I love finding successful and creative entrepreneurs that are willing to share their knowledge with others. I follow quite a few people that have established platforms for education, and most of what they share is available for anyone to access. I have learned very applicable skills from the information shared on websites and blogs, all which have been quite useful in my career thus far. I have rounded up a list of my top 5 free websites for creative education, hopefully the information is useful to your field of work.
1. Elle & Company
Elle is the incredibly talented graphic designer and blogger at Elle & Company. She specializes in custom brand identities for creative entrepreneurs and her husband assists with the business and marketing aspects of their company. They are quite the powerhouse couple. You will see what I mean when you check out their website.
There is a wealth of knowledge on their blog Elle & Company, and it is information that pertains to a wide audience. Anyone who has a business, blog or digital identity could benefit from their numerous informative blog posts. Or if you want to take a step further they also offer design e-courses and a library subscription to pre-made templates for all your office needs.
I only recently found her on Pinterest from one of her beautifully designed graphics. I was drawn in by her post How I Design a Full Brand and Website in Just Two Weeks. You might be thinking, "did I just read that correctly!?" And yes, you did in fact.
Elle has masterfully streamlined her branding process to complete it in just two short weeks, and without compromising service and quality. I could go on about her savvy branding and business strategies but honestly go visit her blog and website for yourself, she writes about everything related to creative businesses that I guarantee you will learn something from her.
Elle & Company is for you if:
- you love beautifully branded companies
- you want to market your business better
- you want to establish an online presence
2. Ben Sasso
Ben Sasso is a photographer located outside of Los Angeles, California. His style is fresh, minimalistic, and the emotion he captures is uncanny. I would classify him as a portrait photographer since he is always photographing people whether it be weddings, couples, editorials or lifestyle shoots. And he is amazing at it.
Besides being a phenomenal photographer, Ben is also an educator. He offers self-paced classes and hosts workshops but he regularly provides mini-lessons on his blog and Facebook page for his followers. I have picked up so many great tips from his posts and have implemented them in my own work. I ultimately love how open and honest he is about his photography.
Ben has a great way of verbalizing the creative process. An example was his post on changing your perspective as a photographer to achieve a variety of shots. He suggested posing your subject then moving around them and changing your distance to photograph a variety of images from just one pose. I knew I sort-of did that already when I shot, but after reading his post I now purposefully implement this strategy to ensure I end up with more variety in my images.
That was just one lesson I learned from Ben, but there is so much more valuable information on his blog and Facebook page. And a little extra bonus, he recently created a Facebook group for photographers to learn from one another, you can request to join here.
Ben Sasso is for you if:
- you love to photograph people
- you want to feel part of a positive photography community
- you desire to experiment and push your creativity
CreativeLive is a digital education platform with hundreds of instructional videos for photography, video, music, art, design and much more. The classes are taught by experts in the industry who have had successful and profitable careers. This particularly appeals to me because after paying thousands of dollars to attend university, paying $200 for a class taught by industry experts seems like the deal of the century.
And what I also love about CreativeLive is that you can download the class videos to your laptop or access them anytime online. I can watch and learn from the comfort of my bed at 11pm if I choose. Goodbye lecture halls and 8am class!
I am a huge fan of CreativeLive. I have purchased a couple classes but what I also like to do is watch their free videos online. Most classes have free previews that let you get a sense of what they will be covering. I watch those in my downtime. But they also have different full length classes playing throughout the day that you can tune in and watch for free. Some of my favourites are classes by Lara Jade, Lindsay Adler, Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze.
CreativeLive is for you if:
- you don't learn best sitting by in a lecture
- your schedule is sporadic
- you want demonstrations and tips from experts
4. Cocochic Blog
Stephanie is the UK fashion blogger at Cocochic blog. It doesn't take long after reading her posts to realize she has a quirky yet refreshingly honest personality. She makes fashion and blogging less glam and instead more relatable. In addition to outfit posts and product reviews she provides lots of useful blog and web design tips. For those like me who can't code for the life of them, you will definitely find her blog helpful.
I have bookmarked her post How to Make Your Laptop Run Faster, because I need to do that ASAP. She has many more useful posts, which keeps me checking back to learn more while also receiving some style inspiration.
I can't say I've come across a fashion blogger that shares their blogging tips. This fact alone sets Stephanie's blog, Cocochic, apart from others. I applaud her for being an open book and striving to always be her genuine self.
Cocochic Blog is for you if:
- you are thinking of starting a blog but don't know where to begin
- you love minimalist style
- you treasure any technology advice you can get
5. Start Up Camp
Dale Partridge is the creator of Start Up Camp and a serial entrepreneur. He sold his first company when he was 19 for $50 000 and in total he has founded 7 companies by the time he turned 30, making over $25 million dollars. In addition he has also written the book, People Over Profit, and given talks to companies such as Panasonic, Facebook and Adobe.
What I admire about Dale is that he not only talks about his successes, but his struggles too. In his blog post, 5 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable Leaders, he talks about receiving negative feedback from the majority of his employees and his actions following to grow and become a better leader.
Dale speaks from the heart and intertwines his personal life with his business and blogging lessons. He does a great job of connecting with his readers on a deeper level while providing long, thought-out blog posts about marketing, blogging, leadership and start-ups. A favourite quote from one of his posts is "Thoughtfulness is the most effective version of communication." I believe this quote sums up Dale's approach to his blog and business. I recommend visiting his website for a daily dose of positivity.
Start Up Camp is for you if:
- you have dreamed of founding a start-up
- you are on a journey of personal growth
- you want to learn how to become a better leader
What are your favourite free websites for creative education?