Keep Them Inspired: Investing in Ongoing Training for Your Creative Team / Education / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here are a few tips you can use to implement an ongoing training processes for five of the core creative areas within a business.

Part of working in a creative industry means keeping your strategy ahead of the game.

Although many creatives feel as though their work alone pushes them to think differently and become more innovative each day, it can be hard to completely branch out to produce out-of-the-box ideas when your creative process is restricted by the walls of an office.

This is where business owners can help their creative teams by giving them the tools they need to get out in their respective creative communities to meet like-minded professionals and expand their abilities.

If you currently manage a full creative team of your own, the best way to get the best creative work out of your team is to ensure that they are participating in ongoing training.

Whether that means providing additional course options, seminars, or even just webinars, when you expand your team’s creativity beyond the walls of your office, you’ll notice that your efforts will come back to benefit you tenfold.

Here are a few tips you can use to implement an ongoing training process for five of the core creative areas within a business.

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1. Content Strategy

Content strategists are expected to keep up with the latest trends in SEO/SEM, copywriting, blogging, UX, and social media marketing. This means that their position requires quite a bit of ongoing training to keep their work as effective and innovative as possible.

Some of the top blogs your content strategy team should follow to keep up with industry changes include Moz and Kissmetrics. A couple of influencers they should keep on their radar are Wil Reynolds and Larry Kim.

If you’re open to providing ongoing education in the form of additional training, Content Marketing University is a fantastic option. This content marketing school also offers up an awesome conference that is open to the public called Content Marketing World.

2. Development

The dev world is constantly introducing new tools and tricks to make developers’ work faster, more efficient, and more interesting. Although many developers take it upon themselves to keep up with industry trends and changes, it’s important that you facilitate their ongoing learning to ensure that your team is implementing the latest and greatest practices in its work.

A couple of awesome publications for developers are Smashing Magazine and Cats Who Code. A couple of conferences you could look into for your team leads could be Generate San Francisco and OSCON.

3. Product Management

Like content strategy, product management requires at least a shallow knowledge of each digital marketing role on your team. That being said, some of the same blogs and influencers recommended for content strategists will apply to product managers as well.

If you’re willing to send a couple of your top product managers to a conference, some of the most informative product management conferences in the U.S. are The Market Research Event and Mind the Product. Pragmatic Marketing also offers up a solid training course for product marketers if ongoing e-learning is an option for your team. 

Related Article:3 Ways to Improve Transfer of Learning in the Workplace

Photo of business training meeting in session

4. Design

Designers are in need of constant inspiration to keep their work fresh. Some of the top design blogs your team should follow are Creative Bloq and Web Designer Depot.

Another interesting way to open up your web design team’s creativity is to encourage them to explore additional avenues within their profession. For example, you could look into animation college programs for your team or enroll them in typography courses.

In terms of influencers, there are a lot your team should be following for inspiration. Creative Bloq offers up a pretty thorough list here.  An awesome design conference for your team to visit if that’s in the cards would be Bloomberg Businessweek Design.

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5. Public Relations

This section of your creative team often gets overlooked in terms of ongoing learning because many mistakenly take the field as one that is based solely on traditional tactics. However, the truth is that today’s PR specialists must be well-versed in the fundamentals of SEO/SEM, content marketing, social media marketing, and digital outreach.

Some of the best PR pros your team should follow are Lexi Mills and Ross Hudgens. As far as blogs are concerned, PR Daily and the Cision blog are great resources for your PR team. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is also an amazing tool that helps PRs earn coverage for their brands by connecting them with reporters looking for sources.

Now that you have the information you need to get started, it’s time to implement ongoing learning into your firm’s regular practices. As you evolve your employees’ ongoing learning initiatives over time, keep track of the same influencers you ask them to follow to stay in the know on important events, trends, and changes taking place in each industry. 

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