How To Make your eLearning Freelance Business a Success
There is a distinct difference between eLearning freelance businesses that just survive and those that stand the test of time and turn a great profit. While there are a myriad of factors that determine under which category an eLearning freelance business falls, there are also a number of tips that can give eLearning freelancers the opportunity to achieve success, even in down economies when the competition is fierce.
- Discovering your eLearning niche should be a top priority.
While it’s always helpful to know a bit about everything, you should also have a specific eLearning niche that you focus on. This is a specialty that is ideal for your skill sets and your experience. To be really successful, you have to be aware of your eLearning niche and be ready and willing to learn it inside and out. Find out all you can about the various eLearning tools and technologies that are at your disposal and delve into the principles and theories involved. Become an expert in your eLearning niche, so that you become the eLearning Freelancer that everyone calls upon when they’re looking for the best of the best in your field.
- Develop an effective online eLearning portfolio and keep it up-to-date.
One of the most valuable eLearning freelance business tips I can give for those who want to achieve success is to really take the time and effort to perfect their online eLearning portfolio. Make sure that it accurately reflects your skills and experience, as it will be carefully viewed by your potential clients and employers, when they will need to get a sense of who you are and what you can offer to them. As you learn new things and develop new techniques, add these to your online eLearning portfolio, and ensure that it is well organized, well designed, and up-to-date.
- Set up online headquarters for your design and development team.
Virtual work spaces, such as Asana and Basecamp, are great platforms for project management. If you work with other eLearning professionals on a regular basis, you’ll definitely want to think about setting up an online base of operations in order to stay on-task and stick to deadlines. Through free project management platforms you can assign projects, keep a team calendar, and send out alerts for upcoming due dates.
- Focus on building an online presence and manage your online reputation.
Create a site or blog that includes information about your expertise and services, and stay active on social media sites and eLearning online forums. By doing this, you increase your online presence, which means that clients and employers will be able to find you more conveniently. Also, pay attention to your online reputation by asking satisfied clients to post their positive reviews and recommendations. Go above and beyond to keep clients happy, so that they feel compelled to leave glowing testimonials about your eLearning services.
- Track and manage your resources effectively.
Organization and resource allocation are key to success for any eLearning freelance business. Keep track of expenses, time spent working on individual tasks, and anything else that will affect your bottom line. This will help you to not only increase your profit margins, but it will also allow you to create more accurate bids for projects. For example, if you can accurately estimate your eLearning course development time, then you can factor that into the overall cost.
- Network, network, network!
Go online and join eLearning professionals’ groups, such as the Instructional Design & E-Learning Professionals’ Group on LinkedIn. Attend networking meetings in your area or eLearning conferences, if possible. You have to devote time and energy to networking in order to build your list of contacts. These contacts can not only be invaluable resources in the event that you need help with projects, but they can also let you know about projects that may be an ideal match for your expertise.
- Be ready and willing to learn more in order to profit more.
As eLearning freelancers, we are always on the lookout for new and better ways to create meaningful eLearning experiences. To do this, it often means that we must be perpetual learners, who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to expand our knowledge and master new skill sets. Attending courses and webinars that will help you to learn about emerging eLearning technologies and utilizing resources that deal with Instructional design models and theories can give you the opportunity to learn more in order to profit more.
- Research the eLearning market to identify points of need and then seize the opportunity.
Every industry has gaps that need to be filled and points of need that, once identified, may lead to significant profit. So, research the eLearning market and see where there is a need and then see how your skills and experience can give you the power to create new opportunities. For example, if there are very few eLearning companies who are willing to take on smaller projects that only require one eLearning freelancer, then why not capitalize on this by becoming the go-to eLearning business for smaller organizations.
- Be innovative and get creative.
Learn about emerging eLearning technologies that may be of benefit to your eLearning freelance business in the near future, and be creative about how you use the technologies and tools available today. Try to discover new eLearning techniques and applications for them when creating your eLearning deliverables. Being innovative and always willing to take on new challenges, you can gain invaluable experience and provide better eLearning deliverables for your clients.
- Set aside time for marketing and promotion, even when you have a full work load.
Even if you are swamped with work and don’t really have any room in your schedule for another task, it’s always a good idea to keep up with your eLearning freelance business marketing strategy. This can ensure that you have new work waiting for you when you’ve wrapped up your current projects, and that your eLearning freelance business never has any down times. Avoid the dreaded “feast or famine” by always setting aside time for marketing and promotion.
- Don’t forget to reassess your strategy periodically.
Your eLearning freelance business strategy should always be a work in progress. Every now and then take the time to assess what’s working and what’s not, so that you can constantly improve the way you do business. Get feedback from clients and contractors you’ve worked with in order to determine your core strengths and weaknesses, as this will allow you to remain at the top of your game.
Hopefully these tips can give you some inspiration and ideas for how to make your eLearning freelance business stand the test of time and thrive. Determination, dedication, and a well rounded eLearning freelance business strategy are key ingredients in the formula for eLearning success. Staying focused and committed to taking your eLearning freelance business to the next level, and never settling for anything less than the best from yourself and your team, are crucial.
Do you need additional tips to land more jobs? The article Tips Every eLearning Freelancer Should Know to Land More Jobs highlights 7 tips that absolutely every eLearning freelancer should know to land more jobs, even if you don’t have any prior experience in the eLearning industry.
Last but not least, there are a number of ways that you can boost your earning potential and increase your profits even if you are new in the eLearning field. At the article Tips to Earn Money as an eLearning Professional you will find 10 tips on how to earn money as an eLearning Professional.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.