How to Start eLearning Freelancing With No Experience
Becoming an eLearning Freelancer can give you the opportunity to have complete control over your schedule as well as your paychecks. However, if you happen to have no prior experience in the eLearning Freelancing industry, taking on the role of an eLearning freelancer can be quite a challenge. The good news is that there are a variety of tips that will get you off to a great start, even if you haven't ever worked on an eLearning freelancing project in the past!
- Research Instructional Design Models, Theories, and eLearning Software.
There are a variety of Instructional Design models and theories that you should explore before diving into eLearning freelancing. These will give you an in-depth look at the ideas and learning needs that many of your eLearning courses or deliverables will be based upon. The eLearning software used in eLearning is another aspect of the eLearning industry that you'll definitely want to research. eLearning authoring tools and learning management systems are just some of the key eLearning software that you may want to become familiar with.
- Find Your eLearning Niche.
Investing time and effort into finding the eLearning niche or specialty that you'd like to pursue should be a top priority, as it will allow you to determine your professional focus. Will you specialize in a specific eLearning authoring tool? Would you prefer to work on the instructional design aspects of eLearning courses and deliverables? What particular talents or skill sets make you stand out from the rest professionals? Which talents or skill sets do you feel can be improved upon Knowing your key strengths and weaknesses make it easier for you to find eLearning projects that are ideally suited for your specific talents, while helping you to fine tune areas that may be lacking. Also, you'll want to consider whether you'd prefer to work in the private education sector or corporate training (or both). If you have a clear sense of what kind of projects you're looking for, you will avoid working on eLearning projects that won't necessarily be as rewarding or challenging as you may have hoped.
- Build a Solid eLearning Portfolio.
Having an online eLearning portfolio that showcases your talents and offers eLearning examples to potential employers and clients is all-important. Your eLearning portfolio should include your best work and an explanation on how you achieved the primary goal of the eLearning project, as well as which eLearning software or techniques you utilized. Of course, you won't have a great deal of eLearning projects wrapped up at this point. So, you may need to design a few small eLearning courses or just a few modules to show off your skill sets. There are a variety of free sites that are ideal for online portfolio creation, as well as for online reputation management. Remember that potential employers may very well use the Internet to do some background research into your previous work, your client’s reviews, or to see if you've developed an online presence. Publishing a new eLearning article will substantially improve your communication and interaction skills, networking, and status as an eLearning professional. As such, it's essential to have a variety of examples to show that you are the right person for the job.
- Land Jobs that Offer Invaluable Experience.
Aside from financial gain, getting jobs as an eLearning freelancer offers you something that is virtually priceless: experience. While your first few jobs might not be record breaking in terms of the pay, each will offer you the chance to learn more about eLearning design, content creation, and eLearning software utilization which will eventually lead to a higher pay in the long run. If you are currently employed, it may be best to start off with some part time eLearning work, so that you can learn the basics while still bringing in a steady income and collecting that invaluable experience. While completing your first few jobs, be sure to keep track of how much time each task is taking and any expenses that you accrue. This will help you to create suitable bids for future eLearning projects, given that you will have a better idea of how much time and cost is required for design and development.
- Network with Other eLearning Professionals.
Networking with eLearning professionals who are more experienced or have different skill sets has a variety of advantages. Firstly, it gives you the opportunity to learn about projects that may be of interest to you. Secondly, if you are hired for an eLearning project and find that you need help with any aspect of the eLearning course or content design, you can call upon your network of professionals and create your team. Lastly, but certainly not least, building a network of eLearning freelancers will allow you to collect tips and tricks on how to become successful in your field. So, attend networking events, sign up for eLearning Freelancing forums and groups. Use social media, such as LinkedIn (Instructional Design & E-Learning Professionals' Group with more than 69,000 members), Facebook (eLearning Industry with more than 19,000 Likers), Twitter (@elearnindustry with more than 50,000 followers), and Google Plus (Instructional Design & E-Learning Professionals with more than 3,500 members), to find like-minded eLearning professionals who may be able to help you along the way. Publish an article about your newly minted eLearning freelancing career and chat with visitors who comment on your posts. You can even gain feedback by posting presentations or eLearning videos on YouTube and asking other freelancers to offer their opinions and thoughts.
Becoming an eLearning freelancer can take a significant investment of time and effort, and may even offer a fair share of stress and frustration in the beginning. However, using these tips will allow you to get a head start on achieving success in the eLearning industry, even if you've never set foot into a virtual classroom before.
Want to learn about the many benefits associated with becoming an eLearning Freelancer? In the The 10 Advantages To Becoming an eLearning Freelancer, I highlight 10 advantages that you may want to keep in mind when you're trying to decide if becoming an eLearning freelancer is right for you.
Also, you may find valuable the Top 10 eLearning Skills That eLearning Professionals Should Have article. In this article I will delve into the top 10 eLearning skills that will turn you into an ideal eLearning professional regardless of the niche, learning environment, or target audience.
Last but not least, I highly encourage you to read the free eBook “How To Become an eLearning Professional", which is filled with the experience, knowledge, and wisdom of 23 Top eLearning professio