We all know that we need to keep on top of the latest trends and continually learn throughout our careers. Learning is an investment of both time and money. We all have time (though a limited supply) but the cash to take multiple courses on a regular basis can be a challenge. Unless your employer is able to provide you with the financial resources to help out with lifetime learning.
I try to take a few online courses and read a number of marketing books every year to keep me on top of new trends and challenge myself to re-examine what I already know. Below are some FREE online courses that I have come across in my search for affordable educational resources. I haven’t taken most of them but they are on my list for the year and as I complete different courses I will update my blog accordingly.
I have taken the Inbound Marketing Certification and it is a fantastic free Inbound Marketing Certificate that provides a good overview of inbound marketing and is laid out in 11 classes with optional homework assignments. The course is structured around videos and once you pass you will earn a certificate from HubSpot.
Additionally there is another free Design Certification that is focused towards those with a design and technical background that teaches you how to create templates in HubSpot. I encourage all of my designers to take this to hone their skills for HubSpot.
Inbound Marketing Certification Courses:
- Essentials of an Effective Inbound Strategy
- Optimizing Your Website
- The Fundamentals of Blogging
- Amplifying Your Content with Social Media
- Creating Content with a Purpose
- The Anatomy of a Landing Page
- Perfecting the Conversion Process
- Sending the Right Email to the Right Lead
- The Power of Smarketing
- Taking Your Sales Process Inbound
- Cultivating Happy Customers
HubSpot Design Certification Courses:
- Introduction to Building Templates with HubSpot’s Design Tools
- Constructing World Class Email Templates
- Creating Engaging Page and Landing Page Templates
- Engineering Effective Blog Templates
- Designing a User-Focused Experience
- Drafting Smarter Mobile Designs
Constant Contact provides this social media course aimed at enabling you to get better business results. It teaches the basics of social media and how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging and YouTube to achieve your business goals.
Social Media Quickstarter topics:
- Social Media 101 (4 chapters)
- Facebook (17 chapters)
- Twitter (17 chapters)
- LinkedIn (13 chapters)
- Blogging (3 chapters)
- YouTube (9 chapters)
- Ratings and Reviews (6 chapters)
- Location-Based Services (7 chapters)
- QR Codes (3 chapters)
- Email Plus Social Media Marketing (4 chapters)
This free offering is from the University of Salford in the UK. It helps you develop your professional online presence and use search engine optimization and social media marketing to build this presence. This is aimed at your professional presence but also has information that will help with your business strategies.
- Personal branding online
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Use of social media for international business development
- Copywriting online
- Legal implications of social media
- Monitoring and reporting
Social Media Marketing is covered in a lot of these courses but this one from allison.com also goes into detail on email marketing, affiliate marketing, podcasting and blogging. Looks like a good overview of the basics and if you dig deeper into the site they have a ton of other free courses and a section for Sales and Marketing Diplomas.
Topics Covered in the Diploma in Social Media Marketing:
- Introduction to Web sites
- Introduction to autoresponders and eBooks
- Using autoresponders to build a list
- Affiliate marketing and increasing Web site traffic
- Email and Affiliate Marketing Assessment
- Introduction to Social Media Marketing
- How to use Twitter
- Audacity for Recording Podcasts
- Podomatic – Publish Your Podcasts to the Web
- Blogging on the WebSocial Media Tools
- Assessment Module
- Facebook – Create your Personal Profile
- Facebook – Creating your Facebook page
- Facebook – Increasing traffic to Facebook pages
- Marketing with Facebook Assessment
- Final Assessment
A good read is sometimes better then an online course, minus the certificate or diploma. New books that I plan to read over the next few months to get me thinking and expand my marketing mind are listed below. This list will grow as the year goes on, and if anyone has read either of these please let me know what you thought.
Books on my Reading List:
- Fix: Break the Addiction that’s Killing Brands – Written by two of the founders of Calgary based Cult Collective, Kris Kneeland and Ryan Gill, and their Customer Engagement Engineer, Rob Howard.
- UNSELLING: THE NEW CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE