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A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
 
Francis Bacon
Institute of IT Trainers - Freelance Trainer of the Year 2006 & 2009
Liverpool Business Connect Member
  Maximum Impact Solutions Limited - Reporting Solutions, Creating Answers
Reporting Solutions - Creating Answers, Crystal Reports, Dashboarding (Xcelsius) & SQL Reporting Services

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17
February

A - Z of a Successful Freelance IT Trainer: G is for Generalist

There are two types of freelance trainers generalists and specialists, and I am constantly asked which is better?

G is for Generalist

In real terms, there is no right or wrong when deciding to br a generalist or a specialist, its really how one goes about it that makes the difference.

That said, I believe in working smarter rather than harder, and I prefer to get more bang for my buck.

So before I go any further, you may be asking what is a generalist?  

You will know a generalist trainer when you ask them the question, What do you train? and you get the response,  I deliver training in MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator,.. and the list goes on and on, until they finish reeling all the software they deliver training on, by which time you have forgotten the first thing they said.

When I first became a freelance trainer I had a wide portfolio of software I could deliver training in, which I had built up from my years working within a training company.

The perceived advantage of a generalist from a freelance point of view is that, with such a wide portfolio the likelihood of them having to turn down work, for something they do not deliver will be low.

Therefore for them there is less risk of them failing.

Initially I was able to maintain this portfolio variety, to an advanced letter, but as newer versions came out, it was very hard to keep the same level of quality of knowledge.

I also had a rule that if I didn't use the software I was not going to train it.

The reality is that they will not have the time to have a real in-depth knowledge of the software, and so most of the training can only really be delivered  at the introduction and/or intermediate level.

The knock on effect of this is that price and time become a factor, therefore, while a generalist may be able to potentially deliver more training days per year, the daily rate charge will more than likely be lower.


I would like to hear your comments, experience, opinions and thoughts about this subject, please drop me a line or two below:

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