Background Selling Workshops
If you are promoting Or even considering selling online courses, you do not have to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Selling Workshops
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell education (as opposed to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online class platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling courses
I have been Tracking Thinkific and other providers that have emerged within the past several decades as a new type of course platforms. These are programs that are a lot more user friendly and less costly than conventional learning management systems, or LMSes. They are tiny companies that are looking to enter the course enterprise and a blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I believe they have potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is traditional.
Thus, having said All that, let’s get started.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly to your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities earlier this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Selling Workshops
Using Site Builder — that is simply a part of the admin panel to the platform — you have the capacity to set up an attractive home page for your course website and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide information about you and your other services). While you don’t have complete control — you can not, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can possess really good capabilities for changing branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload just about any kind of pictures or media you would like to utilize.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are variations for each one of these topics. (The company says more topics are a part of the future development plan.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”segments” you can insert and modify on any webpage to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all of the essential tools you need for running a successful path or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section which can be used to make pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes offer a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific includes a solid support website on which you can look for help, but I often just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (starting at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy 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 labeling (under Settings > Site)– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the label for portions of a program. You might like to change this to”Lessons” Selling Workshops
So, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are just starting off and do not have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to take a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find a decent Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. You can be concerned about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) to your primary Web site. Site Builder is great for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to match your main Web site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. A few of the key present constraints include:
- All themes are column. So, as an example, you can’t put e-mail sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you really want to mirror the branding of an existing Web website.
- There is no control on search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the name tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do so on track landing pages, which is possibly more important for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of those Limitations, Website Builder is very likely to do the job well for many edupreneurs and is a little better than what most online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the primary attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that can be quite useful to track builders searching for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for supplying an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to meet your specific curriculum requirements.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online course using a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start constructing 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 resources to be included in a membership bundle with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to review your presentation and offer.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can change the content in the segments which are supplied, delete sections, or add new sections to reach the approach that is ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course construction hints” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they can be easily switched off, if you would like.) Selling Workshops
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll 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 benefits.
And, if You’re Comfortable using other Internet content systems — like, for another course platform, WordPress or example — I think you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall, the logic A class at Thinkific makes sense from my perspective. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to create the structure of the program. As noted above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to anything 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 classes — 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 your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This is a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your course. 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 files (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder option discussed above.
- Survey lessons — Gather by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF document to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources available for download from within the program player.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned options 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., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances from the course or data you collect about them — and
- Like studying games inserting interactive components.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you would be better off with a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Selling Workshops
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some may prefer the option of creating their classes with third-party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an alternative to seriously think about if you (a) already have a significant number of classes built out in these applications (in which you case you probably don’t want to need to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish to have your classes locked into a specific shipping stage.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its own class) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it data like how long a student has spent in a course, or whether specific parts of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of data with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific all on your own. These courses are made up of over one file (such as, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform offers the features you need from start to finish to you. This includes the promotion, the promotion, the training course building, and also also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes . Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t need to go outside and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control on what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more freedom and control. Let us 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 pupil management area, with pictures of your students, names, contact information, and information for how far they are in your course.
You have the Choice create a dialogue or to send customized emails. Selling Workshops
Incentives are A part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout classes, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want of course.
In addition to Infinite replays of language controls, course content, and optimization, pupils working with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific looks great in contrast to this rivalry is that of its class designer. In case you don’t need to, you do not need to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated using a simple drag and drop editor, in which you move it about and pile the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. By PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide range of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not need to worry being too large or running slowly on your very own servers that are shared.
When you customize Your course site it features some editing tools for the beginners on the market. You can correct items like logos, colour schemes, and banners, without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced programmers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing instruments built into the app. A lot of this is automatic. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Selling Workshops
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send automated emails based on a program. Pricing is also done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to get paid instantly when someone signs up on your program.
As for becoming It is tried by people outside of your website to come out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to benefit other men and women who advocate your course and bloggers. Coupons are also supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create advertisements with specials and convince novices your class is worth investing in.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you can link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports where students are coming out of to see.
Handling, 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 makes managing and tracking your customers and their information much more easy.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for you and your students to communicate and also for them to provide comments on the course. Selling Workshops
As already noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion for your courses and then manage your students contributions under Support Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to show up in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is currently a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Allow your student. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your earnings page for the course. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications which can be disabled or enabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send a message if they register for your website to pupils, register in a specific 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 Begin with, When an individual signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever specific information you desire from your users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get full access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This seemingly simple feature may have a large effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to market classes in bulk to organizations — among the greatest ways for internet course sellers to induce revenue growth that is significant .
Using classes May also organize your students by cohort, time, registration, job-type, or organization, or other variables, making it possible to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings and to enhance your marketing. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Selling Workshops
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a specialized class platform — as opposed to simply posting content behind a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor things like completion and path progress in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a particular student and monitor a number of variables for each course in which the pupil is registered. For every course 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 (date)
I enjoy this you If you are adding new classes to an already completed course May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly basic, but I guess it will serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to 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 who have taken a questionnaire a quiz e-mail address, along with their title, and when they took it. For quizzes, it supplies percentage and the number .
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the areas where the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all within this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get course completion and quiz/survey data through a Web interface. 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 at all at Thinkific), and a link to obtain the certificate associated with the program. Selling Workshops
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 that a system with those capabilities could have easily cost thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps which can rule out it to a few course vendors — and all of these tend to be gaps which are characteristic of this class of platforms. The main ones that I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. In case you have a robust and valid reason for using one of the significant e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
Like I said, these Are areas that, for the most part, aren’t served by platforms that are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform that supports all three generally means a price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it could go up a lot from there. Thus, 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 cannot specify the total amount of education accessible for a course. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Selling Workshops
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you manage and can create multiple instances of a platform. This can be useful if you are a training company with many corporate clients and those clients want their own instance of this platform for handling and serving their own users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it is not the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To find an online course platform which has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a plan that is free for those who wish to test out the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and begin building a pupil base. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of the plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Divided into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific capabilities. This strategy has a top transaction fee, all you need to make, market, and market your courses, courses that are infinite, class upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you receive all center and newcomer features, together with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domain, and additional course prices. Selling Workshops
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 reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all attributes from previous programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, people API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the additional three programs are broken down into a reasonable fashion.
After all, you Most likely don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your path selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and also the HTML editing however $99 a month still is not that bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% for the program. That is large, however, it creates an atmosphere for anyone who have low volume now or people who don’t have the funds to launch a professional online store. You’ll be able to reduce that trade fee once you get started making money.
You can Save money. The Essentials plan goes to $39 a month if you cover it all upfront. The company program is $79 per month and also the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing plans much like Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review at which I began: this really is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it supplies a full range of the characteristics that are most essential to support your edupreneur in selling online courses.
I Believe it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot will undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced that Thinkific will be around, and the organization is obviously growing and continually investing to boost its platform. Selling Workshops