If you’ve already launched your own business, chances are you’ve done your research and are well-versed in most aspects of running a company. But we think everyone from a newly minted entrepreneur to a 25-year veteran can learn something new from others, especially in a professional context. While online classes had been growing in popularity well before the pandemic, virtual learning is bigger than ever, so there’s no better time to enroll in digital courses to help you become a better business leader. Here are nine classes covering everything from negotiating tactics to social media marketing to financial principles that are all sure to sharpen your business acumen and managerial skills.
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Daniel Pink Teaches Sales and Persuasion (Masterclass)
There’s no beating Masterclass’s production quality—and there’s no beating author Daniel Pink’s science-backed techniques for sales and persuasion. This engaging three-hour course teaches you how to achieve your desired outcomes during interactions with others. In the design world, that translates into landing clients.
Becoming an Effective Leader (EdX)
Run by the University of Queensland in Australia, this online class covers all the complexities of leadership, sharing the theories behind its myriad of styles and offering advice on developing your personal skills. While the course is self-paced (and free!), its estimated completion time is about eight to ten weeks.
Branding: The Creative Journey Specialization (Coursera)
Branding is a crucial element of a business, especially for creatives looking to stand out from their peers. Enrich your knowledge of the subject through this four-course program offered by the IE Business School in Madrid, which typically takes a few months to complete. You can also take each part individually for topic-specific tune-ups.
Productivity & Time Management Strategies for Goal Setting & Eliminating Distractions (Skillshare)
As many of us continue to work from home during the pandemic, it’s easy to get distracted. This quick two-hour course teaches you how to maximize your productivity through effective time management and goal setting. You can even take its lessons out of the workplace and into your personal life, allowing you to free up time for more creative pursuits.
Conflict Resolution Skills (Coursera)
Whether you’re a one-person show or the top dog at a large firm, you’ll be dealing with many other people at work—from clients to colleagues. Inevitably, conflicts will arise. Take this four-hour class by the University of California, Irvine, to develop conflict-resolution skills, including active listening and communication tactics, that will improve your overall leadership ability.
Modern Marketing with Seth Godin (Udemy)
Through 48 short lectures (the total run time is just over six hours), entrepreneur and author Seth Godin shares pretty much everything he knows about marketing—and he knows a lot. This particular at-your-own-pace class costs $200, while Godin also offers his full Marketing Seminar, which includes additional educational videos plus networking opportunities with other students, for $745.
Business Principles and Entrepreneurial Thought XSeries Program (EdX)
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all things business, from finance to marketing to accounting, this is the course (or rather, a bundle of six courses) for you. Developed by Babson College, the program covers the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and is a great starting point for new business owners or a solid refresher for experienced ones.
Social Media Marketing (HubSpot Academy)
One of the most powerful marketing tools for creatives is social media. Through this four-hour class by software company HubSpot, you’ll learn how to develop content strategy, grow your reach, and forge new relationships that could turn into new clients. Even if you’ve hired a social media pro to handle your accounts, this course will help you expand your understanding of the many platforms available and how you can use them to grow your business.
International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation (Coursera)
If you’re ready to expand your business internationally, it’s important to know how client interactions may differ between cultures. The ESSEC Business School in France offers this course to introduce you to international negotiation styles, preparing you to work with new clientele around the world.
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