HAZARD, KY – Shelly Gambill has traveled thousands of miles and completed hundreds of hours of continuing education courses to improve her eyebrow micro-blading skills. In doing so, she’s received multiple certifications aimed at putting her permanent makeup clients at ease and keeping them happy with their results. Juggling training with client appointments at her Hazard, Ky. business can be a challenge but is necessary.
So when the Perry County small business owner saw the opportunity to take online digital marketing classes to better navigate social media and increase her client base at Simply Gorgeous – without having to leave her shop – she jumped at the chance.
“I took Be Boss Online to learn tips to continue building my business,” Gambill said. “I opened it with a (Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp.) SKED loan four years ago. The staff has always been super helpful inspiring me to look beyond what I think I can do,” Gambill said. “I knew this class would be helpful and it has been.”
She added that during the class she learned many techniques and tricks to build brand awareness like by putting her logo on more social media posts and using keywords over and over in posts. She also learned how Hootsuite can help social media posting.
“After taking the class, my business comes up first on local searches, and I’m working to keep it that way,” she added. “Another good tip I learned is to make sure my business address is the same throughout all social media outlets, something I hadn’t realized.”
Gambill was one of 11 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who completed SKED’s Be Boss Online (BBO) social media/digital marketing course offered online in September. This training was co-sponsored by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center and Big Sandy Area Development District.
Other graduates include Rebekah Frank, Jacquelyn Martin, Rita Bishop, Shelly Gambill, Doug Crowdus, Rhonda Thomas, Michele Reynolds, Tara Baxley, Keri Metcalf, Shannon Neal, and Michelle Spriggs.
“SKED’s Be Boss Online digital marketing training is designed to give the region’s small
business owners the skills and tools they need to market their services and products across the
region, state, and country via social media, digital ads and search engine marketing.”
It covers topics such as: Getting found on Google, Running ads on Facebook and Google, Building a webpage and tracking success, Google Analytics, Basic Graphic Design, SEO, Tool & Tips, Email Marketing, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter & Facebook, and Cybersecurity.
Each class consists of instructional time and time to allow participants to implement each lesson into their business. New topics are covered in each of the four classes, and it is required that participants attend all four classes to receive their certificate of completion. The cost to attend is $25.
SKED Small Business Training Director Amanda Kelly says SKED offered the online option in addition to an in-person class in Prestonsburg, but all participants opted for the online course.
“In-person classes weren’t even an option in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that we will be holding in-person classes again in the near future” Kelly said.
The BBO curriculum is customizable and includes four courses, each three hours long, packed with valuable digital marketing how-to information to produce results for small businesses. But clients are not limited to that lineup: The curriculum modules can be separated into one-hour lunch-and-learn sessions or even two-hour specialty courses on social media. It’s completely customizable to meet each client’s needs.
“We want to put East Kentucky small business owners on the same “playing field” as businesses across the country,” Kelly added. Be Boss Online has the potential to give our small business owners the same growth potential as others in more populated areas because we’re teaching them the tools to market their products and services in ways they once could only dream of.”
For more information about BBO, contact Kelly at Amanda@skedcorp.com, by phone at (606) 677-6119, or visit www.bebossonline.com.
To learn more about how SKED helps small business owners do business better, visit www.skedcorp.com.