As a freelancer, your income depends on your ability to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades.
For instance, although I call myself a freelance writer, a truer title would look more like: freelance researcher, interviewer, SEO-implementer, brainstormer, copy-editor and writer…and that’s before delving into the housekeeping stuff that runs in the background, like invoicing, marketing and finding clients.
Suffice to say, freelancing can be a pretty overwhelming world to leap into, especially with the added pressure of income inconsistency and lack of benefits. And it’s not an industry many college programs are set up to prepare you for — at least, not traditional colleges.
How Freelance University could help you boost your business
As a freelance professional (or an aspiring one), chances are you’re already grateful for the internet. I know my business would be toast without the web.
And with Craig and Kelly Cannings’ Freelance University, there’s even more reason to celebrate cyberspace.
This comprehensive resource fits exactly into the freelance lacuna left by traditional university programs. Its materials run the gamut from landing clients to managing email systems, preparing you for all the unexpected turns wielded by the average freelance career.
When you sign up, you get access to So. Much. Stuff. Literally more than 80 courses. It’s actually kind of hard to talk about it all in the limited space of a single blog post.
And like college, it’s not just about the courses — you’ll also gain access to an exclusive Facebook group where students can gather and chat at their leisure.
What do you get when you enroll in Freelance University?
No matter where you are on your freelance journey, there’s something new for you to learn at Freelance University. And unlike the traditional college experience, there are no set-in-stone requirements: the course load is all up to you.
If you’re starting from scratch or looking for an inclusive overview of a topic, you can choose a “track,” which organizes a concise package of courses geared to help you hit the ground running in your latest freelance endeavor.
But you can also DIY it, taking an a la carte approach by clicking on the courses, resources and trainings that most appeal to you.
No matter what you choose, you’ll find that the material is well designed and easy to follow. Plus, the user-friendly homepage shows exactly how far you’ve made it through each course you’ve taken (and, importantly, makes it easy to jump right back in where you left off). Each shop and workshop is complete and comprehensive, with a printable handout at the top to help you follow along and a combination of PDF resources and videos to learn from.
What do these courses cover, you ask? Just like a good freelancer’s resume, pretty much everything you can imagine.
Here’s a small taste of what you can learn by spending a few hours at Freelance University:
- How to build income streams and land new clients, including nitty-gritty topics like cold calling in a digital world
- How to help a client design a WordPress site or start a Mailchimp campaign — or how to better do these for your own business purposes
- How to start a podcast or launch and online summit
- How to take on a successful entrepreneurial mindset, and what that even means
- How to successfully use apps like Trello and Canva or create GIFs on your smartphone
You’ll also have access to virtual office hours, wherein Craig answers student questions live on a monthly basis. (But these office hours are way better than the ones you remember from school, because they’re recorded — which means you can attend them anytime you want. Potentially in your pajamas.)
Craig used to work as a freelancer, and he’s been teaching students how to up their freelance game for more than a decade. So he’s comfortable answering any question you could possibly come up with! More than 14,000 students have learned from him at Freelance U.
Plus, you get certifications to share with clients
In addition to the knowledge and skills you gain through this program, you’ll also have something to show for it: certifications.
Freelance University offers certification programs across seven core tracks, including content creation and management, social media, and digital marketing. You can easily feature these certifications on your website or LinkedIn profile.
If you’re just getting started as a freelancer and don’t yet have references, certifications can be helpful for landing your first few clients. Of course, you still need to prove you can do the work, but certifications prove you’ve done the training, so they can help you get your foot in the door. These certifications are included with the cost of your tuition.
OK…so what’s the catch?
No truly thoughtful review would be complete without pointing out places for improvement.
But honestly, it’s hard to come up with too many drawbacks to Freelance University. The resources cover such a wide array of topics and are fit for freelancers in all sorts of industries and all along the experience spectrum.
I guess I can point out a personal pet peeve: Craig, who teaches many of the courses, is a self-described lover of acronyms and catchy mnemonics (i.e., “The 9 Ps of Personal Branding Success”), and these kinds of devices make me a tiny little bit eye-rolly. Which again, is just personal — and I can’t deny that they can be powerful memory aids, even for skeptics like me.
Additionally, there’s no student-to-teacher interaction within the courses themselves…though this problem is pretty much eradicated by the existence of live interactive workshops, Q&As, the Facebook group and the easy access to Craig himself. (And let’s be real: nobody’s favorite part of the traditional college experience was homework.)
What’s the cost of Freelance University?
Thankfully, Freelance University is way more affordable than your typical university.
You can join on a monthly basis for $67/month and see how much of the material you can get through, or commit to 12 months worth of training. If you enroll for a year, you get a significant discount, basically three months free, for $597/year.
Unlike many online courses, you can’t enroll in Freelance University all the time. They open registration just three times a year.
Enrollment is open now through Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, and then it won’t open again until 2020.
Here’s where to enroll in Freelance University or simply learn more details if you’re still mulling the opportunity. There’s a 13-minute video “guided tour” of the University on that page if you want a look around before joining.
If you end up enrolling, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how the university helps you boost (or birth!) your online business.
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