Online learning isn’t just something for people who can’t make time to attend real-time classes anymore, it’s a huge industry that helps millions of people each year achieve their goals and dreams. If you’ve ever thought about taking a class, perhaps one run by your favourite thought leader or creator, you’ve likely seen the high price tags that come with these courses.
Most start at a couple of hundred pounds (or more commonly, dollars) and reach up into the thousands. Of course, that’s often nothing compared to the prices of traditional learning courses run by universities and colleges.
Fortunately, you don’t need a trust fund to be able to take all the courses you’ve got your eye on. If you love learning (as I do), there are plenty of free and low-cost resources you can turn to when you want to brush up on your branding and marketing skills or learn something new. Here are some of the best:
Best Free Branding and Marketing Courses
#1 Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand, and Behaviour
This course is offered by the University of London and London Business School on Coursera, a platform that offers free and paid courses from educational institutions around the world. While not every course is free, there are a large number that are, and are worth taking. This course is all about how to look beyond visual elements of branding to how you should manage a brand and its perception, which is something every brand should be thinking about. Find it here.
#2 Email Marketing Course by Hubspot
Industry leaders Hubspot offers this 100% free course on the basics of email marketing. It teaches you how to build an email marketing strategy that builds trust and makes an impact. This is a great option for business owners and freelancers alike. Find it here.
#3 Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage
Who better to learn digital marketing from than Google? This free course teaches all the fundamentals of digital marketing and is ideal for new business owners and freelancers looking to add another string to their bow. Find it here.
#4 Branding and Customer Experience by IE Business School
This free course is another offered on Coursera and aims to look at branding from a customer experience perspective, focusing on customer journey mapping and other tools. This is a great free course to take if optimising the customer journey is new to you. Find it here.
#5 Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content by the University of Pennsylvania
This course is also on Coursera and looks into what goes into creating viral content and content that captures your audience’s attention and keeps them in your “bubble.” A must if you find yourself wondering why one social media post did well and another didn’t. Find it here.
Best Low-Cost Branding and Marketing Courses
If you’re looking for low-cost options, platforms like Skillshare are a must-use. Skillshare and similar platforms offer thousands of short courses that teach you the fundamentals up to more advanced skills and are a great option if you’re not completely sure yet what you want to study or just want to dip in and out when you have a spare hour or so.
#1 Do Things, Tell People: The Power of Personal Branding
This short (37 min) course has over 20,000 students on Skillshare and is a great place to start if you’re just starting to think about developing a personal brand. Find it here.
#2 The Staples of Branding: From Purpose to Product
Learning all the ins and outs of branding takes months and years to learn and master, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot that can be gained from a short (1 hour) course like this for the average business owner. Many entrepreneurs and business owners aren’t exactly sure what their branding should be doing, so this is a good place to start if you’re thinking about overhauling your branding but aren’t clear on what you should be focusing on. Find it here.
#3 Social Media Marketing with Maggie Stara on Skillshare
Maggie has a dozen or so 1-3 hour courses on Skillshare that cover different aspects of social media marketing from a business owner’s perspective, as well as some other marketing fundamentals. If you’re looking to get practical and applicable knowledge of marketing basics, her courses are a great place to start.
#4 The Ultimate SEO Training 2022 by Joshua George
Joshua is the owner of the UK-based SEO agency ClickSlice and his SEO course is super accessible and a must-take for business owners and marketing professionals. You’ll need 14 hours to get through everything in this one, but it’s well worth it. The course is available on Udemy (you can often get it for £15-30 depending on the offer) but you can also find it on Skillshare.
#5 Digital Marketing Foundations
This course is on LinkedIn’s learning platform, which is very similar in format to Skillshare. This course covers all the basics of digital marketing from SEO to paid advertising channels and more. You’ll get a certificate upon completion. Find it here.
There’s never been a better time in history to access free and cheap education on in-depth topics at your fingertips! All of these courses can easily be dipped in and out of when you have time and you won’t need to worry about looming deadlines or assignments that come with taking traditional learning courses, and are a much better choice for entrepreneurs who don’t need a certificate, just the knowledge.