The Business Owner and the Importance of Online Learning

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I am currently enrolled in a couple of online courses about Facebook advertising. Why? Because I recognize that I don’t know everything there is to know about successful Facebook Advertising campaigns and many of my clients rely on Facebook Advertising to get their message out to their audience. Sure, I run Facebook ads on a regular basis, but admittedly while some campaigns were successful, others were duds. One way to improve my knowledge is by learning from industry experts, such as Amy Porterfield and Jon Loomer (both offer excellent courses, by the way).

I make sure to enroll in relevant online courses and attend in-person events and conferences several times a year because I believe in the benefit of being a lifelong learner – especially as a business owner. It is impossible to learn everything there is to know about any particular subject. Enrolling and engaging in online courses are another way to demonstrate your dedication to your business, and depending on your business it may also be another way to demonstrate your dedication to your clients’ success as well.

There are many different kinds of online courses and each varies in delivery and duration, and rarely involve in-person face-to-face meetings.

Popular online course delivery methods include:

Online (video) conferencing

Using video conferencing software such as Google Hangouts or Skype, instructors and students can interact or the instructor can mute their virtual classroom and simply teach. These courses typically include supplementary materials that are either downloadable or emailed.

Self-study or self-directed

The most popular online course for social media and many business and marketing courses are self-directed courses, which means you pay a set price and have up to a certain amount of time to complete the courses, for example six months to a year.

Self-directed courses are either delivered by email (usually set up through a drip campaign that sends out a weekly or monthly email with that lesson’s content) or through a membership site that is accessible via a preset or designated login username and password.

It is up to the student to follow through with the course, which, even though you are paying for the content, is a lot harder to commit to then it may seem.

Self-study with subject matter expert

This kind of online course follows the same principle outlined above, but the instructor or course creator may also offer regular webinars or videoconferences with an industry expert regarding a specific topic covered in the online course.

All self-study courses require discipline and are geared toward independent learners who don’t mind being left to their own devices to learn on their own time. My advice – schedule time every day or week to devote to your self-directed course.

Discussion based (or Facebook Group Based)

A newer method of delivering course materials is through a Facebook Group. This kind of course is usually discussion based. The instructor or course creator will post regular educational material, perhaps feature industry experts through Facebook Live or pre-recorded video as well as post other tidbits of material relevant to the course topic. Discussion based courses typically require full participation in order to gain the most from your investment, but if you need more accountability and hands-on learning than what is offered through a self-directed course, then this kind of online learning may be for you.

What does online learning have to do with virtual assistance?

One of the main reasons business owners delay or never pursue educational opportunities is due to lack of time. In order to keep your business fresh and to reach goals, business owners need to stay abreast of industry news, marketing trends and social media changes. The easiest way to do this is through online learning.

Many industry experts offer online courses because they know people need the freedom and flexibility to study and learn on their own time or from the comfort of their home. Online learning also allows you to learn from experts who are in another country or half way around the world! Just make sure the online course you are purchasing is from a recognized industry expert or is a course that has come recommended to you by someone you know who has either taken the course or knows a thing or two about it.

If you are a business owner who find themselves lacking the time needed to pursue continuing education (online or otherwise), working with a virtual assistant will not only free up the time needed to work on course material, but the right virtual assistant may also be able to keep you on track and make sure you are making the most out of your learning experience.

For more information on how a virtual assistant can help grow your business, contact us.