Four tips on how to get more of the work you love & a shameless plug for interactive stories.
This article offers three tips on how to get more of the work you love (and is a hard sell, shameless plug, and all of that jazz.. on getting great at interactive storytelling… I won’t lie!)
Yes, I help instructional and elearning designers craft and launch interactive stories.
BUT, crafting an interactive story is not always the main reason why people work with me.
It’s for other reasons.
More practical reasons.
Practical reason numero 1: Their elearning and instructional design projects are repetitive. They don’t spark creative joy.
And practical reason numero 2: They’ve done storytelling or scenario projects and they want to do more of that kind of work. The challenge is, they don’t know how to get more clients that want to do these kinds of creative projects.
Regardless of what’s going on with them, or where they’re at in their career, the people that I talk to are frustrated. They’ve spent years producing learning, and feel they’re losing creatively with each new project. The work doesn’t satisfy or excite them the way it used to.
Many of my clients are concerned that if this trend of uninspiring work continues, they’ll just end up doing more of the same. Work that makes them feel like they’re not getting better at their craft.
They’re also worried about their financial prospects. It’s hard to demand fair prices for your work when you’re competing on equal footing with people around the world…. that do the exact same thing.
What I found is that many of these frustrations can be solved with the following: (here comes the shameless plug!)
One: Adding interactive storytelling to your tool kit; becoming masterful in it.
Two: Crafting a learning experience that showcase those unique skills. Which in turn, attracts clients that resonate with that kind of experience.
How I discovered this was by accident.
I would like to tell you that it was through some genius thinking but it’s not!
This discovery came about because I was frustrated with the kinds of projects that were coming my way.
Especially with what people were expecting from me. I felt like I was on a software and asset library treadmill.
I got sick of the lengths I needed to go to to make my product more “exciting”. I’d spend hours trying to find the right interaction, but in the end nothing was truly moving the needle.
So at this point you’re probably thinking…
“Okay, great… feel ya. When are we getting to those tips Anna?”
Well, here you go!
Here are four tips to set you off in the right direction.
TIP #1: Share and showcase the kind of work you want to do, not what you’ve done. Showcase work pieces that will attract the right kind of people to you. Your portfolio should represent your best, not your “everything”.
Question to ask here: What project did I love working on? Why? Can I show off more?
TIP #2: Be strategic about who you want to attract — who you want to work with. Your work should be saying to someone, “I’ve really thought this through. I am really good at this kind of work”. And when your potential customer looks at it, they would say “I like that! That resonates with me. Can I have one of those too?” Which is a great situation to be in, because you already know that what you have… they like! And, they want you to build one of those for them too.
Question to ask here: Who is the person I want to work with? (Be specific, create an avatar)
TIP #3: Have your interactive story, your portfolio piece, solve a real problem. Make your interactive story helpful to someone. Make it so that anyone who experiences it gets value from it. This way, even if they don’t work with you they’ll be more apt to share it, to remember it, and remember how it made them feel.
They’ll forget your name, but they won’t forget that they went through an experience that moved them. You will be a person who crafts experiences that touch adults. Not someone who just builds toys. Someone who has levelled up.
If you share this with enough people, you will become known as someone who crafts meaningful learning experiences. And when they’re ready to work with you, you’ll be top-of-mind.
Question to ask here: What are some problems in the world that I’d like to help solve?
Having fun yet?
Here’s the last tip.
TIP #4: To find clients you want to work with, the operative word here is “find”. You have to be strategic and proactive in this process. Reach out to people. Get your work in front of them. Nobody wakes up and looks for you. They’ve got a million other things vying for their time. And let’s be honest, most clients don’t even know what is possible…. you have to show them what is possible.
If you want to have a satisfying career, and if you want to be the one getting these kinds of projects… you’re going to have to be the one proactively building relationships. Get your work in front of the people you want to work with. (see tip #2)
Question to ask here: Where do my ideal clients hang out? How can I get in front of them?
Which of these tips and strategies resonated with you?
What are you using to attract more of the work you want?
Share this with someone who would enjoy this advice.
For some of you you’re going to be able to take this and run. Maybe, this is exactly what you needed to unlock that combination lock, the ‘aha’. For others, I don’t want to leave you hanging. So jump on Zoom with me, and let’s talk about your goals. Let’s figure out exactly what’s been holding you back OR what it will take for you to make that pivot into interactive stories.