Helpful Education Sites

Whether you have a degree or are self-taught. I don’t care if you have been in marketing for years or just started. This list is for you. The coolest and most challenging part to social media is that it’s always changing, IMO. The cool and challenging part is an opinion, the other is a fact. But, even in the design world, there are constantly new techniques and trends popping up. That’s why I said, even if you have a degree in social media or graphic design, this post can still be helpful to you.

I’ve compiled a list of some helpful sites I have either personally used or have spoken with others that have used. By others, I mean other Graphic Designers, Social Media Managers, or entrepreneur’s creating their own marketing content. This list ranges from online academies with courses to webinars from associations. It’s a lot of mix and match to see what learning best suites you.

1. Hootsuite
I use Hootsuite to manage the OTA’s social media. This is where I schedule the posts and now (thankfully) pull all channel analytics. With 6 social accounts, Hootsuite has saved my life this year. But, that’s not why it’s on this list. Hootsuite also offers free webinars and even has the Hootsuite Academy.
The Academy offers 8 certifications that are not free. They range from $199 – $999. I have not paid for a course so I cannot comment on the courses themselves. I can comment on their free webinars that I receive email alerts for. I have learned some very valuable SMM tips and tricks on these. The last one I watched gave us the latest on the Instagram algorithm and the most important steps to make sure your engagement stays up and your posts are being seen.
At the very minimum, I advise you to sign up for their emails. This way you are notified of the free webinars and can choose the topics that sound most intriguing to you or that align best with your goals.
View the Academy here.

2. Social Media Examiner
I stumbled upon the Social Media Examiner about two years ago and joined their email list. They do offer meetings and a membership (I am almost positive on the membership). However, I have never paid for any of their content. I do find myself wading through a lot of their wording as their emails are VERY text heavy and their video format seems a little too “dumbed-down” for my liking. However, if you don’t mind those few steps, they do produce some very helpful content.
I tend to find myself turning to them if I am needing a quick answer or am on a search for a specific question, outside of Instagram. Not that they don’t produce Instagram content, because they do, they’re just not my preferred resource. Again, with their tone, they feel almost outdated to me sometimes. Outdated probably isn’t the word I am looking for. But, the best part about Social Media Examiner is their YouTube channel. On YouTube, they cover the social platforms that are most common: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
They also do YouTube/Facebook Lives and have a Podcast.
For being free content, I think it’s absolutely worth checking out! View their homepage here.

3. Udemy
Here’s one I haven’t personally tried yet but have heard a lot about. From the research I have done, they have 155k courses and are used by some major brands. You pay per course, so the prices are a WIDE range.
The wide arrange of categories and topics covered could definitely be worth it. View their homepage here. You can also receive a free 7-day trial.

4. Hubspot
Hubspot is a lot like the Social Media Examiner, where they produce free content. I attend a lot of webinars through them as well. However, like Udemy, they have a wide array of topics and resources. Where you need a webinar how-to or a social media planning template, Hubspot has it. They are definitely my go-to! Bonus: I used their interactive Email Signature Generator to build out the OTA company signature banners that link directly to each of our social channels, website, and contact information. To view everything they offer, click here.

5. Coursera
Coursera seems to be a direct competitor of Udemy. However, they seem to have free courses, 1,779 to be exact. I won’t promise it’s the best content in the world but what I have found is even when it’s free content I can tend to pick through and find what I’m looking for or what I need. They also offer certificates and degrees. One thing I found interesting is they have courses for advancing or starting out in the career field. It currently shows a 7-day free trial is available. Find more information on their website here.

6. Skillshare
Skillshare is a platform I have not used myself but was informed on by another graphic designer. I believe she has used them for courses and to gain new techniques (View her Instagram here).
As another direct competitor with Udemy and Coursera, Skillshare offers a wide array of courses and certificates. Skillshare does also offer some free courses, roughly 2,600 of them. They also offer a 7 -day free trial so you can test them out.
As I haven’t used this one before, my fellow creative spoke very highly of this platform. Just by browsing through the site, it seems like the platform I would lean more towards. View their website here.

7. YouTube
Oh the joys of YouTube – a free education source for many things. I tend to use YouTube to watch Manny MUA and SophDoesLife. But, for this topic I have recently found and enjoyed ModernMille. There are probably thousands of creatives on YouTube though. In full transparency, I have not really searched on YouTube for assistance. I am more of a Google, Read, and Go type of girl. I like quick and efficient. But, if you are looking to find some new channels to follow or like to listen to techniques explained, this is probably for you. The only two channels I have found that I roll through SMM content on:Modern Millie
Social Media ExaminerI will say that I have found a lot of success on Youtube when it comes to looking for Adobe how-to’s. I don’t have specific channels I go to though. I just search for it on Google and click through some videos that pop-up. 

8. AMA (American Marketing Association)
One of the best parts about associations? There is usually one for everything and some of them even offer education to non-members. The AMA is no different. I did pay to become a member of the AMA because there are perks included with that such as some free webinars, publications, and events. I haven’t seen many free webinars come through, so I wouldn’t say this is the most cost-effective answer but it’s a great networking and learning opportunity, at minimum. Look at membership options here.

9. PRSA (Public Relations Society of America)
PRSA is a lot like AMA except with a wider audience and larger membership. When you apply for membership, they do make you select a regional chapter and pay extra for that. I found PRSA to have less education for marketing than AMA but, that wasn’t a surprise. They are for everyone in Public Relations, which Marketing definitely falls under. If you are involved with crisis communication, HR, PR, communications, or management, I would lean more towards PRSA. View their membership options here.

10. Social Media
Social media can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to learn new tips and tricks. You can find experts in their field, quick tip videos, or even blog posts like this one. I always preach how important social media can be in your business and using it for education is absolutely no different. Search for your favorite accounts or use hashtags to search for topics. You can also search a keyword (some platforms are pulling away from hashtags and using AI to define keywords for an easier search). TikTok is the most self-explanatory. But, you can use Reels, Lives, Posts, and even Guides on Instagram. Watch other’s stories. Same thing with Facebook. Use these FREE tools to not only conduct and further your business revenue but to also gain knowledge, which in turn leads directly to helping those other two I mentioned. 

Learning has never been and will never be one size fits all. It will take trial-and-error as well as some digging. But, you’ll find what works best for your mind, business, and budget. You can also reach out to businesses who offer consulting. I decided to offer marketing consulting when I realized there is a gap between hungry entrepreneurs and understanding how marketing can take you to the next level. 

all the love & espresso, 

Back to blog

Leave a comment