Trying to build a new business from home isn’t an easy task. Whether or not you’ve had some sort of previous education in business, chances are you never learned much about to market yourself, your product, and your company.
The easy solution is to take a marketing course from a local university. But when your schedule is tight and you know you don’t have the time or energy to study for tests, write papers, and complete other homework assignments, it’s just not realistic to enroll. However, check with your local higher-education institution, as it might offer the ability to audit a course.
You never know what you might learn when you audit a college marketing course.
What Is Auditing?
Auditing a class means that you complete a course without any formal assessment or awarded grade. You typically don’t take tests or write papers, but rather just sit in on lectures to learn more about the subject.
The process for enrolling in a marketing course depends on the school you’re interested in, but a good first step is contacting the admissions office to learn about the school’s policies and procedures. At many schools, you still have to pay a fee or even full tuition to audit a course, so it’s not necessarily for the budget-conscious. (In that case, you might want to look into some of the free online courses that many elite schools are now offering – the type of places that top business minds have their college degrees from.) In most cases, you’ll have to get the permission of the professor who’s teaching the class.
Benefits of a Marketing Class
But why audit a marketing class? There are multiple reasons.
1. For someone in business, top-notch marketing skills are a way to make any business successful. For a business to succeed, your potential customers need to know about it. Once they do know you exist, they need constant reminders that your company best serves their purpose. The way to do this might be through traditional print advertising or via email or web campaigns, social media tactics, or otherwise.
2. Not all marketing is made equal, so even if you do have some basic marketing education, you might find another course that will strengthen your knowledge in a niche area.
For example, you might need to learn how to write a marketing plan, or you might be knowledgeable in traditional marketing, but need help in the digital arena – such as analytics, social media, or electronic commerce. These fields are relatively new, so even someone who has a degree in marketing must keep up with the times. Unless you have the time, energy, or resources to invest in another degree, auditing might just be the way to go.
3. You can also learn about related fields; facets of marketing such as market research or public relations might be helpful to you when working in your at-home business.
Do you know how to create a successful camera-ready ad for a print magazine? What tactics go into pitching a story to a reporter so they can write a story about your business? How do you find out what demographics are the best for marketing your products? The answers to these questions rest in learning more about the tangential fields of advertising, public relations, and market research. Look for niche marketing courses so you can truly hone skills that will help your business succeed.
Learn more about social media marketing strategies while auditing a marketing course.
Remember, marketing and sales aren’t the same thing. You might be a top-notch salesperson when it comes to closing the deal, but without the proper marketing skills, you might never get to that point of making the sale.
By auditing a marketing course, though, you might find yourself connecting with customers and using information in a way you never thought of before – all by just by auditing a college marketing course.
Kelsey Castle is a freelance writer and editor with a background in marketing. She has worked on marketing strategies for nonprofit associations in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area.