As a freelance training consultant, I am happy as to the worldwide spread of the gig economy. The gig economy comprises of freelancers and it’s growing, and it’s growing fast. A new study confirms the rapid development of the global Gig Economy, projecting double-digit annual growth for the industry over the next five years. Some of this popularity is due to popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. However, there are millions of service-based providers called freelancers that work for companies of all sizes. Because of this rapid rise, a new job has emerged called the freelance training consultant. If you prefer to listen to some tips on this subject, feel free to review my podcast on this subject.
What is a Freelance Training Consultant?
Simply put, a freelance training consultant helps freelancers make money and live the life of freedom they desire. It sounds less complicated than it really is, so let’s dissect this a bit. Over my decades of experience working with hundreds of freelancers, I have come to learn three main pain points that freelancers have. People become freelancers for three main reasons:
- To make more money
- To have a more flexible work schedule
- To fulfill their life purpose
As a freelance training consultant, I have to keep all three of these in mind when working with a client.
Many think my core focus is just on money, but ill tell you from experience, the primary pain point I deal with more than money is the desired flexibility of a work schedule. Why? More people are wanting to work from home. Traffic isn’t getting any better so the commute sucks, and homeschooling children is getting more popular. Each of these is easier to do when you work from home. The typical 8 am-5 pm job is dwindling away.
“The typical 8 am- 5 pm job is dwindling away.”
Why Do Companies Hire Freelancers in the First Place?
There are several factors why companies want to hire freelancers
- Advances in neuroscience – Over the last decade, what we are learning about the brain is fascinating. Neuroscience is proving to us that the brain isn’t designed to work 8 straight hours in a row. The human brain is far more productive working in sprints of 50 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Progressive companies are noticing this shift in productivity and turning to freelancers who work on schedules like these because they are far more productive.
- Specialization -In many cases, freelancers tend to be more specialized in particular tasks. So as companies get more niched and specialized in what they do, freelancers are needed to carry out specific tasks.
- Laws-The laws in each state to carry an employee are getting more and more difficult to keep up with. Being from California and someone who has employees, I’ll tell you from experience the politicians are not making it easy on small businesses. Everybody wants to dip their hands in the pockets of small businesses and hiring a freelancer is easier and quicker with less regulation. However, at least in California, the politicians are changing this too. Some legislation has already been passed, and there is more coming, that makes hiring a freelancer more difficult and costly. The main problem with this is a vast majority of politicians have never run a business, so they have no idea how difficult it is, nor do they fully understand how much we contribute to the economy. As a result, they taking the hardest-working contingent of their population and they ask for more and more handouts. But I digress, I won’t continue on my rant ?.
Why Hire a Freelance Training Consultant?
If you’re a freelancer and want to do freelancing full-time, you have a big advantage. Most freelancers are part-time and don’t treat their work as a business. This leaves more room for someone like yourself to act as a professional and really capture a lot of work. This is where a freelance training consultant comes in. Someone like myself, with decades (yes decades plural) of experience being a freelancer, I can navigate you through the pitfalls of being a freelancer and help you scale faster than if you were working without a coach.
Given the three pain points listed in the first paragraph of this post, I work on three items with my students:
- How can we make you more money
- How can we get you a more flexible work schedule
- How do we fulfill your life purpose
If you are a freelancer and have more money, a more flexible work schedule and you are fulfilling your life’s purpose you feel like you are on top of the world. It feels as if you don’t even have a job, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s almost like someone is paying you to be retired.
One of the things I can do, almost immediately when hired is make you money. And even though that isn’t a top objective for a lot of freelancers, I focus on this first because I want you to be able to see the return on investment you’ll get when hiring me. So many freelancers, over 99%, don’t know how to bring in the right clients, charge the right rate, or keep a client long enough. So when I am evaluating you and your business practices, I go through each of these points to determine where there is the most opportunity to make you more money.
What Should I Look for to Select the Right One?
Of course, with any growing industry, you have “posers”. These are people who will overstate their qualifications and overpromise and underdeliver. Unfortunately, some of these posers are now becoming freelance training consultants. They will create a website and do some marketing exaggerating how much money they make and how easy it is to do it. They will charge you an outrageous rate to work with them and you guessed it, not have a refund policy in place.
When evaluating what freelance training consultant to hire, answer the following questions:
- How much experience does this freelancer have training others?
- Does this freelancer have a good reputation online?
- Is there a formal training process in place?
- Will this freelancer give me personal attention?
- Does this freelancer have a lot of press? This is important because if people are willing to write about this training consultant as an expert, then s/he must be an authority on some subject (in most cases).
- Do I truly believe I can make my money back, and more when I pay this consultant money?
What Questions Should I Ask?
When you get on a call with a training consultant you should ask the following questions and rate each answer 1 through 10. 1 being the worst score and 10 being the best. Total the score once you’re done with the conversation. If the score totals below an 80, this person is not the right fit for you. If the score totals between 80 and 90, this person would be a good fit. If the score totals over 90, you have a fantastic match.
- How much experience do you have as a freelancer?
- Take me through the steps of the process of how you like to develop a freelancer’s career.
- What would I expect to be accomplished after working with you for three months?
- What were your biggest failures as a freelancer?
- What are the common attributes a freelancer like me would need to have to double my freelancing rate (or more)?
- What are some obstacles I would face as a freelancer and how would you help me overcome them?
- Will we be working together 1 on 1?
- What is your main expertise and how do you charge clients (i.e. hourly, flat-rate, etc.)
- Do you have a refund policy in place?
- Do you work in a particular industry?
How Much Should I Pay?
This is a common question I get because the range of what consultant’s charge is all over the place. I’ll tell you from experience hiring me if not cheap. You are paying a premium price to work with me because the demand is high. The demand is high for a reason. This is typically the case with consulting fees. Consultants raise their rates when their demand is high simply because their time is money and when their time is spread thin, and there are people waiting to pay, the rates are raised. So if I consultant tells you his rate is $10/hour to help you become a better freelancer, what should that tell you about the quality of their work or what they can do for you? Well, if you are hoping to charge more than $10/hour you shouldn’t hire a consultant/mentor who is only charging you $10/hour. Typically, you shouldn’t pay a consultant less per hour than what you want to charge your clients. Many freelance training consultants have package deals, which is great. This ensures longevity in the relationship and allows you to save some money by bundling sessions together.
Are Group Sessions Ok?
Yes, in most cases. Group sessions are ok if you have direct access to the consultant. I know several consultants who don’t even give their email or phone out to their students. They meet on Skype or Zoom for an hour every other week with other students, they discuss a general topic and the consultant leaves. Those kinds of sessions are not worth paying for. However, if you can ask personalized questions to the consultant and still get the benefit of working with other students, that is a great combination.
Working with other students may not seem like a benefit, but you’ll be surprised at how often other freelancers will have the same exact issues as you. Being with other students will also help you feel like you’re a part of a community and relationships will develop, even working relationships. I have been in group sessions where referrals have occurred. Freelancers will give other freelancers work, simply because they know, and trust, each other.
Ultimately, hiring a freelance training consultant is definitely the way to go if you want to be a full-time freelancer, just be cautious of who you hire. Just ask the right questions and use the point system I referenced earlier. Ultimately, go with the little man inside of you, what does he say? The little man is always right ?
In addition to hiring a freelance training consultant, you should get the proper education and materials needed to jumpstart your freelancing career. Be sure to sign up for Freelancer Masterclass and start building toward your goals. Share this article and comment below on some tips you have when hiring a freelance training consultant.