Last week, I wrote about the awesomely valuable (and even more importantly FREE) inbound marketing certification course HubSpot offers. It is hands down the go-to resource when it comes to teaching yourself inbound marketing.Well, that got me thinking. I try and teach myself things for free all the time. For example, I went to the park on my lunch break this afternoon and walked for under an hour. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Who cares what you did on your lunch break?!” Right?
The point is I use this time to relax and move around, but I also use it to read on my phone. I read marketing blog posts, articles on financial best practices, and anything I can get my hands on that will help me grow.
Whether it’s an excellent book or an insightful webinar, I love to learn. I am a big believer in the philosophy if you aren’t learning and growing, you are moving backward.
Given what’s riddled all over the internet, the key then becomes finding high-quality content worth consuming. Below, I’ve created a list of 3 skills worth teaching yourself. And the best part: they are all free to learn!
1. Negotiation Skills
This could arguably be the most useful skill if you could only teach yourself one. Whether asking for a raise or living with a spouse, everyone negotiates on a daily basis. Some are just a lot better at it than others.
If you’re looking for a quick read, HubSpot has two great blog posts to check out:
- How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions
- The Introvert's Guide to Successful Negotiating
For a deeper dive, consider a trip to the local library and do a little Google research on the best books for learning negotiating.
There are a few free online negotiation courses you can choose from, too.
- Introducing the Art of Negotiation (Alison)
- Negotiation: Problems Solved, Not Battles Fought (Udemy)
2. Microsoft Excel Skills
Most everyone knows how to do at least a few things in Excel, but are missing out on its full potential as a tool.
There are tons and tons of free resources for Excel online. I recommend starting with these posts from HubSpot.
- How to Use Excel: The Essential Training Guide for Data-Driven Marketing (free ebook)
- How to Use Excel: 14 Simple Excel Shortcuts, Tips & Tricks (blog post)
- 10 Design Tips to Create Beautiful Excel Charts and Graphs (blog post)
3. Writing Skills
Everyone is a writer. Not everyone may write as much as a content marketer or author does, but having honed writing skills can leave a lasting impression. There might even be some benefits to freewriting on your own in the morning.
There are only 2 practical ways to become a skilled writer: reading and writing (practice, practice, practice!).
My favorite book on writing style (and go-to resource) is a quick read titled, “The Elements of Style,” by William Strunk Jr. with an introduction by E.B. White.
From there, you might want to glance at Macalester College’s video series on writing well. Also, check out this HubSpot blog post compiling a plethora of writing resources and tools to guide you.
Finally, the last tool I will leave you with is my favorite free resource: The Hemingway App. The tool will cut back on your grammar errors, along with highlighting complex sentence structure and word choice (so you can simplify them).
Other great video resources for learning:
Have any other skills you would like to learn about for free, or any resources you think our readers would also find valuable? Feel free to share them in the comments section.