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 this exploding 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, or on membership platforms, that are easy to sneak in during the day and can range in topics from current marketing trends, to time management, to how to drive sales.
The online class is one my favorite things. As a constant consumer of information, I think 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. It seems like lately, you can’t throw a stone without hitting 5 different “experts” hawking an online course. 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.
FB Framework - Courtney Foster-Donahue. Courtney is definitely a personality so I fully acknowledge that she may not be for everyone! She is super upbeat, super fun and has built and AMAZING business, mostly through Facebook. In this training she’s sharing some of her top tips PLUS she continuously updates it when Facebook rolls out new changes (which is basically every other day). Click on that link to check out a free mini class so you can get to know her and her philosophies better before joining.
Digital Course Academy - Amy Porterfield. Amy Porterfield is probably one of the more well known online educations, and there’s a reason - she knows what she’s talking about! This one is an investment, but I personally have taken this one myself and find the information completely worth the 4-figure price tag. It breaks down everything from building you course, to how to use webinars to promote your business, to other ways on how to market it effectively. It's been a tactic that I've found has been an integral tool in promoting my business. This class only opens it doors a few times a year so I suggest signing up for the waitlist to get updated on when it’s available again.
Power of Pinning - Melanie Duncan. 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. I’ve taken this one as well and it’s a great intro to using Pinterest in a more business sense (not just to save home decor inspiration).
Member Site Academy - The Membership Guys - Have you been interested in putting together your owner membership program? As the title suggests, this is a monthly membership program that incorporates pre recorded trainings with monthly Live Q&A’s. This adds a level of accountability and engagement that can really help you stick with the content and apply it.
The Digital Marketing Hub - Amy Fields - I couldn’t to write a whole blog about courses and memberships sites and skip my own right?! If you’re looking for monthly tips, masterclass and trainings around how to grow your business online, then this is for you! Each month we bring you new, themed content, all geared towards helping you succeed online. Your marketing plan isn’t just a single technique or strategy, so having a one-stop-shop to driving more traffic and sales online is a massive timesaver for a small business owner.