Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by marketing jargon? Do you wish you had an easy way to learn all the things you need to know to promote your small business effectively? Are you in charge of “content creation,” but you find yourself feeling lost or uninspired?
Well, guess what? Here are three low-cost and free training opportunities (two online and one in person) that can give you the knowledge you need to market your business with more confidence.
1. Inbound Marketing Certification from HubSpot Academy. Let’s face it: inbound marketing is where it’s AT in the 21st century. If you want to learn about the inbound methodology, you might as well learn it from the folks who invented the concept—HubSpot.
This particular certification is free and open to the public. All the classes are online and include video tutorials centered on HubSpot’s core concepts of attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers.
The 411 at a glance:
- Cost: Free.
- Length: 9 pre-recorded online classes (take them at your own pace).
- Resources: These include online tutorials (each one is between 45-60 minutes), additional items for further instruction (such as links to relevant articles and blog posts), and a free downloadable study guide.
- Certification process: You have 60 minutes to pass a test that consists of 50 questions. According to HubSpot, you have three chances to pass it.
- What do you get if you pass: Bragging rights. No, really—HubSpot wants you to talk up this certification. They give you a badge that you can use on your website, social media, etc.
- Notes: Certification is good for one year.
2. Content Marketing Codex from Copyblogger. Copyblogger knows a thing or two about content marketing, another buzzword that’s a subset of inbound marketing. This free online guide Copyblogger developed “will fill in the gaps to your knowledge. It will help you become a content marketing expert in your industry or company.”
The 411 at a glance:
- Cost: Free.
- Length: The guide includes links to 52 articles (the author of the post promoting the course said it took him seven hours over three days to read all the articles).
- Resources: Each article links to further reading. Plus, there are comments on each article (these comment sections are rich resources themselves and will further your understanding of the topic).
- Certification process: Independent, meaning it’s all up to you to stay disciplined and focused. Unlike HubSpot, you don’t need to take a test.
- What you get if you participate: While you don’t get an official seal, nothing is stopping you from creating your own and announcing that you finished the Content Marketing Codex from Copyblogger, right? Of course, the real reason to take this course is for yourself and the knowledge you’ll get out of it.
3. Learn Locally: Seminars & Boot Camp Classes Near You from Constant Contact. Constant Contact is one of the leaders in email marketing software. On the “Learn Locally” section of its website, it lists its famous in-person boot camp classes and seminars around the U.S. led by “our team of local marketing experts.”
The 411 at a Glance
- Cost: Some free, some for a fee.
- Length: Varies from a couple of hours to daylong classes.
- Resources: Varies—booklets, reading materials, and live contacts.
- Certification process: Independent—these are self-motivated seminars and classes.
- What you get if you participate: If you take part in one of the daylong boot camps, you’ll become much more familiar with Constant Contact’s products, including how to get the most out of them for your business. Seminar topics run the gamut and include everything from Facebook marketing to managing your time online.
What do you think? Will you be taking part in any self-educational opportunities this summer? Share in the comments.