Intro How To Sell A Workshop
If You’re promoting Or considering selling online classes, you do not have to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific reviews out there. The main difference this one provides is that it is written by someone with: How To Sell A Workshop
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing online class platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and exploring online course platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling courses
I have been Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged in the past years as a new class of online course platforms. These are platforms that are less costly and much more user friendly or LMSes. They’re businesses that want to enter the online course enterprise and a real boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I believe they have real potential to disrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
So, having said That, let’s begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere provides an appealing, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities earlier this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. How To Sell A Workshop
Using Site Builder — which is simply a part of the admin board to the stage — you now have the ability to set up an attractive home page to your course website and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you do not have total control — you can not, as an instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess really excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any kind of pictures or media you would want to utilize.
Site Builder Currently comes with three topics and there are numerous variants for each of those topics. (The company says more topics are part of the future growth plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” that you can insert and change on any page to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the essential tools you require for running a successful path or membership site. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section that may be utilised to create pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes provide a home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the site menu. However service has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a solid support site on which you are able to look for help, but I often just use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from a different user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (beginning at $49 per month for Basic) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language that is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the label for portions of a course. You may like to change this to”Lessons” How To Sell A Workshop
So, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and do not already have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a good way to have a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to find an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) to your main Web site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course website to complement your primary site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are column. So, as an instance, you can’t put e-mail signup forms, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you truly wish to reflect the branding of an present Web site.
- There’s no control on search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do this on course landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins and the broad network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
In spite of those Limits, Website Builder is very likely to do the work well for most edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what many online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates which may be quite beneficial to course builders looking for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to meet your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class employing a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to judge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to assess your presentation and offer.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content in the sections which are provided, delete sections, or insert new sections to reach the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course building hints” to assist you. (I found them helpful, but they can be easily switched off, if you would like.) How To Sell A Workshop
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your way up it, and you will reap the rewards.
And you are Already comfortable with other Web content systems — such as, for instance, WordPress or a different program platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall A course at Thinkific makes sense in my perspective. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and saving it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones already in the template) to produce the structure of the course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to the way I described using Website Builder over. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a movie library for re-use in other classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your website.)
- Quiz classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This is a way to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the link to a live Zoom session, for example)
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate files (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you may turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources to be available for download from inside the course participant.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a demonstration as a PDF document and record audio for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium examination in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The above options Will get the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths based on their performances from the course or information you gather about them and
- Inserting interactive components.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). How To Sell A Workshop
Use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some may prefer the option of creating their courses with third party e-learning class creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously consider if you (a) already have a significant number of courses built out in one of these tools (in which you probably don’t need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalogue of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish your courses locked to a particular delivery stage.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its own class) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a whole lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a learner has invested in a program, or whether specific parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information with its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of more than one file (like, for instance, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Course building platform typically offers you the features you need from start to finish. Including the training course building, the promotion, the promotion, and the management.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host courses . Your articles is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t need to go out and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more freedom and control that is branding. Let’s explore a few of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, with images of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your course.
You’ve got the Option to send customized emails to each of the students or create a dialogue. How To Sell A Workshop
Incentives are Also a part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and during classes, the emails for sending out just about anything you want of course.
Along with Replays of course content, language controllers, and optimization, students working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific seems so great compared to the competition is that of its course designer. You don’t need to mess with any code if you don’t want to.
In fact Your content is organized with a simple drag and drop editor, in which you pile the course content and move it about .
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. By PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t need to worry running in your servers that are shared or being too large.
When you personalize Your course site it features some handy editing tools to the beginners on the market. For instance, you can adjust items like banners, color schemes, and logos without touching any code.
The further, however Advanced programmers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way to start earning money unless people know your course exists.
Thinkific does It the way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. A lot of this is automatic. So, if you’d like to trickle content to your students–in which courses would be released over time–Thinkific has this functionality. How To Sell A Workshop
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automatic based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to become paid immediately when someone signs up for your program.
As for becoming It is tried by people beyond your website out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and people who advocate your program. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance convince novices that your class is worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you can link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports to determine where students are coming from.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your courses, one of the reasons for utilizing a technical course platform is that it creates handling and tracking your customers and their information much simpler.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables several ways that you communicate with your students and for them to provide feedback on the course. How To Sell A Workshop
As already noted, By way of example, you can enable discussion for your courses and then manage your students gifts under Service Your Students Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, react to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is now a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student to submit reviews for your classes. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they are not printed automatically) and use them as social proof on your sales page to the course. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are A number of notifications which can be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send a message when your site is registered for by them to students, register in a course, or finish a course. You can also send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom sign-up fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you want from the own users. (Note that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you receive full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This simple feature may have a large impact on your business model by making it possible for you to sell classes in bulk one of the best ways for internet course sellers to induce revenue development that is major .
You, classes Can also organize your learners by other variables, or business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it feasible to refine your marketing and to track the effectiveness of your own offerings with each group. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Pro program license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality How To Sell A Workshop
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a online course platform — to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site as opposed, by way of example — is that it is going to track quiz and survey data as well as things like completion and course progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a particular student and monitor a number of factors for each course in which the student is enrolled. For every course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign in (date)
I like this you If you are adding new classes can also choose to reset the completion percentage of a student at any time, for example.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I suspect it’ll serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV file (rather than displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the answers from all students when they shot it, and who have taken a survey a quiz email address, together with their name. For quizzes, it provides the amount and percent of questions the student got correct.
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is among the main areas where the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much of the all the platforms . Over time, it would be possible to get course completion and quiz/survey data through a single Web interface. Even better, it might be good to have the ability to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured at all in Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate associated with the program. How To Sell A Workshop
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the last couple of decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very reasonable price. It was not that long ago a system with these capabilities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings that will rule it out to a few course vendors — and all of these tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the significant criteria, then Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
Like I Are areas that, for the most part, aren’t served well by other platforms which are in Thinkific’s class. To acquire a platform that supports all three normally means a price point than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from there. Be sure these are gaps for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated variety of hours for completing a course in Thinkific, you can’t define the amount of continuing education available for a program. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, How To Sell A Workshop
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and handle multiple instances of a platform. This can be very handy if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their own branded example of this platform for serving and managing their own customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it isn’t the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an internet course platform which has many hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a free plan for those who wish to try the stage but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it helps you start your store and start building a student base. There is also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of those plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, all you need to create, market, and market infinite courses your classes, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations service, and instant access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 a month you receive all center and starter features, along with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domain, and extra course prices. How To Sell A Workshop
Business — For $99 a month you get the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you get all features from prior programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing layout. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the extra 3 plans are broken down into a reasonable fashion.
After all Most probably do not need API accessibility until you start becoming advanced with your path promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as also the HTML editing however $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction prices are 10% to the program. That is high, but it creates an superb environment for anyone with low quantity or individuals who don’t have the capital to launch a professional online shop. You can reduce that transaction fee As soon as you start making money.
You can By paying on an annual basis, Save money. If you cover it all upfront, so, the snowball strategy goes down to $39 per month. The company program is $79 per month and the Advanced plan is $219. This makes the pricing programs quite similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this is a stage I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it supplies a range of the most essential features to encourage your average edupreneur in selling courses that are online.
I Believe it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a great deal of momentum. This is certainly not a trivial point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is now crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot is going to be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced Thinkific will be about, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to boost its platform. How To Sell A Workshop