If you work in an office, you often get access to training and workshops paid for by the company. When you work for yourself, you'll need to fund this yourself. If you have the money available, investing in yourself is a great decision, but courses and workshops are often super expensive. Luckily for people who are trying to save money where possible, if you do your research you can find amazing free resources that can help you up-skill. Here are some top tips on how to build up your skill set without spending money because as pretty much every successful person likes to remind us, learning is one of the best investments you can do for yourself and your business in the long run.
1. Follow educational Instagram accounts
Depending on what you're looking to learn, Instagram accounts that share useful tips and tricks are a great place to start. Looking for general business advice? Follow @fleuremery for great IGTV episodes with cool founders, and @fastforwardamy shares endless useful infographics that you can save and come back to time and time again. Another great account is @katieramsingh, a must-follow for anyone interested in fashion and/or SEO copywriting. For nutrition advice, check out @bethedwardsnutrition. After PR tips? Then @wernchat is your girl. If I'm allowed to cheekily plug myself for one minute, I share a whole bunch of content tips on @BURO155.
2. Attend industry events
Take a look on Facebook or EventBrite for free workshops and talks in your area. Attending a panel discussion on a topic you’re interested in can help you learn more about the industry, meet awesome and inspiring people, and open up a world of other events that you can attend. Often, organisations that offer paid workshops on subjects like growth hacking, artificial intelligence, and social media also offer free taster events which give you a great introduction to the topic, and can also help you decide if the workshop is worth paying for.
3. Do free courses online
These days, there are endless free courses available online - all you need to do is look for them. Google has a whole section of their website dedicated to free online marketing and Google Analytics courses, which also provide you with a certificate once you’ve completed the course and passed their online exam. If you work for yourself, learning these skills means you don’t have to pay someone else to manage your online ads and Google Analytics. If you work in an office, adding extra skills to your portfolio can work in your favour if you’re looking for a promotion or new job. In this competitive job market, the more skills you can offer, the better.
4. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks
If you’re a busy entrepreneur or freelancer, listening to podcasts or audiobooks is a super handy way of learning on-the-go. Put on an inspiring business podcast when you’re in the gym or driving to collect your kids, and you can multitask whilst learning for free. There’s a podcast or audiobook for everyone, whether you’re looking for specific help with PR, managing finances, or social media tips, or seeking out inspiration for a new business idea.
5. Seek out a mentor
When possible, it’s always great to learn from someone who achieved what you’re hoping to achieve as well, whether that’s opening a successful web shop, writing a book, or building a large following on social media. People are always flattered to be asked to be a mentor, but remember that you have the best chance of a positive reply if you ask for help with something in particular, rather than an open ended coffee. LinkedIn is a great place to start, and also provides a bunch of suggestions for professionals in similar fields, so you can learn about the biggest players in your industry and the paths they’ve followed.