One quick online search will show you there is no shortage of online courses. It appears that whatever you might want to learn, there are at least half a dozen options for you. So, in such a competitive market, you need to make your own courses stand out and be picked over the plethora of others that are available.
As an e-learning content designer, you can get that extra edge if you manage to build an online portfolio that is engaging and appealing to your prospects. It’s important to remember that today’s potential clients have very limited time and most probably need your content or consulting yesterday.
Build your online profile carefully
What was once accomplished by paper resumes is now in the digital realm. Potential clients will no longer ask you to send or show them your credentials; they will simply conduct an online search and look at your online portfolio.
There are three items you need to make sure are showcased when someone is accessing your online portfolio:
- Present all your professional accomplishments to date;
- Underline the most important aspects that will recommend you as a business partner or online instructor;
- Keep the right balance between professional and approachable.
Pick the right platform
Online portfolios are not just meant to float around on the world wide web. If you have any familiarity with SEO (and you should have if your business is mainly online), you know that results that come up in a search depend on numerous factors that constantly change.
So, you need a specialized hosting platform, and it’s important to pick it before you start building your portfolio because you don’t want to work on content only to find that the host does not support that format. Here are some platforms you can consider:
Showcase a variety of skills
It’s important to have a portfolio that appeals to as many potential clients as possible, so don’t be shy about showcasing many projects that required a large palette of skills. You can write summaries for each of these projects and highlight the special skills you have successfully employed in them.
Here are some ideas about what to stress:
- Your experience with storyboarding
- The interactive components in your e-learning modules
- Gamification credentials
- Video content production
- Your knowledge of immersive technologies
- Visual content production skills
Present your portfolio by way of diverse content
You not only have to present yourself as a competent Jack of many trades, but you should also show this in the way you build your online portfolio. Include visuals, text, animations, infographics, slides, videos, and whatever you have and is relevant for your work. Make sure the quality of your videos is top-notch and if you use voice-over narration, hire a professional for the task.
It’s important, however, to abstain from creating very long stories or videos because even if they are of very good quality, there’s a risk of losing the audience. Think of your online portfolio more like a sampler than a whole meal. It has to be indicative of what you can do without becoming overwhelming for the viewers.
It’s not bragging if it’s true
The goal of your online portfolio is to attract new clients. It needs to look good, but that’s not enough if others don’t recommend you as well. Therefore, you must write all your qualifications, relevant academic achievements, any other specialized courses you have completed, as well as awards or recognitions in your field.
Apart from this, it’s highly advisable to include referrals and customer testimonials. These are very powerful when it comes to convincing potential clients to choose you as peer recommendation is one of the best marketing drivers at the moment.
Final tips for a great portfolio
- Rather than have a sequential approach where viewers would have to go through all the content in a certain order, put in navigation features that will allow them to go directly to what interests them.
- Curate your portfolio regularly to make sure it stays relevant and fresh; try to address the conversations of the day.
- Promote it on social media and your landing or sales pages, and encourage your audience to share it, as a lot of business is done nowadays through online networks.
Your online portfolio is a more extensive calling card you can use to get potential clients to notice you. If you take the time and put in the energy to build an effective one, your e-learning business will only have to gain. Be mindful of keeping it updated and promote it widely.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.