Time tends to go by extremely quickly when you're in the trenches of running your own business. The day-to-day tasks of a small business can be overwhelming and take up most of your day. By the time you have a minute to reflect, a month has gone by and you've done nothing but tread water. ! The world is changing, marketing is changing, and best practices are changing, and you're left wondering how you can possibly fit more into your day? There's no way you can add anything else, like learning and implementing the newest trends in business while managing your daily to-do list.
This is where the newest trend in continuing education can come to the rescue - online classes. Created by both real world professionals and educators, these classes are created for the busy small business owner. They are often presented in smaller modules that are easy to sneak in during the day and can range in topics from current marketing trends, time management and how to drive sales.
The online class is one my favorite new things. It's an amazing way to pick the brains of those that are rocking it in the business world. However, there are a lot of classes out there, and it can be difficult to know which ones are worth investing in. I have a few tips on what to look for to ensure the class is top quality and will work for your needs:
- Make sure they've implemented their techniques on their own business. The best way to tell if someone is the real deal is if they don't just teach, but actually do. Make sure they mention using their strategies on themselves, and if they give real world examples of how it was successful.
- Get an outline of the class before purchasing. Real classes will give you a full, in-depth look of the class BEFORE making you buy it. They should walk you through the modules, clearly explain what you'll learn, and what you'll get which should give you a good idea if it's what you're looking for.
- Make sure your personalities jive. Not only does the information need to be legit but you need to actually like the person to retain any of it. Check out some of their videos and articles to see if you like how they speak, phrases they use and if you can easily understand the way they present the content.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. Those disseminating and selling the information shouldn't be afraid to answer questions you have about their product. Ask them to give you more in-depth information on what's covered in the class, if it's updated as things change and how long it will take to finish the class.
If you take a couple minutes to Google different topics you're interested in learning more about, you're bound to find a variety of classes that will fit your needs. To give you a little bit of a head start I'm breaking down my personal favorites that I can guarantee are well worth the investment.
- Jump Start Your FB Marketing - Amy Porterfield - $197. Amy Porterfield is one of my favorite online educators and learning about FB marketing is one of the things almost all business owners need help with. This class breaks down how to optimize your FB presence as well as drive more sales and traffic through your page.
- Creating and Delivering 5 Figure Webinars - Amy Porterfield - $1000+. Another Amy Porterfield course, this one is a significant investment. I personally have taken this one myself and find the information completely worth the 4-figure price tag. It breaks down everything from how to use webinars to promote your business, to how to build one from scratch, to how to market it effectively. It's been a tactic that I've found has been an integral tool in promoting my business. Check out the free webinar in the link to learn more about the class before committing to see if it makes sense for your business.
- Power of Pinning - Melanie Duncan - $297. A great option for those looking to explore Pinterest and learn how this platform can be used to help drive traffic to websites and sell products directly through the platform. It also dives into Pinterest SEO and how you can optimize your pins not just for Pinterest but Google as well.
- Instagram With Intention - Hilary Rushford - $97. An awesome class that breaks down Instagram and how to create share worthy photos for it. It also talks about how to properly use hashtags as well as get more followers. The only downside is it doesn't run continuously all year long but you can sign up for her emails and you'll get notice as soon as it opens up again.
- Big SEO For Small Businesses - Amy Fields - $179. I couldn't write an article about online classes without adding a shameless plug for my own! Big SEO utilizes a series of techniques that I've implemented on my own website as well as countless client websites to help drive your website up in search to then drive more traffic and sales without spending money on ads. I, and many other people, think it's pretty great (if I do say so myself) so click on the link above to watch a video and learn more!