11 Places to Learn How to Market Your Business (and most are free)
The other day I was talking to one of my mum friends. She’s had her kids and wants to get back to work. The problem is that she does not want to work full-time for somebody else.
What she wants is:
- to earn money for herself and her family
- to do something she enjoys and keeps her sane
- flexibility to be there when the kids need her
- to use her creativity and her skills in a meaningful way
- to be paid fairly for her work
She’s not the first of my friends that comes up with a similar list of things and I know lots of mums that work as freelancers or have small businesses they run from their home.
What my friend seemed to have a problem with is this
[Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post may include affiliate links. This means that I get a commission if you purchase the product through my link at no extra cost to you.]
She has managed to get some work through friends and word of mouth but the money they offered her wasn’t much. She did do the work to get a bit of experience and to get a recommendation but the amount of money she got at the end wasn’t worth the amount of time she had to put into it.
This gave her the push to start thinking about her business as a business, not just as a hobby or as a way to earn a little bit of money for the hairdresser, her clothes or a day out with the kids.
So now she is taking it seriously and is making a plan for all the things she needs to do.
But she is stuck with how to market herself and her business. It is not something she has done before and she doesn’t even know where to start. Plus she also wants to be able to do this from home, when it suits her and make it fit around the kids. AND she doesn’t want to spend a lot of money doing it either.
That’s why I came up with a list of places where moms like her can learn how to market their business without leaving the house and without hurting their wallet. And lots of them are free.
Let’s start with the free resources:
No, I don’t mean you go and do a search for what you want, though you are certainly able to do that.
I mean Google Digital Garage. You can get free lessons on social media marketing, how to advertise on your website, SEO, etc. If you complete the courses and do the assessments you also get a certificate. Don’t worry it’s not hard, they are multiple choice tests and they use practical examples with real and made-up businesses for you to apply your knowledge.
For the more advanced or for bloggers: You can also use Google Analytics Academy to learn how to analyse your website data.
You could pay hundreds of pounds to an expert to teach you the basics of Facebook marketing, but you can learn from Facebook itself and take short lessons with Facebook Blueprint. You take the lessons you need and complete them in your own time as well, so that’s a bonus. Plus you can also get a certification from Facebook.
Tip: Don’t learn how to do Facebook Ads at the beginning, it’s not worth it for you and you’ll end up wasting your money.
Though this is more about the technical stuff, it’s a good resource to pick and choose what you need to learn. But for practical tips and the way “real people” use Facebook you must go somewhere else.
3. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are great places to ask questions and get in touch with like-minded individuals. I have learnt a lot from other people that will happily advise you and share their knowledge. And not just on online marketing, but blogging, how to organise yourself, etc. Plus you can use them to promote yourself and your business if allowed by the admin!
Here are 3 groups for Mompreneurs to get you started:
Tip: Don’t join too many Facebook Groups because you’ll end up spending all day and won’t get anything done! Join a few, see if they work for you and leave if you don’t get anything out of them. via @LauraB30min
Lots of bloggers, marketing and online business experts and mompreneurs are active there and all you need to do is do a search to get lots of relevant posts and articles. I love Pinterest because it’s much easier to see what you want than doing a search in Google.
And it’s also easy for you to collect all the information in one of your boards and read it later. So don’t just use Pinterest for finding birthday cake recipes, use it for your business.
Better still, learn how to use it to market your business with this free course from McKinzie Bean from Momsmakecents.
If you are a mum on the go, you might prefer podcasts. You can listen to podcasts when you are driving the kids to gymnastics or football or while you wait in the car for them to come out of school. You can always listen to a podcast while you are pottering around the house instead of listening to the radio.
They are more free-flowing and they lack the structure you find in articles and courses but a lot of them include interviews with experts. So there are lots of tips and ideas about what works and what doesn’t from people that have actually done it.
So if you already use iTunes, do a search for business, management and marketing podcasts. I would have put a link for you but from what I have seen, the link changes from country to country.
You don’t have to use iTunes to access them. If you know which podcast you want, you can subscribe through GooglePlay or go directly to the podcast’s website. The reason I picked iTunes is because you get a list of all available podcasts in one place.
If you need tutorials on how to do stuff, YouTube is the place to go. It’s absolutely fantastic for learning how to use tools or products. If you subscribe to a Youtube channel they’ll let you know when they publish a new video, so you don’t need to keep an eye on it. Just do a search for How to use… How to start… How to make…
Again, there are so many channels and so many videos that I can’t recommend one that will be good for everything you need.
I couldn’t possibly leave Amazon out. Thousands of books at your fingertips. And you can either get them delivered to your door or download them to your Kindle.
If you’re a Kindle lover, you already know you can find free Kindle books. If I am honest, I have downloaded some great marketing books from Amazon for free. However, I have also downloaded lots of rubbish books because they were free. That was a complete waste of time. So I wouldn’t recommend that you fill your Kindle with any free ebooks and start reading them.
My tip for you is to get books that have been going for a while and have great reviews already. Like these marketing and entrepreneurship books you might enjoy reading:
And don't forget there's also Audible, so you can listen to your books when you are walking the dog or picking the kids from school or when you are doing your daily chores. So it's also saving you time! Why not try it for free?
Udemy has an absolutely massive collection of courses that you can take and although they are usually around the $50-$200, they have so many sales during the year that it’s pretty easy to drop on one for $10-$15.
Check out these marketing courses best-sellers:
Inbound Marketing Course by Hubspot Academy
The Smart Guide to Marketing Your Business on Social Media by Rebekah Radice
Marketing Strategy to Reach 1,000,000! SEO & Social Media by Alex Genadinik
Go Viral on 7 Social Media Marketing Platforms by iMarket XL
The Complete Digital Marketing Course -2017 by Daragh Walsh and Rob Percival
Creative Live is another community where you can get online courses, or rather classes. These are formal classes where the presenter teaches an audience of students.
There are always classes going on LIVE. Well, they’re recordings but they’re being played LIVE.
This is great if the timetable fits what you are doing and you have a spare hour or so at the right time. But if you need to watch the whole course you can get them on demand. The prices start at $29 dollars and they also offer bundles and sales that you should take advantage of.
As in Udemy, you will find some courses taught by top marketing experts, for example:
Podcasting 101 by John Lee Dumas
Driving Traffic to Your Online Business by Neil Patel
Social Media Bootcamp by Kim Garst
ZEQR is different from the other platforms because you can get 1-1 live classes. If you see a class that you want to take, you book it and pay for it. The prices vary greatly and some seem a bit steep for me but you also get PROMOs. So I have also seen some of these 1-hour-classes for $10 or so.
I haven’t had a real good look at them because it’s not a model that I am interested but it is still a great resource for some people so I thought I’d include them here.
EDX was founded by MIT and Harvard University and is a non-profit organisation that offers free online courses to all.
The courses you will find in EDX are provided by Universities, so they are more formal than the others. They are not long (they take a few weeks to do and tell you also how many hours you’re expected to need (from 1 hour per week to 5 in the ones I was looking at). So you know then how much time you need to commit to completing them.
I’d recommend these to professional moms that need retraining and want something more formal. For consultancy work, for instance, or to support other business skills. These courses are free but you can pay for a recognised certification from EDX and the University that offers the course. These start from $49, but vary in price, depending on the course and the University.
The only thing with these courses is that they are not always available and you might have to wait to do the one you want. So check the courses for coming soon and upcoming details.
ONLINE COURSES TIP: To know if courses are good for you, watch the previews and check the reviews. Don’t just look at how many stars it has but read what people say. The quality of the sound, the images and teaching styles vary greatly because there are so many different people offering courses through these platforms.
Most of these platforms have a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can get your money back if you are not happy with the course anyway.
So that’s my list of 11 resources for you to learn how to market your business. Which ones will you use?
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