I’ve always been an avid sponge. I'm constantly learning. It's not some self-actualizing goal. It's just the way my mind works. Blame it on my ADHD, or on my desire to always keep my skills fresh and relevant.
This desire to keep learning has helped me earn multiple marketing certifications, ranging from SEO to copywriting. Whether they help me from a promotional standpoint or not is irrelevant. They’re certainly helping me stay at the top of my game.
I personally enjoy LinkedIn Learning. It has an entire library of courses, ranging from psychology to economics. You can access an MBA-level education. Some of the courses a high quality and some of the teachers are industry leaders, too.
What I love about it is that it offers course suggestions based on information on your profile. If you have a paid or premium account with LinkedIn as I do, use it. I believe it’s free with your subscription. And worth it.
But LinkedIn is not the only one, of course.
Online learning platforms are all the craze right now, particularly because of COVID. Companies like Teachable, Udemy, Thinkific, and others like them provide a number of online courses and training programs.
Yours truly has published a few of them on these platforms in the past.
Incidentally, I recommend using these platforms not just for learning but also for course creation. While they can be a source of revenue, I prefer to use it as a marketing tool. They're an incredible source of potential clients.
Like publishing a book or content marketing, offering an online course also drives traffic, builds your list, creates notoriety, and conveys credibility.
I have personally started to follow some of the teachers and content creators that I've become acquainted with. I joined their lists, followed them on social media, and even purchased their coaching services.
There are courses on almost every subject matter possible.
For example, I’ve received an accredited mini-MBA with Excel With Business (yes, a company that started as advanced online training on spreadsheets). But now it's an online training company that also offers courses on business.
Also, I speak and read Portuguese (although, I'm more of an advanced beginner). The reason is, I wanted to learn another language a few years ago when I got engaged with my now wife, Barbara. So I took online courses and was able to recite my vows in Portuguese at my wedding.
Finally, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts.
All the time.
Every. Chance. I. Get.
Walking the dog, working out, in the background when I’m engaged in non-thinking stuff (like cleaning the house, doing laundry, or cooking), and when I shower. I also listen to them at “chipmunk speeds,” as my wife often says.
But here’s something else I enjoy immensely.
Audible offers complete courses from a company I’ve been a customer of for a long time, The Great Courses. I’ve been a fan since buying DVDs from them in the mid-90s when they launched.
They’re essentially recordings of college and class lectures, even full courses. Nowadays, they’re online like most courses. Some of these programs are 80 hours long, and a few that I've purchased are as long as 120 hours.
The price is amazing, too. Imagine listening to university lectures from Harvard-level professors for a fraction of the tuition from these institutions.
Plus, with my Audible monthly credits, I end up paying just a few dollars when I choose one of these courses from their store.
It's not just for business and marketing training. If you know me, you know I’m a history buff and amateur linguistic anthropologist. I tend to fervently devour anything related to history, language, and culture.
For podcasts, I use Stitcher. The web version is clunky, but the app is far better than most podcast apps out there. I love the fact that I can create playlists of either individual shows or subscriptions, which I lump together by genres.
My playlists include history, language, psychology, marketing, digital news, business, and even true crime.
Yes, I am a true crime junkie.
Apparently, it’s quite popular among marketers and copywriters.
As copywriter Alex Cattoni put it, it’s all about understanding the human psyche and what makes people tick. But I also agree with another copywriter who said it’s also about learning the craft of storytelling and communications.
All that said, here's the thing.
As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Knowledge is not power until it is applied.” But you can’t apply it if it’s outdated or incomplete.
I often say that, because of my ADHD, I’m a jack of all trades and a master at being a jack of all trades. Lifelong learning has a lot to do with it.
Learning is not an activity. It’s a skill. An essential one, too, particularly if you're an expert. At the very least, consider using these platforms for marketing.
Your students are waiting.