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 site is best for e-learning professionals?
You might think you need to go all-in on every possible social network to build your own 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 known. 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. Here are some simple improvements to focus on:
- Fill in missing data fields
- Check the “Contact Me” link so people can connect with you by email
- Add a photo of yourself to personalize your profile
- Write a snappy bio that tells people a little more about you
- Link to your portfolio or website
Ready to boost your E-Learning Heroes profile? Be sure to check out this article for step-by-step instructions on whipping your profile into shape: How to Maximize Your E-Learning Heroes User Profile.
2. Become a Regular Contributor
Once you’ve raised your profile (get it?), 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:
“This community is by far the best I’ve associated with in terms of networking and leads. My participation here is not to get leads but to help others and share tips. Occasionally I’ll get a ping either directly or as a referral.”
—Kevin Thorn, Super Hero
“If you ask me, the gentlemen who posted here did the right thing. Share something useful, for free, and I bet he will see a return on that. I don’t currently have a need for a voiceover person, but you can bet I downloaded the files he provided and if the need arises, I now know a resource whom I could call on.”
—Saenna B Ahman, community member
Contributing regularly to the E-Learning Heroes community is the fastest 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 troubleshooting 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 sharing 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 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
The 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? I asked the community to weigh in on that question. Here’s what a few members had to say:
“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.”
—Nancy Woinoski, Super Hero
“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.”
—Jeff Kortenbosch, Super Hero
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 have been coming together all over the globe to exchange ideas and build their personal brands face-to-face for years.
Whether you’re interested in organizing a user group or simply want to participate in one, they’re a great way to deepen virtual connections while you demonstrate your skills.
In the current global climate, meeting face-to-face isn’t always possible, but you can always join existing groups now so that you get notified about in-person events when they start back up.
Curious about whether there are user groups in your area? Check out the full list here: Upcoming E-Learning Heroes Events.
The Bottom Line
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.
Looking for more career advice? Check out these articles:
- Boost Your E-Learning Career by Building Your Personal Brand
- Why You Need an E-Learning Portfolio
- What to Include in an E-Learning Portfolio
- 4 Skills Every E-Learning Developer Needs to Have
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