We live in amazing times, there are efforts all over the world to democratize education by making it available for anyone willing to seek it out and put in a little effort. While it might not come with fancy degrees or initials to put after your name there are tons of resources out there that will help you become smarter about marketing (or just about any other subject) for free! Below is a list of just a few resources to consider:
This is an incredible project that is bringing word-class education to anyone willing to put in the time. For marketers looking to brush up on statistics (that’s what I’m working on), or even if you want to learn more about venture capital markets, finance, economics, or a myriad of other subjects you need to check this site out.
From their website:
All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.
Watch Salman Kahn’s TED talk:
You’re reading one right now so you’re probably pretty aware of the value that blogs can bring, but just in case here are a few resources that you might find helpful.
Check out the Ad Age Power 150 to get started.
Business 2 Community has become a content juggernaut with great marketing articles being generated by a powerful community of marketing pros.
You can always count on Technorati to find the most popular blogs on the intertubes.
It’s amazing to me that so many great marketing pros are willing to share so much knowledge with the rest of us free of charge. Here are a few that I listen to regularly and love.
Marketing Over Coffee: Christopher Penn and John Wall share their musings and knowledge in roughly 20-30 minute chunks in this casual podcast.
Six Pixels of Separation: Mitch Joel brings marketing insights through interviews with some of the most influential minds in digital marketing.
The Accidental Creative: Todd Henry shares powerful and digestible ideas to help bring out the creative genius in all of us.
The BeanCast: A powerul mix of serious and hilarious marketing analysis, worth every minute.
Quora has become an important source of information with a community of experts that answer specific questions about organized topics. Perhaps their website can describe it better….
Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.
I use quora to follow some of these marketing topics, web analytics, inbound marketing, branding, personal development, web marketing, Google Analytics, and personal branding. Quora is also social in nature and allows members to build credibility in topics of their choice by answering questions posed by other users.
Social media is a fantastic way to stay on top of the latest marketing news. If you have a preferred platform, go find the marketers you like and follow them, they are constantly posting relevant information that can help you move forward in your career, and who knows, you might find a connection that you never expected.
Facebook: Many companies have very informational Facebook feeds including the American Marketing Association, Hubspot, Marketing Profs, and Guy Kawasaki, but I reserve Facebook for mostly personal purposes so I don’t go too overboard there.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is another great resource for learning. Search for marketing groups that interest you (there are tons of them out there), hop in and contribute and you’ll be learning while building your personal brand!
TED talks are an unbelievable resource about all kinds of ideas, from technology to education, science to global development, art to medicine, and of course business. Started by Chris Anderson a few years ago, TED talks are going on all over the world, with ordinary people now organizing their own smaller, independant conferences called TEDx. TED talks usually come in bite size 5-15 minute chunks and are full of incredible ideas from some of the most fascinating minds in the world. If you want to become smarter about a range of topics, try listening to one TED talk a week and there is no doubt you will be blown away.
I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, if you haven’t been to your local library to see what books are out there you’ll probably be surprised by what you find. Take a trip and find out for yourself.
What other ideas do you have for becoming a smarter marketer for free?