We created a successful online learning program to keep young learners productive but will also share practical guidelines on how to keep adult learners productive with high profile industry standard Google trainings and Certifications.
No thanks to Covid-19, some of us have more time on our hands than we are grateful for. I already knew that the IT industry holds the core progress metrics and dimensions for practically every industry going forward. The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns in 2020 enhanced this fact as every industry was negatively impacted except IT based or integrated industries and businesses.
A few weeks ago I decided to set out on a journey to boost my IT knowledge and credentials and thought I should start with digital marketing. Of course, it’s “impractical” to talk about digital marketing without staring at Google 🧐
I decided to start with the Google digital marketing catalogue and was pleasantly surprised to see all the amazing digital marketing courses and certifications that Google offered for free with accredited certificates in some instances. Here is an overview of the digital marketing certificates I earned and the order in which I earned them:
- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (accredited)
- Google Ads Display Certification
- Google Analytics for Beginners Certification
- Advanced Google Analytics Certification
- Google Analytics IQ Certification
- Twitter Flight School Video Badge* (A course and certificate from Twitter. I will talk more about this later on. Belongs in 3rd place*)
You can click on any of the courses above to go to the course page.
It was an interesting and fun journey for me and I will be sharing tips to also help you get certified and explore new career frontiers. I would like to add that it’s not recommended to take the courses just for the certifications. The certificates are no doubt a great stimulus, however a genuine interest in the field will help carry you through all the numerous videos, quizzes and study you have to put into getting ‘Google Certified’; either that or the good ole “sheer force of will”.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I already have a few years of practical digital marketing experience with both Google and other internet platforms.
Step 1: Understand Why You Want to Get the Google Certifications
This will help keep you motivated. Knowing why you’re doing what you are doing will go a long way in helping you make peace with the amount of resources and time you’re willing to commit towards completing the online courses and getting your Google certifications. Personally, I wanted to deepen my IT knowledge and credentials and better position myself in an IT relevant century by broadening my IT career prospects. This was my underlying motivation.
Step 2: Find out what works for you
Find out what works for you and stick to it. Here is a personal example: When going through the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course videos, I realized on the first video that I wouldn’t survive the program if I didn’t do something about the video playback speed. The instructors spoke really slow (for clarity I guess) and it drove me crazy for some mysterious reasons. I found the videos extremely boring to watch at the default playback speed so I had to fiddle with the playback speed and ended up speeding up the video to x1.75. This means I watched most of the video course materials for this course at a video playback speed 1.75 times faster than the normal speed settings. I slowed the videos down to x1.5 playback speed whenever they talked about concepts that I was unfamiliar with or topics that required a lot of thought and analysis. For the Google analytics for beginners and Advanced Google analytics courses, a video playback speed of x1.25 worked best for me.
Fiddle around with both online and offline settings until you find out what works best for you. Sometimes I found it more comfortable to learn when I lay down and sometimes I had to sit to get the best results. Be dynamic!
Step 3: Use Metrics
Use metrics is just a fancy way of saying set time sensitive goals and timeframes for completing the course and earning your Google certificates. The fundamentals of digital marketing had 26 modules and tons of videos and materials to go through so I set a goal of finishing it in less than 4 days. This meant that I had to study late into the night and went to bed around 4am on most nights to enable me meet my goal. Trust me, setting goals help and it’s worth the effort.
Step 4: Don’t skip anything
This step is customizable depending on your background experience with digital marketing or whatever course you’re taking. At first, I was tempted to skip certain videos I felt I ‘already knew’ and go straight to the quizzes but quickly realized that it was counter productive. Even some of the introductory videos had information that I found helpful. So I would recommend you watch every video, read every course material, take every optional quiz and go through every guided demo activity till the end.
For best results I would also recommend using some external links provided in the courses to read more on topics you find a bit overwhelming. I even used google search and short YouTube videos to get ‘third party definitions’ and analysis on topics I found a bit elusive. This will help you a lot at the end of section quizzes and final exams.
Step 5: Take notes
I took a truckload of notes while going through the course materials. Coming to think of it, I can compile my notes into a mini book and put it up for sale on Amazon with the title “Earn Five Industry Standard Google Certificates in Less Than 2 Weeks” for $100!🧐😂
From joking I’m now semi-seriously considering this 😢 😎
Seriously, take a lot of notes; especially when you come across definitions, concepts and terminologies that you’re not familiar with. Thankfully, all the videos came with transcripts meaning that you can copy and paste parts of the transcripts you think might be helpful into your note. Go through your entire note on a course before taking the final exam for that course. Before taking the industry standard Google analytics IQ examination, I read through the entirety of my Google analytics for beginners and Advanced Google analytics notes.
Step 6: Take breaks
This is a very important step. Even with the time sensitive goals I set, I still had to take breaks to watch a movie or do some relaxing activities to keep me from having a mental burnout. Find time to take breaks in between study and do fun stuffs you enjoy.
Step 7: Ignore the Exam Timer
The final examinations you will be taking at the end of each course have timers. Paying too much attention to the timer will make you temporarily hypertensive. You will encounter some exams that have about 50 questions and you have 70mins to finish the exam; this means that you cannot afford to spend approx. more than 1.3 minutes on each question. Take a mental note of this but try not to think too much about it because it causes anxiety which in turn – negatively affects your productivity.
During my first examination, I paid too much attention to the exam countdown timer and almost slipped into a coma 😂. The anxiety built up and I had to take like 1 minute to calm myself down and get my mind back into a ‘functional state’. You can have a notepad and pen close by to write down the questions you find tricky, you can then skip these questions and comeback to them later when you are done with the questions you do understand.
Work with a sense of haste, but don’t be hasty. Calmly read each question carefully, read it out loud if it helps. Just don’t make my earlier mistake of thinking you are the main character in a fast and furious movie.
Step 8: Get married and have 9 kids
Well, I don’t know how useful this step is towards earning your Google certificates but I’ll just leave it here 🤷♂️
Let’s talk about my Twitter Certificate
I really don’t know if what I got from Twitter is a certificate or a badge. I was given a Certificate of completion and the certificate was also referred to as a badge. To get the Digital marketing certificate/badge from Twitter, you will have to signup and go through their course and exam at the Twitter flight school. The credential you’ll earn is titled ‘Twitter Flight School Video Badge’. I would highly recommend you add the Twitter certificate/badge to your credentials.
I found the Twitter digital marketing model quite exquisite and fascinating. Twitter as a social media platform has the “Quiet influential and mysterious guy in the party that is hard to ignore” vibe. I enjoyed the course and strongly recommend their flight school digital marketing course.
As you may have already noticed, I earned 6 digital marketing certifications within 10 days and not 5 as stated on the title. I earned five certificates from Google and one from Twitter. However, I wanted this post to be centered on the Google certificates I earned since they’re in the majority.
Another pro tip I would I would like to emphasize is that you do your best to at least have a basic understanding of all the topics covered in all the courses especially if you want to get into digital marketing as a career path. It would suck to end up like the picture below as a digital marketer in your workplace.
Below are copies of the digital marketing certificates I got at the end of the Google and Twitter courses. Other fields I will be expanding my knowledge/credentials on are Cloud Computing, IT Support, Computer Networking, AI, Machine Learning and VR. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions and I will be glad to hear about your journey towards getting Google Certified.
Increase Okechukwu Divine-Wisdom | firstname.lastname@example.org