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I have done all sorts of facilitation work (and some training) over the years as part of other jobs. I have quit my job following maternity leave I have decided to try setting up as a freelancer but I don't know where to start.

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  • What sort of field were you looking at going in to? In my experience facilitating is very difficult - but then you do have training so maybe just me!
    – tim.baker
    Dec 20 '13 at 23:21
  • Ooh - I am not very good at keeping up with forums! I have mostly done work with community groups, charities etc but I am quite interested in branching out more. I don't actually mind which field although obviously it helps to build on previous experience. I have mainly worked on project reviews/evaluations, goal setting, feedback and discussion groups.
    – Spudley
    Jan 16 '14 at 15:24
  • Can you provided a bullet list of the specific services you are looking to provide?
    – NivF007
    Apr 19 '14 at 0:25
  • You have to tell us what services you plan to offer. Otherwise we may close the question as too broad and unclear of what you're asking.
    – Peter MV
    Apr 25 '14 at 6:39
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First Steps of Freelancing:

I would recommend creating a resume of past facilitating jobs and education in the field and posting it on your own blog / website.

However the trick is to make it look more like a business page with services offered, a portfolio and client testimony, opposed to just being a resume form list of past jobs and schooling.

Instead of saying: facilitator looking for a job.

Ask: Are you looking for an experienced facilitator to assist in your company planning?

One says I need you the other says You need me. This is the difference between being an employee and being your own boss / business.

You should then be ready to list your availability at sites that focus on freelancing and other outsourcing opportunities. There are a few to choose from but I'm sure Google can help find the right one for you.

After you have your information readily available you can "hoof it" and cold call the type of organizations you have had experience with. Leave your business card / pamphlet even if they already have a monthly planner person and ask to be considered if their situation ever changes (which it most likely will eventually).

Call upon some of your old employees. Ask if they are in need of your services anymore. Since they are most likely in communications with other similar groups ask if they know of any leads, or ask them to put the good word out for you. (leave them some pamphlets or refrigerator magnets with your info) 80% of my early freelancing business was word of mouth.

Networking is one of the most important aspects of any business and with freelancing it does not always come easy. You must get in touch with others of your craft and help each other out with leads and ideas. Find that website where your kin gather or if you have the resources, create that website for your kin to join you.

Contracts, you must have a contract prepared or at least an outline of expectations, pay schedule / rates, what the job entails what you expect from the client and what the client should expect from you. A lawyer reviewed contract is your only defense against a company / person who decides they don't have to pay you or undervalues your work, or claims you mislead them, or didn't preform as agreed. There are many different excuses people use to keep their money and even if you rendered services as expected, with out the contract you will probably have no legal recourse.

A few other thoughts on resources, If you are just starting out and may not have resources for lawyers or pamphlets, consider bartering your services for what you may need.

Good luck on your adventure.

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it might seem really overwhelming at first. The answer, in a nutshell, is to get your first client. Everything else will flow from there. You won't need to have a website or business cards for that - it's all about speaking to people and getting out of your home office and connecting to potential customers.

As you've already worked as a facilitator in the past (no idea what that is by the way! :)), I'd suggest getting in touch with previous groups that you've worked with. Meet them for a coffee, ask them about their current challenges. Then offer them a small fix for one of their problems as a starting point + build up from there.

As for branching out: Getting established in a new field is much more difficult and I'd wait until you've got a few jobs under your belt. It works the same way as with your current field: speak to people in the new field, as much as you can, to understand what problems they are trying to solve. You can use your previous jobs as examples of how you've solved those problems for others.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

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I believe you have started in the right place to answer your question. There are people here with the talent. As it looks to me from your description of facilitator, you put talent to work where the work is needed. Come to think of it I believe that more facilitators are needed. In fact, I'd like to see more facilitators on freelance sites.

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