When you’re first exploring the idea of building your personal brand, it can be a little difficult to know where to start. Write a blog? Post to social media more frequently? And if so, which social media site is best for e-learning professionals?
You may have the sense that you need to go all-in on every possible social network to build your network. I’m here to reassure you that you don’t need to turn into a one-person social media marketing machine! In fact, I usually encourage folks to focus on starting with the community where they’re most comfortable—and for many of you that community is E-Learning Heroes.
To help kickstart your branding efforts, here are three no-fail strategies you can use to elevate your profile and build your brand in the E-Learning Heroes community.
1. Update Your E-Learning Heroes Profile
The fastest way to start building your brand on E-Learning Heroes is simply to make yourself “knowable.” How?
First and foremost, personalize your profile with up-to-date information and links that make it easier for people to connect with you and your work. It only takes a few minutes to update your E-Learning Heroes profile. Focus on simple improvements, such as:
- Filling in missing data fields
- Checking the “Contact Me” link so people can connect with you by email
- Adding a photo of yourself to personalize your profile
- Writing a snappy bio that tells people a little more about you
- Linking to your portfolio or website
Ready to boost your E-Learning Heroes profile? Be sure to check out this recent article for step-by-step instructions on whipping your profile into shape.
2. Become a Regular Contributor
Once you’ve made yourself more knowable, it’s time to start interacting with your fellow e-learning pros. The easiest way to get known is to show you’re someone worth knowing!
People like and respect those who share their ideas and talent, freely. Generous contributions to the community will generate the kind of word-of-mouth advertising that money can’t buy.
But don’t take it from me. Here are two E-Learning Heroes community members who’ve chimed in on the value of becoming a regular contributor:
Contributing regularly to the E-Learning Heroes community is the quickest way to start conversations and build new networks, but that doesn’t mean you need to do tons of work for free. E-Learning Heroes offers lots of simple, less time consuming ways you can contribute.
Take Part in Discussions
When you’re stressed, confused, or frustrated, it’s tough to top the kindness of a fellow professional jumping in to commiserate, troubleshoot, or just offer friendly words of advice. Even something as small as a simple show of kindness can be a great brand-building opportunity, since helping people demonstrates your expertise and your personality.
E-Learning Heroes is a very active community, with conversations that cover everything from technical “how to” questions to deep musings on how people learn.
Discussions are dynamic, but generally people post their e-learning and instructional design questions in the Building Better Courses forum.
Whether you’re jumping into the Building Better Courses forum to share a free template you’ve built or a design concept you’d like feedback on, this forum is a great place to demonstrate your industry experience and design skills.
Have a lot of technical know-how? Your peers in our product-specific forums—Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio, Articulate Presenter, Articulate Engage, Articulate Quizmaker, and Articulate Replay—would love to hear from you.
Participating in product-specific discussions gives you the chance to show folks your technical know-how and product expertise in a way that’s friendly and helpful.
Show Your Work in the Weekly Challenges
These ongoing weekly challenges provide a powerful venue for honing your skills, stretching your creative muscles, learning from peers, and building your portfolio and your brand—all in one fell swoop.
Sharing your work in the weekly challenges is a win-win, but it can be a little intimidating at first. Many folks I’ve talked to have expressed reluctance about showing work that’s not representative of their best efforts, and yet very few of us have time to give 100% to a project we’re building for free or in our precious spare time.
So how do you take the weekly challenge plunge? Recently I asked the community to weigh in on that question. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
Hero Nancy Woinoski: “...I almost always show work that is subpar because I use the challenges as an opportunity to explore ideas before trying them in real courses. Even though I am showing my work to the world I feel the challenges are a safe, supportive environment.”
Hero Jeff Kortenbosch: “A tip I will give those that are somewhat uncomfortable with not sharing their best work is: add some context to what you share. Create a start screen with an ELHChallenge disclaimer :), anything that would help people understand this is a demo/experiment part of the Articulate ELHChallenges.”
Whether you use the weekly challenges to experiment with new ideas or to generate buzz for your brand, the weekly challenges offer a high-profile, low-stress way to connect with peers and demonstrate your personality. It’s free exposure served up with a healthy dose of fun.
3. Attend or Lead User Groups in Your Area
E-Learning Heroes is much more than a virtual community. Community-created user groups are coming together all over the globe to exchange ideas and build their personal brands, face to face.
Whether you’re interested in organizing a user group or simply participating in one, they’re a great way to deepen virtual connections while you demonstrate your skills.
To learn more about how user groups work, check out this helpful organizer’s checklist. And if you’re interested in starting a new group in your area, fill out this short form to get the process started.
E-Learning Heroes is all about connecting e-learning pros. It’s full of like-minded people—prospective employers and clients—which makes it a safe, rich, friendly environment to learn the brand-building ropes. In short, E-Learning Heroes is the perfect spot to start growing yourself and your brand.
How are you using E-Learning Heroes to build your brand? Share your ideas, tips, and questions with us by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy this article? If so, we’d love for you to follow us on Twitter, where we post the latest and greatest news about everything e-learning.