3 Things Successful eLearning Freelancers Do On a Regular Basis

I’ve been freelancing in eLearning on and off since 2012. During that time, I’ve never found myself worrying about when my next client would “knock on the door.” As one project would come to an end, I’d have another client with a new project ready to go. This isn’t always the case for some eLearning freelancers.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to countless individuals looking to start a career as an eLearning freelancer, and they all ask the same questions: How do I start freelancing? Where do I find my first client? How do I market myself? How do I build a portfolio? These are all questions I asked myself when I first started freelancing.

If you’re looking to start a freelance eLearning career, here are three things all successful eLearning freelancers do on a regular basis.

1. Design eLearning for Free

eLearning freelancers

Let me start by saying that I don’t mean you should work for free! Becoming a successful eLearning freelancer requires you to practice your craft. Although you’ll get a lot of practice working on client projects, it’s not always enough to expand your skills and talent.

Successful eLearning freelancers spend invest their extra time designing eLearning on their own time. It might seem crazy, but doing this gives you an opportunity to create content you might not otherwise get to with client work. This enables you to flex and build your creative muscles. It also offers you the opportunity to build your portfolio. Montse Anderson, Ashley Chiasson, Melissa Milloway, and Jeff Kortenbosch are all great examples of eLearning freelancers that practice this.

The truth is, if you aren’t willing to design eLearning on your own time to improve your skills, you might want to rethink how passionate you really are about becoming an eLearning freelancer.

2. Write & Talk About eLearning

eLearning freelancers

In addition to having an online portfolio, I’ve always believed that successful eLearning freelancers should also have a blog. A blog is a great way to showcase your work and make it searchable and shareable. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to create a website and blog without having to write a single line of code. I built this very website using Wordpress in a matter of hours. Weebly, Squarespace, and GoDaddy all offer simple solutions for purchasing a domain and creating a website and blog.

Most of the successful eLearning freelancers I know (including myself) also invest time talking about e-learning. They attend and speak at various industry conferences hosted by The eLearning Guild, ATD, and others. As I explain in this post, speaking at conferences and other events can help you build credibility, showcase your work, and get your name circulating.

Although speaking at a conference may seem intimidating, most of the conferences reserve slots specifically for first-time presenters. Give it a shot!

3. Participate in Online Communities

eLearning freelancers

The third thing most successful eLearning freelancers do on a regular basis, is they participate in online communities. Successful eLearning freelancers know the importance of having a social presence, and you can find them posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, and everywhere else. Social media is a great way to expand your network, share your work, and get noticed!

I use my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to share my blog posts and drive traffic to this website. As a result, potential clients see my website and contact me for work. The Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community is another great place to connect with others within the industry, even if you’re a non-Articulate user!

What other things do you do on a regular basis that has helped you to become a successful eLearning freelancer? Share them by commenting below!

Additional Resources

Tim Slade
Tim Slade is a speaker, author, and award-winning freelance eLearning designer. Having spent the last decade working to help others elevate their eLearning and visual communications content, Tim has been recognized and awarded within the eLearning industry multiple times for his creative and innovative design aesthetics. Tim is a regular speaker at international eLearning conferences, is a recognized Articulate Super Hero, author of The eLearning Designer’s Handbook and creator of The eLearning Designer's Academy.

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