Classes 8 & 10 Recap: Instagram Marketing & Power Trading Workshop

June 12th, 2014

Unbelievable that we are already a third of the way through the 30 Classes in 30 Days Challenge!

Class #9 was Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses on CreativeLive, and class #10 was a “Power Trading Workshop” from Online Trading Academy.

Me taking the class (I was a winner for the #instagallive contest for this pic)

Me taking the class (I was a winner for the #instagallive contest for this pic)

Class #8: Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses

This was my first class spanning more than a single day (3 days for ~5 hours per day), and several things popped out at me instantly.

    1. It was very easy to multi-task and pay attention to this class at the same time (especially with a second screen), and I noticed many others taking the class were doing this as well
    2. It was a great way to engage with other people also taking the class and actively practice what you were learning
    3. The live audience was 100% female, and I get the feel from the chat rooms and social engagement that 90% of the virtual audience was also female

I use Instagram regularly in my personal life (I have a private account), but I am definitely a newbie when it comes to using it for marketing. Since taking this class, I have developed a clear hashtag strategy as well as some ideas for contest and engagement strategies. Throughout the class there were numerous virtual guests sharing their specific success stories to give a feel for putting practice into action in addition to live guests talking about the tools they use on top of Instagram (like Word Swag, Printstagram, and Pictacular).

This class is a must for anyone in business as a photographer, designer, artist, or niche retail looking to grow a presence on Instagram. However, you have to commit to Instagram as a platform, and make an active effort to engage and comment on other people’s posts in order to be successful.

I am still deciding if Instagram is the right presence for Allclasses.

The instructor, Sue B. Zimmerman, hails from the Boston area and has been super successful promoting her business and multiple clothing lines. She definitely has a knack for helping people create authentic engagement and unique branding ideas, like the signs she holds in many of her pictures and has become known for.

CreativeLive as a learning platform had great production value, but the chat room looked like something straight out of the 80s. The chat room was also confusing because there were three of them (a general lounge, focused topic discussion, and Q&A for the instructor), and I kept forgetting which one I was on.

Class #10: Power Trading Workshop

I dabble a bit in online trading. Investing in a few stocks and holding them for a long time (The Warren Buffett strategy) is typically what I do, but this is not trading. Very rarely I will “trade” a stock with the intent to make a short term gain, and occasionally I will play around with options.

That said, my goal for this seminar was to get a taste of some actionable strategies I could use for options and short term trading.

This three hour “Power Trading Workshop” was offered by Online Trading Academy. I had a suspicion prior to the class, and it was confirmed – this was a sales pitch for their pro classes, plain and simple.

More than two of the three hours was spent trying to make you feel uncomfortable with the status quo of investing in mutual funds and life as a retail investor trading against institutions with more information and more power. Thanks, tell me something I don’t know.

Finally in the last hour they got to their patented strategy of trading based on identifying supply and demand zones using movement patterns in a stock. It was still a high level flyover left you needing more, which you could get in their pro classes.

If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme or easy path to trading success, this is not the place for you. This does not exist. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that many people attend this class were thinking just that.

To OTA’s credit, they openly acknowledge that there is risk in trading, and they do not guarantee results. They have had some successful customers, but I have no idea how many of their 150,000 have been successful. It sounds like their pro classes come with some good content and one-on-one sessions for goal setting and tutoring with professionals.

However, I have been through some significant sales training, and they were laying down every maneuver in the book. It just gave me a bad feeling.

At the end of the day, this was not the class for me, but apparently it was for many of the people who attended. Best of luck.