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  • Writer's pictureClaire Elbrow

Getting your business back on track.

As we move quietly back to our businesses and find a new way of working, you will have probably realised you need to explore different ways to promote and marketing your business.

Like me, you may have investigated some of the free and paid-for courses around to help you transition your business for the future.

If you are still at the 'thinking about it' stage, then our list might help. After a bit of consultation with my fellow marketing freelancers, our selection of the best are:

Facebook could quite easily become the place to be for small businesses, especially after this week’s announcement around the new Facebook Shops option. It would be crazy not to understand how best to use both Facebook and Instagram to boost your business visibility and sales. From the basics to the advanced, you can just keep on learning!

From basic to advanced SEO, their training is free to use until 31st May. Understanding how your website works, what Search Engines look for and how to use it to your advantage is a key skill to have under your belt.

Take your pick! There is so much content on Google which you can access for free even up to the fundamentals of digital marketing certificate, it is hard to refuse! There are bite-size courses along with the full-on type.

For small business owners, CANVA is the perfect tool for your graphic and social designs, plus your logo, video and publications. It is simple, versatile, clever and just well, brilliant. A clever concept which keeps on growing. Their Design School will help you get the best from it.

Hubspot is a full-on marketing tool which works perfectly for small and growing businesses. They offer a very wide range of short and long courses on different marketing subjects, so if you are about to delve into email marketing or fancy setting up a YouTube channel, they have the information you need. Their content marketing certificate is worth a look if you are looking to expand your inbound leads, and their blogs are just the best too!

Full of all sorts of subjects from using Microsoft Office to strategic thinking. There is a one-month free option and then it is a paid for resource, but worth considering if you find the right course.

You can learn just about anything on Udemy! It is filled to the brim with different courses and subjects. The courses are rated by users so you can see which will best fit your needs. They are paid for courses, but they hold regular sales where prices are heavily discounted.

If you want to understand the data you get from your website better so you can use it to your best advantage, then this may be for you. It can get a bit technical but there are six courses for each level of learner, so start basic and work your way up!

SkillShare offers multiple digital marketing courses, for 15 mins to a couple of hours. It will show you how to brush up your LinkedIn profile and strategy right through to using Instagram better.

Google Ads can be a minefield for some companies. I have listened to many tales of high spend and little return. Setting up your own ads needs some thought and understanding. This is what this Google Academy does – helps you understand what you are doing and achieve the results you want to.

In fact, the whole of the Google Skills Shop is worth exploring.

If you are looking for local online courses, then try MENTA. Their social media courses are sponsored by our local business support experts, AccountAbility-Plus. However, MENTA cover all you need to start your new business, from book-keeping to looking for financing.

If you are going to start using any of the email marketing options such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, AWeber or Hubspot, it is well worth running through their training before you start. Which one to choose – this year’s graphic might help.

Before you do choose, just be very clear how you want it to work and what you need it to interface with. I tend to use MailChimp and Constant Contact because they will link with other software and online platforms most readily used by my clients. However, I have used others and they are all pretty effective – it just depends on what you want to achieve, your business type and your budget!

If you are more of a book person, the choice on Amazon is excellent. I have just read John Esperien’s new book Content DNA – highly recommended. John is a bit of a LinkedIn guru (well, a bit more than a bit, to be honest). If you are nervous about writing content for your website, marketing materials or blog, then this is the book for you. Even if you are not nervous, then it is the book for you! He very much goes with the KISS mentality (Keep It Simple Stupid!).

If you fancy having a go at your own PR this year, then Natalie Trice’s book, PR School, Your Time To Shine is a must. I have given this to my clients when they wanted to try some DIY PR to support our marketing plans. It is a fabulous book, whether PR is your thing, or you are a beginner.

If all this just sounds too much like hard work, and believe us when we say we also find it hard to keep up and we have to really work at it, then get in touch - me and my fellow freelancers can offer you a little, or a lot of support.

We will be launching our ‘start-up business' packages’ and ‘get your business back’ packages on June 1st. These will offer a mix of flexible digital, social and traditional marketing support to help you get your business thriving.

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