The online learning space is at full boil. Whether you want to spruce up your knitting skills or learn how to take perfect wedding photos, there is an e-course built just for you.
When it comes to entrepreneurial lessons, there are also a growing number of offerings to suit how you learn best. From tuning into a quick one-hour live video to diving deep into an eight-week course, today's digital learning ecosystem offers something for every business owner.
Price: Free live video courses (fee for anytime access)
While CreativeLive focuses on video-based classes for photographers and designers, they also have a number of business classes. For example, over the next few months, they have titles such as "Stress-Free Selling" and "Fund Your Business for Growth."
The company boasts more than 2 million users and 500 courses, making it one of the leading learning portals online. When a course is live, you can watch it for free. However, there is an on-demand access fee if you missed the live show. For the most part, popular industry experts host the company's courses. CreativeLive recently raised $21.5 million in financing.
Marie Forleo's B-School
Price: $1,999 one-time fee for eight-week course
This eight-week course teaches business owners how to market online, or as the official program tour explains, this is "the online business school for modern entrepreneurs." Host Marie Forleo, a well-known online marketing expert, author, and business owner, guides students through detailed learning modules with specific steps for figuring out everything from your profit plan to successful lead generation to website strategy.
The entire program plan is well-executed, focusing intensely on interaction with Marie and her team (AKA Team Forleo). There is a live weekly call with Forleo where you can ask specific questions. Plus, they have a private student-only Facebook group to support grads. If you aren't satisfied with the course within the first 30 days, the company will refund you. B-School takes place once a year (the 2014 course just kicked off), but Forleo offers free weekly videos via MarieTV on YouTube, which routinely reach tens of thousands of viewers.
Google for Entrepreneurs: Online Learning
Look no further than Google to find great learning resources, such as Google+ Communities and Google Helpouts. Google for Entrepreneurs includes a number of programs, such as video-based classes with industry experts. For example, dive into "Making Something People Love" with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. In this hour-long course, the renowned entrepreneur chats about topics such as branding basics and how to build a community of users.
If you're curious about how to incorporate your company, Attorney Adam Dinow hosts an almost 30-minute class on corporate entity options. These classes are part inspirational and part practical. If you want some bite-sized advice on entrepreneurial topics, you can't go wrong with these videos. For now, the library is small, but hopefully, they'll be adding more.
Price: $25/month, basic membership for unlimited access to videos and new weekly courses
Lynda.com started in 1995 and now has more than 2,000 courses from more than 250 authors. With 4 million members, it is one of the oldest players in this space. The lynda "all-you-can-learn" membership model means you pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to its many courses.
In the business section, it offer skills-based learning ranging from project management to career development to leadership. With such a vast library, the site is able to break down its business courses into different levels, from beginner through advanced. If you want to get educated on the go, it also has a number of apps to support the mobile learning process.
[Image: Flickr user DaveBleasdale]