Background Mentor With Jen Thinkific
If You’re promoting Or even thinking about selling classes, you don’t have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference that this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Mentor With Jen Thinkific
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on companies that sell schooling (as opposed to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and assisting individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged within the previous several decades as a new class of course platforms. These are platforms which LMSes, or are less costly and a lot more user-friendly than conventional learning management systems. They’re a blessing for solo edupreneurs and companies that want to enter the online course enterprise. As time passes, I think they have real potential to disrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
Having said All that, let us begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly for your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capabilities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin panel for the platform — you 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 give information about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you do not have total control — you can not, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess very excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any type of pictures or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Comes with three topics and there are numerous variations for each one of those themes. (The company says more topics are a part of their upcoming development program.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”segments” you are able to insert and modify on any page to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all of the essential tools you need for running a successful path or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section which can be utilised to create pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took me a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes provide a home page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. But support was readily available for them. Thinkific includes a good support site on which you can search for aid, but I often just use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Basic) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (below Settings > Site)– By jumping up to a Pro Plan ($99 a month) with the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for parts of a program. You might like to change this to”Lessons” Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Thus, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the main Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a great way to take a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to get a decent Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. You can be concerned 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 any other route platform) to your primary Web site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to complement your main Web site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. Some of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are column. So, for example, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for class, or other things down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limit in the event that you really want to reflect the branding of an existing Web site.
- There’s absolutely no control on search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can not specify the name tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do so on track landing pages, which is possibly more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of these Limitations, Website Builder is likely to perform the job 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 need to have an attractive, user-friendly site 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 which can be quite useful to course builders looking for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for supplying an educational item. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to meet your specific program requirements.
- Mini-course — Use a free or low-cost mini-course to generate leads for a complete flagship course or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online course using a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership bundle 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 change the content from the segments that are supplied, delete sections, or add new sections to reach the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course construction tips” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they can be easily turned off, should you would like.) Mentor With Jen Thinkific
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my opinion 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, in case you are Comfortable using other Internet content programs — such as, by way of instance, WordPress or a different program platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall Of putting together a course in Thinkific makes complete sense. After choosing”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to create the structure of this program. As noted above, if you don’t 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 Website Builder over. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets saved in a video library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your site.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This is a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. 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 documents (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder alternative discussed above.
- Research lessons — Collect information/feedback from the students by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF file to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you can turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads — Contain resources to be available for download from within the course player.
- Demo lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Lessons — Contain a Brillium exam on your course. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 per month. More about that below.)
The above options Will get the job completed for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to move down different paths based on their performances from the course or information you gather about them — and
- Like learning games Adding interactive components.
If those are Choices you genuinely need, you’d be better off with a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Mentor With Jen Thinkific
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of producing their courses with third party e-learning class creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a substantial number of classes built out in these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish your courses locked into a specific shipping platform.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however 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 for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a whole lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it information like how much time a student has spent in a program, or whether particular parts of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information using its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of more than one file (like, for example, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform typically offers the features you need from begin to finish to you. This includes the selling, the promotion, the training course building, and also the teacher/student management.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host classes . Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to go out and find your own hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and branding management. Let us explore a few of the standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your course.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails that are customized or create a dialogue. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Incentives are Also part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and throughout classes, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Unlimited replays of speech controls, course content, and optimization, pupils working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific looks so great in contrast to this competition is that of its class designer. In case you don’t need to, you don’t have to mess with any code.
In fact, all of Your content is organized with an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it about vertically and stack the class content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide assortment of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you shouldn’t need to worry running slowly in your shared servers or being too large.
When you personalize Your course website it offers some editing tools for the novices out there. For instance, you can adjust items like logos, color schemes, and banners, all without touching any code.
The further, however Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people know your path exists to begin making money.
Thinkific does It the ideal way, with marketing and promotional tools built into the program. A lot of this is automatic as well. So, if you want to drip content to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated out based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the choice to become paid immediately when someone signs up on your course.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people outside of your website out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create ads with specials and convince newcomers your class is worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you could also link your Adwords, Facebook, and other social reports where students are coming from to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the important reasons for using a specialized online course platform is that it makes tracking and managing your users and their data a lot simpler.
Communication with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways also for them to provide comments and that you communicate with your learners. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
As noted, For instance, you can empower discussion to your courses and then manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, react to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts that you don’t want to show up in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is now a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student. Then you have the ability to approve these reviews (they aren’t published automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your sales page to your course. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are A number of notifications that can be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send students a customized message when they enroll for your site, enroll in a course, or finish a program. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When an individual signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever specific information you want from the own users. (Notice that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you receive complete access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk among the best ways for course sellers to drive revenue growth.
Using groups, you Can also easily arrange your learners by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it possible also to refine your marketing moving ahead 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.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a specialized online class platform — to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site instead, by way of example — is that it will monitor quiz and survey data in addition to things like completion and course progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and track a number of variables for each class in which the student is registered. For every course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed at (date)
- Course Launched at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign in (date)
I like this you May opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any time, for example if you’re adding new classes to an course.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather simple, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (rather than displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv file includes the answers from all students when they shot it, and who’ve obtained a survey a quiz e-mail address, along with their name. For quizzes, it supplies the number and percentage .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the regions in which the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much of the all of the platforms within this class of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to access course completion and quiz/survey data . Even better, it might be good to be able to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), and a link to obtain the certificate associated with the program. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning sector for the past few years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a really affordable price. It wasn’t that long ago a system with these capabilities may have cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps that can rule out it to some class sellers — and all of these tend to be gaps which are characteristic of this class of platforms. The main ones I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the major standards, Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
Like I Are areas that, for the most part, aren’t served by additional programs which are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform which supports all three means a starting price point a few times greater than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point . So, be sure these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of education available for a course. While there may be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Mentor With Jen Thinkific
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and manage multiple instances of a stage. This can be very useful if you are a training company with many clients and those clients want their very own instance of this platform for handling and serving their users. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it is not the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an online course platform which has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program for those who wish to test the stage but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you start your shop and begin building a student base. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of those plans.
The pricing is Broken up into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a high transaction fee, everything you need to make, market, and market unlimited courses your classes, course upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 a month you receive all center and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, custom domain, along with additional course rates. Mentor With Jen Thinkific
Business — For $99 per month you receive the attributes from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all attributes from previous plans, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) but the additional 3 plans are broken down in a logical manner.
After all, you Most likely do not need API access until you really start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates but $99 a month is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% for the free program. That’s large, but it creates an excellent atmosphere for anyone who have low quantity or individuals who don’t have the capital. As soon as you start making money you’ll be able to reduce that transaction fee.
Last, you can Save money by paying on an annual basis. The Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month if you cover it all upfront. The company plan is $79 a month and the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing programs much like Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I began: this really is a platform I highly recommend. Hopefully it is evident by now that it supplies a full range of the features to encourage your edupreneur in selling online courses.
I think it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is certainly not a point: the marketplace for online course platforms like Thinkific is currently noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot of the platforms which are here today will undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be around, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to improve its own platform. Mentor With Jen Thinkific