We are charging along with our quest to become a freelance IT trainer. Last time we explored how to get ready and start building our portfolio of certifications.
Now it’s time to do the final preparations and iron out some additional details. They will feature honing stuff like traveling documentation, background data, payment rate and more.
All of this may seem a bit overwhelming at first. In order to help you out, Coursedot is starting a new series of articles which will explore how to become a freelance IT trainer and make the most of it. The series will include the following:
- Basics – experience, interests, niche
- Training and certifications
- Setting things up (you are reading this step now)
- First training tips
- Building partnerships
It’s time to continue with Part 2 – Starting things up
Before you start delivering trainings, you will have to take care of some bureaucracy. There are several things you need to take notice of and prepare beforehand. Ideally, you should be setting them up as you progress through your training and certification ladder which we explored in the previous chapter.
At the latest, definitely do these things before you apply for your first job opportunities as a freelance IT trainer. You will save a lot of time and improve your chances if you have had set these up beforehand. Here they are:
You have to be able to issue invoices, including digital ones. This is quite critical, as it’s the way you can get paid. Depending on the country where you pay your taxes, the regulations for this may vary a lot. So, it’s best to research this with your local tax authorities and make sure you have a legal way of issuing invoices and receiving payments.
This will also be important when you report and pay your taxes every year. If needed, consult with an accountant. It can be a worthy investment especially if you have no experience with finances.
Passport and travel
Being a successful freelance IT trainer means you will get to travel quite a bit. Some of these travels can be to exotic and interesting countries where there are special rules like the need of specific types of visas.
Of course, you can’t know that beforehand, but you have to make sure you have a valid passport. If you don’t have one, then go to your local authorities and issue one. Even if you don’t need it right now, it’s best to have it ready when you do need it. Otherwise you will waste time and money and possibly a good job offer, just because you don’t have a valid passport.
Security and background information
Another aspect of the day-to-day job of IT instructors is working with specific companies which will request security and background checks. In some cases they might collect such information by their own means, but they will also always request the trainer to provide some data as well.
This may include a document proving clean criminal history, documents for good health and so on. It’s best that you take some time and see what types of this information you can gather beforehand. Again, these processes and the time it takes to complete them, will vary greatly depending on your country.
At the very least, research the procedures so that you have a good understanding what to do and how much time you will need in order to give an estimate to a potential client. And also acquire whatever such documents you can beforehand. In some cases, they will have certain time validity, so keep that in mind, as well.
Determining your payment rate
Finally, you have to know what price you can put on yourself, right? It’s tempting to put on some big price tag on your time and teachings, but for an instructor with little to no previous training delivery experience, that’s a no-no.
On the other hand, it’s also tempting to undercut the market and offer an extremely low rate, just to get job offers and gather experience. But that’s also not a good idea. First, you will “teach” clients you work for cheap and it will be difficult to move on from that even if your delivery quality is ace.
Second, many clients can actually be put off by extremely low offers. To them that’s a message for something shady going on. They are also willing to pay more to get the high quality they expect.
So, choose a decent middle ground where you can have a competitive rate which is enough for you to be on a small profit from the job, be motivated to work and also to reflect your current level of training delivery experience. As your experience and clients mount, you will be able to easily adjust your rates.
Also, research the competition. Be realistic about your offers and make sure you have a decent grasp of the market. Trainers compete between each other for many job opportunities and their rates are an important factor for clients. Just make sure that what you feel like it’s a reasonable compensation isn’t something which is vastly above what other trainers charge.
Also, make note of additional expenses. Some job opportunities include travel and accommodation. Others – don’t. Some clients will ask for a rate which includes travel and accommodation. Others will ask you for a separate rate if you’re are willing to sort travelling and accommodation yourself. This is something that you will usually find out when you start actually applying for job opportunities (The Coursedot Instructor Hub is a great way to do so). Just keep it in mind and be ready for such questions from clients.
All of this might seem a bit complex, but don’t worry. It’s easy to get the hang of it and in no time you will keep these details in check with ease. Next up – tips for the first training.