The job market for learning professionals is rapidly shifting. Nowadays, more and more companies are hiring for tangible skills and talent. This means they care more about what you can offer them right now, regardless of the length of your employment history or your education credentials. As a result, in order to be competitive and land your next gig or client, it’s more important than ever that you can showcase your work, skills and talent. To put it simply, a resume alone isn’t enough to get hired—you need a portfolio!
In this session, you’ll explore why portfolios aren’t just for freelancers and why and how you should start building yours ASAP.
All right, welcome back, everybody. fourth session of the day, gosh, a ton of information has been thrown your way. I know that my head is still spinning is listening to all of it. And I just do this on a regular basis. But I'm honored once again to have another fantastic guest. This is Tim Slade. Tim Slade is an award winning elearning professional. Gosh, you have been you've been doing this stuff for a while. And I remember when you were over artisan, ah, and even like three years ago, I think it was when we did TL DC 19 in Arizona live conference, you spoke there and and the the feedback we got for your session was incredible, as I expected. And I think you were still with GoDaddy back then. Yep. Yep. Yeah. And now you've got the elearning designers Academy, highly sought after speaker you're always at events. I think I saw you a couple years ago at DevLearn. And, and so I'm glad to have you here I'm so I'm kind of surprised that you're even speaking at this event, because I always thought straight up is like, you know, one of the elearning gurus out there. So you're sharing your time and everybody please enjoy, Tim, he's amazing. You're going to get a lot out of out of this one. I'm going to go ahead and hide myself from the stage.
Awesome. Well, first, you know, thank you so much for having me, I have to give credit to Heidi Kirby, who approached me about this. So I'm so happy to be participating. And thank you all so much for attending. For those of you don't know me, my name is Tim Slade and I work as a freelance elearning designer. And when I'm not helping clients develop elearning content, I get to do stuff like this and talk to other people about designing elearning and building their portfolios and hopefully, building their careers. So thanks so much for having me. So real quickly. So we're gonna be talking about portfolios today, which is a very popular topic right now. And I'm sure there's a lot of different questions that folks are going to have. And we'll have time at the end for portfolios but quick favor, it's gonna be hard for me to watch the chat while I'm presenting. So you'll notice there's the chat panel, but right to the right, there's a little tab that's q&a. If you have questions during the session, put your questions there. That way I can easily track them. And the cool thing is, is that you can upvote on other people's questions. So we'll tackle the questions that get the most votes first, and hopefully we'll get through them. All right. Okay, so let me share my screen. Give me one moment here. And let me figure this out. I'm gonna share my screen share that screen.
All right, fantastic. You were seeing my screen. Okay. So here's what we're talking about today. A portfolio is your new resume. Portfolios are such, it's such a popular topic right now in our industry, not just for people who are trying to transition into elearning or instructional design. But even for a lot of elearning and instructional designers, even well established people in our industry, the concept of having a portfolio is still a relatively new idea within the last few years. And we'll talk a little bit about why that is. Okay, so I'm going to start off with a quick question. I'm going to put a poll in, I'm going to publish a poll. I don't know if it'll show up in chat. Give me one second here. I'm going to put a poll me publish it. Show the poll on stage. Yeah, let's do that. Okay, so I'm putting a poll up there. And I want to know, do you currently have a portfolio? Yes or no? And then what I want to know is in chat, tell me if you don't have a portfolio, why don't you have a portfolio? What are some of the reasons you don't have a portfolio? Or what are your roadblocks or maybe you just haven't started yet? So I'll give everyone a few moments. That 60% do not. Okay, very good. And like I said, let me know in chat. I know my heads turned like way over here. But that's why regular monitor is don't know what to put in one that time. Yeah, there takes time. Not sure how to do as a writer versus digital versus first. Visual Artists don't know what to include. haven't started, okay. How do I do it? Very good. Still working on it. And by the way, if you do have a portfolio, feel free to share the link in chat because I think the more examples people can see, the better off everyone is. Okay, so most people trying to figure out where to get started with their portfolio, which is great because that's exactly what we're talking about today. Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and close this poll. Like I said, please feel free to share a link to your portfolio and chat if you have one, because I think it'll help other people. So, um, here's what I want to talk about today. So first I want to talk about why you need a portfolio. And when I say why you need a portfolio, I don't want it to be just because Tim Slade says so or somebody else says so because I think for a lot of people, their motivation for creating portfolio is just because that's all they're hearing people say you need a portfolio, I want to explain Actually, why you need one, the real reasons behind it from a hiring manager's perspective. I also wanna talk about how to build your portfolio, obviously, that's pretty important. Everything from buying a domain, picking a website building tool, and of course, finally, what to put in your portfolio. Right? These are the three questions, the most important things that I think we want to talk about. So let's start with why you need a portfolio. All right. Um, you know, portfolios, if we go back in our industry, and when I say our industry, I'm referring to the world of corporate instructional design and elearning. If you were to go back maybe 10 years ago,
maybe 12 years ago, like when I first started in this industry, the idea of having a portfolio was really foreign. I mean, portfolios back in the day, like 10 years ago, were really limited, or really, the perception was that, you know, people working in some sort of creative field like graphic design, photography, those are the people who needed portfolios, right. And then if we fast forward a couple years, maybe into the tooth, you know, the teens, the 20, teens, I don't know what we call those, like 2012 2013 portfolio started to become more important, if you're going to be a freelancer in our industry, right. If you wanted to be a freelancer, you needed to have a portfolio because freelancing started to become more popular in our industry are more accessible. But even then, during that time, having a portfolio if you were just an instructional designer, working at a company or elearning developer working at a company, and applying for jobs, having a portfolio, formal online portfolio really still wasn't expected of you, you might have samples of your work, putting in a formal portfolio wasn't that typical. But if we fast forward today, more and more employers are looking for their candidates to come prepared, not just with samples of work, but a formal online portfolio. So those hiring managers can see evidence of your skills. And this kind of gets into why portfolios are becoming so, so much more, not only prevalent, but expected in our industry. And it really comes down to two reasons. First, I think it's because it's easier than ever to develop multimedia content, our industry, in the world of instructional design and ELearning Development, the role of an instructional designer or the role of a learning professional, and a general sense is becoming more of a catch all have all sorts of different skills. And because it's become so much easier to build elearning, it's become so much easier to create graphics, it's become so much easier to do video based content, more and more employers are expecting their candidates to be able to do a little bit of everything of those things. In addition to just being a good instructional designer, you also have to be an elearning developer, multimedia developer, you have to know how to edit video, record video, do audio, narration, all those things and create your own graphics along the way, right. And because it's become easier, more and more employers are expecting that. And as a result, more and more employers are putting more focus on those creative skills. The other reason that I think employers are looking for portfolios is because resumes do a really bad job of providing evidence of your skills. Anybody can put on a resume that they can learn our ticket, or that they know how to use Articulate Storyline.
But I can put on my resume that I'm a great salsa dancer, right? But if I were applying for a salsa dancing job, you probably assume that they'd want to see evidence of my salsa dancing. before they'd hire me to be a salsa dancer, right? And I'm not a salsa dancer. I'm not going to Salsa dance for anybody today. And the same thing applies to the things that we do in our industry. If somebody is looking to hire somebody who can develop amazing courses in Articulate Storyline, well, then I want to see evidence of those skills. I want to see that you can do the things that you say you can do, and resumes do a really lousy job of that. The other reason I don't want to forget this point, too. The other thing that's changing in our industry is that more and more employers are hiring more for specific skills than they are for specific credentials. I'll repeat that more and more employers are hiring for skills rather than credentials. And what that means back when I used to be a hiring manager and I managed instructional design team, I was initially In the candidate who could do the things that I needed them to do right now, whether they had one year of experience, or 20 years of experience, whether they had an associate degree or a master's degree, at the end of the day, those things are less important than the candidates ability to actually do the thing that I need them to do, right. And that's becoming, our industry is becoming more focused on skills based hiring, not just credentials based hiring, not that credentials are important, don't get me wrong, having a master's degree or having 20 years of experience, absolutely fantastic. But it also has to be backed up with the skills, and a portfolio is what people want to see. And so that's why you need to be creating a portfolio. All right. So that that was quick and easy. You need a portfolio because employers want to see skills, and they want to see evidence of those skills. And a portfolio can do that for you. So we talked about that. Let's talk about how to build your portfolio. This is the this is the moment when most people get stuck, because they don't know exactly where to start, let me give you a little history of the evolution of my portfolio. The very, very first version of my portfolio looked like this. It wasn't a website, by any means. I didn't know how to build a website. And I want to say this was back in, I want to say maybe 2010, I had an interview for a job for a training coordinator job, I believe is what it was. And my interest at the time was ELearning Development. So everything in my portfolio was based on elearning. Because that's kind of work I wanted to be doing and what I've been doing for the past 10 plus years. And so what I did, is I put together and I built this in PowerPoint, I designed the entire thing in PowerPoint, I made this little pamphlet talking about my design philosophy talking about my, my process was some pretty screenshots of elearning that I've created. And what I did is I took it to a local printer, and I had them printed out and I have them bind it. And what I did at the time, because I didn't know how to publish any of my elearning content onto the Internet, what I did is actually burned them to CDs, back when computers still had CD drives. And what I did is I pasted like literally with glue a CD sleeve and the back page of this, you can't I don't have a picture of that. But I pasted it on the back side of that. And whenever I go to interview, I would hand this out to whoever was interviewing me. And it was fascinating because every interview I'd ever taken this to I would always get a job offer. And what I realized retrospectively what I realized it was something that the hiring manager could walk away and remember me by right? They can interview 100 people, but they're gonna remember me because they still have this cool thing that I created in PowerPoint, with the CD in the back on their desk. And it also showed my design skills along the way. That was the first version of my portfolio. And even if you don't want to build a website, we'll talk about alternatives for building websites. But this is still an option that I think would appeal to a lot of hiring managers, even if you sent it in a digital format. And then I want to say gosh, I don't know when this was this was probably 2012 2013. Around the same time, I created my first online portfolio. And I created this using a program called Adobe Muse. It was like one of the very first no code, website building tools available on the market. And
I thought this was amazing. I love this portfolio at the time. And I had it full of all sorts of stuff. And then moving forward, I eventually moved to WordPress, I'll come back and talk about that portfolio here in a moment. And then I moved to WordPress, this was my portfolio, I want to say Gosh, 2015, maybe. And then in 2018, I updated it and the current version of my portfolio, this is what you would see now if you were to go to my, my my personal websites, I'm slate.com I purpose in showing this to you not only just to give you a kind of a history lesson of my portfolio, it's important to remember that a portfolio is a living and breathing artifact, if you will, of your skill set, right. And one of the things I don't want anyone to think about when they're building their portfolio is that something you build once and then you're done with it. That is hardly the case. Your portfolio is something that if you invest time in it, it's something that's going to change and iterate over time as your skills and abilities change and iterate over time. Right. Okay, so let's talk about a couple things with building your portfolio. So I want to talk about first some of the technical stuff, getting a domain name and picking a website building tool. If there's anything that I think is the two most important decisions you need to make, not just for the short term, but for the long term. It's these two things, getting the right domain name and picking the right website building tool because later on down the line a year from now Two years from now, five years from now, deciding to change either one of these things, your domain name or website building tool can be a real pain in the butt. Trust me, I've done both change domain names change different website building tools, and it took me weeks and sometimes months to accomplish that. So let's first talk about buying a domain name. You know, buying a domain name is so easy nowadays, you can get domain names through websites like GoDaddy, or Google domains. And a domain name is just the www.whatever.com dot, whatever, it's how people are going to get to your portfolio. And buying a domain name. In most cases, not all, but most cases only cost a few bucks. And it costs maybe 20 bucks a year, a year to maintain some domain name, name, domain names are a little bit more expensive if they're considered a premium domain. But for most part, they're pretty cost effective. And it is really the cornerstone of your online presence and brand is having the right domain name, because that's how people are going to find you. It's what's going to show up on Google when people search you. And if you haven't taken the time to purchase your domain name to go out and GoDaddy or go out to Google domains and just search your name. com, you should go do that you should do it right now. And you should go do it for your children as well. Because I think in the future, everybody's going to have some sort of online presence.
It's going to be part of being a professional. And so it might be worth your time. If you have kids to go buy their domain names. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me, they'll they'll thank you for it later. And so you want to go and purchase a domain name. Now, like I said, you can do it through GoDaddy, you can do it through Google domains. But there's two important things I want you to think about when you're purchasing your domain name is how you want to brand yourself, do you want to be branded as an individual? Do you want to brand yourself as a company or somewhere in between? I was fortunate when I first bought my domain name, Tim Slade, calm back in like 2007. But that was available. Nobody had purchased template.com, right. But if you have a very common name, or you go out and search and it's not available, you'll have to do something that some alternative version, right. The other consideration to think about is, how easy is your name spelled right. I'll give you a great example. I have a good friend, her name is Roberta Dombroski. Nobody's going to spell that correctly. And so she goes for Roberta Alex De, she has another website called Learn mindfully calm, right. And so you can choose a domain that best fits you. I'll show you some examples of a person I've mentioned before her name is Xena, AB, she goes for Zenab LSD, right? But you want to make the right decision, right decision for yourself now. And in the long term. The reason why, like I said before, is if you purchase a domain name, and then you want to change it later in the future, it can affect everything with your website affects your SEO, your search engine optimization, it's a headache, because you have to update your entire website and all of the pages and then it can take weeks, if not months for Google to index all of that. And I'll tell you from experience, when I first purchased my domain name, like I said back in like 2007, it was Tim slate.com. At the time, I had no plans on what I was going to do with it. I just thought like it was like a, you know, because I was like 20 something and stupid. I thought well, this would be funny. It's kind of like when you know, people go by like a star with their name on it right. And probably like 30 other people or 1000. Other people have that same star with their name on it. That's what my mindset was at the time. And the thing to know about domain names when you purchase one is that you have to pay an annual fee to keep it in your name. It's usually like 20 bucks a year. It's not a lot of money. And so I bought it in 2007. Then years later, I did nothing with it, and I let it expire. And so come 2012 2013 When I was ready to build my website, I went to go see if Tim slate.com was still available and it wasn't available. Some somebody in Australia, a photographer who happened happening Tim Slade, he purchased it for his portfolio. And so I had to go with Tim hyphen slate.com for several years. And I can tell you, it killed me inside because you know, people naturally are going to type Tim slate.com Then they go to this guy's photography portfolio and realize, Oh, that's not the template I'm looking for. And then they'd have to figure it out. Right? Well, luckily, a couple years later, when I was redesigning my portfolio, I went to go find out on a whim whether Tim slate.com was available, come to find out that the photographer in Australia let it expire. So I snatched it up, and I used it. And I ended up getting really nasty message from him on Facebook. But I didn't care because I was like well, you should have renewed your registration. You don't want to have to do all that. So pick a domain name. Figure out what you want to how you want to brand yourself. And also think about how it's going to affect In the future, right? You know, if you go with, you know, if I were to go with Tim Alex De like learning experience designer.com Then I'm pigeonholing myself into the brand of LSD right? Is that something you want to do? Those are all considerations you have to think about.
Okay, so we talked about domains, let's talk about tools to build your portfolio. You know, just as easy it is to, to buy a domain, it's becoming incredibly easy to build a website, and there's tons and tons of different options out there. For building websites, Wordpress, Webflow, Wix, Duda, Squarespace, Google Sites, GoDaddy, Weebly, they all have different website building tools. But the important thing to remember is that they're not all built equally. And so what I do is I try to figure out like, on two axes, what's the ease of use? And what's the customizability? I don't know if that's a word, but it's gonna be a word, say customizability. Now, some of this is relative, some people might disagree, and I've had some people go no, Wix is incredibly, highly customizable. You know, it depends. Some of this is just my opinion. Right. But you know, as Louis was saying, at the top of the top of the session, I used to work at GoDaddy. And so I used to manage an instructional design team there. So I have I've had the great pleasure of playing with all of these tools. And this is my opinion on where most of them set and I usually try to categorize them into two categories. Tools like Webflow, Duda, or WordPress, those are like, I don't want to say that template based tools, not the word I want to use. They're fully customizable tools. They're like industry web development tools, right? With web flow, or Wordpress. You know, I think like, there's some crazy statistic that like 90% of all websites are built on WordPress, right? Web flows becoming more popular. I'll talk about dude in a moment. And then these other tools down, oh, the other tools down there, Squarespace, Wix Weebly, GoDaddy, go Google Sites. Those are all template based tools. I'll talk about those here in a moment. Webflow is a great tool. It doesn't require you to know code. But you do need to understand the ins and outs of how a website is structured on the back end and how it works. I've been playing around with building websites for years, I've played with web flow. And even the end even for me, it's a pretty hard tool to get started with. They've really great customer education content out there for free, that you could you know, learn how to use web one. There's tons of templates out there. But I if you've never built a website before, I probably want to start with web flow. But it's a very powerful tool, you can do anything you want. Due to you know, dude, it's like a wannabe Webflow. I've played with Duda. And it's not worth anyone's time. So don't do that. It's awful. I'll talk about WordPress in a moment. The rest of these tools, like I said, Squarespace Weebly, GoDaddy, Google Sites, these are the template based tools, right? These are the ones where you start with a template. And it's like a drag and drop interface. So like GoDaddy has their own tool.
Wicks and Weebly, you can go play with them all, they all have their own tool. And they all are, you know, they're not all identical. But they all work on the same premise. You pick a template, you add a section, you fill in your own content, those are all really great options, if you're if you're brand new to building websites. And what I encourage everyone to do is if you're thinking about if picking the right tool is what's your roadblock to building your portfolio, then go sign up for a free trial for all of these and just play with the template and see how easy it is to use. And you'll figure out which tool is the right one for you now, and then in the long term. And I'll show you some examples. If you're looking for something that's completely free, Google Sites is a completely free tool. It's very limited in terms of customizability. But it's incredibly easy to use. And I'll show you some examples there as well. Your only investment really is the domain name. And then we have WordPress. WordPress is the tool that I've used forever and ever and ever. It's a really powerful tool. And what makes it powerful is that WordPress, in and of itself is just a content management tool. It hosts your website content. And what you have to do in order to use WordPress, you have to pick a template or theme that sits on top of it. Where you design your website and how easy it is to use. This oftentimes depends on your template or your theme. I think the learning curve for WordPress is a little steeper than a lot of other tools. But it's you know, I'm biased because it's the one I've been using forever. And again, it's worth your time to go you know, play around with it and see whether or not it works for you. I've seen a lot of people who've never done anything with web before web design or portfolios, build really successful websites in web flow or in WordPress. Okay, so what if you don't want to build an entire website? There's a lot of options out there. If you don't want to build a website if you're just looking for something that you can get up and running quickly, so that you can send a link to a potential hiring manager or put a link on your resume or your link profile. There's a lot of options out there, I'll give you some some great examples. Stephanie Harnish, she is a freelance elearning designer out of Canada. And this is her old version of her portfolio. She since updated it, but I'll show it to I'll show you the current version here in a moment. She built her portfolio completely in Articulate Storyline, and publish that to the web and redirected her URL to, to the storyline course. And it was a great way of not only showcasing her storyline skills, but building a portfolio in the tool that she's advertising herself as using right? If you already know how to use storyline, well, then why not use a tool you already know how to use, it's not made for building websites, but you're essentially building a little mini website. And there are some drawbacks to this. I'll talk about that here in a moment.
Here's a screenshot of her current website, I'll show you the live version here in a moment, she since updated it, now she uses rise as her website building tool, which is even easier than storyline. And I think looks better. And I'll explain probably some of the reasons why she did that. And I'll talk about some of the drawbacks there as well. And of course, you can do what I talked about earlier, like if you just build like a PDF, like really nice PDF document, and Canva are PowerPoint and that you send that out as your portfolio includes links to your your courses or something like that, that can be just as acceptable. Right. Okay, so we talked about how to build your portfolio, let's talk about what to put in your portfolio. All right. Um, you know, one of the mistakes that I made really early on in my career, when I built this very first version of my portfolio, is that I included everything in the kitchen sink, if you were to go back then and look at my portfolio included everything from facilitator guides, and desktop publishing, and presentations and infographics and some elearning courses and everything under the sun. Because I thought at the time a portfolio was to represent all of my work, right? And I couldn't have been more mistaken. Right. And this is the mistake I see a lot of people make when building their portfolio is they prioritize quantity over quality, they overcompensate and put so much in their portfolio. And the reason why that that is a mistake. And I'll tell you from my experience, the reason that that was a mistake for me was two reasons. First, when a potential hiring manager or client went to go view my portfolio, they couldn't tell what I specialized him. I was interested in what I specialized in was ELearning Development. But when they saw desktop publishing and presentation design, they started contacting me for that work. And I realized, well, no, I don't, that's not really the work I want to be doing. I want to be doing elearning design and development. And I thought at the time, well, if they look at these examples, right, they could kind of see how my design skills in these different formats might apply to elearning. But they weren't able to do that. And so people can't want it. We're unable to discern what I'm good at. And I think that's the biggest mistake people make. They put so much in their portfolio, they put quantity over quality, then you can't discern why What are you a specialist in what is your talent? What, what is the thing that you know, you really want to be hired for.
And so there's really three things you need to balance when figuring out what to put in your portfolio. First quantity, talk about that here in a moment, quality, and your audience. Now the to quantity versus quality, it's it's really obvious, in my opinion, that it's you need to focus on quality first, always, even if you only have one or two examples, one or two really awesome examples is going to be better than 15, mediocre things. And the reality is, is that most hiring managers, they're evaluating dozens of applicants, the likelihood is they're only going to spend a few minutes on your portfolio. And in those few minutes, they better see your best work, not all of your work, right. And I can prove this for you why this is this, this matters. As Louis mentioned, I used to work for a company called artists in elearning as a small boutique custom ELearning Development Company. And I was hired as employee number eight, I was their creative director for elearning. And for years, artists and elearning had one example in the whole portfolio. And artists in elearning, as a custom ELearning Development Company had over a million dollars in revenue while I was there from one portfolio example right? And so it's always quality over quantity. And then of course your audience, who are you trying to target with your portfolio? And I'll explain in a moment how to answer that. I'll explain it now. Because we're come to that site. And so when you're thinking about what to put in your portfolio, and I'll show you some examples of this here in a moment, you need to ask yourself some questions. I always ask these four questions. What are you really good at doing? What do you really enjoy doing? What do you want to be hired to do? And what are people willing to pay you for? Where the answers to those four questions intersect? That's what you want to be putting on your portfolio. The challenge for many of you who are new to this industry You may not know the answers to these questions, right? And that's okay. Because typically the answers to these questions come in time. Once you've done a lot of stuff, you realize what you like doing, what you don't like doing what you're good at what you're not good at. If you were to go to my portfolio, I can tell you exactly where these intersect for me, I am interested, what I'm good at what I enjoy doing, what I want to be hired for, what people will pay me for, is creating really visually engaging elearning and video based content and tools like Articulate Storyline, rise and Camtasia. And if you go to my portfolio, that's exactly the type of work that you will see there, right? And so constantly be asking yourself these questions Where do these intersect for you? That's what you want to be putting on your portfolio. Right. And I'll show you some examples here shortly, or right now. So let me exit out my presentation here. And I know we have about 15 minutes left. So let me show you some portfolio examples. And then we'll have time for questions. So let me open up this, I'm going to put this link in chat. This is a blog post I did a while back on some must see portfolio examples. So feel free to check that out. So me chasing different portfolio examples. This one is by a woman named is ANAB are Zeynab, I was going to ecology. She's an instructional designer based out of Egypt. And this is a great example of her portfolio. She built this completely for free in Google Sites, the only thing she had to invest in was purchasing her domain name. And this is a great simple little portfolio, you can see the different sections up here. She has different portfolio examples. She uses really nice mock ups to highlight her work. And you know, she's really does a great job focusing in and highlighting her visual design skills and Articulate Storyline. She doesn't put a lot of details about the the thing that she built, and that's okay. There's a lot of conflicting advice out there about what you have to put in terms of explaining your portfolio example. You'll see in my portfolio, I don't put a lot of details. But there are other instances where people write sort of like case studies, and I'll tell I'll tell you in a moment, why, why you would do one or the other. And then she has a link, or she has some screenshots here to the actual portfolio example. Very simple, right? I'll put her link in chat as well, so you can check it out.
I'm Lindsay redmire. She's another individual who I've mentored she built her portfolio on Google sites as well, you can kind of see the variety of what you can do on Google Sites. Hers is another really simple portfolio. But the branding is really nice and consistent. The thing that I'm always looking for when I look at a portfolio, is when I go to the homepage, I want to see your name, what do you specialize in, in maybe a picture of yourself? If it's if the picture of yourself is on the front page, at least I want to be able to find it on the about page like we have here on on Z's portfolio, right. And I think Lindsay does a really good job telling you right up front, who she is what she specializes in, right. She has a very simple layout. She has a homepage, a portfolio page with three examples and some other work that she's been adding an About Me section, where she does a little bit of a summary about herself. It's almost like a mini resume there with highlighting her tools that she uses, and links to her social profiles. You could probably build this type of website and Google Sites in a day. If you if you knew the content and you you knew what you wanted to put on it right. I'll put her link to her portfolio chat as well. Here's another portfolio. This one this one's my favorites. This is from Amanda. Cash. She forgot her last name. Let's go to the About her website. Amanda. Alex De calm. Amanda and Amanda Nugen. She is a freelance. I don't know if she's, I think she works full time now for a company. But she was working as a freelance Learning Experience Designer based off of out of Australia. I'll put her link in there as well. She built this I believe in Wix. And it's just a really great example of I love these little icons that she has going on here. And she has a blog, and she talks about her services. And again, really nice mock ups here. Lin Wang is another elearning designer, she focuses more on UI and UX. But she's also based out of Australia. And I'll put her link in chat, hers is worth checking out. She built this from scratch using web flow. So this one's a little bit more complex. And you know, it's a little bit more focused on her services because she's a freelancer, but she talks about her design process. She has a great blog. And as you're looking at all of these different portfolios, the thing that I encourage you to look at is just kind of the way they're structuring their message, how they're structuring their elearning design work. Her portfolio, she gives a little bit more information about what she built. She has some more screenshots So forth and so on. Kath Ellis Kath is another freelance elearning designer out of Australia. That is kind of a theme going on here. But when I was building, redesigning my portfolio, she is the person who I came to for inspiration, she does a really good job, if you go to her portfolio, what I like about cats portfolios, she does a really good job balancing quantity and quality. She has a lot of really high quality examples. And some of them go into a lot of details. Some of them are just some screenshots, right. Here's Stephanie's portfolio, this is built in briars, this is a really great example, again, you could probably build this in a day and a half, if you have your examples ready. And, you know, it's you wouldn't know that this isn't just, you know, an elearning tool, it looks like a little website tool. The reason that she I suspect that she built this is because the great thing about rise, if I adjust it here is that it's completely mobile responsive, right? The drawback with using a tool like rise, and this hasn't been a problem for Stephanie, but it's something to think about is that with a tool like rise, where even if you build something in storyline and hosted on the web, you're not going to have any SEO optimization, meaning Google's probably not going to do a great job of indexing this, at least the content within it. But you know, if that's not important to you, if you're not planning on creating a blog, or anything like that, then then it may not be an issue for you. It's still something you can forward or redirect your URL to, for somebody to get to. And here's my portfolio, and I'll put this in chat as well. Let me get Stephanie's in there. Actually, before I forget, stuff me hairnet. My portfolio, I built mine in WordPress. And you know, like I said, my portfolio is focused on storyline, visual design, I don't actually link to working versions of my courses. I find it more interesting for somebody to see it. I'll show you the video here in a moment. But I have some details. I include some bullet points about, you know, who was the client, what tools to use, what skills I use, and some screenshots here, right.
Like I said, a moment ago, I don't put working versions of my courses in my portfolio. Again, the focus of my portfolio was less on my instructional design, and more about the experience I'm creating in storyline with visual design. So all of my portfolio items are made up of these little video reels where I'm highlighting different parts of the course. Right. And again, most hiring managers, most clients aren't going to go through the entire course. So what I do is I highlight it with a video. And these videos were created completely in Camtasia. They're just some screen recordings and some cool animations mixed together. Okay, the final thing I want to talk about, before I turn it over to questions here, we have a little time for questions. Is one thing that I I don't have in my I don't know if I have it in my presentation. Actually, let me go back to presentation. My slides here, um, give me one second here. So the common question, I saw somebody, some people mentioned this in chat, what if I don't have, what if I don't have or can't share my work? You know, lately, there's been a lot of, there's a lot out there on building your own portfolio samples. And that's really what I want to talk about. First, if you don't have work that you can share, then the next best option is to create your own samples. And I'll give you a really great example. My portfolio has a course called How to cook a turkey. And a couple years ago, I didn't this was actually like going on like 10 years ago now. I didn't go home for Thanksgiving one year. And so I stayed home this whole week. And I built this course on how to cook the turkey and Articulate Storyline. And the interesting thing about this is it's the most viewed item in my portfolio. It's not instructionally sound, I can fully admit that I was just playing around with storyline to see what I could create and make it look really cool. The interesting thing about this is I took it to a conference and they won an award for it. And it's the most viewed item in my portfolio. The reason why I bring this up is because I feel like lately, a lot of the advice out there is you have to pick a business topic for your portfolio. And the truth is that couldn't be further from the truth. a hiring manager depending on what you're trying to get hired for. a hiring manager can evaluate your technical skills, your visual design skills, and your instructional design skills regardless of the topic. And so if you're brand new, you're trying to learn storyline, you're trying to learn how to design and develop elearning trying to learn how to read the storyboard. It can make that bar even that much higher if you're trying to figure out how to teach a topic you're not familiar with, right? And so what I always tell people is pick something you're passionate about and create a course around it right? Figure out who the target audience would be for that course and build a course on that topic, right? I promise you. If a hiring manager looks at 99 portfolios, and they all have boring business topics on effective one on one meetings and customer service, best practices, dah dah dah dah, dah. They're not Gotta remember all of those, but they will remember the weird quirky course on how to cook a turkey. Or I've seen people create courses on how to groom a horse, how to pick a tattoo artist, how to apply eyeliner, I've seen everything how to do sourdough bread, right? You can make those instructionally sound and create really awesome portfolio examples because any hiring manager worth working for, they're going to be evaluated able to evaluate your skills, regardless of the topic. And that's not to say you shouldn't have a balance of topics, but
it doesn't all have to be business related. All right. Okay, so I know we're coming we had We're tight on time here. So I'm going to close out with a couple of quick things. We talked about why you need a portfolio, how to build your portfolio, what to put in your portfolio. So feel free to check out my book, The eLearning designers handbook, it kind of goes through the entire elearning design and development process, storyboarding needs analysis, all of that, you can find that on Amazon. I also have some tools project plan, notebook, the storyboard notebooking, find those on Amazon. You can follow me at the elearning designers Academy at elearning academy.io. And I invite you all to join my free community, the elearning designers community at Community dot elearning academy.io. All right. So with that being said, I'm going to stop sharing my screen, and we can tackle whatever questions you have. Let me get everything back over here. And I'm happy to answer any questions. Anyone has all but let me stop presenting. Okay. Very good. So I'm going to go to the q&a tab. And we'll start there. And we're gonna sort by up votes. Okay. Okay, so Shannon wants to know, if you work, you work for a learning organization, a school district? How do you deal with what I think of as the intellectual property of the school district? I'd like to showcase the work they do every day. But I don't feel like I can I own it? That's a really great question. So the first question you have to do, or the first thing I have to do is you have to ask, go ask, can I put this in my portfolio? I, you know, as a freelancer, in my contract, I tell, I have all my clients sign that I can use their work, or the work I create for them in my portfolio. So go ask it, they'll probably say no. And so in those instances, what you want to do is my best recommendation would be to recreate the thing that you're wanting to showcase. But in a different context, maybe change the design, change the content, change the topic, that's going to take work, right? There's nothing you can do if they say no, it's proprietary, you can't share it, then you can't share it right. But if you do own it, then by all means, if not, then it might be worth your time to recreate something that helps Chairman. Okay. Next question. Also from Shannon, if you're just getting started, how do you decide how to brand yourself an individual or company, probably as an individual would be my first recommendation. You know, for me, I've always branded myself as Tim Slade, and it's Tim slate.com. But you know, over the years, I've been doing this for 10 plus years now, I realized in the last couple of years that there are things that I want to talk about and blog about that have nothing to do with elearning. Right. And so what I decided to do a couple years ago, not even a couple years ago, like a year and a half ago, is I created the elearning designers Academy website, that's elearning academy.io. That way I can separate my personal and my other brands, so that eventually in the future here on Tim slate.com, I can start talking about things other than elearning. There, right? If you're just getting started, probably just brand yourself as an individual. That would be my recommendation, unless you have like a really big vision that you're going to, you know, expand into, you know, freelancing or your own company one day. Okay. Laura asks, and Laura asks, if you're using the free trial versions of articular, arise, can you still use it as a portfolio and redirect the URL? I don't know what happened. Great question. Okay. So if you're on the trial version of storyline, or rise, the great thing is, is that you can publish that course out, you can publish it for the web, and host that on the web. And even after your trial expires, once you've published it out, you can still you can still be viewed. I can't get into the technical stuff right now. But you have to just publish it for the web and hosted on the web, and save that storyline file. Because once you have access to Articulate Storyline again, then you can edit it. The drawback is that once the trial expires, as long as you publish it, the only thing you won't be able to do is edit the course and so you have a license to to storyline. Okay, um, let's see, where did i
Okay, so live wants to know process description. What are the pros and cons of describing the process? Oh, great question that I didn't get a chance to cover this. Is it live? Yes, live or live? I'll go live. Um, so it depends. Again, it goes back to the four questions. What are you trying to highlight right So if you're wanting to be hired as an instructional designer, if that's really your focus instructional design, right, then it might, it might be best for you to really outline the problem you're trying to solve how you solved it. Maybe you include screenshots or attachments of the storyboards. It all depends on what you're wanting to highlight. Like I said, for me, I'll be completely honest with everybody. I'm not interested in doing needs analysis, that's not what I want to be hired for. And so I don't include that in my portfolio, right? I include the visual design stuff, my technical work in Articulate Storyline and other tools. So if you're just getting started, probably you want to include some details. Even if it was a fake project, you can at least say, this was in my mind, the target audience, this is how I decided to approach it. This is maybe how I would measure it right? You can still talk about it in a meaningful way, even if it's a hypothetical course. Right? But at the end of the day, it's all about what you're trying to highlight. Okay, um, what am I using to present a PowerPoint? I hope that answers that question, Mary. And then we're using what is this? Me as the web hosting tool? Okay, let's go to Patricia. Besides samples, would you include prep documents like storyboards? Yeah, kinda like what I answered before, it depends, right? If that's the, if that's what you want to highlight, then then maybe so even if you choose not to put that in your portfolio, it's at least good to keep samples of that work. I oftentimes, like even though if you go to my portfolio, you don't see working examples of my courses, I maintain a list of links that I can send to a client or hiring manager if they want to see that right. And so you don't have to put it all in your portfolio, especially if it's going to make it messy. But it doesn't mean that you can't maintain a repository of those items that you can send, if it's requested, or if they want to see additional examples. Right. I hope that helps Patricia. Okay. Um, how much time do we have for a few more questions? I don't want to keep going. So, Louis, you let me know.
Yeah, you can answer a couple more if you'd like. Okay,
cool. Um, T Raf, what did I use to create the presentation? PowerPoint? It's just PowerPoint. James wants to know, what tips do you have for people trying to get into instructional design? Who wants to improve their visual design skills? That's a great question. Um, honestly, James, the, the best thing that you can do is just start practicing visual design. A great example of this, like in the eLearning, designers community, what we do, and I'm not saying this as a plug, I'm just using it as an example. Each month, we do a Community Challenge, like this month, right now, everyone's being challenged with creating their own custom icons and PowerPoint, right? Or the articulate community challenges are another great example. The only way to improve your visual design skills is to practice visual design, right? And the more you practice it, it's like a muscle, the stronger it will get and your eye for visual design will get better, right? In the meantime, it never hurts to use templates, go find templates that you can use and alter those. And the more you start doing that, the more that you'll start understanding the different techniques. The other thing I'll say too, is check out. Nancy Doherty's books slide ology, it's a book on presentation design, but it's it was the first book I ever got as a learning professional. And it taught me everything I need to know about visual design. So that's slide ology, by Nancy Duarte. Okay, we'll do one more question. And then we'll wrap up. And of course, if I didn't get to your question, you can contact me afterwards on LinkedIn. Um, what is the link for your community? Oh, what a great question. I'll put that in chat. You can join me out there. And if you have more questions on that get posted. That's a question. We put in chat. You can join me there. All right. I'll stop. I know I was going fast that that 45 minutes went by so quick, 49 minutes. But thank you so much for having me. I could talk about portfolios for another couple hours. So if there's something you wanted to know that I didn't get a chance to answer or talk about, reach out to me on LinkedIn, or in the eLearning designers community. So thank you,
Tim, thanks so much for that wonderful as usual, and I can't express like or recommend more highly, if any of you out there that if you end up going to conferences at some point. Anything that Tim is at, you need to check out a session. Oh, thank you. Yeah, I should get that on your agenda, because I know he does. Guild events, add events, just everything even when CLDC gets going again, for live events. I'll probably be sending an email to Tim.
Yeah, you got to get you gotta get back out to Phoenix. Yeah, no,
I love it over there. Yeah. All right. So thanks, everybody. Last session Day coming up this one with it. Kirby and Laura Hoyer. We're gonna wrap everything up and so hopefully we'll see you all there thanks everyone thanks