The following post is an excerpt from my new e-Book series, How to Become an e-Learning Freelancer. The three volumes in the series are designed to be easy-to-use, practical guides to getting your freelance e-Learning career off the ground. Learn more here!
When I first started freelancing as an e-Learning Designer, I figured that finding new clients would simply be a matter of searching job sites to see who was hiring, and then applying for those positions where I felt I was a good fit. I had experience with job applications, so I felt good about my chances.
And then, like so many other times in the early days of my freelance career, reality hit. As I struggled to find new clients, money was tight, and I began to doubt my own abilities. After a lot of research, reflection, and discussions with my peers, I realized that it was time to start doing something I had never felt comfortable doing before: marketing myself.
As a concept, marketing myself felt like bragging at first, and bragging doesn’t come naturally to me. But as I got more into the habits of self-promotion, I adopted a new mindset: Self-marketing isn’t bragging; it’s highlighting your value for others who could benefit from your expertise. (Like Muhammad Ali said, “It ain’t bragging if it’s true.”) What’s more, as I was studying my most successful peers, I saw that strong self-marketing could be done with grace instead of arrogance, and it would ultimately be necessary to my long-term success.
[This topic continues in my e-Book series, How to Become an e-Learning Freelancer.]