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At Instinct, we provide both contractor and permanent staffing solutions - contracting is particularly prominent within our E-learning division. We understand the difficulties that can come with finding your next project with so many digital learning professionals all seeking new opportunities.
After speaking to our network, it was clear that there were a number of channels and tools that were considered useful for contractor marketing. So, we have put together a handy guide outlining the steps you could take to set yourself apart from the competition.
Create an online presence
In our previous eLearning blog we discussed how obtaining the experience and knowledge to build a portfolio is essential for any successful digital learning professional. Equally is the ability to market your expertise, especially online.
We suggested that you may want to consider creating an online portfolio, this will not only showcase your skills and experience but increase your visibility to potential clients. As a contractor, your portfolio can help give you credibility to potential clients who you may not have previously worked with. Check out our blog for further tips on creating an eLearning Portfolio that really helps you stand out from the crowd.
Become a social bee
Other online channels to harness are social media sites. Social media gives you the chance to market yourself by regularly joining in discussions, creating forums and sharing thought-provoking content to your network.
We love LinkedIn! Just like it’s a major part of our job, it should be a key focus of yours as well. A number of contractors informed us that this social media channel often serves as a very valuable tool for them. So, make sure your profile is professional and most importantly up to date with recent projects and time scales; you can inform potential employers of both your experience and availability.
It’s not what you know…
Find events, communities and organisations to connect with and attend. A number of our contractors regularly attend industry led events such as Learning Technologies Conference; Instinct regularly attend this event and first-hand know the value of attending conferences to extend our network and pick up valuable leads.
There are also communities such as the eLearning Network who host regular discussions and forums - that not only help build on your knowledge - but can also help connect you to professionals for referrals or to hear about new projects.
Don’t forget to add these contacts to your network - LinkedIn, being a useful tool here.
Extending your network
Referrals could be the biggest part of your contractor tool box – word of mouth can prove invaluable to finding your next project. At the end of each contract ask the client to write a short blurb; this can be posted on your online portfolio or your social media channels - LinkedIn has a specific ‘Recommendations’ section.
Connect with everyone you meet withinin the digital learning environment, not only could they become possible clients but may also highlight any opportunities or recommendations for your next project.
Publish an article… or even a book!?
We’re not saying that everyone should do this, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that several contractors in our network had written books. Learning Consultant, Christine Locher, wrote her book ‘The Decisive Edge’ which is set to come out this Autumn. She said that writing her book has been a huge ‘door opener’ and has served as a great conversation starter with new and potential clients. This could be a time-consuming process but could in turn cement your reputation as an eLearning expert and in the long term create unexpected opportunities.
Have you considered creating a blog, writing an article or publishing a book? Well we would say go for it! If you are able to find a specific topic that is relevant and thought-provoking to your network, you could really get your name out into the digital learning community.
Creating a successful marketing strategy could help you to accelerate your eLearning contract career. Ultimately you need to be pro-active – creating an online presence while extending and tapping into your network, and the digital learning community. And hopefully you can reap the rewards for your hard work when you are in a position where you no longer have to seek out projects, and instead opportunities come to you.
We would highly recommend registering with a recruitment agency – they have an extensive list of clients who are in constant contact regarding new projects they may need filling within weeks, or even days.
Let us know how we can help you - Call 0161 714 0600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.