As someone who already has 3 degrees (BMM, MMS, LLB.), my love for learning new things cannot be understated. These are courses I have taken which I completely recommend because of the value they provide and the positive impact they can have on your life.
One thing I’ve learned over the past few months of lockdown is that I’m a sucker for a good course, especially when casually browsing Facebook. If you bombard me with an ad more than a few times, and maybe a webinar, I’m very likely to buy.
I’m not a fan of high-pressure sales tactics like webinars with “special prices only if you sign up within the next 15 minutes”, but hey, they work. It teaches you a lot about practical ways to finally close a sale when you have leads that are eager to buy your products.
What I have learned about the most is the power of having a strong personal brand. Each of the following courses that I have taken has been because the course creator had invested in creating a strong personal brand for themselves. Ads help, too, but in conjunction with a personal brand, they make sales happen.
This is perhaps the first online course I’ve ever bought because I wanted to learn web development in a structured manner. After reading rave reviews on reddit and Quora. I’ve finished about 30% of it so far and haven’t touched it in months, but it is longer than 50 hours at this point with new content updates pretty often. Priced at around INR 400, I really don’t know how the creators make any profit out of it. Which is to say that they don’t, and most of their income probably comes from face to face teaching sessions in their physical offices in London.
This was after getting repeated Facebook ads at the start of the lockdown. I did a pretty extensive google search on Vaibhav before signing up for his 5 day LinkedIn workshop, priced at INR 500 which I now learn costs him about INR 1200 per person due to the rising costs of Facebook and Instagram ads.. I learned a lot about how to use LinkedIn to get jobs, freelance clients and generate leads. It revolves around creating good content and delivering value for free instead of just approaching people to buy from you in your first interaction. Most importantly, a bias for action trumps everything else.
Towards the end of this 5 day LinkedIn Workshop, there was a mega webinar that lasted around 4 hours during which Vaibhav pitched us his LinkedIn mastery course priced at INR 10,000. I was on the fence about spending so much money on an online course, but I was influenced enough by my prior research about Vaibhav, his energy levels and his general attitude towards life evident in his course.
I had been following Shreya on LinkedIn because I wanted to become a freelance content writer. And she kept on delivering free content of value for months. What I loved about her posts was that she is unapologetic when it comes to dealing with clients. She knows her worth and demands a 100% advance upfront.
This was a read that took me barely 2 hours to finish, but it cemented what I’d learned about LinkedIn and freelancing with respect to content writing and dealing with clients. It was priced at INR 800, but is worth it if you want to accelerate your freelance journey by at least a year.
This is a course I purchased for INR 2,000, after reading blog posts from the author, M Pattabiraman over the course of a year. He is the creator of a popular financial blog freefincal.com and admin of the Facebook group Asan Ideas for Wealth. His journey involves being a student till his early thirties and then within the course of 10-odd years investing and planning his way to financial independence, which is mostly because of the percentage of his salary that he saved rather than the rate of return on his investments. Also, he is a physics professor at IIT Madras.
The course is hosted entirely on a Facebook group. The most value I received from it was a lesson on what not to spend money on while creating an online presence – SEO tools, digital marketing services, keyword research tools such as ahrefs and SEMrush and to avoid EIG owned web-hosting companies. Backlinks are the ultimate form of SEO you can have.
I was introduced to Deepak (Digital Deepak) through Vaibhav Sisinty’s online courses. He was part of a few webinars conducted by Vaibhav, and his digital marketing courses were also a part of Vaibhav’s offer while purchasing his LinkedIn Mastery course. I became part of his email list, and man, what beautiful email marketing this guy does. His specialty lies in email marketing and marketing automation, which is what I aspire to learn by taking his internship, which is more like an online course with webinars, assignments, projects, and cashback. One key reason I spent INR 15,000 on this internship is that if you complete all the assignments within the deadline, you get your money back and then some. Your time is your biggest investment here. And so far it has been one hell of a ride. I wholeheartedly recommend applying to this internship, if you want to get a solid foundation in digital marketing.
Courses I still want to take:
She comes highly recommended by Saheli Chatterjee, a book YouTuber who is also into content writing and marketing. Again, she employs the whole Facebook Ad > Free One/Two Hour Webinar > Landing Page > Upsell technique that Vaibhav used. And her English grammar isn’t the best (by the snob grammar-nazi in me who still quietly judges people for poor language abilities, even though my own leave a lot to be desired and it comes from a place of immense privilege, but hey at least I acknowledge that now, life is a process of continuous improvement)
Her course is priced at INR 42,000 so it is a few notches above what I’m used to spending. If not for my budget, I’d get this course, too.
He is a YouTuber and medical student from Lahore, Pakistan who also does content writing and blogging in addition to his studies. His elevator pitch is that he is on a mission to help 100,000 people make a living online. And it really seems like he lives by it, from his emails to his Facebook group.
Weirdly, if a course is priced lower, I end up doing a lot more research. The signaling effects of prices are real, and they sure as hell work on me. At some point, after consuming a lot of free content over months or even years, I feel obligated to give content creators at least some money for the value they have provided. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good course. It sure beats dealing with unemployment.