The Business of Freelancing, Episode 54: Reuven Lerner on Selling Training To Your Clients

By Brennan Dunn

Today our guest is Reuven Lerner, who teaches Python, Ruby, Git and PostgreSQL to companies around the world. Today we are discussing using training as a productized offering. Reuven will also be giving an extended presentation on this topic at the Double Your Freelancing Conference that we are having June 22nd through June 25th in Stockholm, Sweden.

Reuven has over 20 years of experience as a software engineer and over 15 years experience teaching in high-tech companies. He has a PhD in Learning Sciences and incorporates student feedback into his courses. He offers on-site training courses that not only teaches programming, but teaches students how to think in new more productive ways. Reuven has been involved with the Internet since its inception, and his first website was even on Tim Berners-Lee’s list of all of the websites in the world. Reuven now lives in Israel. Enjoy the conversation.

Today’s topics include:

  • Reuven started out doing consulting and web development for businesses
  • He then started teaching some of his development skills to the employees of the businesses he was consulting for
  • Reuven still does development and has an employee that does a lot of the programming for him
  • On the DevChat Freelancers Show Reuven was giving the following advice
    • Find your ideal client
    • Focus on one thing
    • Stop billing by the hour, sell products as blocks
    • Try to build a pipeline far into the future
  • When he thought maybe he should start following it
  • There was also explosive interest in the programs Reuven specialized in
  • He was working for a training company that wasn’t paying him anything close to what they were charging his students
  • Reuven finally realized that to maximize his time, earnings and interests having his own training programs was the key
  • Working on his own was an easy transition because the companies that needed the training already wanted his courses
  • Reuven customizes his courses according to the training questions his students ask
  • Reuven teaches all over the world, and has 3 types of pricing
    • Open enrollment courses where he charges by the person
    • Private teaching at a company where he charges by the day
    • Private teaching where he charges by the person
  • He also does online training and uses WebeX
  • Reuven is excited about this productized consulting business he has discovered

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