One of the things I enjoy about freelancing is the constant learning curve. Being in control of your own business means you can invest time in learning about HTML, project management, photo editing or a whole variety of other things. This flexibility and wider knowledge base is what I feel gives freelancers an edge – we’re able to go that extra mile and be more agile.

There are a variety of ways you can top up your learning.

  • Through blogs. This is a quick way to learn about new apps, services and tools.
  • Books. I’m an audiobooks fan, and can often be found browsing the personal development section for my next listen. If you’re more of a Kindle or proper book fan, your choices are almost unlimited thanks to sites like Amazon. It’s also worth checking out your local library too.
  • Podcasts – I highly recommend checking out podcasts by DotComSecrets.com, Amy Porterfield and The Suitcase Entrepreneur for digital and entrepreneur knowledge. Radio Four has a huge bundle of informative podcasts too.
  • YouTube/Video – I’ve learnt so much from YouTube – from how to edit images to improving my confidence when public speaking. Taking the time to build up your YouTube subscriptions and to like content you find useful will help keep your knowledge topped up.
  • Online and offline courses – There are plenty of online and offline courses out there to indulge your mind with. I personally prefer online courses as I can do them in my own time, but you can also try offline courses at your local college.

High Speed Training

I was recently contacted by High Speed Training to see if I fancied trying out a couple of their courses. My main thought with online courses is price, followed by what I’ll actually get out of it. But I was pleased to note that most of the courses were only £20-30 each (+ VAT). I gave a couple of the Business Skills courses a try –  Time Management and Event Management. They also have a variety of other courses for food hygiene, health and safety, health & nutrition and financial services among others.

Each course takes around a couple of hours – but you don’t need to do the entire course at once. It’s split into modules so you can dip in and out when you have time. The courses are made up of a series of presentations, which you can read and listen to at the same time. For example, the Time Management course offered modules on managing meetings, setting objectives, taking decisive action, managing interruptions, followed by an assessment to see what you’ve learnt from the course. Once you’ve completed the course and passed the online test at the end, they’ll send you a certificate.

I found the courses really useful – especially the Time Management one. While they do seem to be aimed more at those who have employees or work within a company, there’s plenty of advice that’s worth taking on board as a freelancer. I liked that I was given phrases to use to dodge time-wasters!

Win a High Speed Training Course

The nice people at High Speed Training have offered to give away an online course for FIVE lucky readers of The Freelance Lifestyle.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. The mandatory part is to let us know which course you’d like to take. After that, you can gain extra entries by using the optional entries below it –  tweeting, Facebooking or sharing.

The competition will run until the 26th July. The winner will be contacted on the 29th July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you expand your knowledge? 

Disclaimer: High Speed Training allowed me to take two courses for free. All views are my own.