5 Common Challenges That Every eLearning Freelancer Faces And How To Overcome Them
As Robert Benchley, the famous American humorist, once said: "The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps". Becoming an eLearning freelancer usually means leaving behind all guarantees and welcoming a life of risks that match the rewards. We have our fair share of obstacles that we must surmount, but all of the hard work and dedication can pay off in spades. Here are the 5 most common challenges eLearning freelancers face at one time or another, as well as how to overcome them.
It's not easy to talk about yourself and sell your talents, particularly if you aren't comfortable in social situations. Self-promotion requires that you not only promote your talents and abilities, but that you identify your key strengths and weaknesses. This can be a cathartic process that forces you delve deep and raise your self-awareness, which is probably why this is such a significant obstacle for eLearning freelancers. However, if you are able to accomplish this you can then learn what sets you apart from the rest and develop a solid sales pitch for potential clients. You also gain the opportunity to improve upon your weakness so that they eventually become strengths. If you aren't ready to promote yourself in person, then consider joining social media groups and online forums that allow you to try out self-marketing skills.
- Valuing their eLearning services
Putting a price tag on your eLearning services is easier said than done. You don't want to value them too high, as this may narrow your potential client base. Likewise, you don't want to value them too low and struggle to make ends meet. The thing to remember is that you shouldn't necessarily charge a flat fee, but go on a case-by-case basis. Your experience and skills, as well as the time and effort you'll have to put into the eLearning project are all significant factors to consider. Even the current asking price that other eLearning professionals are charging plays a role in determining your fees. This is why it's essential to do some market research beforehand and to carefully examine the costs of your eLearning project. Ask the client exactly what they are looking for to figure out how much time it will take, what tools you'll need, and how many collaborators you're going to have to bring on board. This will help you formulate the perfect estimate for your next eLearning project.
- Striking a balance
You want to achieve success in your career as an eLearning freelancer, but you also have to remember that it's important to strike a work-life balance. Many eLearning freelancers deal with the dilemma of work vs. home life. Working overtime may help you to further your professional goals, but it may come at the cost of a thriving personal life. This is why it's vital to create a schedule that works for you and prioritize. If you find yourself getting stressed or overwhelmed by your work situation, try to take a step back and ask whether it's really wise to take on another eLearning project. If possible, delegate some of the responsibility to another member of your eLearning team or consider hiring an assistant. Above all else, learn how to say "no" and don't let guilt or pressure make you do something that you know is out of your scope.
- Building credibility
You have to start somewhere. If you are new to the eLearning industry then you need to build credibility and establish yourself with potential clients. Answer their emails as soon as possible, be up front with them about the cost and timeline of the eLearning project, and putting your best foot forward during client meetings. If you aren't able to deliver on something that they need, then let them know well in advance or enlist the aid of someone who can. One of the most common mistakes the eLearning freelancers make is trying to be "all things to all people". But you have to know your limitations and be honest about what you can actually bring to the table. Even if you may not be what they need now, they'll probably turn to you for other eLearning projects in the future if you're completely open with them.
- Adapting to meet the needs of clients
You have to wear many hats as an eLearning freelancer. Every client will require something different in order to achieve their goals, which means that you have to quickly adapt to different situations, constraints, and work environments. You must also become familiar with their brand messaging and fall in-line with their image. Conduct on-the-job observations, study their website, and interview key players within the company to learn more about who they are and what they require. Even their promotional materials can offer insight into their online training needs and brand image. When in doubt, survey your corporate audience to find out what they think about the current online training program and how they feel about the organization and their place within it.
One of the most important traits that you must have as a successful eLearning freelancer is the ability to be flexible. You have to roll with the punches, as they say, while remaining professional and personable. This can be easier said than done at times, but it is well worth it when you achieve eLearning career success.
Crafting the perfect sales pitch is just part of your job description. Read the article Give A Winning eLearning Sales Pitch: 7 Tips For eLearning Freelancers to discover how to create a winning pitch that will land you more clients.