Useful Online Learning Resources

As marketers in the A/E/C industry, we often wear a variety of hats. Some of us are simultaneously performing business development, graphic design, photography, administrative, and even technical duties in addition to our marketing tasks. It’s safe to say that most of us aren’t masters of every facet of these responsibilities, and a little extra help can always go a long way.

Fortunately, there are countless resources online – paid and free – that can teach us how to perform better in the areas of our job in which we might need some additional assistance. Below I’ve detailed some of my personal favorite online resources.

Paid Online Learning Resources

Atly –

I cannot say enough about what a wonderful resource this is both personally and professionally. Atly is an online learning platform where you can sign up for courses and take them directly in your browser. All classes have lifetime access, so you never lose the ability to go back and re-watch videos or review an instructor’s notes.

There are a ton of great classes available, with new ones added regularly. I’ve taken several of these courses, and included some of my experiences along with a few I've wanted to take:

  • Marketing 101 – I haven’t taken this course, but it is described as a “practical and comprehensive program that will change your perspective on how you market your business. Topics include positioning, inbound marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).”
  • Illustrator 100: Essentials – I didn’t take this class, but I own the book the instructor (Alma Loveland) wrote for this class when she taught at Nicole’s Classes (see more on that website below). It’s great if you’ve never used Illustrator or only have very basic knowledge of the program. You’ll learn a lot about the pen tool as well as other basic functions.
  • Photoshop 100: Essentials – I just recently took this class, and if you’re new to Photoshop it is a must. I learned so much about quick and easy adjustments you can make to photos, and how to edit like a pro. I’ve already used what I’ve learned to enhance our project photos, which is especially helpful if your technical staff (or you) are taking them instead of a professional photographer.
  • Great Portrait Photography – I haven’t taken this course, but from the description it looks like it could be a great way to have an in-house resource for your headshot photography for marketing materials.
  • Better Writing in Six Steps – I haven’t taken this course, but it looks like it would be amazing if you were looking to brush up on your writing skills. Topics include SEO writing, creatively breaking up text, creating images with text by eliminating the worst word, and more.
  • Videography 101 – Another that I have not taken, but if you’re looking to shoot video for your firm’s website, blog, or social media pages this would be a nice place to start.

Nicole's Classes –

Similar to Atly, Nicole’s Classes offers self-paced online courses. Unlike Atly, these courses are taken through an application downloaded onto your computer and you automatically have instructor feedback built into the cost of the course (length of feedback time varies per course). The courses are also only available during specified date ranges, so be sure to check on the dates if you plan to sign up for one.

I have previously taken courses on Nicole’s Classes, however those courses are no longer taught so the descriptions for these are based on the descriptions you’ll find on the website under the “What to Expect” section.

  • Illustrator 101 – Learn the basic functions and tools of Adobe Illustrator, including the pen tool, live paint and basic patterns.
  • Illustrator 102 – Building on the foundation of Illustrator 101, topics include 3D effects, complex shape creation, tessellating patterns and gradient mesh.
  • Photoshop 101 – An introduction to Photoshop where you’ll learn how to adjust and modify images.
  • Photoshop 102 – In the follow-up to Photoshop 101, you’ll learn advanced retouching techniques such as liquify, color correction using histograms, and masking.
  • Lightroom 101 – Learn how to import and organize photos, as well as basic editing and enhancements.
  • Photo 101  – This course is for beginners with little or no experience in photography, and will teach you how to work your DSLR camera using manual settings. Exposure, composition and shooting with natural light are all concepts that are discussed.
  • Photo 102 – This advanced course focuses on new lighting techniques. A list of supplies needed to take the course is available on the course information page.


Free Online Learning Resources

Tuts+ –

This is one of my go-to sites when I’m trying to accomplish something in Illustrator that I’ve never tried before. There is a plethora of great information and step-by-step tutorials available for free. The only down side, in my opinion, is that most of the tutorials are very project specific, so you aren’t necessarily learning as much about the concepts behind how some of the tools work, but rather exactly how to create a retro fox illustration (which, who knows, may be what you’re looking for).

I’ve found that the Tools & Tips section is a good source of information if you’re looking to learn more about how certain tools work and how you can use them.

Adobe TV –

What better place to go to learn about Adobe software than Adobe’s website? Adobe TV has a ton of helpful video tutorials to choose from, and you can learn anything from how to work with fonts in Typekit to creating a Facebook cover photo in Photoshop.

If you know of another resource that you'd like to see highlighted in future postings, please email it to [email protected].


Post by: Brittany LuizMarketing CoordinatorGleeds

Welcome New SMPS Atlanta Members!

Welcome to our newest SMPS Atlanta Members!

Laura Young, Young Contracting/SE, Inc.

Laura Young is the Marketing Director at Young Contracting/SE, Inc., a general contracting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Young Contracting specializes in retail and medical construction throughout the Southeast. Her previous work experience includes working for a property management and development firm before transitioning to Young Contracting in 2010. Laura received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Mississippi in 2008. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and volunteering. As a new member, Laura is looking forward to getting involved with SMPS and serving on committees in the future.

Amy Blanco, Moss & Associates

Amy has been in the A/E/C industry for 12 years in the marketing management/coordinator role for primarily architecture firms. She has recently taken a position with Moss & Associates, a construction management firm, based in Ft. Lauderdale. Amy will  produce proposal submittals, presentations, and copy writing  for Moss & Associates' fast growing Atlanta office and offer regional marketing support to Moss’s expanding presence in the Southeast.  She was previously a member of the Society for Design Administration and was President of the Atlanta Chapter in 2008. She has also been involved in Architecture for Humanity, serving as Atlanta Chapter Secretary in 2010 and Birdhouse Social Chair in 2011. In October of 2013 she led a SMPS Bootcamp on Social Media. She is a mother of 3 and enjoys the thrilling ride that parenthood and a marketing role provides. She has a Bachelor of Science from Emory University.