7 Ways to Upskill Yourself for Free
Feel like it’s time to hit the books? Whether it’s for business or personal growth, here are five amazing ways you can upskill yourself for free.
We love nothing more than empowering small businesses to succeed. If there is something you want to be able to do, learn it. It doesn’t always have to break the bank, it just takes a little time, commitment and practise.
A good example is my photography. I’m completely self taught, through all of the examples below – I started by picking up the camera and practising. Then upskilling. Then practising some more.
Here’s the visual results of the same recipe shot exactly a year apart.
So – what changes do you think you can make in your business through upskilling?
Disclosure: Some links in the below post are affiliate links. This means that we might earn a small commission (at no cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Please note: All opinions are our own and we only ever recommend something that we have or would use ourselves.
Our number-one go-to place for upskilling, Lynda.com has courses on almost everything related to small business. Whether you’re keen to understand more about facebook marketing, take better photos, learn how to tweak your website, Lynda has you covered.
You’ll need a valid library card and PIN to access these courses for free, so if you don’t have one already, it’s time to sign up!
And that leads us to…
2. Your Local Library + Libby = Your new best friends in learning
You don’t always have to physically pop into the library and search through the shelves. Now you can login and check your local library’s database from your phone or desktop, put items on hold and grab them when you’re ready – hassle free and, well, actual free!
Now when someone gives us a tip to check out the latest edition of ‘Profit First’ or ‘Start With Why’, we’ll jump onto the SA Libraries app and pop it straight on hold so we don’t forget or lose the intention within that ever growing to-do list.
And when it comes to ebooks/digital editions or audiobooks, the sister app ‘Libby‘ is where it’s at. Download it on your phone or tablet and it’ll be your new learning hub on the go. No excuses people!
If you need any more reasons to download it, head over to Everyday Reading and read Janssen’s blog on why she loves the Libby app.
CreativeLive.com is where we head for courses with that extra personal touch. Think seminars with a live audience and sometimes, the ability for online viewers to contribute questions and add to the discussion.
When courses go live ON AIR You can access them for free over a 24 hour period. Then if you’re still keen to access the value in your own time, you can purchase the course and watch it whenever you want.
Check Out CreativeLive’s Free On-Air Classes or pick something from their huge library of courses that interests you. You can even subscribe for updates so you’ll be notified when your chosen course goes on air!
If there’s anything we need help with, be it for work or home purposes, one of our first steps is to head to youtube. Whether it’s learning how to install our own door handles or pollinate veggies in our garden (true story, ask Sarah sometime 😂), someone has more than likely made a YouTube video about it, which means you can upskill and become your own handyman!
Sometimes a little curiosity, motivation, and a 30 second video is all you need to point you in the right direction.
5. Upskill Your Googling
AKA Using The Right Keywords in Google
There are ways to find the answers you seek with a few little tricks on Google. Get past the ads and the sites that have no relevance, and find what you need.
- Details, details, details! You want to be as specific as possible. If you want the colour purple on your hyperlinks on your website, instead of googling purple hyperlinks website try how to make hyperlinks purple on Fancy Theme for WordPress for example.
- Make use of your quotation marks. If there is something your search term must contain – these are what you want to use. For example, if you search best camera for photography and nothing but wedding photography ads come up, put quotation marks around it like this “best camera for photography” forcing google to only show results with that exact phrase.
- Go beyond page 1 search results. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of heading past the first page where the large, big company sites rank with their broad terms and go deeper into the Google cavern for smaller, more detail oriented articles or informational sites.
- Use Facebook search instead. Okay, so this technically isn’t using Google anymore, but if all the above steps still give you nothing – try typing the keywords into Facebook. You may be surprised to find some answers in someone’s public post from way back in 2012. Who knows? It’s a neat trick as a last resort!
Perfect for: driving in the car, relaxing in the bath, hitting the pavement for a run or just chilling on the couch. There is SO much good, free juicy content out there just waiting to be listened to.
If you have the chance, we recommend keeping a notepad handy while listening to these, so you can take note of important highlights that suit you or your business.
Our absolute faves to get you started are:
- The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher
- The Productivityist by Mike Vardy
- Your Creative Start by Jaharn Giles
- Stop, Collaborate & Listen by Jessica Ruhfus (Collabosaurus)
7. Collaborating with Others
Learn new skills together and bounce off each other’s experiences. As part of the community over competition movement – here’s where we say reach out to people in your sector of business and go for a coffee together.
Meet people in real life. Start a conversation, swap stories and learn something new about yourself, your business and others.
What are your favourite free ways to upskill? Got one we should try? Let us know in the comments. 🙂
With all of that said and done, the best time to start learning is now!