This post has been sponsored by Skillshare.
Social media: great to waste time on for fun, but not so much for work. Am I right, fellow entrepreneurs? If you’re struggling to create effective social content that reliably improves your home business engagement online, you are so not alone. And who wants to spend all their time trawling through blogs that claim to demystify Facebook or Pinterest – only to realize that half of them contradict the other half? No one. No one wants to do that. And this is where a great online learning community like Skillshare comes in with a cup of coffee and a helpful smile.
What is Skillshare?
Skillshare is a fantastic site that connects experts (often other entrepreneurs like you!) who have something to teach with small business owners, freelancers, and anyone else who has something to learn. They offer classes across a wide variety of industries, from courses on creating logotypes and mastering Illustrator to becoming a better on-camera presenter and putting together a badass social media strategy in less than 90 minutes. Skillshare has a free membership level that gives registered users access to a limited selection of free classes (both on the website and on their app), and then a premium membership that’s $15 per month (or $99 annually, which works out to $8.25 per month). Premium membership gives you unlimited access to their entire catalog of over 19,000 classes – which is constantly growing by the way – and even better, they’re giving a special offer of 2 months for $0.99 right now for my readers.
(Interested in becoming a teacher on Skillshare? Get those details here.)
With such a smorgasbord of courses at your fingertips, you may be wondering where to get started – so I’ve put together this list of 8 courses that’ll help you grow your home business with informed and confident social media marketing strategies.
In Ohn Mar Win’s “Instagram Success for Artists: 2 Week Challenge to Grow Your Following,” she tackles best practices for increasing your follower account on Instagram through regular application of your art. (It should be noted this course is largely for entrepreneurs working in the art, illustration, or design industries.) Ohn is an artist who started her Instagram in 2014 “with a fuzzy picture of a pear sketch” and now she's celebrating over 100,000 followers. Her course breaks down into 12 videos for a total of 49 minutes, and covers how to key your profile for growth, how to establish audience expectation, and those general best practices I mentioned earlier. She also has an overwhelmingly positive set of reviews from her students, so this one’s a solid choice for leveling up on Instagram!
Gary Vaynerchuk, Wine Guru and CEO at Vaynermedia, has been an entrepreneur since he was a kid and grew his family’s million-dollar business into a multimillion-dollar company; now he helps Fortune 500 companies build their brand and establish their digital social footprints. In his 23-video series “Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World,” Gary takes 1 hour and 31 minutes to help you tailor your brand’s content to the social platform you’re sharing it on and increase its effectiveness by telling the right story. Previous students have found his content precise and extremely helpful in development of their own social media campaigns – as you might imagine with his background!
With Rand Fishkin’s class, “Introduction to SEO: Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs,” you’ll work through 12 videos (the total runtime for the class is 90 minutes) that cut to the heart of SEO and how you can effectively apply it to optimize your content. All you need to know about Rand Fishkin can be summed up in his adopted nickname “Wizard of Moz” – he’s not afraid to stand out from the crowd, he can tell a story with a phrase, and he’s the founder and former CEO of Moz (which is an SEO software and inbound marketing company). His class will walk you through the fundamentals of what SEO is, how to understand and use analytics, best practices with keywords, and how to audit a site and specific posts to set you up for success. Even better, this is one of Skillshare’s free classes!
Buffer is an excellent tool for social media management, allowing you to schedule social posts in advance across a number of popular social platforms. Brian Peters is actually the Digital Marketing Strategist at Buffer, and he’s offering “Introduction to Social Media Strategy | Learn with Buffer,” a 9-video, 43-minute course on how to create an effective social media strategy for your business. You’ll learn which social media platforms work best for your industry, how to create eye-catching content, and Brian’s “5-step Facebook advertising plan.” This class is honed to be very clear and straightforward, and is especially helpful for those new to social media – as Brian’s overwhelmingly positive reviews demonstrate.
In Everett Bowes’ “The 2018 Guide for Facebook and Instagram Success,” you can benefit from the latest information to build strategies that work to bolster your business through an intelligent, deliberate social media campaign. Everett Bowes is a Brand Strategy and Creative Consultant who’s been helping companies with their branding for over 20 years – and he thrives by staying up-to-date on how these social media platforms tick. This course aims to take the mystery out of lackluster post engagement, why Facebook and Instagram may not be sharing your posts with your followers, how you may be able to improve follower gain, and more. Everett has a relatable attitude and emphasizes building connections – you can build one with him and learn something by it in this 33-video, 98-minute course!
Kate Arends is the creator of Wit & Delight, a website dedicated to the self-discovery, mental health, and more of its 3 million readers – but it’s also a brand that’s been evolving for nearly a decade. With this experience, Kate is offering “Building Your Online Presence: Personal Branding through Social Media,” a course that unfolds across 1 hour and 8 minutes (14 videos) and will help you define your brand’s purpose and develop an authentic personal brand you can truly stand behind. She gives you the tools and the data to tailor her lessons to your personal idea of success and purpose for your business, including worksheets to help you enact what you learn. She’s worked with over 7,000 students on Skillshare, and you could be next.
With Peg Fitzpatrick’s “Pinterest Marketing 101 for Creative Entrepreneurs,” she aims to give you a basic understanding of what Pinterest is and how you can leverage it for your business as a creative. If you haven’t heard of Peg before, her bonafides are that she’s co-authored a book with Guy Kawasaki (marketing specialist formerly of Apple, who also has classes on Skillshare) titled The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. This particular class is nearly an hour long, broken into 12 videos. She covers basic Pinterest terminology, how to set up your own Pinterest, breaks down the components of a great pin, discusses how to attract people to your pins, and more. She’s got amazing reviews, with consistent feedback on the clarity of her lessons on Pinterest basics.
As the Internet embraces video content, brands large and small are following suit and incorporating video into their marketing strategies on social media. Since much of building a brand is based on connection to your audience, putting a personable face to your name can be a key component to your social media strategy. Josiah Brooks has over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube and has made a full-time living as a YouTube creator since 2013. In “How to Talk and Present to Camera like a Pro!,” Josiah aims to teach the basics on how to face the camera comfortably and with confidence; he also shares a bunch of performance tips and tricks. The course includes over 3 hours of content in 10 videos – and 2 of those are the raw footage he shot for the course so you can see how he extemporizes and overcomes his own mistakes.
If you take even one of these classes, your new understanding of social media marketing will give your home business a fresh injection of awesome. Now that’s time well spent – so check out Skillshare and start learning! And remember, you can click here to get that special offer of your first 2 months for just $0.99.