8 of the best new courses on business development for creatives
Boost your knowledge and gain ideas and inspiration from these brilliant creative courses, all taught by professionals passionate about sharing their life experiences.
As a creative, you love your work. But that doesn't mean you can't dream bigger.
There are many opportunities to grow your practice, earn more money, and find a new level of fulfilment, whether growing your freelance client base, launching a side project, founding your own agency, or selling your own products. You just have to choose a direction and devote yourself to it.
As we all know, that requires focus, determination and hard work. But what creatives often miss is that it also requires admitting you don't know everything and that you still have a lot to learn. In fact, in a fast-changing world, you should always be learning throughout your career.
But that doesn't have to involve a huge amount of commitment. With online learning platforms like Skillshare, Creative Live and Domestika, you can find many brilliant online courses that are short and easy to follow.
And because the best of these are led by experienced professionals, who've walked the walk and talked the talk, the things you learn from them can often be life-changing. All without having to invest a ton of time or money.
To help you out, we've picked eight of the best new courses on business development for creatives available online today. They're all taught as HD video lessons, which you can watch at your own pace to fit your schedule. And they all come with a video introduction that's free to watch, so you can get a feel for the teacher, the course, and how much it's likely to benefit you.
1. Unlocking Your Potential: 5 Exercises to Build Creative Confidence by Emma Gannon
If self-doubt or imposter syndrome is holding you back from taking the next step in your creative career, this course is designed for you. It's given by Emma Gannon, a bestselling author, speaker, novelist, and host of the UK's number one creative careers podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete.
In this 45-minute course, she digs into the science behind self-sabotage and shares the framework that allowed her to overcome the fear of failure. Designed for any creative who needs a pep talk or extra push to get started, it includes five downloadable worksheets to support you along the way.
2. The Business of Graphic Design: Protect & Perfect Your Passion by Aaron Draplin
If you want to spend more time designing and less time managing your business, you'll love this course by American graphic design legend Aaron Draplin. He's found a way to make an honest living as a self-employed designer while running a business without getting bogged down in tedious tasks like calculating taxes, negotiating client contracts, and battling email inboxes. He wants to share what he's learned with you, including the mistakes he's made along the way.
Topics covered include building clean project templates, optimising your file structure, treating email like an artform, understanding the building blocks of a strong invoice and staying above the law. This 49-minute course is geared toward self-employed creatives at all career stages, and while it doesn't contain specific financial or tax-related advice, it does lay out the steps you need to have all those things covered.
3. Introduction to Brand Strategy by Alejandro Pascalis
Here's a great course for graphic or visual communication designers with a focus on developing brand identities and branding. It would also be useful for anyone starting their business or establishing their brand's strategic guidelines. Note that this course is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Brand strategist Alejandro Pascalis explains how to propose strategic branding solutions and create comprehensive proposals, putting the main focus on users. This easy-to-follow course consists of 15 lessons lasting a total of two hours 45 minutes and includes 26 downloads, 11 exercises and a final project.
4. Exponential Living by Sheri Riley
Has achieving career goals failed to make you happy? Sheri Riley knows how you feel. Working in marketing, Sheri Riley brought big 90s names like Usher, TLC, Toni Braxton and Outkast to world attention and rose to the top of her field but remained miserable.
Here, she shares the secrets that helped her regain her sense of self and purpose. These come in the form of nine principles that help the busiest goal-oriented people integrate their professional success with whole-life success. This course features 19 lessons, with a total of four hours and 49 minutes of class content.
5. Start Your Creative Career: Build a Sharp, Smart Online Presence by Sonja Rasula
In 2008 Sonja Rasula self-funded her first business, Unique Markets, by risking her entire 401k retirement savings. Since then, her innovative, modern, pop-up marketplaces have featured over 12,000 small businesses and emerging brands.
In this course, she explains how to harness the web to achieve your career or business goals as a creative. You'll learn to read and interpret basic metrics for your website and social media; create a brand Bible for yourself; develop a 'sticky' website that keeps people engaged, and use social media effectively. This course consists of seven lessons over 48 minutes.
6. Make Creativity Your Career: Six Exercises to Create a Successful Side Project by Andy J. Pizza
Creative side projects are a popular way to explore your creativity on your own terms, get yourself noticed and push your creative career in a direction you love. But how do you get started? That's what this course is all about.
Illustrator, designer and podcaster Andy J. Pizza outlines how to set goals to get you where you want to go, develop marketing and promotion strategies that work, and analyse your progress to ensure you're on the right path. This course consists of 11 lessons across 50 minutes and includes a workbook.
7. Content Creation and Editing for Instagram Stories by Mina Barrio
Instagram Stories are a great way to promote yourself and your work, but doing them well is a tricky skill to master. In this course, Mina Barrio, product photographer at Melon Blanc and confessed Instagram Story addict, shares her secrets for creating and editing Stories, leading to original results that help you achieve your career and business goals.
This course is aimed at designers, illustrators, artists, small business owners, and anyone else who wants to learn to use Instagram to gain more visibility. It features 22 lessons, lasting three hours in total, and includes 15 extra resources, including six downloadable files.
8. The Art of Storytelling for Freelancers and Creators by Sun Yi
Storytelling is what develops the hero's journey of a brand, makes it relatable and leaves a lasting impression on its audience. Sun Yi has helped Spotify, the American Red Cross, Seiko, and others enhance their storytelling through copywriting and branding. And in this course, he helps you find your own story and develop it in a way that resonates with your audience.
You'll learn writing techniques that grab people's attention from the first sentence and keep them reading until the end. Aimed at freelancers, teachers, coaches, entrepreneurs, and content creators, this course consists of 19 lessons, totalling two hours and 10 minutes.