Freelance instructional designers often work with a wide variety of clients—clients who have diverse needs, wants, requests, and learning objectives. It can be hard to juggle it all! And whether you’re brand-new to freelancing or someone who’s done it before, the challenges remain the same. Setting up your own business on top of managing clients and projects can feel like a full-time job, and it is! 

In this article I’ll share some resources that’ll help you freelance like a pro, even if it’s your first gig! Let’s dive in.

Should You or Shouldn’t You?

If you’re thinking about taking on your first freelance job, you might be wondering, Is this for me? Or maybe you’ve freelanced in the past and want a refresher before diving back in. If this sounds like you, check out these resources:

Setting Up Shop

An online portfolio is a place where potential clients can see an overview of your experience and samples of your work. Online portfolios are important because they ensure you’re always ready for new opportunities and help showcase your skills. 

If you’re new to freelancing, you’ll need to create one from scratch. For those of you who have experience freelancing and so have a portfolio, resist the urge to simply ignore it. You want to keep it up to date with all the awesome content you’ve created!

Convinced you need one but unsure where to start? Read this article: What to Include in an E-Learning Portfolio. And check out this e-learning challenge 39 E-Learning Portfolio Examples and 75 Tips for Getting Started for some examples.

Project Planning

E-learning freelancers are only as strong as their project planning skills. The ability to accurately scope and manage projects—often simultaneously—is a hallmark of freelancing. It’s also something a lot of people struggle with. For information on how to successfully plan and manage your e-learning projects, check out the articles below: 

E-Learning Development

As an e-learning professional, you probably know the basics of designing and developing courses. But as a freelancer, how do you create training that keeps your clients coming back for more? By making sure the courses you deliver address the learners’ needs, hold their attention, and are flawlessly executed! Check out the resources below to learn more: 

Review Process

The back and forth with SMEs reviewing a project is a pain point for many instructional designers. If you’re like me, you’ve found yourself stuck in the endless cycle of reviews plenty of times. While the review process can be tricky, the articles below will help you smoothly navigate it: 


Starting out as a freelance e-learning developer can be overwhelming. But with these resources, you’ll be off to a great start!

And if you’re looking for more information to help you get started or to improve what you’re already doing, check out these additional resources: 

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