance, LRQA, Huntswood Consulting for example and they were all fully aware that I was the company and it was just me on my own. And the same applies to a lot of other freelance trainers I have in my network.
At the moment when companies are more cost conscious, freelance trainers have actually got a huge advantage as your rates are going to be significantly lower than training companies with all their overheads.
Also there is one thing that training companies can’t generally provide and that’s the personal touch. When I was a buyer of training I didn’t like using training companies because when I had a training need I never got to meet the person who was actually going to be delivering the training, they usually sent along their Account Managers.
It was important to me to be able to build up a personal relationship with the deliverer and to get to know like and trust them.