I'm sure you've noticed by now that the blog world is going crazy about online courses. I'm right there in the middle of the hype. I LOVE online courses because they're an amazing way to gain new skills and learn from others.
Online courses give you the opportunity to:
Gain new skills without having to go through a college/university course to get them.
Learn from others who have been in your position and can show you how to grow from there.
Learn at a fast pace instead of having to experiment and research everything yourself.
There are millions of online courses out there for all kinds of people, but let's focus on courses that will specifically help web and graphic designers (like you and I) to grow or improve their businesses!
7 Courses That Will Drastically Improve Your Web + Graphic Design Business
01. The InDesign Field Guide
My friend, Kelsey, made this course to help creatives learn the ins and outs of Adobe InDesign- and I don't know a single person who wasn't blown away by the content.
If you want to start designing magazines, PDFs and ebooks, you need InDesign, but a lot of designers aren't familiar with it. They either [A] haven't used it for a long time or [B] always stick to Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you want to be able to expand your services, you need to start by expanding your skill set.
02. Organize & Automate
In the online world, there’s a lot of talk about streamlining your client process, but not a lot of talk about streamlining your design process.
With a streamlined design process, you can work faster and more efficiently. You can cut down the time each project takes and take on more projects, resulting in more income. (Whee!)
Or if you don’t want to work any more than you already do, you can at least get through your projects in less time.
Imagine going through your design projects with total ease. Imagine that you have systems and automations set up that allow you to spend less time working and more time:
Creating new products and services.
Scaling your business and growing your team.
Spending more time with your husband and kids.
Traveling the world and soaking up the sunshine!
And imagine your process is so streamlined…
Your clients never forget to provide files on time.
Nothing falls through the cracks and gets forgotten.
Your clients rave about you after the project is over because you not only provided them with amazing designs, but an incredible experience.
It’s not impossible. You just need the right tools and step-by-step guidance.
Organize & Automate is a self-paced video course (created by me!) that will walk you through managing your inbox, organizing your projects, streamlining your design process, organizing your workflow in Photoshop & Illustrator and more!
03. The Designers Guide To Project Management
If you're on the fence about enrolling in Organize & Automate, why not enroll in this FREE course first! The Designers Guide To Project Management is a 7-day email course that was taken from the project management module of Organize & Automate.
In this course you'll learn:
Why you should use a project management tool.
How to document your step-by-step design process.
How to use my favourite project management tool, Asana.
How to use your PM tool to help avoid scope creep (ie. When clients keep adding more and more to their project scope but don't expect to pay for it.)
How to use your PM tool to get your clients to hand in feedback, files and payments on time
04. How to create a welcome packet
A welcome packet is a document you send to your clients when they agree to work with you.
In this pre-recorded workshop by my awesome friend Erin, you’ll learn how to create your own welcome packet that walks clients through everything they need to know about your process, like how (and when) to contact you, how to give feedback, and how to send files in a format you can actually use.
05. Pinfinite Growth
What if your website attracted droves of potential clients, increased your income like whoa, and gave you the time and independence to enjoy your dream life?
Here’s a secret: It can.
Melyssa (the creator of this course) used Pinterest to grow her blog traffic by 100,000 pageviews in three months. Her email list shot up by 8000 subscribers in four months of implementing her Pinterest strategies, and it helped her 10x her revenue!
And it hasn't just worked for Melyssa. I took this course and went from having about 2000 Pinterest followers to 20k in about 6 months, and Pinterest is now my second best source of traffic.
Take a look at my top traffic referrers to see for yourself:
I've had a lot of my web design clients and coaching clients find me through Pinterest, so don't make the mistake of thinking that Pinterest is only helpful to bloggers. It will do wonders for your design business because more website traffic = more potential clients viewing your services.
06. Digitizing hand lettering
Digitizing hand lettering can be a pain in the butt, especially if you don't do it very often.
If you're interested in improving your hand lettering process or adding hand lettering to your list of services, this is the course for you. I went through this course a couple of years ago and loved it! (Please note: you'll need Adobe Illustrator for this one.)
07. Intro to web design
If you're more of a print or graphic designer, web design may seem really confusing or daunting. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it seems. There are courses out there that will help you dip your toes in the pool of web design, like Intro To Web Design by Meg Lewis.
In this course, Meg teaches you how to create a website design in Photoshop.
Free course: The Designers Guide
To Project Management
Want to get started with a free course? I've got you covered my friend! In this free course, you'll learn how to use a project management tool with your clients instead of handling your projects through dozens of back and forth emails.
*Some of the links in this article are affiliate links but don't worry- I only become affiliates for courses I loved.