With the year coming to a close, it’s time to take a look back and reflect upon what we learned, what we accomplished, and what we want to get better at next year.
If you’re anything like me, you routinely set lofty goals for yourself (and your business).
Personally, I love challenging myself with goals that may at times seem impossible to achieve. It forces me to be more creative, push my mental limits, and focus on doing only the tasks that are getting me closer to hitting my targets and building a successful business. Amongst other goals, this year was all about creating a lot of content and hitting my goal of writing 10 in-depth blog posts every month – something I would’ve thought insane last year.
Because this goal mapped back to helping me build my personal brand, establish credibility in my space, and begin the process of productizing the services I offer, I knew that being successful at this would translate into very positive longterm benefits for my business.
Whether your goals are to become a better writer, generate more revenue from your current customers, or take the trip of a lifetime on a limited budget, you must do 2 things in order to make them happen, otherwise you’ll be going in circles.
1. Make sure your goals are realistic, measurable, and time-bound.
2. Quit making excuses and get started.
When I’m unsure of how to reach the goals I set for myself, I do tons of research. I seek out experts (who’ve been where I want to be), and look for ways to learn from them. That’s why I love what I do here at CreativeLive.
If you’re looking for a game plan to accomplishing your goals, check out my picks for the best online business classes for entrepreneurs, this year.
1. How to Write a Blog Post That Drives Traffic with Darren Murph
This class is hands down, my favorite of the year. It’s taught by Guinness world record-holding blogger, Darren Murph. After writing 17,212 blog posts over the course of 5 years (that’s an average of 12 posts per hour) while working at Engadget, Darren learned a thing or two about how to craft incredible stories with very short timelines.
In this online writing class, Darren walks you through everything from the psychology behind creating compelling content that solves real needs, to defining your voice & tone, the elements of an effective blog post, how to write creatively, and how to drive traffic & growth. For anyone who wants to become a better writer, marketer, or professional blogger, this class is a must. You can check it out right here.
2. Make Your Own App: No Coding Required with Carter Thomas
If you’re interested in the business of apps, then this class with Carter Thomas will walk you through everything you need to know about identifying an opportunity for a great app and creating a solution with very minimal resources. Since 2011, Carter has published over 1,500 apps on multiple platforms that have generated over 18M+ downloads.
As the name suggest, this app-building class focuses on how to create apps without any coding. It goes through the pros & cons of developing an app yourself vs hiring a developer, how to use app templates for faster development times, structuring the business model behind your app, and even app store optimization that’ll get your app ranked for your top keywords. Watch the free preview right here.
3. Turn Your Service into a Product with Tara Gentile
Going from selling your services, if you’re a full-time freelancer or you’re thinking of going down that path, to instead simply productizing your services and selling them as digital products, is an extremely attractive business model. You can go from coaching small business owners on how to grow their web traffic, to selling them do-it-yourself online courses, books, templates, and other resources that’ll help them improve – on their own time.
Seasoned CreativeLive instructor, Tara Gentile has done exactly this with her business, and now she’s teaching you how to replicate her success. Selling digital products means you’ll be able to generate revenue any time of day, as opposed to the service-based business where your growth is constrained by the limits of your own time investment. Check this awesome class out right here.
4. Make Your Dream Trip a Reality with Chris Guillebeau and Stephanie Zito
I’m a huge proponent of taking frequent, rejuvenating breaks from my work. It helps me stay clear-minded, energized, and motivated. That’s why I absolutely loved this class from renowned travel hacker, Chris Guillebeau. In his (successful) pursuit to visiting every country in the world, Chris has become a two-time New York Times Bestseller and CreativeLive instructor. Now, he shares his tactics on how to travel on a limited budget.
In this class, Chris and Stephanie walk us through how to generate a high volume of points, miles, and bonuses from airlines & credit card companies, how to score first class travel for the price of coach, how to get free lodging and VIP upgrades, as well as breaking down in detail, how one student generated over 200,000 points in less than 6 weeks during the class.
5. Hooked: How to Keep Customers Coming Back with Nir Eyal
In the world of high growth startups and technology companies, Nir Eyal has become the authority on how to build products, services, and experiences that are inherently habit-forming. The psychology is simple: If you can quickly get a first-time customer to take a series of actions that illicit a certain feeling and response, that behavior will be much more likely to create an internal desire for them to continue using your product or service.
This could come in many different forms, but in it’s most basic form, Nir is teaching you how to build experiences that reward customers for performing the actions that drive the core of our business. Think of how Facebook rewards users for uploading content, by surfacing those photos and statuses to their network of friends, and that in turn generates likes and comments for the users, resulting in a positive emotional experience. I’ve been using Nir’s class to take my side business ideas and turn them into sticky products for my community. Check out the class and learn how you can use this psychology principle to create repeat customers for your business, right here.
6. Build a Stand-out Business with Tara Gentile
Tara Gentile has been coaching creative business owners for years. Through her experience (and with growing her own consulting business), she’s learned how to navigate all of the most difficult challenges you’re facing in your business – getting more clients or customers, charging more for your products and services, and expanding into new areas of business.
In this class, Tara’s teaching you how to break beyond your own personal ceiling, to become a stand-out leader in your market. From understanding your industry in an entirely different light, to developing your own unique value propositions, defining your growth levers, and how to build an insatiable demand for your business, Tara covers tons of real-life examples and details exactly how other creative business owners have found success. Check out the incredible free segment right here.
What’d I Miss?
Are there any other classes that helped you accomplish great things this year? I’d love to hear which ones you thought were most impactful for your business.