Last time we gave you a little push towards the freelancing world with some tips from 5 top performing Jam Pan digital and elearning freelancers on making the move and getting started. This time we’ve asked them how to build a successful career- and what keeps them motivated about digital learning. Stay sharp in the freelancer market by learning from these successful Jam Pan players…
What’s your Top Tip for Building a Successful Freelance Career?
Build Networks, Build A Reputation, Build Trust
David: Be clear about your strengths and weaknesses – you’ll build a better reputation by delivering high quality work in your areas of expertise than by spreading yourself too thin. Keep learning about new technologies and industry trends. Plan your workload carefully – some projects may be delayed, leaving you with spare time on your hands, but only take on work when you are certain that you will have enough time to devote to it.
Rich: Have motivation and passion. My motivation is my wife; she’s expecting our first child next month and because of my fortunate work situation I have the flexibility to be around a lot more whilst knowing the harder I work the more time we’ll get as a family in the future.
My passion is (and has been for as long as I can remember) to help people learn – whether that’s inspiring the learner with a creative, dynamic learning approach or just simplifying the learning journey as much as possible – I’m happy when involved with that.
Andy: Have Integrity and Self-belief. As a freelancer, you are sought out as ‘an expert’. Be the expert you’re expected to be – If you don’t think you are the expert a client is looking for, don’t work with them. You will know, they will know and you’re likely to damage the relationship, your confidence and your reputation.
You are working with clients who are paying for your services and place an incredible amount of trust in you to deliver. You must repay this trust with success. Be open and honest about expectations, deliverables, limitations and costs. Even if it’s not what people want to say, your reputation as a someone with honesty and integrity will strengthen the relationship and lead to more work.
Clive: It is essential that you have self discipline and can get your head down to get the work done. I have never had a problem with this. As a consultant my main priority has been to establish a reputation, which I have accomplished by writing and public speaking. Anyone working with me knows what I think just by Googling my name.
Martin: Market yourself and what you do clearly and build networks.
What Keeps You Excited About Digital Learning?
Better Technology, More Potential to shake things up than ever…
David: From a technology perspective, it’s great to see new tools creating more ways to engage learners. But the human side is important for me too – for a client, an e-learning project is often just one of 20 or 30 items on their to do list, so it’s always very satisfying to be able to take responsibility from them and deliver back something that they are really happy with.
Rich: I’m a firm believer that the learning journey should be as straightforward as possible. Not necessarily the easy option but for most cases the right one. Digital learning provides the designer, developer and ultimately the learner with so many tools and techniques to tackle those problems and give us choice. In the past we had classroom or elearning, digital learning is shaking all that up, not just with new technologies but with new attitudes towards learning – ‘choice’ is a wonderful thing and it’s a very exciting time at the moment!
Andy: I’m a geek at heart so I’ll always be excited about digital learning, It’s technology! A better question is, Why should people be excited about digital learning. Here’s why..
Today, we spend a large amount of personal time on mobile devices and interacting with smarter, faster, more accessible technology. We love it! Digital learning used to be about reading words and clicking next on a computer screen but the tools, techniques and attitudes to Digital Learning across the world are continuing to evolve. This means you should expect to be able to access and interact with digital learning in the same way you book an Uber, use social media or watch Netflix. It’s more intuitive, flexible and familiar. What’s more is that the learning community is becoming ever more proficient in transferring subjects traditionally delivered by a Facilitator in a classroom into a format which blends well with digital learning. It’s an exciting time because it’s getting easier to access and complete learning, as it should be!
Clive: What keeps me excited about digital learning in a workplace context is its huge untapped potential. After 35 years in this field this is also highly frustrating.
The possibilities of what’s to come. Digital learning currently feels like the poor second cousin of consumer digital experiences. That’s changing and will continue to change. And that’s why it’s an exciting time to be involved. You can help shape great digital experiences.
So are you ready to shake it up in digital learning, and shake off your day job? Join these experts in the Jam Pan Marketplace. Create a profile and browse live jobs for free.
Staying client side for now? Let these freelancers bring their expertise to your next digital learning project: You can find these freelancers and hire them in our marketplace. They can make it easier for you to get the job done..