Free Digital Marketing Learning for 2021

After using my connections to create a brilliant list of digital tools, I now wanted to move onto the additional courses that I support throughout my delivery.

I teach Digital Marketing Apprenticeships but also support my learners to learn more about topics in the industry. Below is a list of the free learning platforms that I find help to support digital marketing.

Can you think of any that I may have missed? Please reply below or comment on LinkedIn and I will add your suggestions to my post.

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Digital Marketing Tools for 2021

In my role as a Digital Marketing Trainer at Runshaw College I try to incorporate as many current tools into the content that I deliver. This allows the learners to gain an understanding of how specific tools can make tasks easier to achieve in marketing.

I have created the list below to support the research completed for this project and have been informed of a few additional tools along the way.

After collaborating with others through LinkedIn some additional tools have been mentioned: Adobe Creative, MailChimp, Grammarly, Unsplash, Pixabay, Ubersuggest, Answerthepublic.com, Moz and Google Analytics. There are all great suggestions and here is my suggestions for tools to support Digital Marketing in 2021.

If you can think of any tools that should be added, please add a reply below.

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My Apprenticeship Journey

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Now that the apprenticeship week has come to an end #NAW21 I thought it would be great to share my apprenticeship journey with everyone.

It started when I left school, a while ago, and decided I wanted to earn money straight away. I looked in the Yellow Pages (yell.com) to search for hairdressers and started to call a few. I called Toni & Guy (why not start at the top) and they invited me to an interview and I got the placement.

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After a few years, I decided that hairdressing was not for me anymore and I wanted a career change. Since being a child I had always played office, with an old phone, electric typewriter (now I am showing my age), and filing cabinets. So I decided to work in an office.

I completed an NVQ in Business Admin, which in those days consisted of me going to college 1 day a week and carrying 3 large folders on my back to show all the evidence. Luckily, things have now changed and we have electronic ways of sending files.

I developed my role in Business by starting in recruitment, this was something I really enjoyed. I interviewed people and placed them in roles. I also ran the wages, which was a crazy day in the week (normally Friday) where I felt so much pressure to make sure everyone was paid!

Unfortunately, I was hit with good and bad news in the same week – I was being made redundant but I was also pregnant! Crazy to be so happy and so sad at the same time. I continued my career in the NHS – recruitment and loved my time there. Social Media and Digital marketing became a big area in the roles that I developed.

I then started a full-time job as a mother for several years! (hardest job yet!) I went to be a deputy manager at Age UK. I was then approached by a training provider to see if I wanted to complete a qualification at work. I jumped at the chance and made a start on a Customer Service NVQ.

Throughout this NVQ it was mentioned to me that I would be a great NVQ Assessor (now known as a trainer) so I started to look into it.

I now deliver apprenticeships for Runshaw College, I am a Lead End Point Assessor for City and Guilds and love my journey so far. Apprenticeships and Work-based qualifications have got me to where I am now and I have loved it every step of the way.

I am Also still learning as I am completing my teaching qualification.

Earn while you learn!!!

Employer Reference for EPA

Many people have asked me over the years many questions about the employer reference, like:

What is needed for an Employer reference?

What type of detail is required? 

How should it be written?

How long does it need to be?

As an employer who has mentored your apprentice from the beginning of their qualification, I understand that you want to get this part right.

Here are some examples and tips on what is needed in an employer reference at EPA:

  1. Cover the journey that the learner has taken – Mentioning the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that have been developed. “At the start of the apprenticeship, Joe did not have any knowledge of reading analytical dashboards. Over the apprenticeship, he has gathered knowledge in this area by completing his Google Analytics IQ award online as well as attending his training. Now Joe reads our dashboard and suggests ways that we can improve interaction with the website”
  2. List specific examples about times when the learner has completed tasks for example: “In December, Sarah was asked to create a campaign for the business to promote our Christmas Event. She started by researching our competitors and produced a detailed analysis of their social media engagement……”
  3. Your view of the way that the learner has developed in your business, and how they have applied their skills to help your business in Digital Marketing. If there are any moments that the learner has achieved something or helped the business in any way “Ellie saw that we did not approach the suppliers to see if they had any additional products to advertise at our events. She created an email campaign that approached them to give them an idea of what was selling at the time and she used stats to entice them into advertising more with us” 

How do I cover the What, How, and With Whom?

The What – This is for you to talk about the task that was completed – What was it that the learner completed? Details about the task to make it specific – “Neil completed a campaign to promote a new pair of trainers that were coming to the shop. He was given this task in a meeting and set an objective to achieve a higher footfall in the shop for the week the new trainer was being released” 

The How – Now talk bout how the learner completed the task, what did they do? “Neil researched the trainer so that he had full information before he created the content. He also looked into demographics so that he understood the target audience. He then picked the social media platform to suit this audience and created content that would suit them too. He planned the posts and used scheduling software to enable him to post on multiple sites. Once he had created all the content, he sent it to me for approval. Once the campaign was running, Neil monitored the posts to make sure that he interacted with any comments”

The With Whom – This is for you to talk about the working relationships the learner has created and their interpersonal skills. Talk about who they work with and how they have been part of your team. “Neil has been a great member of the team here at XXX, He has worked on tasks he has been set and always asks questions to make sure he has all the information he needs. Neil has worked with our suppliers on several occasions and communicates with them via email in a professional way. He also speaks to customers via social media comments, email, and phone. He represents the organisation professionally and confidently. “

Top Tips for Working from Home!

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I have been working from home for many years and it is only the past few weeks where I have noticed a different set of distractions. Normally the washing machine coming to an end or the stack of pots to wash in the kitchen plays on my mind but at the moment I have a different set of problems. I have 2 children at home that need schooling, a dog that needs walking (not such a bad thing to get out of the house), and a husband who also needs to work from home.

Multi-tasking is an art that I am picking up very fast, in the morning I am setting the kids on English and Maths homework and then joining a morning meeting. I have meetings in the day and coaching sessions with learners who are also working from home. Times are crazy but we are all having different elements to deal with. I think everyone is doing a great job! Hereโ€™s a little list of tips that I found helped me get myself ready for home working:

  1. Set your alarm and make sure you have a routine
  2. Eat well โ€“ try not to skip meals, I try to put an hour in my diary for lunch
  3. Take regular breaks โ€“ if you can get a little fresh air too, that would be great
  4. Try to have a designated area for working in your house, once your day is finished, make sure you close down and walk away.
  5. Be as organised as possible โ€“ set yourself goals and tasks
  6. Communication is key! Speak to people as much as possible
  7. Remember you are doing a great job!

I have been working from home for many years and it is only the past few weeks where I have noticed a different set of distractions. Normally the washing machine coming to an end or the stack of pots to wash in the kitchen plays on my mind but at the moment I have a different set of problems. I have 2 children at home that need schooling, a dog that needs walking (not such a bad things to get out of the house) and a husband who also needs to work from home.


Multi-tasking is an art that I am picking up very fast, in the morning I am setting the kids on English and Maths homework and then joining a morning meeting. I have meetings in the day and coaching sessions with learners who are also working from home. Times are crazy but we are all having different elements to deal with. I think everyone is doing a great job! Hereโ€™s a little list of tips that I found helped me get myself ready for home working:
1. Set your alarm and make sure you have a routine

2. Eat well โ€“ try not to skip meals, I try to put an hour in my diary for lunch

3. Take regular breaks โ€“ if you can get a little fresh air too, that would be great

4. Try to have a designated area for working in your house, once your day is finished, make sure you close down and walk away.

5. Be as organised as possible โ€“ set yourself goals and tasks

6. Communication is key! Speak to people as much as possible

7. Remember you are doing a great job!

Worried about a virtual interview? See my top tips

Virtual Interview Tops Tips Shared

As a End Point Assessor, I complete interviews with people virtually and I am sharing the important things to think about before an interview.

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Important things to remember before your interview:

First things first – Make sure that everyone in the house/office space knows that you have an important interview and what time it is, its important that you don’t get any interruptions.

If you are sitting an EPA – make sure that you have looked over all the work that has been submitted, as the questions that are going to be asked are going to be based on your work.

Talk about yourself as the first person, all the examples that you show your skills should not be spoken as “we did…” you should always say “I did….” and be proud!

If it is a job interview – make sure you have looked over your CV and have the memory of your skills and experience – so that you can use these as examples with answers to questions.

Body language speaks volumes – make sure that you sit up and feel comfortable. There is nothing worse than hearing someone shuffling around, and it can be hard sitting for a while in the same place whilst being uncomfortable.

Make sure all your equipment is ready the night before and it has all been checked – this will help you sleep better and sleep is very important.

Make sure you have a drink for the interview – a dry mouth is a horrible feeling when you are talking lots.

Never worry if you don’t know the answer to a question. Just say, you don’t understand the question, please can it be explained.

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If you are on video, make sure that you are dressed for the occasion, professional.

Try to relax as much as possible, the person completing the interview is not trying to catch you out.

And the last tip – Smile!

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