9 Communication Tips For eLearning Freelancers
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9 Communication Tips eLearning Freelancers You Should Be Aware Of

eLearning freelancers have to play many parts throughout the course of their work day. They must balance the books, tout their talents, and keep the peace with their collaborators. However, one of the most important hats that you wear is that of an "effective communicator." You need to keep your clients well-informed and clarify expectations to avoid stressful situations later on. Here are 8 communication tips that every eLearning freelancer should know.

1. Provide Clear Communication Guidelines Up Front

When communication is lacking, confusion is sure to follow. And confusion leads to dissatisfied clients who do not refer you to friends and colleagues. As such, it's important to establish communication guidelines up front, so that everyone knows what to expect. For example, how often you'll send progress reports and your preferred contact methods. Make clients aware of the usual response times. If you don't typically answer emails on the weekends, just let them know, so that they don't feel slighted.

2. Schedule An Introductory Meeting To Identify Clients' Training Needs

It's a good idea to get things off to a communicative start. Schedule a meeting with the client and ask all the important questions, such as what they hope to achieve, their objectives and goals, as well as the expected delivery date. This introductory meeting allows you to build a report with the client and clarify their expectations. As a result, you can create more targeted eLearning content that aligns with their objectives. If you work remotely, find a reliable video conferencing tool that you can use to host the meeting.

3. Always Get The Last Word!

I know, getting the last word isn't usually a positive trait. However, in the case of eLearning freelancing, it's always best to send an email response even if the client didn't ask a specific question or raise a concern. Reply anyway to acknowledge that you received their message and that you value their input. Clients will also respect the fact that you're taking time out of your day to keep the communication flowing.

4. Send Frequent Updates

The frequency of your updates should be specified in the communication guidelines. However, it's best to send updates as often as possible to keep clients well-informed. For example, after you finish a particular phase of the eLearning project or are about to start revisions. Let them know what's going on so that they are aware of your progress. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions along the way so that you can develop more effective eLearning content. For instance, you're able to customize the latest eLearning video based on a client conversation.

5. Ask For Client Input And Feedback

Clients should be involved in every aspect of the eLearning project to the extent that they want to be involved, of course. Some clients like to play a more active role, while others are happy leaving the decision-making to you. It's wise to get their feedback from time to time, so that you know you're headed in the right direction. This also helps to prevent lengthy revisions at the end of the eLearning project.

6. Set Up Online Communication Outlets

Ideally, clients should have multiple contact methods whereby they can reach out and offer their input  and not solely an email or phone contact. You might consider a social media page, Project Management online platform, or other online outlets. This gives clients the opportunity to ask questions and check-in from time to time. They can also see the progress first-hand. For example, upload a to-do list in the Project Management online platform and check off each task once complete or keep a group calendar where they can view upcoming assignments and milestones.

7. Silence Is NOT Golden

In the event of an emergency, be up front with the client. Try not to avoid their emails or delay your responses in order to buy yourself some time. It's essential to be up front and transparent when things don't go according to plan. In most cases, the client will understand if you simply tell them the truth and maintain the same level of communication. They may even be able to give you more information to help you overcome the obstacle. They may, for example, offer more clarity regarding their objectives or needs. Or to secure additional online training resources in case the client has altered the original plan.

8. Don't Hesitate To Ask Questions

Questions are not a tell-tale sign that you are in over your head or cannot live up to expectations. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you aren't sure about a particular aspect of the eLearning project. It's better than grasping at straws and hoping that you eventually determine the client's objectives and desired outcomes. This is yet another reason why an introductory meeting is so crucial. It gets everything out in the open, which gives you a clear scope of the eLearning project as a whole.

9. Get It All In Writing

Every detail, big or small, should be in writing. Even if it seems obvious, still put it in your client contract. One of the parties involved may forget about a particular element of the eLearning project. And a written agreement will help to refresh their memory. Thus, preventing future confusion, conflicts, and miscommunication, keep in mind that verbal contracts are not binding. You may have worked with the client in the past, but situations, goals, and training needs change over time.

Are you following these golden rules for every eLearning project? Use this article as a guide to open the lines of communication and give your clients the listening ear that they deserve. This also allows you to create more effective deliverables. Thereby, turning every eLearning project into an opportunity for repeat business.

Are you looking for ways to build your professional success on a daily basis? Read the article 5 Things Successful eLearning Freelancers do EVERY Day to discover 5 essential things that top notch eLearning freelancers do every day.

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