Monday 26 December 2016

Freelancing Kit: On Skill Coaching

Those who buy my Beginner’s Guide to get started with their online income, get to see a few samples of my pitch and conversations with clients. I share many such samples even in my blogs.

One common observation is the dilemma the beginners face, regardless of their background and previous experience in identifying the skills they want to get started with. They take anywhere between 3 weeks to a few months to choose the skills they want to offer as services.

Apparently it looks like the problem is really with skill. 

Well, it is not.

Recently when a beginner proposed to assist me for free with project related research work for the presentations and plans that I do for my clients, I decided to write this blog to call out the potential risk of this approach. The 5 Cs


It does not matter whether you sign the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) or just agree with client, purely based on trust to keep the data they share with you safe forever – this automatically nullifies any option to have a virtual team work for you. You most certainly cannot let anyone else work in the project unless you have sought prior permission from client.


Let us assume my client agrees and allows me to outsource some part of the research or draft or plan to one of my virtual team members (In this case the Beginner) and I engage them for high level assistance. Let us also assume that the Beginner over a period of time gets a hang of it and learns the trick of the trade.

That still does not prepare beginners to survive and succeed in this world as though the basic skill is acquired, the fundamental skill still remains unlearned – the art and skill to source your own clients


By working as an assistant to support another professional’s deliverable, the beginner is not communicating directly with client. By remaining in the background, he cannot build the required attitude to pitch, negotiate and transfer that conviction about their own expertise to a client.


It is seriously not just about how well your write, research or create presentation, how well you follow instruction, how you hone your skills by supporting someone who is front ending the project, there is a lot of learning involved about how you begin to think regarding the entire project holistically, independently and creatively. There are slim chances of a beginner to learn any of these if they pick the easy route


I am sorry to burst your bubble. Being an assistant to a pro only builds your confidence as project member not as a project leader. You will remain a doer and will take time to be a thinker.

The problem therefore is not in identifying the skill, but in identifying the right target market/ client to fit your skills as services.

The faster you interact with client, the better your learning. You want to support professionals for the exposure or experience is okay however the cost you are paying is much higher, than  you can imagine.

Next time you want to support a pro to learn, remember to call out a quote for that. Free can never be a business model. If you trade time, you better get paid for it.

The next problem the beginners face is how to set their rates?

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