If you wish to participate in the live chat you will need to visit YouTube right here: https://youtu.be/EuM1AvnDP4w
The same link will bring you to the recording.
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If you’re thinking of a career as a freelance instructional designer in elearning or instructional led training, or you’ve already made the leap to running your own ID business, you will need some sales skills. For me when I decided to go freelance, it was a return to the skills I already knew. After all, my career before training design was in retail sales. I just needed to blow the dust of these skills to become successful as a freelance instructional designer. to make things easy for you, I’ve broken the sales cycle down to a simple four-step process.
We’ve all got the email asking us to quote on a potential job. If you type up the quote and email it off, I promise you will never hear from 99% of these people ever again. That’s because you haven’t built a relationship with your potential client. I always set up a meeting whether it’s online or face to face to first of all discuss the potential client’s needs. Building that relationship is about many things, but an important aspect of it is trust. Think about it, do you trust an anonymous email, or do you trust someone who you’ve had a conversation with and listened to you speak.
During that conversation, I do more listening than talking and allow the potential client to talk about their business needs. That’s right I said business needs. Companies don’t have training needs they have business needs. In fact, identifying the business goal is more important than any learning objective. For example, if Groot industries need to sell 100,000 planks in the upcoming year and they only sold 90,000 in the previous year, their business goal is to sell 10,000 more planks. Identifying the needs will mean lots of questions about the business. At first, you might think that the sales department has a performance gap in that they are not selling those 10,000 more planks. Once you do some more uncovering you might learn that the factory is not producing enough planks to cover that potential 100,000 planks. In either case, you need to ask lots of questions until you uncover the real need.
One mistake I made in this area was in my speech patterns. I often would say things like “I think I can help you with this…” or “I’m pretty sure my training can solve your problems…”
A sales colleague of mine role played this out and he pointed it out to me. Since then I now say things like “My training solution will give you the results you’re looking for…” or “I can design an eLearning course that will address your needs and give you the results you’re after…”
Being confident in your skills and abilities will be contagious. People will also have that confidence. If you’re wishy-washy with your answers about your training solutions, they will likely hesitate.
So often sale people forget to ask for the sale. Some people don’t ask for the sale because they are afraid of rejection. I think generally people want to buy things. Certainly, business managers want to get solutions to their business challenges. If you’ve done all the steps correctly up to this point, confidently ask for the sale. You can say things like “When would you like me to get started?” or “What email address can I use to send you the contract?”
You might be surprised that they will just take the next step without any objections.
If this article has helped you get started in your freelance business, I would love to hear from you. Also, if you have any other suggestions that could help others get started in freelance instructional design, feel free to put your story in the comments section below.
I’m not just a speaker at the upcoming Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington DC on March 13th, 2019, but I’m also an attendee. For those who are unsure if this event is worth your time or the effort to convince your boss, consider the following.
During the previous years events, I met a bunch of people like myself who design eLearning for their living. It’s really great sharing similar experiences with one another, and knowing we are not alone in the challenges we face. More importantly, though, I got to hear other ideas and solutions as to how to solve elearning challenges. As a freelancer, I just don’t get that in my home office. My two office companions are great for other reasons but they don’t offer any suggestions for improving my eLearning designs.
Each Adobe live event offers a glimpse of what eLearning at Adobe will look like in the future. I first learned about virtual reality, fluid box responsive design, and interactive video at past Adobe live events and I’m looking forward to learning about new features this spring.
As I said up front, I’m also an attendee. When I’m not speaking or sitting in on the general sessions, I will be attending my fellow speaker’s sessions. Thanks to them, the effort I put into preparing material to speak about is returned to me tenfold. The creative solutions I’ve learned from my fellow speakers has allowed me to offer a wider range of eLearning solutions to my clients. I’m very thankful for the knowledge my fellow speakers have given me.
A new feature of the last few Adobe live events has been the Adobe Captivate Specialist training. The Adobe Captivate specialist training is a separate registration and requires a fee of $499. A short time before the conference you will get you access to pre-session training material. The pre-session training material is over seven hours of tutorials from Dr. Pooja Jaisingh. If you don’t know Pooja, she is the leading expert in Adobe Captivate and works as a Senior Evangelist for Adobe eLearning.
On the day of the Specialist training, you will register and be assigned to one of several classes. Breakfast is included and then you will begin your Captivate training until it’s time to break for lunch (also included). Later in the afternoon once all the training is concluded you will begin your assessment. You’ll know right away if you are successful and then you’re free to break until the conference the next day, where you will also get your certificate and a digital badge that you can add to your LinkedIn profile that is verifiable by potential employers.
Probably the most important aspect of this conference is the value. The conference itself is completely free, and if you elect to get your Adobe Captivate Specialist designation it’s only going to cost you or your organization the $499. Breakfast and lunch are included for the conference. Sure you have to pay for your transportation and accommodation but that would be true of any conference you decide to attend in 2019. Most eLearning conferences without any certifications are a thousand or more dollars just to register. If you use Adobe Captivate, are switching to Adobe Captivate, or are considering Adobe Captivate this is the conference for you.
I hope to see you in Washington DC on either March 12th, March 13th, or on both days.
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If you would prefer to watch this on the YouTube channel to get the live chat, here is the link: https://youtu.be/GWUcHr6PC9g
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Here is the FontAwesome 4.7 cheatsheet referenced in the video
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