Moving from having a ‘real’ job with an actual job description and clear responsibilities to being a full time student for a year, again with clear deadlines and structure to then becoming a freelance trainer has been…a challenge.


To help me focus I was asked some key questions by someone who has supported others through this transition from ‘doing’ an actual job to becoming a freelance trainer developing other people utilising their skills. The following is how that conversation went.


What is your profession? I am a professional trainer. For over 30 years I have developed my skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications in a training and development career. That is what I do, I do training.

What is your niche, because no-one wants a generalist? I thought training was my niche!!!??? I am not a security expert or a teacher or an e-learning designer or a negotiator  or anything else like that so I can’t say I have a specialism except training. I have worked with the police and leadership development for a long time but I don’t feel that is a niche, it’s just my frame of reference in many things. Maybe my niche is as a leadership training developer and deliverer?

Well, what are you best known for? ‘The Hats and the motivation stuff’ according to many of the people I asked and also getting groups to define the actual problem and then working out the best solution – from the team to the strategic level and everything in between. Oh yes, and developing other trainers how to train and leaders about leadership.

Pick one Fiona, what do you specialise in? Consulting with businesses to help them identify the best training solutions to meet their needs, collaboratively and creatively. Also, using a similar approach, I work with leaders and teams to develop innovative approaches to solve problems and challenges (these are not always training problems or challenges, although there will always be learning by all who participate). 

How much will you charge? Well, that depends on what they are looking for and what we agree, there are too many variables to set a specific cost. What I do is meet with them, have a conversation and get a really good understanding about what they are looking for, thereafter I present them with a number of detailed options (there are always options) the options will of course have different costs, they can then decide which of the options they think fits best with their requirements.

Who is your ideal customer? An interesting thought. Probably someone who already knows me and understands what I can do. Over the years I have worked with and trained a vast number of people, many of them are now in senior roles, perhaps they are reading this and thinking “I know what she means, its hard to explain what she brings to a training room but her creative thinking approach is exactly what I am looking for right now.”

How are your customers going to find you? Hopefully they have – if so I hope they get in contact, even just for an initial coffee and a conversation about possibilities.