Introduction Sell Video Courses
If You’re currently selling Or even considering selling online courses, you do not have to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific reviews on the market. The main difference that this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Sell Video Courses
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing 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 course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged within the previous decades as a new type of course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are less costly and much more user-friendly than traditional learning management systems. They’re companies that want to get into the course enterprise and a boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I think they have potential to disrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
So, having said That, let us begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that someplace supplies an attractive, user friendly for your students and prospective students. Since the debut of its Site Builder capacities Thinkific is up to the job. Sell Video Courses
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin board 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). While you don’t have complete control — you can’t, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you can upload pretty much any kind of images or media you would want to use.
Site Builder Comes with three topics to choose from, and there are numerous variants for each of those topics. (The company says more topics are part of their upcoming development program.) Additionally, there are a range of pre-fab”sections” you can add and modify on any page to provide for things like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all of the essential tools you require for running a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section that can be utilised to create pretty much whatever you want.
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 topics offer a home page pre-populated with sections) and include custom pages to the site menu. However support was readily available for them. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you are able to look for help, but I often only use a Google search together with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific website or from a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Guru Plan ($99 a month) with the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — It is possible to change a great deal of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for portions of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Sell Video Courses
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t already have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to take a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find an adequate Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launch your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) for your primary Web site. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course site to match your main site — but finally it is relatively restricted. A few of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are pillar. So, as an example, you can not put email sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As mentioned, you can’t apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limit in the event that you truly wish to reflect the branding of an present Web website.
- There is no control over search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t define the title tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do so on track landing pages, which is arguably more important for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the broad network of seasoned contractors who are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of these Limitations, Site Builder is likely to perform the work well for most edupreneurs and is a bit better than what most online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the classes themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which can be quite useful to track builders looking for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for offering an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to meet your particular curriculum requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a free or low-cost mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship course or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class using a robust curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to gauge interest in your course.
- 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 allow registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content from the sections which are provided, delete segments, or insert new sections to reach the approach that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course construction hints” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Sell Video Courses
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 good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you will reap the benefits.
And you are Comfortable using other Internet content systems — such as, for instance, WordPress or another program platform — I believe that you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic A course in Thinkific makes sense in my standpoint. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you may change at any stage ), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As noted above, if you do not like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has saved 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 site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This is a way to link out to articles 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 a live Zoom session, by Way of Example )
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate files (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder option mentioned previously.
- Research lessons — Collect information/feedback from your students by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus lessons — Add Disqus discussion boards into your course. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources available for downloading from inside the course player.
- Demo lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record audio for each slide.
- Exam lessons — Contain a Brillium examination on your course. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the job done for all but the most sophisticated edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths based on their performances in the course or information you gather about them — and
- Like studying games, inserting interactive components.
If those are Options you genuinely want, you would be better off using a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Sell Video Courses
Use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of creating their classes with third party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a significant number of classes built out in one of these tools (in which you probably do not want to have to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish your courses locked into a specific delivery stage.
These can be used by you 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 path.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its own course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a 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 data like how much time a learner has invested in a program, or whether specific areas of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information using its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of over one file (like, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Course building platform typically offers you. This includes the selling, the marketing, the training course construction, and also the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes on your own website. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t need to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your site looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific surely provides management that is branding and more freedom. Let’s explore a few of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual student management area, together with images of your students, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your program.
You’ve got the Choice create a conversation or to send emails. Sell Video Courses
Incentives are A part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and needless to say, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want throughout courses.
In addition to Replays of course content, speech controllers, and mobile optimisation, students working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific looks so great in contrast to this rivalry is that of its class designer. If you don’t need to, you don’t have to mess with any code.
In fact, all of Your content is organized with a simple drag and drop editor, where you move it around and pile the course content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media types. By PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide range of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not need to worry much about a file being too big or running in your own servers that are shared.
When you personalize Your course website it features some editing tools to the beginners on the market. For instance, you can correct items like color schemes banners, and logos, without touching any code.
However, the further Developers have full 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 course exists to start making money.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the ideal way, with marketing and promotional tools. Much of this is automated. So, if you want to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this operation. Sell Video Courses
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails that are automated based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to become paid immediately when somebody signs up for your program.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people beyond your site out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to reward people who recommend your program and bloggers. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving a opportunity convince novices your course is worth investing in and to create ads with specials to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you can also link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports to see where students are coming out of.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Enabling you to deliver your classes, one of the reasons for using a online course platform is that it makes managing and monitoring your users and their data a lot more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to organize your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways that you communicate with your learners and also for them to provide comments on the course. Sell Video Courses
As noted, For instance, you can empower discussion to your classes and then manage your students gifts under Support Your Students Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t want to appear in the program. (Note: Enabling talks is now a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all classes have no or it classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative 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 reviews (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your earnings page for your program. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can send a message when they register for your website to students, enroll in a particular course, or complete a course. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you want from your own users. (Notice that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you get complete access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This feature can have a large impact on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk among the best ways for course vendors to induce revenue growth that is significant .
Using groups, you Can also organize your students by business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, or other variables, which makes it possible also to enhance your marketing moving ahead and to monitor the efficacy of your own offerings with each group. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro program license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Sell Video Courses
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a online course platform — to simply posting articles supporting a password on a Web site instead, by way of example — is that it is going to track quiz and survey information as well as things like course progress and completion.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and track numerous factors for each class in which the pupil is registered. For each 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 (date)
I like that you If you’re adding new lessons to an already finished course May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any time.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather basic, but I guess it will serve the demands of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV document (rather than displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv file includes the answers from all students if they shot it, and who’ve taken a questionnaire a quiz e-mail address, together with their name. For quizzes, it also supplies percent and the amount of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is among the chief areas where the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this tends to be true for much of most of the platforms . Over time, it would be possible to access quiz/survey data and course completion via a single Web interface. Better still, it would be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a course, any credit earned (not now captured at all in Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate related to the program. Sell Video Courses
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with these capacities may have cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings which will rule it out and these tend to be. The main ones that I see are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not really take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these applications. If you have a reason for using one of the major criteria, then Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
Like I Are areas that aren’t served by other platforms that are in Thinkific’s class. To acquire a platform which supports all three generally means a price point a few times greater than Thinkific — and it can go far from there up. Be sure that these truly are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of education available for a course. While there may be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Sell Video Courses
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can make multiple instances of a stage. This can be very useful if, for instance, you are a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their own instance of this platform for serving and managing their customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it is not the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an internet course platform that has many hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a free plan for people who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to start building a student base without needing to pay a dime and launch your shop. If you’d rather give a whirl to one of the more advanced plans there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a high transaction fee, everything you want to make, market, and market Stripe/PayPal service , infinite courses, class upsells, content hosting integrations, your classes, and access to all capital.
Essentials — For $49 a month you get all core and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domainname, along with extra course prices. Sell Video Courses
Business — For $99 per month you get the attributes from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed courses, site white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, 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, one sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, people API, innovative integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great advantages to its pricing design. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra 3 programs are broken down in a reasonable manner.
After all Most probably do not need API access until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I would not mind Seeing also the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates but $99 a month still is bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the program. That is large, but it creates an superb environment for people who do not have the capital or anyone who have low volume. Once you start earning money that trade fee can be reduce by you.
Last, you can Save money. The Essentials plan goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business plan is $79 a month and the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite much like Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review at which I began: this is a stage I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it supplies a complete range of the most essential features to encourage your edupreneur.
I think it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online class platforms such as Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot is going to be gone. I’m convinced Thinkific will be around, and the organization is obviously growing and always investing to boost its own platform. Sell Video Courses