Freelance Heroes

Hi, and welcome to the "Freelance Heroes" thread, a place where Articulate Freelancers help each other. Got a question about freelancing? Or perhaps you have an e-learning asset that may be valuable to those "doin' their own thing"? This is the place to share--to give.

To start things off, I'd like to share a short list of questions that help me figure out what kind of training a potential client wants. (So often they have no idea what they want.) The list is far from exhaustive, but may be of some help. Looking forward to meeting you. --Daniel  

1301 Replies
Daniel Sweigert

HI Michelle, 

I am an e-learning developer who works primarily in Articulate Storyline and is also comfortable with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. You can view my portfolio at my e-learning blog here:

http://dansweigert.wordpress.com/

Just click on the portfolio section. You can reach me via email at dan_sweigert@yahoo.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Dan

Ant Pugh

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro said:

Daniel, tx for the client/question doc. Along those lines, I recently came across this link, via a Tweet, entitled 8 Things You Should Include in Your Terms of Service Agreement. I added it to my Toolkit.

Hi Rebecca, I would be really excited to see a list of what you have in your toolkit.

Is that something you'd be willing to share?

Edward Nothnagle

Hello all,

From other posts on the site it seems like this a good place to post freelance opportunities for Storyline developers.  Someone please let me know if I should post this elsewhere on the site.

I work for a large education non-profit in New York and we are developing online professional development courses for teachers.  We are producing two courses this spring and need help with Storyline production.  We already have design templates in Storyline that we like, but the job will consist of:  

1) "Cutting and Pasting" content into the templates and adding audio narration files

2) Tweaking the templates as required by the content (e.g. changing a 4 element drag-and-drop to 6 element drag and drop); also creatively dealing with content-heavy slides

3) Sourcing and adding graphics for selected slides (some experience in art direction a plus)

4) Making the projects as accessible as possible.  We have guidelines about alt-text and key-board equivalents that must be followed as well as occasionally building accessible versions of inaccessible content.

5) Managing feedback on work and making changes.  The project has many stakeholders, so experience (and patience!) in that type of project is a plus.

We are located in the Columbus Circle area of Manhattan. The candidate must be available to attend in-person meetings and we reserve the right to require on-site presence for some or all of the work (we will provide computer and work space). The work will start in late March and could last through July (although the content is not yet in hand so that's hard to estimate at this point)

Please contact me with any questions, resumes and works samples.

Thanks!

Jackie Van Nice

Hi Laura!

I focus on laying out crystal clear project assumptions and scoped items, which you probably already do, but outline them with as much specificity as possible. No one's got your back except you when the scope starts creeping, a new manager takes over who has a different vision of the project, or whatever else happens. You want an agreed-upon doc up front that lays it all out.

Obviously you'll also want to establish your invoicing and payment terms, including what you'll do in case of late payments. I don't know if you'll be working remotely, but you may want to include how much you would charge for full days of your time for overnight on-site work, and of course you'll make clear that any project expenses (travel, postage, whatever it is) will be paid by the client.

Those are some basic suggestions. I don't have a template, but you'll find plenty of docs by Googling - and others here may well have sets of templates they use or recommend, too.

Good luck and have fun!

Bruce Graham

Laura,

My view...

Quote states what you will do for what money. This may be the same as, or after a Bid.

A Statement of Work is how you will deliver the above, and includes what YOU will do, and what the CLIENT will do. It should have no surprises, and be based on what they agreed in the Bid/Quote.

The things I would include in a Bid include:
Background, Scope of Work, High-Level Bid and Proposed Payment Schedule, Timelines, Personnel, Additional Project Information, Project Software, General Learning Approach and Design, Voiceover, Intellectual Property Rights, Navigation Logic and Menu, Scripting, Course Build, Images and Illustrations, Quizzes and Tests, Design and Feedback, Style Guide, Translation Requirements.

These things would therefore feed down into a SOW.

Hope that helps.

Holly MacDonald

Hi all - saw this today and thought I'd pass it along - if you are not familiar with Peter Block's work, you might want to check out: http://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/welcome/designedlearning_may14 - it's a good foundation on how to consult and a lot of what we do is consulting. Free webinar, May 14th 10 am PDT.

Holly

Bruce Graham

So...here's something that has been bothering me for a while.

A serial entrepreneur I know asked me a question once, she said "What is your PRODUCT?"

Turned out that my product was ME.

In order to grow a business, and make a bigger profit, you need a product that is more than just your name.

I have recently been working hard to develop a product that is mine, and which someone else sells for me, on my behalf. OK...the price per unit is quite low, however...the number of units is potentially very high - so low margin high sales model.

Almost like entering the FMCG market.

So - as freelancers, we need to think about what, exactly, it is that we sell. Are we just service providers, or do we have a product that we sell, and can also upsell at a higher margin per unit?

Jeanne Bernui

Hi Everyone.  I'm working with an international client on several courses that will need translation into multiple languages.  Anyone have a recommendation on translation services for elearning?  Here's the list of languages they will need:

Russian

Mandarin

Italian

German

French

Polish

Spanish (I've got this one covered)

Portuguese (I might have this one covered)

Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Thanks!  Jeanne

Nick Elkins

Jeanne Bernui said:

Hi Everyone.  I'm working with an international client on several courses that will need translation into multiple languages.  Anyone have a recommendation on translation services for elearning?  Here's the list of languages they will need:

Russian

Mandarin

Italian

German

French

Polish

Spanish (I've got this one covered)

Portuguese (I might have this one covered)

 

Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Thanks!  Jeanne

Hi Jeanne,

We've done quite a bit of translation work for e-learning content. We're a custom course creation company, so we've mostly translated courses that we first developed in English, but we can certainly discuss what you're hoping to accomplish. Please check us out at Artisan E-Learning and let me know if you have any questions. You can also read my most recent blog post about E-Learning Translation tips here.

I also have contacts of multiple e-learning translation/localization vendors that I can share with you. 

Good luck with your project!

Nick

Nick n/a

@Bruce,

''So...here's something that has been bothering me for a while.

A serial entrepreneur I know asked me a question once, she said "What is your PRODUCT?"

Turned out that my product was ME.''

I'm not sure entirely sure of the wording you mean for freelancers and business owners. Would you call yourself a freelancer or a business owner?

I'm classified as a sole trader (work for myself) so I wouldn't say I'm a business owner. At the point I have a business (not only consisting of myself) then I would need to create products and employ others to work for me to sell and create those products. Are you asking if other freelancers have created products they sell? Surely, each time a freelancer creates a learning solution they are also creating a product.

Anyway, it's a good question but I'm unable to provide a clearer answer at this point. Just my thoughts.

Bruce Graham

Nick,

You are a business owner, so am I. That is what we ARE, freelancer etc. is HOW we choose to do it.

Freelancers, Contractors and so on are all "business owners", the only thing that differentiated them is what they sell.

Most people sell "themselves", and the better ones also sell on their company name/reputation, (which can be valued as "goodwill" in company reports and so on).

Your current "product" is you, and what I think I am saying is that this in most cases will be limiting factor to anyone who wants to grow and grow - there comes a point where you hit a ceiling. To grow a business past an invisible ceiling, we freelancers probably need to have a "product" in the more commonly used sense.

For example, Cathy Moore sells her ID method, others sell their lectures - all in addition to their day-to-day consulting roles.

I have now found someone who will sell a product that I create. They used my name/reputation as the entry-point, but then asked me to specifically design/build product for them. They will give me the leads, I will create the product at a low-price/small margin to me, they will resell + their margin, and the cycle continues.

Just trying to investigate the ways that freelancers can operate in the business world.

Nick n/a

Bruce,

In order to grow a business I would employ others to work for me and set up an office. That would be part of my plan.

A friend of mine runs a publishing company and does this, he has staff working for him and an office in town. He also has a variety of products in which he sells advertising space. That is IMO the difference between him and me as a business owner.

Are you specifically looking for ways freelancers operate (who do not employee others on a yearly salary and have an office/premises) operate in the business world?

I don't know if Cathy Moore employs others but she does have her E-Learning Blueprint product she created and her consultancy work. That could be more in line with your question. Sorry I can't be more helpful with my responses. I just have experience in talking to other business owners and their perspectives.

Bruce Graham

@Nick, I am not really asking a question, I am just trying to highlight a thought. If that leads to discussion - fair enough.

Given the world of today, and the technology we have available to help us, I can see more effective ways to grow a business than "staff" and "an office". I used the services of 9 people last year, some very intensively, my business grew, but I am still trading using my "name" as the basis for growth. Cathy has a great name, and a great "product", her blueprint. I merely used her as an example, there are many others who have made the transition to having this.

I do not think there is any difference between your friend and you - it is merely scaling. All of the business concepts are identical, but that is not what I am trying to discuss here.

All I am trying to explore is the CONCEPT of having a specific product to sell other than your name and your experience/expertise. Wondering who else does this, in this immediate community, if anyone. Most people here are one-person or small companies, selling "instructional design". I believe that it is also important to have something else, something where people can "buy" a certain number of "that thing". It generates revenue, and also assists sell the consulting and the person.