Background Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
If You’re promoting Or even thinking about selling courses, you don’t need to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference that this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell education (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online course platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development firm.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling classes
I have been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers that have emerged as a new class of course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are more user-friendly and less expensive than conventional learning management methods. They’re businesses that are looking to get into the online course enterprise and a real boon for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I believe they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
So, having said All that, let us get started.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere provides an attractive, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capabilities Thinkific is up to the job. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
Using Site Builder — which is only a part of the admin board for the stage — you now have the capacity to set up an appealing home page to your course website and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide details about you and your other solutions ). Despite the fact that you don’t have total control — you can’t, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess really excellent capabilities for changing branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any type of images or media you’d want to utilize.
Site Builder Currently comes with three themes to select from, and there are variants for each of those themes. (The company says more topics are part of the future development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to add and change on any page to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the critical tools you need for conducting a successful path or membership site. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section that may be utilised to make pretty much anything you want.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics provide a house page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the website menu. However service was readily available for them. Thinkific includes a solid support website on which you can look for aid, but I tend to just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support using this method, whether to the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 a month for Basic) you can find a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (below Settings > Site)– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (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 areas. By way of example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the label for portions of a course. You might like to change this to”Lessons” Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and do not have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a good way to have a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get an adequate Web site setup”) and focus on creating and launch your courses. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) for your main Internet site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and may create a great course site to complement your primary Web site — but finally it is relatively limited. A few of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are column. Therefore, for example, you can’t put email signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you truly want to mirror the branding of an present Web site.
- There is no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can not define the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do this on course landing pages, which is arguably more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of seasoned contractors who are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of these Limits, Website Builder is very likely to perform the work well for many edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what many online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that may be quite useful to course builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for supplying an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your course to match your specific curriculum requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online course using a robust curriculum outline made using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership package for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content in the segments that are provided, delete sections, or insert new sections to arrive at the strategy that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building hints” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily turned off, should you would like.) Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll inevitably be a small learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your it up, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, if you are Comfortable using other Web content programs — like, by way of instance, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a class in Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” picking your path type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to create the structure of this program. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to how I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 choices:
- Video classes — Upload a movie file. (This has stored in a video library for re-use in other classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for your students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This can be a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the URL to some 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 documents (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder option mentioned previously.
- Research lessons — Collect by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF file to be looked at within the program participant.
- Disqus lessons — Insert Disqus discussion boards into your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Demo lessons — Upload a demonstration as a PDF document and record sound for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Contain a Brillium examination on your course. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned options Will find the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths based on their performances in the course or information you collect about them — and
- Like learning games inserting interactive components.
If those are Options you genuinely want, you’d be better off with a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some might prefer the option of creating their classes with third party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) already have a substantial number of classes built out in one of these tools (in which you case you probably do not want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalogue of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish to have your courses locked into a particular delivery stage.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its course ) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a whole lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how much time a learner has invested in a course, or whether particular areas of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this type of data. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of over one file (such as, for instance, a video file), so to get them inside the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course construction platform offers you. Including the teacher/student management, the promotion, the selling, and also the training course construction.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host courses . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not need to venture outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides management that is branding and more freedom. Let’s explore some of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, together with pictures of your students, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your course.
You’ve got the Option to send emails that are customized to each of the students or create a dialogue with the community. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
Incentives are A part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and needless to say, the mails for sending out just about anything you want during classes.
Along with Replays of speech controls, course content, and optimization working with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of the Reason Thinkific looks great in contrast to this rivalry is that of its course designer. If you don’t want to you do not have to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated with a simple drag and drop editor, where you move it around and stack the class content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media types. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned Before, all these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not need to worry running slowly on your very own shared servers or being too big.
When you personalize Your course website it offers some editing tools to the novices out there. For instance, you can adjust items like color schemes banners, and logos, all without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your website unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way to start making money unless people understand that your course exists.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. Much of this is automated also. So, if you’d like to drip content to your students Thinkific has this operation. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails that are automatic out based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to get paid instantly when someone signs up for your course.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people beyond your site to come out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other people who advocate your program. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving a chance convince newcomers that your course is well worth investing in and to create ads with specials to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you can also link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts where students are coming out of to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to produce your classes, one of the reasons for utilizing a specialized course platform is that it creates tracking and managing your users and their information a lot more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for you and your students to communicate and for them to provide comments. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
As noted, For example, you can empower discussion to your classes and manage your students contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, react to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to show up in the program. (Note: Enabling talks is now an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Allow your student to submit reviews for your courses. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page to the course. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications which can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You register in a particular course can, for instance, send a customized message when they register for your website to students, or finish a course. You can also send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When an individual signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you want from your own users. (Notice that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you get full access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This simple feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market classes in bulk to associations — among the best ways for online course vendors to induce revenue development that is major , in my experience.
Using groups, you May easily arrange your students by cohort, time, registration, job-type, or business, or other variables, which makes it possible to enhance your marketing and to monitor the efficacy of your offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro plan license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a technical course platform — to posting content supporting a password on a Web site, instead, by way of instance — is it is going to track quiz and survey information in addition to things like completion and path progress.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a specific student and monitor numerous factors for every class in which the pupil is enrolled. For every class you will 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 enjoy that you If you are adding new lessons to an course can also choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I suspect it will serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv file contains the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz together with their name and if they shot it. For quizzes, in addition, it provides percent and the amount of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the areas where the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for much the platforms of the all . Over time, it would be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data via a Web interface. Better still, it would be good to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a course, any credit earned (not now captured at all in Thinkific), and a link to download the certificate associated with the course. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past couple of years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with those capacities could have cost thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps that will rule it out and all of these tend to be. The main ones I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not really take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the major e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the way to go.
As I said, these Are areas that, for the most part, are not served by programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three normally means a beginning price point than Thinkific — and it can go far from there . So, be sure that these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of continuing education available for a course. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle multiple instances of a stage. This can be handy if you are a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their very own branded example of the platform for handling and serving their customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it is not the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an online course platform that has many hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program for those who wish to try the platform out but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and start building a student base without needing to pay a dime. If you’d rather give one of the plans a whirl there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 for all core Thinkific capabilities. This strategy has a high transaction fee, all you want to make, market, and sell Stripe/PayPal service courses, course upsells, content hosting, fundamental integrations, your classes, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all core and starter features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, customized domain, and extra course rates. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific
Business — For $99 a month you receive the features from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and concealed courses, website white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features from previous plans, 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 innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra three plans are broken down in a logical fashion.
After all Most likely do not need API accessibility until you start getting advanced with your path promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates however $99 a month isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% to the plan. That is high, however, it creates an excellent atmosphere for those who have low volume now or people who don’t have the upfront capital to start a professional online store. As soon as you start making money you can cut that trade fee down.
You can By paying on an annual basis, Save money. If you pay it all upfront, so, the snowball strategy goes to $39 per month. The company plan is $79 per month and also the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review at which I started: this is. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a full range of the characteristics to encourage your edupreneur in selling classes that are online.
I Believe it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is not a trivial point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is noisy and crowded. You can be sure that a lot of the programs which are here today will be gone. I feel convinced Thinkific will be about, and the organization is obviously growing and always investing to improve its own platform. Jessica Stansberry Thinkific