Selling online courses and instructional content is a great way to expand revenue opportunities from new and existing clients, especially if your company is already in the business of selling personalized training or coaching. The transition can be difficult to make for many companies, and the choices can be overwhelming, but you’ll have a few fundamental choices to make.
An all-in-one Learning Management System (LMS) such as Thinkific or Teachable will get you started quickly. For a monthly or yearly subscription, you can upload your course content, configure your learning environment, and start accepting students. You won’t be tasked with any custom development or e-commerce details, and course delivery is quick and reliable. There are a few downsides to this method, however: you’ll have a lack of customization options with the visual design of courses, and you won’t have detailed control in how your courses are presented. You may have limited options to migrate your course content to other providers, and you may also be required to pay a portion of each registration to the LMS provider.
For those who really want to customize the learning environment and retain full control of their online content, you can explore LMS integration directly within your website environment. This option will require a little more management and presents a steeper learning curve, but you’ll retain more profits and have more control of the entire presentation. If your website is built on WordPress, take a look at Learndash, an LMS plugin that integrates directly with your e-commerce and membership tools to provide a completely customizable learning experience. Add each student to your CRM database automatically, and you’ve got a reliable mailing list of repeat customers; Drip-feed new and updated courses to your subscribers to keep them interested and engaged. Most importantly, all these pieces of the learning ecosystem have proven to play nicely together to enable a seamless flow of information.
As a successful example, I was recently able to help a national training organization develop their online course libary, including video presentations, course progression, quizzes, exams, downloadable course support materials and custom certificates of completion. The client was initially apprehensive about the development expense. However, a month into the launch, they’ve had almost 250 course registrants, have paid for the entire setup and development process, and are on their way to being profitable.
Contact me to explore more about learning management systems and how your business can expand its training programs by pairing an LMS and eCommerce solution directly on your existing WordPress site.