5 Best Training Resources for Marketing Agencies

September 7, 2020 in Content for Clients

Marketing can be extremely complicated or super simple — depending on what resources you use to teach yourself the basics.

There is a vast amount of blog articles, books, webinars, and e-courses on the subject, and everyone with a laptop and a few courses under their belt claim to be an expert.

The truth? A lot of those resources are incredibly confusing and leave you excited with no idea how to actually put anything you learned to good use. This can lead to frustration and feelings of insecurity. After investing time and money into your quest for knowledge, you feel you have gained nothing. 

What’s even worse? They hype you up and then bury you with so many tools and worksheets that you have no idea where to start.

We understand just how frustrating this can be when you’re trying to learn the best ways to give your clients the biggest return on their investment. That’s why we compiled this list of the five best training resources and tools every marketer running their own agency needs to check out. 

I’ve personally consumed every resource on this list, so I’ll give you the gist of what each one has to offer so you can decide which ones are worth your time and can set you up for success.

Resource #1: StoryBrand

Donald Miller uses the elements of the story to teach business owners how to simplify their marketing and make more money. 

He offers specialized training programs where marketers can become Certified StoryBrand Guides. By becoming a Certified Guide, you learn how to clarify your client’s message, wireframe a high-converting website, create compelling lead magnets and compose email nurture and sales campaigns that generate more paying customers for your clients. 

His approach is to learn as much as you can to personalize your customers’ needs. There are seven steps to the StoryBrand framework.

  1. Identify the brand's customer. They are the “heroes” of the story. 
  2. Determine the hero’s problems.
  3. Purpose a solution for the issue at hand.
  4. Layout a coherent plan.
  5. Incorporate a call to action.
  6. Consider and acknowledge the possibility of failure. 
  7. Conclude the story victoriously.

The StoryBrand program is an easy, step by step guide to push your organization in the right marketing direction. It is a little pricey, with a 2-day webinar costing close to $1,000. The knowledge you will gain will certainly be worth the price tag. 

Business Made Simple University

Business Made Simple University has what you need to grow your business for a fraction of the cost of other development tools. 

Business Made Simple acknowledged there was a need not being fulfilled in the workplace. People busy working in their careers need to develop and hone their skills so that they can make more money, receive promotions, and accomplish more with their work. 

Companies need that for their employees as well, but often there isn't enough money for a company to provide substantial employee development. Donald Miller and the Business Made Simple team created their platform to fill in that gap for the workforce at large.

Their strategy lies in the understanding that everyone on a team learns in different ways and at different speeds. It is unrealistic to expect every employee to grasp new concepts right away — especially those who have been in the workforce and out of the learning environment for a prolonged period of time. 

Whereas StoryBrand focused all of its resources on developing the messaging and marketing strategies of companies, Business Made Simple has a much larger vision in mind. They plan on covering all aspects of business, from marketing to personal development, business formation, and beyond — all in one. 

They will be adding more courses over time, but for now, the StoryBrand Messaging Framework, Marketing Made Simple, Mission Statement Made Simple, and Enneagram Made Simple is all available for you to use to develop yourself, your team, and your company right now — at a self-determined pace.

The Pros and Cons

Is Business Made Simple University a good fit for you? Let’s sum up the pro and cons to find out...

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Entertaining to watch and doesn’t burn too many mental calories
  • An excellent introduction to marketing basics and the psychology behind what makes people buy. 
  • The entire course is spoken in plain language without using marketing jargon, except for CTA (call to action)
  • Perfect for writers looking to transition from literary works to business writing
  • There are assessments after every module to make sure you’re retaining the information
  • Teaches you how to write high-converting copy for websites, email newsletter campaigns, business proposals, and sales letters

Cons

  • It can be hard to take what he shows you and turn it into something executable with clients.
  • Doesn’t teach you the technical parts of building a website, making graphics, or SEO optimization

Pricing

Business Made Simple is pretty affordable compared to other options out there. You’ll only pay $275/yr with the individual plan, or $550/yr for your whole team.

That comes out to $22.91/month or $45.80/month, depending on which plan you choose. This is an excellent tool to help build your team individually and help them grow into a more efficient, knowledgeable group. 

Resource #2: Digital Marketer

DigitalMarketer is a hub for online marketing systems where you can connect with knowledgeable marketing experts and have access to learning guides to help you successfully grow your business. 

They are passionate about assisting small businesses with expanding and reaching new heights through marketing. They have tens of thousands of customers in 68 countries worldwide and are now one of the most trusted voices in what works in digital marketing. 

Digital Marketer Lab

Digital Marketer Lab offers access to a vast library of marketing tools- from 36 marketing playbooks to webinars and workshops that can be attended live or accessed at any time and as many times as you want with access to previous workshops. 

There is an active and thriving social media community made up of thousands of members ready to help with any support you may need.

The Pros and Cons

Is Business Made Simple University a good fit for you? Let’s sum up the pro and cons to find out...

Pros

  • Provide courses and workshops on all aspects of digital marketing
  • Worksheets and other tools to help you plan campaigns
  • Active community that can help you anytime you need it
  • Access to one-on-one coaching for businesses willing to pay for it

Cons

  • The site needs to be more informative
  • Leaves you drowning in worksheets, playbooks, and all the other tools, so you don’t know where to start first
  • Can seem a little overwhelming at times

Pricing

Digital Marketer offers all their workshops and courses individually for a one-time fee, or you can purchase one of their memberships to access all the materials.

The lowest membership tier is free and comes with access to weekly and monthly newsletters, multiple templates, limited access to posts and articles, and their Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing.

The highest membership tier is $295/month. It comes with a 30-day Growth Accelerator Kit, 90 Day Marketing Plan Review, Weekly Live Coaching Calls, Unlimited Access to DM Labs, Power Plays Library, Bonus #1 On-Demand Workshop Library, Bonus #2 Digital Marketer Master Classes and Certifications.

For the price, Digital Marketer seems like an appealing deal for those looking to grow their businesses through marketing in house. The resources are ample, and online community support is an excellent feature to take advantage of.

Resource #3: Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes is on a Mission. Using online marketing to boost your businesses profits can seem daunting, and it’s easy to just give up and pay for a developer to do all of the work for you. Thrive Themes is here to assist you in making your online marketing endeavors profitable and effortless.  

Thrive Themes gives you access to an extensive library of WordPress themes and programs built to suit your businesses needs. 

It is user friendly and customizable. You have options to create things like polls and quizzes on your page to better engage your audience. 

The owner and creator of Thrive Themes is Shane Melaugh. Shane developed Thrive Themes after dropping out of college. He turned his attention to attempting to find his calling and ended up failing a few times. Each time he failed, he did it better the next time.

As he started to figure out the psychology behind selling, marketing became his true passion. Shane works to improve everything that falls into his hands. Every day, he strives to be better than the day before — and he applies the same principle to his business. 

Thrive Themes University

On the Thrive Themes website, you can get access to more than 20 different guides, video courses, training webinar recordings, and interactive content to help you build your online business.

Members Only Thrive University Content

Thrive University offers courses set at your own pace to help you achieve the marketing knowledge you and your team need to move your business to the next level. 

With customizable courses and step by step instruction  Thrive University is a fantastic tool you can utilize to learn engaging digital marketing skills.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Teaches you how to create a professional and high-converting website without using any code
  • Teaches you SEO optimization for your website and blog articles
  • Teaches you list-building tactics and how to create newsletters with MailChimp and Constant Contact
  • Affordable — all of the courses except the Premium ones are included for free with your membership.

Cons

  • Highly technical topics can be a little hard to understand for non-tech savvy users
  • They use their own tools in many of their videos, so if you are using other tools — like HubSpot — then you have to adapt what you’re learning to your tech.
  • They are speaking to the business owner in their courses, not an agency, so you have to tweak what you learn to implement it across your clients at scale.

Pricing

When you purchase a membership to Thrive Themes, you get access to their drag-and-drop page builder and all their plugins.

It gives you everything you need to build your clients’ websites and start building an email list of subscribers who are interested in your clients’ products and services.


Don’t want to purchase the membership? Purchase any of their products or premium courses separately for a one-time fee. Premium courses aren’t included in the membership and will need to be purchased individually.

Resource #4: IMPACT

IMPACT helps you and your organization succeed. IMPACT knows what it’s like to start small, and how crucial it is to lead your team with a purpose.

Bob Ruffolo, founder and CEO of IMPACT, knows the importance of having a cohesive team who are all on the same page — and most importantly, having your voice heard. 

No matter if you are a novice or an expert, the educational resources, blogs, podcasts, and personal consultation team are there to help you grow your business.  

IMPACT Online Training

With the right training, you and your team can:

  • Work more productively and effectively as a group.
  • Utilize more efficient marketing and sales strategies to bring your business new clients and bigger profits
  • Wow your customers and competitors with top quality content. 

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Training for every member of your marketing agency, from sales to copywriting and SEO
  • Get training from Marcus Sheridan and his entire content marketing and sales teams
  • Get access to courses and past live workshops and webinars

Cons

  • More expensive than other options
  • Can be a little intimidating for new users. 

Pricing

Get started with the online training for free so you can try it out before investing in the monthly membership. The free version includes foundational courses and resources, forum access, and your road map and scorecard. 

The pro version is $99/month and includes everything from the free version, pro courses, private guidance, and all IMPACT event recordings. 

Resource #5: Content Ninja Content Funnel eCourse

My name is Christina. I've owned a marketing agency for the past eight years. I know firsthand how hard it is to find quality content writers that understand what it means to write for conversions. 

I tried (what felt like) every content service out there, hired freelancers, used freelance marketplaces, and hired employees. You name it, I tried it. 

Finally — I found what worked. You need strict processes, and plenty of training for a full team of content experts that include strategists, editors, and copywriters. 

I realized there is a need that exists in agencies for what I built, so Content Ninjas was born.

Content Ninja’s Content Funnel eCourse

Planning content marketing campaigns is a lot of work — with a lot of steps. As an agency owner, you’re pressed for time, and things start to fall through the cracks when you don’t have systems and processes in place.

When you take our Content Funnel eCourse, you’ll get everything you need to plan our content marketing campaigns from start to finish.

Included in the course is a 29-page workbook that will help you plan all the content you need for Content Funnels — Silo/Pillar Pages, Blogs, Conversion Offers, Social Posts, and Email Blasts.

When you're done with the workbook, you'll have:

  • 1 Content Cluster Topic
  • 10 Blog Articles (at least)
  • 1 MoFu Conversion Offer with a 3-Email Nurture Sequence
  • 1 BoFu Conversion Offer 
  • 30 Social Posts to Promote Your Articles
  • 10 Email Blasts to Promote Your Articles

All of the content that you create is aligned with your target customers and is designed to convert readers into marketing and sales qualified leads.

The Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The workbook and course are designed to be highly tactical. They get right to the point and are easy to execute.
  • They were designed specifically to be used by marketing agencies so you don't have to translate the tactic into something you can use with clients.
  • It's platform agnostic. You can use this workbook no matter which software your client has.
  • It's designed to be simple and scalable so you can run it regularly with clients and maximize results while minimizing time invested.
  • We created the workbook to be a quick resource you can take and reuse without having to watch the course every time you need to use it.
  • The team at Content Ninjas is already familiar with the Content Funnel Workbook and offers amazing rates to produce all the content in the workbook for you.

Cons

  • Because it's designed for agencies, it does assume you have some basic marketing knowledge — like buyer personas/avatars, lead magnets, and the buyer's journey.

Pricing

The best part about our Content Funnel eCourse is that it’s free!

Sign up for the free Content Funnel eCourse now to get everything you need to create content that generates a higher ROI for your clients.

Content Funnel eCourse

Plan a Full Content Funnel from Article to Sales-Ready Lead

This 29-page eCourse and workbook will help you plan all of the content you need for a full Content Funnel — including Silos/Pillars, Blogs, Conversion Offers, Nurture Emails, Social Posts, and Email Blasts.

One Planning Session = 56 Content Pieces 

When you're done with the workbook, you'll have:

1

topic cluster

10

blog articles

1

MoFu offer

1

BoFu offer

30

social posts

13

emails

Are We It?

Can our Content Ninjas do what you need to level up your content production for your agency and your clients? Let's find out!

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