Review of Firepole Marketing’s Online Marketing Course
Online courses make me nervous. There, I’ve said it. They make me nervous because they are hard to do well, and, as a freelancer, I don’t like to waste my time (or my money) on information that doesn’t really help me.
But this marketing course by Firepole Marketing is different.
Their Audio Coaching Program is specifically designed for small businesses (which means freelancers) and entrepreneurs. Founders Danny Iny and Peter Vogopoulous speak the language of successful entrepreneurs, and have the credentials to back up their advice.
This is a sponsored review or giveaway of a product/service that's particularly relevant to our readers.
How the Firepole Marketing Course Works
For 26 weeks, Iny and Vogopoulous show you how to market your business, from identifying your customers, through sales tactics. Each week participants are emailed a link to their materials, which include an audio file, a lesson outline, worksheets, and relevant links to that week’s topic.
They also send you an iPod shuffle mp3 player, so you have no excuse not to listen to your weekly lesson, which lasts, on average, around 25 minutes.
The audio file is key. People can listen to that week’s lesson during their commute to work, during their workout, or while they’re making dinner. Unlike a word document that requires you to sit still for however long it takes you to read through it, an audio file makes it easy to multi-task—a lifesaver for the busy freelancer on the go.
You aren’t left all on your own as you work through this course though. When you feel stumped on a topic, or need advice on how to apply a particular section to your business, you aren’t left hanging. You can email Iny and Vogopoulous directly and they get back to you with a detailed answer within 24 hours. This availability is something they are committed to during the course.
The 6-month long course is broken up into five distinct categories:
- Identifying the Customer and Value Proposition
- Marketing Strategy
- Execution and Implementation
- Advanced Strategies
If you’re a freelancer like me, you’re always looking for the next opportunity. And, if you’re like me, you find it difficult to talk to potential clients about what makes you so awesome. It’s hard for me to toot my own horn and not feel like I’m bragging, so I was interested in seeing how this Firepole Marketing class could help me.
I downloaded their worksheets for the very first class, which was a self-assessment. Outside of a job interview, no one has really asked me to think about what I was good at and write them down. I have obviously thought about my strengths and weaknesses, but putting them down on paper made them concrete.
I assure you that everyone can learn something from the Advanced Strategies section of the series.
As a freelancer, you might already think you know how to network. I assure you that everyone can learn something from the Advanced Strategies section of the series. My favorite lesson was the one for week 24: Relationship Marketing.
Iny and Vogopoulous show you the difference between getting referrals (which every freelancer loves) and building referral relationships. The duo covers six different types of referral relationships (who knew!) and the pros and cons to each. This is definitely a key lesson I’ll use for my business.
There were a couple of lessons that didn’t appeal to me—specifically the ones about how to identify my customer. I’m not a newbie at the game of freelancing, and I already know about niche marketing. While I can write on just about any topic, I choose not to for my sanity. You’re probably the same way. You might write about business, cooking, health, or organic farming. You have your niche and probably don’t need to learn about how to find it.
While I didn’t quite identify with the section on sales (weeks 19 to 22), I did like the lesson on having a good elevator pitch (week 5′s lesson). Having an elevator pitch is instrumental—you never know who you are going to meet on an elevator, on the subway, or at a party.
This is one of the better, more in-depth online classes I’ve seen.
This is one of the better, more in-depth online classes I’ve seen. The fact that it uses audio lessons, handouts, and even a short video at the beginning of each week’s lesson is helpful.
I might suggest the guys jazz up their online videos a bit, however. Everything else is done so professionally they might want to hire someone to help make their intro videos feel a bit more dynamic. I’m not talking fireworks here, but color correction, framing, and a better set would make a world of difference.
Six months is a long time to be committed to something—especially when you have other things to do, like work, play with your kids, appreciate your spouse, eat, sleep, and take the dog for a walk. If you are going to make the commitment to something for six months—and pay you for it—you’d better make sure it’s worth your while. And I think this class is.
It also helps that they have a “Extra $1,000 per month” guarantee. It works simply. Basically, if you do the work in the program and don’t add $1,000 to your monthly bottom line within 6 months, they’ll refund all your money, no questions asked.
Firepole Marketing is offering this class to small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs until September 1, so hurry up and sign on!