Truly, the best things in life are free and as far as I can see, that includes online courses. When you’re eager to pick up new skills or strengthen the ones you already have, sitting in a classroom isn’t always ideal. For one, that usually costs money, which you may need to spend elsewhere, depending on your circumstances. Two, the location could be out of reach. Three, who doesn’t love free stuff?!
Online courses are crazy popular because they’re a convenient way to learn and teach just about anything. They’re a popular revenue stream for creators of all backgrounds and skillsets because it requires an up-front investment from the customer. That investment goes straight to your bank account. And as a student, you can usually learn on your own schedule and preferred device; computer, tablet, phone—take your pick.
With so many people teaching so many things, the landscape is predictably huge. Type a random topic in your search bar and chances are you’ll find a class for it. The price range is also wide and thankfully, it starts with zero dollars. Branding is the watercooler topic that never ends for entrepreneurs. This word is code for a group of factors, including, but not limited to: visual design, content strategy, identifying your mission, product development, or some combination of all these moving parts.
If you want to take an idea and turn it into a brand or need a refresher, here are some online courses that provide valuable information and cost nothing to take part in.
Caroline Kelso Zook is an artist, writer, and brand designer behind Wandering Aimfully, an online hub for creatives and solopreneurs. Her free seven-lesson course will walk you through all of the parts that go into building an authentic brand. Topics covered include identifying your ideal audience, forming your brand DNA, and brand visuals.
Sign up for a free trial with Coursesity to take this beginner-level class and build a brand in real-time. Throughout the certification course, you’ll learn how to create a value proposition, craft compelling content, and develop a creative pitch.
Through Coursera, the University of Virginia offers this free course for people who want to establish themselves on various social media platforms and use their best personal assets to build a business that lasts. According to the Coursera platform, almost 50% of students go on to start a new career after completing the course.
Sign up for a free month of Lynda on LinkedIn to learn the fundamentals of personal branding, how to write a content calendar, how to build your own marketing framework and more.
If you prefer written material, Canva’s extensive crash course takes the brand-building process and breaks it down into small-bite sections that cover every step of the process. This includes defining your focus, defining your audience, how to show your personality through branding assets, and finding your niche.
This six-week course offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) leverages the teachings and tactics of the world-renowned school that will give you a beginner-friendly understanding of entrepreneurship and the basic tools to get started.
If you look at your brand as a solution to a problem, Harvard Business School’s free entrepreneurship course provides a detailed analysis of the opportunities for new business owners and a framework for developing your own ideas.
If the branding piece you need help with is a logo, this Udemy class breaks down an easy step-by-step process for creating a logo.
By the end of this FutureLearn course, you’ll have the basic skills needed to start a brand, as well as increased knowledge about the role of design in branding and management techniques.
Brand designer Fabi Paolini built her own brand from scratch and made significant growth in just six months. (She also has multiple degrees in advertising, graphic design, and business administration.) Now, she’s sharing her tried-and-true tactics in a seven-day branding course via daily emails.
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