How To Educate Yourself Online (and Grow Your Business)
One of the topics I talk about regularly, and is even part of my 11 Habits of Successful Women, is that we need to educate ourselves. And we need to do so in different ways than the traditional ‘going to University to get a degree’ kind of way. Without self education, our businesses become stagnant, we run out of things to write about and we become stuck.
One of the questions I get asked regularly is ‘how do I educate myself when I just don’t have the time?’ Oh I understand. Between being a mum, a wife, running my business and working as a Paramedic part time, I have a lot on my plate. Education, exercise and health are usually the first things to fall by the wayside. But they are the things that I also need to schedule time for.
A big misconception is that Education = University. So many people think of having to go to uni or college to educate themselves further, even when it is for their own business. Even more alarming is that there are just as many people who wont’ start a project, like a blog or a business, because they believe they don’t know enough about a topic or because they believe they need to have a degree before they can talk about it (albeit, there are some topics, like medical advice that should be left to those with qualifications).
What a lot of people don’t realise is that there are literally so many ways to learn online now. We live in a ‘YouTube University’ kind of world where we have a plethora of information available to us at the click of a button.
Here are some of the best ways you can educate yourself online.
Blogs and websites (like this one) are fantastic resources when you’re wanting to learn online. They usually serve posts that are around 1000 – 3000 words in length and offer information that can be consumed within a relatively short period of time, and teach you how to do a specific task or give you more information about a specific issue.
When it comes to growing your business, there is so much information available that can help you to push your business to the next level, give you ideas about strategies you may not have thought about, and teach you how to use content marketing, grow your email list or market your business on social media.
I have spent countless hours on YouTube learning how to set up a website or integrate an email autoresponder and I am so grateful for the ability to learn such valuable tasks on such a diverse platform.
While some people spend hours watching funny cat videos (okay maybe I do that too) you can also learn how to do just about anything on YouTube.
This means you can learn new skills to grow your business (you should see some of the incredible videos on sales and marketing in there – amazing) and you can also use YouTube to educate your audience in the same way you can use blog posts to educate as well. Brilliant.
I am a massive fan of support groups and Masterminds and believe they are the bee’s knees of business growth. Have you ever heard the saying ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’? Think about the 5 business people you spend the most time with. Are you happy to be the average of these people?
Masterminds are groups of like minded people who get together in some way (sometimes in person, sometimes online) to help encourage and build each other up. Usually these groups have people from all different kinds of backgrounds and it’s this diversity that makes them so incredibly valuable.
There is so much you can learn from others. A mentor once told me that everyone out there knows something you don’t know and your job in life is to find out what that thing is. I love that. These Masterminds and even support groups like Facebook groups can help educate you in so many different ways.
One on One Coaching
Professional athletes have one on one coaching, actors have one on one coaches, speakers have vocal coaches, business owners have business coaches. People who really want to level up their ‘game’ will often seek out personalised one on one coaching to achieve their goals. I’ve done it before and will gladly do it again. And all of it was done online.
Video calls have made this process so much easier now and we get to have that ‘real life’ experience of sitting down with someone, having a coffee and getting into a good deep chat, without having to even be in the same country!
If you have a specific area in your business you want to work on, consider hiring a one on one coach. Some people even offer one on one tech training for those who are tech challenged (that so used to be me too!!).
Online Courses (non-accredited)
Online courses are one of the largest growing industries right now. People are wanting to share their knowledge and others are willing to pay for it. Sure, you could find a lot of the information shared in these courses for free online… but convenience and delivery wins. Why would I want to sit and sift through hundreds of blog posts about email automation sequences to drive revenue to my business when for $100 I could have all the information delivered to me in a course by someone who has the credibility to back up her teachings. Love it!
There is a course available for just about anything from home brewing to how to renovate your 1970’s camper van, so if there is an area of your business you want to learn more about, I guarantee there will be a course available.
Online Courses (accredited)
When I started university back in 2004 (yikes, showing my age a little…) online education was only just starting to become known. It had been happening before but there was still a lot of stigma around it. Now you can study for an entire qualification or degree online without ever having to set foot into a university.
There are amazing courses offered by places like Upskilled that can teach you how to grow your business more, or give you the skills to offer more services and share your passion with others.
You could take one of the marketing courses (including one on social media marketing) and use this knowledge to market your own business. Or you could even create a business out of it where you consult for others or run social media marketing management, a skill that is highly sought after and often outsourced by businesses.
Or perhaps you want to create a business around a topic you’re passionate about, but don’t feel confident enough in your current education of. For example, maybe you have a passion for naturopathy and love sharing how natural health has benefited you, but you want to set yourself apart from the other ‘health bloggers’. You could study a Bachelor of Health Science, completely online, while building up your business, sharing delicious healthy recipes you love and finding an audience who loves you. Amazing.
This post was kindly sponsored by Upskilled, all thoughts, opinions and attempts at humour are my own.