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The BEST eLearning


In the last few weeks I've delivered the biggest project that I've ever worked on since I started working as a freelancer directly with my own clients. And that project was to deliver a series of software training videos teaching people using my client's software how to kind of get started with the software but also going on to talk them through kind of more advanced functionality as well.

The first part of the project was to deliver these videos in English but the software is being used around the world so the actual software interface can actually be changed into some of the different local languages as well. So the next part of the project will be to translate all the scripts into different languages. We'll then have to re-record with a voiceovers and re-record all the video recordings as well to show the software in those local languages.

I realized quite soon after I started sending the final versions of these videos through to the client that this was the first time I'd worked on my own project with my own clients where I actually felt that the work I was delivering was the best possible work I could've delivered and there was pretty much nothing I could've done to improve the quality of the work that we had created for them. And when I sat down to reflect on this and to really think about what was the reason behind this? Why was this project different to so many of the others that I've worked on where I feel like we've done good work and I've delivered a good level of final output to the client but what was different about this one that made me feel it was so much better and I think the key reason when I think about it, is that the client with whom I'm working on this project, is so much more focused on the final outcome of the training we're creating, rather than the training itself.

So to give you some context, the software training videos that we're creating are designed to replace live webinar training that the client is currently delivering to users of the software. And they currently do two or three of these sessions every week. They take a couple of hours and obviously, that's a big kind of burden on the training team.

But not only that, they have a customer support team who are also answering lots of questions about how the software work and every time they receive a question, they either have to kind of type up a response or phone the user directly to kind of give them an explanation over the phone, or point them to a help document. And they're spending a lot of time doing this so there's a huge burden there on both the training team and the customer support team.

Now because the client is so focused on fixing this problem and avoiding this burden on all these people within the company, they've really focused on delivering a solution that's gonna work and this is in absolute huge contrast to some of the other projects I've worked one where somebody's come to me and said, "Look, we need "a training course." "We've got £10,000 budget." "We need to train our customers on x, y and z, "can you build us something?" And the difference is that if you're focusing on the outcome and solving the problem rather than just a box ticking exercise where you have to create a training course, the client with whom I'm working have been so much more receptive to my requirements. So, you know, I need to have this level of access with your subject matter experts. I'm gonna need this much of your time. I'm gonna need to work with some of your customers to understand their needs. I'm gonna need a certain amount of budget to build what will actually solve the problem. And that's a really, really big difference.

And this really takes me back to a video I published a few a weeks ago where I talked about how I failed to transition from being a freelancer into an elearning consultant. And that's actually where the whole idea of Videobites came from because I struggled to make that transition so I'll post a link to that video in the description.

But if you're just getting started freelancing or maybe you're working internally, as an elearning developer, or a learning development consultant within your company, you're not always gonna have the opportunity to work on projects where the final output that you deliver, you're really, really proud of and I understand that. Especially if you're freelancing and you're just getting started. But delivering work that you're really, really proud of, is such a great feeling and it's something that actually, that having that experience has really made me think, "You know what?" "I never, ever want to deliver work "that I'm not 100% proud of again in the future." And I think the reason I've been able to do that with this particular project is because I've become much more specialized with what we're doing with Videobites and we are creating software training and we're using video, almost exclusively to deliver that training and when you become specialized and you focus just on one very kind of narrow spectrum, in this case it's training but we're focusing on one type of training and we're focusing on one medium to deliver that. It's very easy to deepen your expertise in that area and become much more proficient at it because you're not focusing on doing anything and everything for anyone.

So whilst I feel that we've really started to nail that horizontal specialization if you like, we're just creating software training and we're just doing it using video, the next phase for me and for Videobites is to create a much more narrow, vertical specialization. And what I mean by that is at the moment, we're doing this type of training for anyone and everyone but I think we'll become even more successful and I'll be able to deepen the expertise of the business in a much better way if I focus on just one, very narrow audience so currently I'm looking at the SaaS audience ... Software as A Service and I have a couple of clients who fall into that category already but I'm not 100% convinced that's the correct category yet and we'll have to wait and see whether that works out.

But I feel pretty confident that by specializing to an even narrower focus, that it's just gonna help me deliver even more value to my clients. And then the projects that I'm gonna deliver in the future, I'm gonna be even happier with because I'm just gonna have so much more resources and so much more time and more expertise on these projects that I don't ever see me working on a project where I don't deliver my best work ever again.

So if you're interested in checking out the project I'm talking about, I'll post a link to that in description, and I'd be really interested to hear from you guys whether you're a freelancer, or whether you work for a bigger company, what percentage of the projects that you've delivered, I'm specifically talking about training courses I guess.

Whether that's online training or classroom training or maybe like a blended learning solution, what percentage of those projects that you've delivered, have you been 100% happy with and something you would say, you wouldn't change a thing and you were 100% happy with how that all went. I'd be really interested to hear from you in the comment.