If you work at home online, you’ve done something most people will live their entire lives and never do: figure out how to make a living from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace, on their own schedule.
But just because you’re ahead of the curve, don’t think you don’t have anything left to learn. Taking a few college courses could add rocket fuel to your already-burgeoning career. Here are three of the best courses you can take to make your work-at-home future even brighter.
You don’t need an advanced degree to benefit from college. A few well-chosen courses could change your business – and your life.
Social Media Marketing
Whether you’re selling a product, selling a service, or selling yourself, at some point, every businessperson has to double as their own marketing team. The world of marketing – perhaps more than any other area of business – has been turned on its head by the rise of social media. Virtually every business that has an online presence has to have a social media presence, but setting up a Twitter account, posting updates on Facebook, and linking to Google+ isn’t enough.
Marketing through social media is a skill – one that, if harnessed correctly, can reach literally every single person alive who is likely to buy from you. Facebook alone has more than a billion users, and study after study shows that people spend more time on social media every year. They’re there for the taking, but it takes skill to sift through the oceans of people on social media and narrow them down to your likely customer base. That skill can be taught – and learned.
It is a common misconception that writing courses are for writers. That if your business isn’t journalism or copywriting or something, such a course would be a waste of time and money. The reality is, if you’re in business for yourself online, eventually you’re going to have to articulate your business’s function, role, and history. Whether it’s content on your own website, guest posts on blogs, advertisements, email marketing campaigns, newsletters, or simple social media updates, writing is a skill that can benefit literally everyone from a self-employed electrician to the local fishing guide.
It doesn’t matter if your business is words. Words are the building blocks of our language, especially online. A creative writing course not only can improve the mechanics of your writing, but can stoke the imagination and make you a better thinker.
Like writing, video is a medium to express your ideas, display your accomplishments, and announce your intentions. Virtually all credible marketing experts agree that adding a video element to your website or email campaign will improve your visibility, get your message out to more people in less time, and make your operation appear to be more credible and professional.
The rise of the viral video has proven without question that there is simply no medium that can spread a message or concept faster than video. Emails don’t go viral. Neither do newsletters or blogs. But a good, solid video element will add a dimension to your business that could mean the difference between mediocrity and wild success.
Bad video, however, is worse than no video at all. It takes skill to capture, edit, and display moving images well. Lighting, writing, editing, and equipment are skills that must be learned if you don’t want your video to look amateurish and campy. Bring your business to the next level by learning how to do it right.
It’s hard to fit a few courses into your already busy life, but the extra knowledge is certain to pay dividends down the line.
You’ve done the hard part – figured out how to leave the rat race and work from home online. A few college courses could take your business to the next level. Education will improve not only your business, but your overall quality of life. It’s never too late to learn.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about adult education, business, and degrees that lead to high paying careers.