8 free marketing courses every small business owner should take
With everyone glued to their smartphones these days, digital marketing is crucial to your small business’s success. And if you’ve a busy schedule, self-paced courses are a great way to learn the skills to promote your business through channels like online advertising, social media and blogging. But drop a google search to find a course and you’re bombarded with countless options, all promising superior results.
I’ve been there, and I feel your pain. Being a caring, sharing copywriter, I’ve picked out the best online courses you can take –completely free– which give the range of skills you need to engage with your customers and grow your business online. Enjoy!
This is a broad intro to digital marketing, broken up into a series of bite-size videos. The concepts are very clearly explained, and if you’re not too computer-savvy or a novice to marketing, this is a great starting point.
There’s an emphasis on advertising options, and woven into the helpful info is a gentle plug for Google’s services. So keep in mind any option that’s promised to work wonders could be more effective for one type of business than another. Read more “8 free marketing courses every small business owner should take”
5 ways your new business will pack a punch online – for free
With over 90% of shoppers now researching online before they buy, going digital is hands-down the best way to reach a vast audience. And because you don’t need a huge budget to get an online presence, you’ve a level playing field to compete with big companies for attention. Follow these tips to get your campaign off to a flying start – without the sky-high costs.
1) Get a website that beats the competition
You don’t need to spend a fortune on slick graphics to have an excellent website. Think of a site you love to use. Is it simple to navigate with informative content? Is the design flashy or clean? The free website builders like WordPress and Wix offer great options for a user-friendly, attractive site. And they keep upping their game to create flexible templates that are faster to load, and responsive across different screen sizes – a must for today’s smartphone-addicted world. Read more “5 ways your new business will pack a punch online – for free”
3 key features of a compelling web page
Isn’t it tough to stand out on the web these days?
Prospective buyers are ruthless in their research, jumping from site to site on their quest for the ideal product, spoilt for choice but starved of time.
Maybe you’ve upped your game and made your website look great and load fast, stretch and shrink to fit the screen of PCs to smartwatches. But your visitors still rocket away from your site faster than you can say ‘’welcome’’, and you suspect your content is the culprit.
So what will make your content stand out from the rest?
Many techniques for online writing work better on some websites than others. Hiring a professional (nudge, nudge) is a sure-fire way to utilise these. But there’s 3 basic things that will improve any webpage and keep visitors in your orbit:
1) Make an impact from the start
Your title is THE most important part of your content. Get this wrong, and click. You won’t see your visitor for dust. The content you worked so hard on won’t get a first glance. A great title is short and snappy, and does two things: Read more “3 key features of a compelling web page”
Google’s Digital Garage course: life saver or sales pitch?
I’ve recently completed Google’s Digital Garage course. It’s an introduction to all aspects of digital marketing, from optimising your website for organic search to tips on video production. There’s 23 topics, with videos, quizzes and end of topic assessments to keep you on track.
At first, it seems there’s nothing not to love about the course. It’s current, comprehensive and free. But it’s had some flak for promoting its products under the guise of helping digital newbies. So…
…Is it worth your time?
In an article posted last year Dr Steven Dumbleton argues the course exaggerates the importance of digital marketing, misleading small business owners into spending their budget solely on digital. Others have noticed a sales pitch in many of the topics, while more recently Carolyn Mcintyre points out that cheating to get a certificate for online courses ‘’…is actually quite easy to do.’’ A quick search will give you the answers, so does this limit the value of adding it to your CV?
I think the course is both life-saver and sales pitch, and here’s why: Read more “Google’s Digital Garage course: life saver or sales pitch?”
What the heck is a copywriter, anyway?
I’m at one of my first business seminars, hoping to learn but also hoping to promote my services to people who need it. ‘’I’m a copywriter,’’ I explain.
Some people are intrigued, but some edge away with a faint look of suspicion in their eyes. ‘’Oh. So you…write jingles?’’ One murmurs uncertainly. This isn’t their fault. Truth be told, I’m a bit socially awkward, better at writing than networking. Maybe my nervous grin was too wide. Who knows? Maybe I had something in my teeth.
But the experience highlights the typical confusion about what a copywriter actually does. Whether you’ve no idea or consider yourself an expert, I’ll set the record straight here. Copywriters aren’t a slightly unsavoury bunch who just write adverts and jingles. Read more “What the heck is a copywriter, anyway?”