‘How can I be a professional corporate trainer?’ We are often asked this question. And, we think it’s quite a common doubt, considering the fact that training is not one of the main streams you can pursue in college.
And moreover, you don’t often meet many corporate soft skill trainers like you meet doctors, engineers and bankers. Hence, we decided to share sourced information on how to start your career as freelance corporate soft skill trainer.
“Did you know, today almost all organizations and institutions have special employee development programs that instil soft skill among their students and employees? Soft skills or interpersonal skills are ‘must-have’ to perform better, and to succeed in all aspects of our lives – personal, professional and social.”
5 Important Skills Required For a Freelance Corporate Soft Skill Trainer
1. Unnerving Confidence and Determination
The first and foremost job description of a soft skill trainer is ‘speaking’- talking to a large audience. When we say unnerving confidence and determination, it refers to the confidence to face people, some more qualified than you, and determination to put your act together and throw a massive performance, every time you own the stage.
As a freelance corporate soft skill trainer, you have to be an extrovert no matter what you are inside, and meet people, talk to them, connect with them and work with them. Confidence is also the capability to talk so well that people stay glued to you for a long time.
2. A Passion to Learn and Explore
Corporate soft skill training modules are usually not found in academic syllabuses.
So, even if you are fresh out of college or have immense experience in any other profession, venturing out in this freelance career means no background knowledge about conducting programs in business communication, presentation skills, public speaking, communication skills, email etiquettes, problem solving and so on.
You just have to learn on the go. However, the basic skill should be in place – a willingness and zeal to learn and explore the subject. If you want to be a successful trainer, you should keep refining your skills by reading online, making notes, learning from experts and knowing the matter.
3. Flawless Communication
This goes without saying that if you want to teach communication skills, your communication skills should be flawless. You have to win the trust of your clients as soon as you open your mouth to greet.
Communication skill doesn’t limit to the way you converse; it also extends to writing, listening, body language, postures, gestures and mind reading. You should also know how to handle tricky situations and trouble makers, how to be assertive and cheerfully responsive, and how to be optimistic when voicing things.
4. Cognitive and Analytical Skills
You really don’t have to possess super powers here. But this job does require a lot of judgements and analysis. You will be asked questions whose answers you would need to figure out through brainstorming and analysis.
Your clients may not express themselves in many words; you will have to find answers such as what should be the content? What activities would suit best for a particular group? What the class will expect out of you? All these questions’ answers will not come to you immediately, in the beginning.
However, you will learn this along the way. Reading, practicing, understanding your audience and customising will help you to create a lasting impact on people.
5. Upbeat Sales and Marketing Skills
As a freelance corporate soft skill trainer, you will probably not be working for a particular training company, which basically means you will be on your own.
You won’t be backed up by a marketing team promoting your services; it’s a job you will have to do it by yourself. You have to know how and when you should push your profile forward to clients.
Use your social media presence, connect with corporates and companies via LinkedIn and make a strong portfolio to find the right platform. It’s a continuous effort, and with right attitude and approach, you will find a strong hold on the industry.
Steps to Follow to Start as a Freelance Corporate Soft Skill Trainer
1. Pursue a Certification Course.
Just like any other degree or qualification, corporate soft skill training also requires certification. Join a program that covers all the essentials to be a generic trainer. Make sure you get trained from a renowned place with positive reviews.
Each session you go through should be quite impactful enough to help you in your career for many years. It might cost you a bit, but don’t go cheap on it for two reasons: one, a certification from a well- known training institute would add value to your resume and two, your certificate will be your USP for gaining trust of your clients, especially when you kick start your career.
2. Decide Your Expertise
Before you start off, understand and confirm your niche area for training. If you are strong in language related programs, you can start with it and gradually explore all other modules to find your preferred niche. You can not only be a trainer, but also be an exceptional coach in that particular area.
Some of the common modules include: personality development, communication skill, language training, behavioural skills, error checking, analytical skills, product training and image consulting. Some of these skills, such as language training (TOEFL, IELTS etc.) and image consulting may require further certifications.
The options are limitless, and so, we suggest you to explore all of them before deciding on your core. However, make sure you also keep your doors open for other proposals and training verticals.
3. Go Out and Market Yourself
This is probably the hardest part. In fact it is the hardest operation of all businesses – marketing and finding work. Today, the scope of marketing your business is vast.
There are so many medium out there where you can promote your skills in several interesting ways. If you have the money, you can also hire experts to do the marketing bit.
Apart from the traditional cold calling methods, you can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Upwork etc. as allies.
Your targets should be HR managers, company and school owners and entrepreneurs. Initially the process will be hard and neck breaking, but once you start listening to client’s requirements, you will be able to mould your promotional and marketing strategies accordingly.