looking for my first freelance project but..

Hi All,

I am in search of my first freelance project. I have good experience in creating rapid eLearning, WBTs and ILTs for different MNCs. However, I am finding it difficult to get started here. The main issue is that of purchasing tools.

I am from India and if you look at the price of rapid eLearning tool in terms of Indian Rupees, it is a huge expense.  I cannot affor to purchase a full version at this point of time. Can anyone suggest me an alternate way, please?

6 Replies
Bruce Graham


I know this is hard to say, but that is the way business works.

When you run your own business, you can be successful, VERY successful, however, that is all part of a "risk-reward" concept.

In order to benefit from the successes, you need to invest.

I do know your local situation, but talk to a business advisor/bank manager. If you have a business plan and anticipated earnings, it may be that they can help you.

There are several options I can think of here, but sometimes, to make large gains, we have to take large risks.

Perhaps you could look for a "sponsor", who will help you with your purchase for a % of your earnings?


David Anderson

Gotta say, "finding work" and "freelancing" are by far some of the most popular topics.

Sana, here's one of the more lively threads on freelancing:

And some general tips I like to share with folks:

Forums are a great way to demonstrate your expertise, network  and build relationships with the elearning community - including potential clients. It's awesome to see so many new contract opportunities posted in the forums. When someone posts a new job opportunity, they'll often look at the profiles and contributions of those who replied before checking their web sites and portfolios.


  • Screenr is another awesome way to demonstrate your expertise. I've heard from several folks who attribute some of their clients to the tutorials they've shared via Screenr.
  • Not just for software tutorials. There's no reason you couldn't use Screenr to walk through a task analysis worksheet you completed, edits you made to an elearning script or how you crafted your follow up interviews with SMEs.
  • Show what you know - Simply walk through selected projects and highlight your role, successes and how you overcame challenges in the project.

Here's an excellent example from Bruce:

Tom has some good suggestions for freelancers in these posts:

And  not to give Bruce a bigger head, he has a great post on freelancing over at OpenSesame: 

To make a long answer, longer: Share and participate. Share your work. Share a freebie (template, graphic, storyboard, idea). But most of all, just participate. E-Learning Heroes is the largest (and I'd say BEST) place to connect with everyone in the elearning industry. 

Jill McNair

Hi Sana,

Getting started financially is always the hardest part.  Starting my freelance business as a starving student myself, I bought my first elearning software while still a student.  I was able to get it for less than half price.  I believe most large elearning software companies provide an academic discount (including Articulate).  Articulate does not advertise the amount of their academic discount, but asks you to contact them here: http://www.articulate.com/company/contact.php.   

Another option is to search for a partner.  Find someone who has the software and offer to split the work - you do the instructional design/storyboards/scripts, they do the visual design and development.  Do you have a local training organization of some kind where you live?  If so, they probably have monthly meetings that you can attend and look for potential partners.  If not, take some time to create some online relationships. 

A final thought is to look for clients who want you to work on-site for the duration of the project, because you will be able to use their software.  Save your rupees for your own software though - if you you want to be a successful freelancer, there is no way around investing in the tools you need to get the job done.

I wish you the best - and as they say - "Where there's a will there's a way!"  If your are determined, you WILL find a way to make it happen!


Daniel Brigham


I echo all of the ideas above and add two more:

1. You can create solid e-learning in PowerPoint. Perhaps create a solid portfolio of what you can do in that tool. That is at least a start. If you have a potential client, you may be able to include some of the cost of the e-learning tool in the amount you charge the client. Probably won't be able to get them to pay for all of it.

2. If you are interested in becoming a better freelance, check out the Freelance Heroes thread. That's where many active freelancers discuss such topics. We'd love to hear from you.

Best of luck and go for it.

Bob S

Hi Sana,

Have you considered that many companies (including the great folks at Articulate) offer free trials fo their software?

Maybe you could do all your pre-planning, storyboarding, etc in advance, then activate a free trial for 30 days. That should give you enough time to build a killer sample course or two for your portfolio. Just be sure and publish to a format that you don't need an active version of the software to play.

Then when your client is blown away and wants to hire you, negotiate your payments in "phases" of deliverables. For example, X dollars when Storyboard first draft is delivered. That should give you enough money to purchase the authoring software for the development phases of the project!

It's tight and the timing would have to be coordinated well, but I think you could make it work.

Hope this helps and good luck in your venture!