[Tips and Tools for Trainers & Training Providers] Freelance Trainer SuperStar CheatSheet: Putting the Profit in “Free”

In last week’s blog post, we discussed four (4) profitable and successful ways Training providers stay at the top of their game and beat out their competition—especially during times of unforeseen crises.

As mentioned in last week’s post, the 4 ways Training providers become and stay successful is by placing their time, energy, and focus on:

  • Quality Trainers
  • Quality Customized Content
  • Streamlined Back-office
  • Going Extreme


Each of these 4 topics is being discussed in 4 separate posts. Last post, we covered the cruciality of keeping quality trainers and I promised you a cheatsheet to help you identify these super stellar quality rockstar trainers which bring you less headache and more bucks. If you didn’t get the chance to read the last week’s post on why quality trainers are your bread-and-butter, read here.

Most training providers I work with have built their entire business model on using Freelancers (rather than hiring in-house Trainers). While it may seem to save money in the short-term, it could end up costing you in the long-term if you’re not choosing the BEST, most qualified Freelancers who feel invested in your company, as well as their own course delivery.

Is your model to only use Freelance trainers (or possibly a mix of in-house trainers and Freelancers) ? If so, devise a way to keep your best Freelancers returning for more. I cannot emphasize enough, the power and importance of investing in your Freelancers not only in financial ways (so you don’t lose potential or existing clients), but also emotionally and educational ways, if possible.

Now you may say, “Why Laurie? Why should I spend any more money than I have to on my Freelancers? After all, they are just Freelancers? In fact, most of my Freelancers are one-offs.”

I never knew how hard it was to come by quality Freelancers until several of my training providers started sharing their very righteous and significant complaints. Most of them stated that they rarely use a Freelancer more than once either because the Freelancer didn’t show up on time, didn’t dress the part, or delivered an old, outdated course that yielded awful evaluations.

I started wondering why most of these Freelancers weren’t invested in their work. And, I quickly identified that Freelance trainers felt training providers weren’t really invested in them; they felt the training provider just needed a warm body to deliver the training. However, trainers have indicated that if their relationship with training providers is built upon mutual interest, appreciation and win-wins, the trainer would actually totally give it their all. 

There is a indeed way to make Freelancers your most profitable asset—
it take s a little bit of effort and consistency on your part but it’s worth it.



If Freelancers have no buy-in, don’t feel gratitude, and aren’t invested in your company’s mission, your Freelance trainer model can bite you in the tail-end. So, let’s not let that be you.



How can you keep your best Freelancers on board in an effort to keep you looking more and more professional but still keep it all within your budget?

In the Freelancer Trainer SuperStar CheatSheet below, you will find several suggestions and ways to hold your Freelancers accountable, which in turn will help you have a more reliable resource, thus saving you time, money and energy. 



flip chart high five

Freelance Trainer SuperStar CheatSheet 


1.Put your Freelancers through ongoing training (if possible) and help them get new certificates. It’s worth it to put your Freelancers in additional training because they can come back and lead such courses for you—which means more money in your pocket, not-to-mention consistency for your clients. Your Freelancers will also feel a debt/an obligation to “repay” you by delivering courses for you. It’s quite costly for Freelancers to put themselves through additional trainings, so it’s worth you doing so, as they will never forget this gesture of yours to help them stay in the game and assist you with their services.

2. Create opportunities through “Share” meetings for all of your Freelance trainers to meet each other, brainstorm, and feel like they have a community. While Freelancers aren’t interested in being salaried employees, they often miss the feeling of being part of a team, so if you host events, gatherings or brainstorm meetings…invite them. They will feel included and will have more buy-in to your mission and cause, thus representing your agency in the most professional of ways.

3. Give them a little thank-you present for their efforts or create a Certificate of Appreciation.  Some years back, a lovely training provider located in England had asked me to fill-in as a Freelancer for several courses over several months for their client in Kuwait. This client is a MAJOR client as they are in the Oil and Gas industry and host hundreds of courses per yer. The Training provider had lost the trainer who had been conducting these courses already for several months, and they had taken a big chance on me as they had never seen me in action. I appreciated their trust and felt honored that they invested in my efforts despite being so far away. And, I made it my intention to serve their client in the best way possible by delivering the most cutting-edge, fun, interactive, engaging coaching and training I could. Thankfully, the evaluations came back perfectly for the training provider, so it was such a win-win. Some months later, a representative from the training provider was in Kuwait and asked to meet with me. I was shocked when he presented me with a Certificate of Appreciation and a little gift for the work I had done for their big client in Kuwait. It was the FIRST time I had ever received such a token of gratitude. Recognizing your Freelancers in little, uncommon ways will make your Freelancer work so much harder for you. 

4. Have all technology and equipment ready on the training day.
 This includes all flip charts, pens, flip chart easels, computers, manuals and note pads. Don’t waste your trainer’s time and energy trying to track down these tools—it only takes away from their creativity and inspiration that they need to have with participants during the training. Too many times Freelancers show up and they can’t locate the point-of-contact from the client or training provider; nothing is organized, and as such, the trainer is running around like a chicken with their head cut off seeking help. If participants witness this, it can be reflected in low marks on evaluations.

5. Flying them economy? Upgrade them to the emergency exit row or Economy comfort. Just this little difference can go a long way for those Freelancers you’re flying in from other countries.

6. Get them the best budget hotel you can, and I do mean the BEST budget hotel
. If you can’t afford a 4-star or 5-star, find the nicest, cleanest, quietest 3-star you can. Your trainer needs to feel rested, calm, unstressed, and ready-to-go to give you the most perfect training they can deliver. Plus, they will feel you care about their comfort which makes them more invested in the course delivery.

7. Fly them two days before the training (if possible) so they are fully rested and ready-to-go for you on the training day.
Most training providers underestimate the importance of a well-rested, calm trainer. The calmer, less-stressed your trainer, the better job they will always do for you. Nobody wants to work while cranky or not feeling clear-headed. If you can’t afford to fly your trainer in 2 days prior, make sure they arrive the day before the training at least in the afternoon, if possible.

8. Pay for their meals or grant them a daily per diem if possible.

9. Have all technology and equipment ready on the training day.
This includes all flip charts, pens, flip chart easels, computers, manuals and note pads. Don’t waste your trainer’s time and energy trying to track down these tools—it only takes away from their creativity and inspiration that they need to have with participants during the training. Too many times Freelancers show up and they can’t locate the point-of-contact from the client or training provider; nothing is organized, and as such, the trainer is running around like a chicken with their head cut off seeking help. If participants witness this, it can be reflected in low marks on evaluations.

10. Have a pre-printed manual for the trainer, too.
Don’t just print manuals for participants; the trainer needs one as well as they need to be able to refer to the page numbers in the manual. It is all too common to show up on the day of the training and only enough training manuals have been printed for the participants.

11. If the training is offsite from the trainer’s hotel, have a driver already booked to pick them up and drop them off each day. Additionally, have a shuttle, taxi or driver ready for them at the airport when arriving for the training and on the day they are scheduled to leave. Handle all logistics for your trainers in advance. 

12. Let the trainer get the training room set up alone (this is after you’ve already set up the projector, manuals, flip charts, etc).
Give them time to learn the space, calm down, and feel settled each day before the training starts. It requires A LOT of energy and confidence to manage a room full of people for 6-8 hours. Don’t deplete or drain your trainer’s energy. Mind your stress as you don’t want to transfer negative energy to your trainer.

13. Don’t interrupt the trainer for your administrative needs, especially during the training.  Don’t disturb them during their breaks to tackle paperwork and admin stuff; the trainer MUST take their breaks
. Ask the trainer when is the best time to go over such matters and let the trainer contact you and schedule.

14. Do set-up an informational call with the trainer prior to training delivery
to discuss the important objectives of the course, the possible problem participants, and any other clients’ needs the trainer must know ahead of time.

15. Do provide the names of all participants, titles/roles/positions and anything else you know about your client and participants at least one week ahead of time to your trainer
so  can incorporate such information into the training delivery.

Do advise at least 2 weeks prior to course delivery if the trainer must prepare and deliver a pre and post-test to your participants. I’ve often been informed on the day of the course that a pre-test must be delivered; this mustn’t be a last-minute request. If you do work with a Freelancer repeatedly, remind them if they need to create a pre and post-test as they work with many training providers and may not remember. 

17. Do advise the trainer if there is an expectation that the trainer provide grades and comments for each participant.
And, give them a due-date as to when they need to submit them. Make it a reasonable date especially if your Freelancer has flown in from another location.

18. Energy is everything. The calmer, less stressed and organized you and your training staff are, the more relaxed, effective and efficient your Freelance trainers are. Do mindfulness exercises yourself. Delegate what you can to your staff. Exercise, take breaks, ask for help. When you practice self-care, the less you dump and unload upon your Freelancers. 

19. Do share your company’s mission, vision, objectives and plans with your trainer well ahead of each training so that your Freelancers can feel invested and convey your message properly and professionally.

20. Do share your Freelance trainers’ evaluations with them following each training. It is important for them to know in which areas they succeeded and where they need to improve for next time.  I conduct many trainings each month and often I must ask for the evaluations otherwise I never receive them. In fact, even when I do ask for them, they are never sent. Sharing trainer evaluations with the trainer only helps your business become more consistent and efficient. You will develop a strong partnership with your trainers by informing them of the opinions of the participants.


coach training mentor words picture

What many training providers forget about Freelance trainers is that they are  freelancing for many training providers, so operating with the mentality of “last minute” will not serve you, your client, or freelancer.  The sooner you can get any and all info to your Freelancers, while sharing what your needs are, the likelihood you’re creating a wonderful alliance between you and your Freelancers.

I hope this cheatsheet proves to be an effective resource for you and your training staff—and I hope it helps you create purposeful and powerful partnerships with Freelancers who wish to serve you well and for long periods of time. It may be very beneficial to print up this cheatsheet and refer to it often. Feel free to share it with all of your staff.

I’d love to hear your tips on how you find and keep talented Freelance trainers.

Please feel free to share your suggestions here at the Extreme Dream Training blog. Your comments on the blog help us all learn how we can be better training providers and trainers.

I look forward to learning with you and reading your comments. If you’re not subscribed to the blog, you may  sign up here.

Meanwhile, I know you’re getting ready for an exciting training season ahead; good luck, much success and have fun!




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About Laurie Santos

Owner and Founder of Extreme Dream Training. Certified Life Coach, Master Reiki Healer, Certified Law of Attraction Expert, Certified EFQM Assessor. Surfer, expat, lover of animals, poetry and silence.


  1. […] Last week you should have received a cheatsheet on how to find and keep stellar Freelance Trainers that help you bring in the dollars. Not only did those tips help you select the best trainers to generate income but those tips show you the way to create beneficial and powerful courses for your clients by selecting top trainers.  There was a problem with the link I sent last week (so sorry about that), so here it is again just in case you didn’t get to tune-in: Freelance Trainers That Help You Make Money. […]

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