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How Kimberly Reinvented Her Career As An Interactive Storytelling Freelancer

 
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TRANSCRIPTION

Anna:
Hello, everybody. Anna Sabramowicz here. Thank you so much for joining me. And now this is an interview with one of my favorite people, Kimberly Goh. She is part of the Interactive Storytelling Accelerator. And today the goal is to really dig into her journey, why she's gone all in and she's interactive storyteller to the max, right? This is a part of her title now. I wanted to explore that with her. And also, wanted to actually craft an interactive story and as far as I'm concerned, leave a serious digital legacy. So you guys ready? I hope you're ready. All right. Hi, Kimberly. Thank you so much for joining me.

Kimberly:
Hi there, Anna. So glad to be here.

Anna:
Awesome. Okay. So first off, you joined us. It's cool. I feel like you are part of our founding members, right?

Kimberly:
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Anna:
So when we launched the full-on group coaching back in January, you jumped in and you said, "Yeah. I'm in." You were part of the few people that started this community with us. So I feel like this is a perfect time for us to talk because we've watched your attractive story and everything's culminated to this launch, which is wonderful. Now tell us a little bit about yourself. How you came to this point before you joined the Interactive Storytelling Accelerator, what was life like, and your background?

Kimberly:
Yeah. Okay. My background officially is in computer science and consulting, and I have been in the learning development training area for probably the last 10 years or so. I did a whole bunch of different things prior to that, but ended up in this. I love this industry. It's a good place for me to be. And I've been doing freelance work for the last year and a half. So as I started that journey, which was that's a big leap going freelance, but as I made that leap, I happened to land a really wonderful client that was EmC Leaders who is still my client today. And it was a great experience. So I actually had a very good experience with my e-learning development because we were taking her three day workshop to an online format. It was fun. It was like I was her partner.

Kimberly:
So I wasn't being an order taker as I know a lot of people in industry talk about. "I don't want to be an order taker." But I follow a lot of people in social media. A lot of people who are L&D veterans or freelancers, and I saw a lot of discussion about, "I'm being asked to convert PowerPoint slides all day. I am being asked to be the Jack of all trades, including graphic design work. I have to do everything from needs analysis all the way to the coding part and it's like just..." I heard a lot of fear actually in the e-learning industry. What's going to happen because there's a lot of cutbacks. L&D is one of the first things to go. I'm a freelancer, I've got to work twice as hard to keep up. This is the discussion I'm watching.

Kimberly:
So I'm thinking to myself, "What happens my current client, who's great, when she goes away, when this project's done? Who's my next client going to be and what's it going to be like? And that made me worried. So it wasn't like I was having a bad experience, but I knew bad experiences were very possible and that struck some fear into my heart. So, that was where I was at before I encountered the ISA course.

Anna:
Cool. All right. So when you started with us, it was the bare bones, right? We were just jumping in, but as far as you getting started with the Interactive story. Tell me a little bit about that process. Like pitching this to your client because I know nobody wakes up and says, "I want an interactive story today." So how did that get started? How did you get that going?

Kimberly:
Yeah, so I joined in January with ISA and here it was probably about June. My current work with her, the big move this to online format saying was winding down. We were getting to the end. She was thinking about, "How am I going to market this?" So she was talking to a digital marketing agency, which she's still going forward with them. And in the middle of that, here I am in this class learning how to create interactive stories. And it just dawned on me, "What if I could convince her that this would be a good thing for her digital marketing strategy?" So I threw a few things together. I had done this very small scenario, just like a one scene scenario for her. Just tested it out and that's actually in her course and she loved that.

Kimberly:
So we were getting good feedback from folks on that. And I'm like, "Well, I might as well just try and pitch it." So one day I just was like, "Hey, got an idea. What if we did and I just kind of threw the idea of what an interactive story was and just give her a taste of it?" And the thing that I really love about my client is that she's very open to innovative new things. I mean, that's the person she is and she's a CEO and she's just like, "Let's do that. That sounds great." Actually, when I got that email, I'm like, "I get believe she said yes to that." That was really incredible. So then of course I'm like, "You guys, she said, yes. What do I do next?"

Kimberly:
It wasn't like, I didn't know what to do because I had spent the last whatever six months talking about what to do. You guys had outlined for us, "You do the practitioner interviews first, and then you do the beat sheet and then you do..." It's like I had a methodology already laid out for me. So I did know what I was supposed to do. And then it was just a matter of actually doing it. I think it's one thing to go from theory and then when you're in practice it's scary. Like making that first practitioner interview thing happened was this got a little nerve wracking but I'm better at it now.

Anna:
Absolutely, because you've had... And what I thought was really cool is yeah, definitely... And I can tell you guys, Kimberly didn't miss any sessions. I feel like we've hung out before.

Kimberly:
This is true.

Anna:
Because this is one-on-one, but she's there. And like you said, you can learn everything theoretically, but until that first project hits and all of a sudden it's like, "Yeah, it's tires to the road." All that stuff. So it's got to hit. So for me, what was really cool is having you apply and then come back with your insight and your context, because I feel that made the entire group better because you were thinking so much about... well, I know that this is your thing, so you're going to try and scale it and you're about the details. You're very detail oriented. So for me, that was really cool because you were coming back with your own context and improving in fact our processes as far as I'm concerned. So that's excellent.

Kimberly:
That's neat. Yeah.

Anna:
I'm glad about that. So I'm thinking tell us a bit about... You know what? Not a bit, just tell us everything that you want to tell us about your Interactive story. Who's it for, what's it major goal and then like walk us through that process for you.

Kimberly:
Yeah. Okay. So from the very beginning, we knew that this story was meant to be part of a larger digital marketing campaign that was going to be done professionally. And that's not my expertise, but we knew somebody else would be taking. This as one piece of content. With that in mind, I already knew what the call to action was going to be at the end, which is going to be to ask people if they want to visit her website to purchase the masterclass that we had just created. So it was a sales mechanism essentially. But what I really liked about the way that the whole story evolved was because it was a story, it wasn't just like some a cold call sell. "Hey, buy this course." I mean, if you're a participant who's like engaged in the story, you're following the hero, Steve.

Kimberly:
And the name of the story is Workplace War Zone. And Steve is just this manager who's like just, he's having a really difficult time because his whole team, they're a bunch of superstars, but they're all fighting. So it was all about workplace conflict and as a manager or a leader, what do you do? How can you resolve the problems that you see in the workplace? And that's what the masterclass is all about. So we were just giving them a little bit of a taste. I mean, it almost just barely scratches the surface of what is actually available in the masterclass, but it's all about emotional intelligence and human connection and knowing what to do when your instinct says brainstorm solutions. And the real thing that you should be doing is validating the person's feelings because they are feeling fearful or upset.

Kimberly:
And so it's learning to not do the instinctive thing. And so when we had those choices, because the way a story is written after you've got this sympathetic character, you care about Steve, after you see what his life is like. And then when you get to these decision points, you have to make the decision. When he's talking to a colleague, do you brainstorm solutions or do you validate feelings? For me, because I had spent the last year immersed in emotional intelligence stuff with my clients. So to me, it was so obvious. I'm like, "Everyone's going to know what to do." And it surprised me when I would put it in front of people, even our group in the ISA group and people were like, "Brainstorm solutions." And I'm like, "Wow, that was the wrong answer."

Kimberly:
But I'm not saying anything. That was what was surprising to me was how I've become my own subject matter expert in a way, which is like, I'm too close to the subject to realize how not intuitive this is. So if the story really just lets you get a taste of what it's like to be, the decision maker, you have to make four or five decisions like this. And at the end you're either going to have a great ending, which is hard to get to or you're going to end up in a mediocre or a lot of bad endings and bad is like you're fired kind of bad. It's so sad when Steve gets [inaudible 00:10:12]. I actually enjoy playing through the story myself because it's like, "What do we do to Steve today? Let's do this." And I think that is part of the joy of doing interactive storytelling. It's like, you don't just get to watch other people enjoy it. You actually enjoy it yourself. And I can tell you, that doesn't happen too often in e-learning creation. It's not that fun to watch a computer simulation, a screenshot thing. How many times do you go back and do that for fun? You don't, right?

Anna:
Yeah, absolutely. It's funny because I consider myself emotionally intelligent and then I went through your interactive story and totally I'm like, "I'm just going to jump into the solutioning, brainstorming." And it's interesting because like you said, you're close to the content, but you were able to actually talk to people who were practitioners and also you have a really solid subject matter experts. So he's got tons of resources. So those decisions were very credible. And I think that's what makes after you get into the story and the why you should even care about these decisions, how it really acts for a novice, how absolutely compelling they are and how many of us messed up and continue to do so.

Anna:
So it's a great learning experience. I think what's really unique here is that we're taking people who are maybe not aware that there's a way to approach things differently and moving them from that completely unaware, cold state and then moving them towards a place where they might be open and maybe have a little taste what life could be if they just maybe took some action and maybe learned a couple of new skills. I think that's brilliant. That's brilliant. And it's one of the things I think is solid too. You said that this is a part of a larger campaign, right? It's a marketing campaign. This could work both in inter your campaigns, right? Inside organizations and exterior like your client is doing. So the opportunities I think are endless.

Kimberly:
Yeah, that's right.

Anna:
And marketing is so underused, right? For learning. God people don't get it. You got a lot of work to do Kimberly. By the way she's available. If you guys want to craft an interactive story, this is your lady. Okay. So your interactive story, the goal is basically to get people at the end to get feedback. So it's a valuable experience regardless of whether they actually participate in the program or not, but it is to get them to take the next step and say, "Hey, maybe there is training that could help me have a better, less stressful life at work." Yeah. Okay, that's awesome. Okay, so now when you were first deciding to join the program, what was it that made you actually just pull the trigger and join?

Kimberly:
Yeah, so it's interesting because I really remember, this was prior to even getting to that decision point. I was just one of the many people that like, it was connected with you on LinkedIn and and your life... what do you do? Just like videos on LinkedIn, right? Where your face shows up and you're talking and I was like watching those. So that was my only interaction with you. Is just, "Hey, I want to just check out what Anna's talking about today." So I was just tuning into those prerecorded videos for me. And then I took a vacation. I had actually taken a trip out to visit my daughter in the Midwest where she was going to college and I'd taken her shopping or something.

Kimberly:
So we're in a shoe store, a DSW Shoe store and she's out there shopping for whatever. And I'm sitting down next to the boot display and I'm sitting there and I've got nothing else to do. Right? So I'm watching Anna's videos. I remember that day, I binge watched like maybe five or six new videos. I'm like, "Guys this woman, she totally is exciting. She's got so much to say and I'm learning a lot." And up until that point, it had been, I want to say almost technical knowledge about stories and what they're for and all that sort of stuff. And then there was this one video that you did where you were like, "Hey guys, I'm going to talk to you about what my life was really like before I started doing interactive storytelling."

Kimberly:
And you told this story about joining this company, that was a very... They said they were innovative and you were real excited about it and you got in there and you started working and you realized they weren't innovative. In fact, they were just like clamping down on your creativity and your innovative ideas. And you're trying to bring new ideas to the table and it's the e-learning group, that group that was doing development that was saying, "We don't do things that way take a hike." And here I'm listening to this and that you were very vulnerable when you told that story. And I remember I'm sitting next to the boots and I'm thinking to myself, "Oh my gosh, this could be me."

Kimberly:
Like I just started my freelance thing, and yeah, I've got a great client, but the next client might look great and I could end up in this situation where I'm totally being stifled. And it conveyed a feeling of being trapped. I remember, that was when I said, "I need to find out more about what she's talking about." Because obviously you're not in that situation anymore. What did you do to get out of that? And I'm trying to avoid it. That was my thinking. So I think I went into the E-Learning Secrets thing or whatever it was that you had online, went through the masterclass that you had there. And then in the middle of all that, you're like "You guys were starting this new thing up in January you. You guys want in?" And I'm like, "Yeah. To me when you said that, it was like a no brainer. "I have to do this for the sake of my career because I want it to go well. I don't want to crash and burn as so many other people are talking about this is where we're headed."

Kimberly:
So that was the reason I joined. I remember, once I got in, I think I've missed maybe two sessions of the live the whole time, because it became so valuable to me to actually to hear what you guys had to say and what the whole group had to say. I felt like I was in graduate school actually. Like this was my opportunity to experience what it's like to be in a graduate school cohort and to have real coaching and real mentoring and real peer feedback that's meaningful about a field I'm interested in. And that was really unique for me.

Anna:
Cool. Well, I didn't know that... you mentioned something about the story, but I didn't know it was like one you must take shopping, if you wanted to actually watch it.

Kimberly:
This was my daughter's shopping thing. This wasn't for me. So I had the time on my hands, but it's true. I mean, I really remember that day. I can picture where I was and that was a really big moment for me to decide that you were somebody worth listening to, and it was because you told that story. So already I was effected by the power of stories, right?

Anna:
Yeah. It worked. Yes.

Kimberly:
Yeah, it did. I know, it worked.

Anna:
Okay. So when we first started and you started building your own... I mean, we were bare bones and we were introducing you to things that probably weren't very mainstream in instructional design. So how did you feel when you first started? Were you skeptical, scared, freaked out, how did it feel?

Kimberly:
Yeah. I don't think I was scared. You guys aren't scary people, you and Ryan. It's like, no. But I do remember feeling intimidated because you're in this group, obviously you've got your instructors who, yeah, they're very nice, but I felt like you guys really were up there and a lot of people knew you. I had known you guys as the creators of Broken Co-Worker. Because that was something... I was introduced to that during one of my school things or something. Someone had said, "Check out this interactive story." And so I knew of you guys before I knew that was you. I did not realize that you were the actors in Broken Co-Worker until I was in your class literally, and suddenly you're saying something about, "That was me with a wig." And I'm like, "What? You were Emma? What? Ryan was..." It didn't make sense to me. And then suddenly it dawned on me. "Oh yeah, of course." So there was this like... And at that time, none of us had our mics on either. So it was like you were in the chat box. And I'm like, "Do I say something now?"

Kimberly:
Like, "What do you say?" "I feel like I know nothing." So I was in that beginner mind stage, but all of us were, and I think that's something that I really like about this group is that there's no one in there who's showing off. I mean, people are just there to learn and to help each other. And so it was, as time went on we got to know each other better and it just took some of that fear down. And eventually you unmuted our mics and we were talking to each other. I'm like, "Oh, there was like other people out there that are live and we can chat." And then it became more just like a fun place to be with my other interactive storytelling buddies, right? So this is like my group to hang out with.

Anna:
Totally. It is a group, right? It's fantastic. Especially just because when you're working as a solo developer, it's solo work, right?

Kimberly:
It is. Yes.

Anna:
I mean, you work with other people, but here like-minded people are important.

Kimberly:
Yeah. And I think that's especially true today just because we're even more isolated than we used to be. I was already doing virtual work anyways. So it was already pretty solo, but I did have other places I could go to, to hang out and it's like, "Now, no there's not a lot of options." So these kinds of groups are even more important, I think just to have a place that you can really focus on something. But what I like about it is that this was not... It wasn't a nameless, faceless community. There were real people here. We got to know each other, but it was very focused in a way.

Kimberly:
We're not just talking about, I don't know the weather. It was like we were all in there because we want to learn the craft of storytelling. And that was what made that so unique for me because I belong to other organizations like ATD, Orange County and people are there, but they're from all different areas of training and development. And here it's like, we are not only people who are maybe e-learning specialists, but we're particularly interested in interactive storytelling, which is a very small specialty in a sense. But the niche, that laser like focus is what makes it fun for me.

Anna:
Right. You thrive in it. I can tell actually.

Kimberly:
I do. Yeah, I do thrive in it.

Anna:
Yeah. So as far as thinking about all the things and the steps that we learned and the process, what surprised you the most about ISA?

Kimberly:
Let's see. Well, two things surprised me. One is that you guys were willing to share as much as you did. I mean, I remember you saying, "We're going to basically give you the code for Broken Co-Worker." I'm like, "Whoa, I can't believe anyone would ever give something like that away." But it wasn't just that. I mean, you shared really all of your methodology. Just all of the pieces. And so it became a very systematic approach. And I wasn't expecting that much honestly, because I've never been in a class where they've shared that much stuff. And so there was that piece. And I think the other thing that just surprised me was the fact that I didn't understand, I hadn't realized that practitioner interviews were such a foundation part of the story, because to me it's like, I don't know. When you're in school or somebody says, "Create a story."

Kimberly:
I mean, what do you do? You just learn to come up with something out of your head. So the fact that it was grounded in reality from your client base, from the practitioners and what it is that they do on the job, that was the missing link in a sense for me to understand where the ideas come from and why the stories are compelling. And then the crafting of the story itself was another piece. I'd say that was the other third surprise to me. Because I'm familiar with storyline 360. I've been working... That was pretty much my tool of choice, but I had never seen it used the way that it's being used in ISA.

Kimberly:
This was really unique and it takes advantage of all the power of storyline 360, but it does not go into this state of overwhelm where you need to know every tricky thing that you can do with layers and triggers. I mean, you can know about those things and it's important to know, but you don't need to know what to the Nth degree. You need to know enough to be able to tell the story. So the story was the more important piece as opposed to the technology. And that surprised me because I did not realize that storyline 360 could do things like this.

Anna:
Cool. Yeah. I love that. And thank you. Those are actually, they're a big compliment. Basically looking back, and I think you already talked about this a little bit, but as far as your big takeaway and some of the skills that maybe you're thinking, I know this is going off script, but what's a skill or what's a tool that you really enjoyed and you find maybe the most beneficial for you?

Kimberly:
You mean of the different methodology pieces you've given us?

Anna:
Yeah. Like what's like...

Kimberly:
Let me think.

Anna:
Yeah.

Kimberly:
I'd have to say it's the Marvel method. We talk about the Marvel method all the time in our class, but just that idea that you use illustrations in a sense, either the illustrator or in our case just pictures that we use in our rough draft versions of the story, but that you use those illustrations to actually do the creative work so that you're not writing a lot of text. You're just using the illustrations to tell the story and then you just have these small, like a comic book. And that I think, the fact that it tied in so closely to the way that comic books are written and other kinds of interactive digital media that you see today, that's popular, movies even, the way that those other forms of media inform what we do was really powerful for me.

Kimberly:
So I got to that place where it's like, "Okay, now it's time to start the Marvel method." Here I go and honestly, I was surprised that it worked. It's one thing Ryan's there, "Yeah. This is what you do and this works for me." And I'm like, "Well, yeah, it works for you, Ryan because you're Ryan. It seems like everything works for you."

Anna:
Kind of.

Kimberly:
But then when I started doing it, I was like, "I don't know. I had spent an hour on the internet looking for the right images and I found some, and that surprised me that I was able to utilize the Marvel method and then come up with a real authentic story. Now it wasn't beautifully illustrated. It's the equivalent of Stick Fingers, right? But when it was done, it was enough for me to communicate to the professional illustrator that I hired and she was able to create beautiful illustrations from the chicken scratch. And it proved to me that this can work. That I remember. Like when she sent me the final drafts of the illustrations and I plugged them in to replace the old chicken scratch pictures. I was surprised, I'm like, "Oh my gosh, this is beautiful." So the beauty of the process surprised me and that came from the Marvel method.

Anna:
And it's interesting after I, because I've been sharing your interactive story with anybody who will be able to check it out. What I got to say is that so few of real client projects are actually out there. And half of the stuff is like these half finished demos that don't really tell a story or don't really communicate fully. So the fact that it's a real project for real clients. So when you guys are going to Workplace Wars and when you're looking at this project, it's not just an awesome portfolio piece for Kimberly.

Anna:
It's actually a project that a client is using to attract audiences to their course, which is fantastic. But one of the things that I think is so telling is that even when you talk about the Marvel method, you said how the visuals influence what you write and then the visuals do a lot of that talking for you. And that's one of the things that a lot of people were really picking up on is how all of a sudden, you're not telling... They're telling that story inside their heads because their eyes are translating those visuals into a narrative inside. So you guys got to check it out because you can say you hire a professional illustrator, but to be honest, I've seen professionally illustrated stuff that sucks. There's some circulating out there in our L&D world.

Anna:
It looks good, but it's missing. It's not really taking advantage of the fact that there is a deeper connection with when you have the visuals and the language support itself. And now that all taken through a story. So it was funny because when we introduced it, you were like, "Yep, doing it." Right? It was so cool because you picked it up so quickly and then you were like, "This is it. This is it." I felt it when you showed up at your sessions and you still say, you're like the Marvel method. This is it. This is like the next level. And I love that. That's awesome.

Anna:
Now tell me a little bit about one of the things you said, "I love this practitioner interviews." And guys, I didn't tell her to say any of that, but I think this is important. That the things are rooted in reality, right? Now when you were interviewing the people for your interactive story, how did you feel about that? Were you like, "What are they going to get?" Like were you freaked out about the process? because we have a process and we have some interview questions that are not very common. I think people need to know. So tell me a little bit about that.

Kimberly:
Okay. So my first reaction, this is after you sent us the interview questions. I'm looking at these, like, "There's no way I'm going to get the right information by asking these questions." It was so not like a needs analysis questionnaire. It was very unlike it. And I'm like, "Whew, I don't know how it's going to work. But why don't whatever..." Anna says to try it, so I'm going to try it. So I did. I had three practitioner interviews to do and the first one of course I'm nervous. The other lady's probably nervous and so I don't know how well it went, but the good thing is because it's recorded, you don't really need to worry about taking notes or anything like that. And it was valuable. And then of course, as I went along and did those questions again with the next person and the next person, I got better at it. And I think that put the other people at ease.

Kimberly:
I became better at listening. So it was a little bit like, I don't know, when I took a journalism class once and we talked about how to do an interview. It used some of those skills that I have not used for a long time, which is really allowing the other person to talk, to share their story, to share their... and it's not like I'm trying to figure out what's the ROI on this project or any of that sort of stuff. I was really genuinely trying to listen to their experience. So it made me a better listener and then what happened is that I think I was in a unique position because I was already fairly familiar with the subject matter.

Kimberly:
It wasn't like I was a practitioner, but I wasn't exactly a novice either. So I was able to fill in some of the gaps to what they were saying, but they provided the language. And that was very important. I had spent all my time with the CEO and she's telling me the way that she talks about things. When I talked to the practitioners, they talked in a very, very different way and their outlook was really different. So again, I gained so much insight from them about what it's actually like to be an EmC practitioner which he calls the emotional connection practitioner. These are coaches, these are CEOs who've gone through the process and their experience with it was different than the SME's experience. So that was like revelatory for me to see the difference. But when you put everything together you're able to... I didn't have that sensation.

Kimberly:
After I did the practitioner interviews, I did not sit there in front of my story, feeling like that blank page, fear syndrome. I have zero idea what to do. I'm like, I have a lot..." I almost had too many ideas. In fact, I know I had too many ideas because my first one had I think, seven or eight decision points. And I remember running that by you guys and Ryan saying, "You probably can cut a few of these." I'm like, "Yeah, because this is going to be, I don't know, 20 minutes long. That's not a good thing." So then I put on my editor hat and I left a lot on the cutting room floor. And in the end there were really only... went from maybe eight decisions to four decisions that were real serious decisions. And then one, that's like a fun decision at the very beginning that is just in there to help people get oriented to the fact that they are going to be making decisions and how the interface worked.

Kimberly:
There was a lot of... People like to throw out words like synergy and integration and iteration. Those are like buzzwords these days, but those are practical things that happen when you're creating a story. There is real synergy when you are working with practitioners and when you're working with a review group or whatever it is. And you do have to integrate and synthesize stuff from a lot of... It's like being an interdisciplinary worker as opposed to just a technical worker or just a performance consultant or whatever it is. I don't just do this, I have to integrate a lot of different things and skill sets to craft a story. But that's what makes it fun. You get to see the big picture as opposed to just being some small little blip on the screen and I really enjoyed that big picture thing.

Kimberly:
And then just emotionally, it's rewarding to actually when you're finished with the product, you can take someone through an emotional journey of starting with the story and feeling for the character and then taking them through all the conflict because each decision has conflict. And then having an ending that might not be satisfactory or it might be great. And that complete arc is really a satisfying thing to have created and to let people participate in. So I think that's what I enjoy the most about the interactive storytelling process and about being a part of this group, the ISA group is that you guys have helped me to become a story crafter or as we call it, sometimes we call it being the creative director. I think that word floated to the surface during one of our discussions and I'm like, "Yeah I've always wanted to be a creative director.

Kimberly:
I just know zero about film and but you get to be that person in this role. And I will never forget we watching. As part of our class, one time we were watching... It was the guys from Pixar, the two guys, they were talking about how they developed Bug's Life. And somebody made the comment. I think it was Don. He was one of our guys in our group made the comment, "I want that job. Oh, wait, I have that job." And that was like, "Yeah, that's exactly it." We get that work. So it's a really great specialty to be in, in all of e-learning. This is the one I picked. So that was actually a big shift for me because my original online portfolio had, I don't know, a bunch of different pieces from computer simulations in Captivate. That was Captivate, which I'm not using anymore but it was there because I've done it, right? Had that thing. I had some stuff in rise.

Kimberly:
I had stuff in storyline. They were engaging, but they were very traditional e-learning. I mean, when you come right down to it, I don't think there was a whole lot of branching going on or anything like that. It was the stuff that sells and those were the kinds of, because that was all my portfolio, those were the kinds of inquiries I was getting from potential clients. I mean, thankfully I was so overbooked and I had so much work to do with my current client. I was able to say to them maybe next year. When I finally finished this Workplace War Zone story, I made the decision of, "This is what I'm going to specialize in. So I have to decide to take down all that other stuff that's half baked in a sense. Because I don't want to attract clients who want this work anymore. I have to take the leap to say, this is what I specialize in and here is my new portfolio piece." I wrote a couple other pieces that went underneath it and that's it.

Kimberly:
But you've got to start somewhere and you have to start with showing the work that you want to do. I do know that, so that felt like a big risk. The day that I pushed. Okay on my Squarespace in my new website, I was like, "I'm committing to this big time, but I'm just going to do it." And it was hard to let go of my old... the things that I had done. I mean, I was proud of them at the time, but they just aren't want serving me anymore.

Anna:
I was going to ask you about that. I was going to ask you, because I remember you jumping on a session, you said, "Guys, I'm all in. This is it. I'm interim storyteller, this is my title. And I was like, "I love it"

Kimberly:
Yeah, I changed my LinkedIn title and everything.

Anna:
Yes.

Kimberly:
So, yeah. And I think one of the challenges is that I had the sense of, I think a lot of people out there in the world, not only in e-learning, but even in just general industry businesses, they don't know what interactive storytelling is. And I know you and I have had this discussion that it's almost like until we put our work out there for them to see, and it becomes popularized, people don't know this is what an interactive story is, and this is what it can do for them. Like it's worth getting. So it's almost like we have to put the work out there to create the market, to create the... And we know that there are people out there who want this, because you guys are doing that. I mean, this is the work that you do.

Kimberly:
But I think in general, it's not as well-known as click and reveal e-learning and PowerPoint slide conversions, and all the other stuff that people talk about. So yeah, I would love to see interactive storytelling become the new buzzword, as opposed to AR and VR and what it's going to do for the learning industry. I mean, it would be great if people said interactive stories and what they will do because stories show up now in a lot of other areas. I mean, I see it popping up in not just training, but also business. People talk about the power of story and how it moves people to behavior change and behavior change has always been this big, you know, how do you accomplish that? It's the hard thing to do. Yes, you can stop people's head with knowledge, but how do you actually get them to change their behavior? And story seems to be that missing link. This is what could get them there. And so to me that was a revelation.

Anna:
It's interesting. You're saying storytelling is starting to permeate. We're taking it back because as far as I'm concerned, storytelling was developed by humans to learn and to retain and to organize information. And for some reason the entertainment industry has decided that it is theirs. We're taking it back and we're leveraging it now. So yeah. So, that's totally awesome. I love that approach and I love the all-in attitude. Okay, so where can people go to learn more about your work, what services you offer now as an interactive storyteller and where they can just maybe ask some questions about getting involved?

Kimberly:
All right. Well, I think the easiest thing to do is just go to my website, which is called elearningbrain.com and you'll be able to see Workplace War Zone. Actually, my client is in that process where I've given her this piece and she's got it, but they haven't finished are the digital media company that we're working with for promotion. They are in the process of building out her digital media funnel. So it has not yet been deployed in social media. So the only place you can find Workplace War Zone right now is essentially on my website because she allows me to use it as a portfolio piece. So go to elearningbrain.com and you can play Workplace War Zone. I also have an article that I've written called, I think it's something like Five Ways To Achieve Your Goals With Interactive Stories.

Kimberly:
And that's just more to educate people in general businesses, maybe about what stories can do for them. And I've got a few other things on my website and there's a contact form there. If it's a company that wants to contact me, that's probably the easiest way is to just go directly through my website. But if you're a person who just wants to get in touch with me just to be in touch, then probably LinkedIn is a better thing. Just look me up on LinkedIn, Kimberly Goh and I'll connect with people there.

Anna:
That's fantastic. Oh yeah, I do have one more question for you. For somebody who's starting the program and you have advice for them now in retrospect, what would your advise be?

Kimberly:
Starting the ISA program you mean?

Anna:
Yeah.

Kimberly:
Yeah. I think, well, first of all, I guess I would say if you're a person who's on the fence and you're trying to decide, "Should I join this?" Well, I think that one thing to do is definitely go to elearningsecrets.com, figure out if this is a good fit for you. I mean, it's probably not a fit for everyone, honestly. I mean, I think that you have to be a certain type of person that wants to do this. It turns you on, it's exciting, I could get up every day and feel good about this type of work. So that's one thing is think to yourself, "What are your goals? Does it fit?" But then also expose yourself to it. I mean, go ahead and just listen to what Anna's is talking about on LinkedIn, maybe talk to some other people who are in the class, perhaps. I mean, I think you have a lot of YouTube videos up there of the people and they could hear what other people saying.

Kimberly:
But for someone who's actually just taken the plunge and said, "Yes, I'm in." Then I would say stick with it because I have this idea that there's probably people who feel like, "Oh, I'm just starting out. Because that started in January and now it's August. I've got like, Oh I don't know, hundreds it feels like of hours to listen to before I'll ever catch up." I don't really think that you have to actually just start at the beginning and go right through. I mean, if there's a way for you to just tune into the live versions of our course, that's great because then you get to know the people who are actively participating in this. And the other is just start thinking to yourself about, "What story can I tell?" Even for a portfolio piece of your own book. What is interesting to me that might be useful for a business so it can go on my portfolio? Just don't be afraid to get in there and give it a try. Because it's really rewarding this type of work.

Anna:
Cool. Thank you. That's awesome. So once again, if you want to work with Kimberly and have her craft your interactive story, obviously the woman is passionate about what she does and that's what you want, right? Somebody who is like 100% for you. So go to elearningbrain.com and there you also get to experience her interactive story and its full, beautiful, visual entirety and actually as a part of it, you get a little bit of maybe a lesson in emotional intelligence. So it's pretty awesome. All right, well thank you everybody for joining us and we will see you next time. Take care.

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