The Ultimate Online Course Builder Handbook: Create, Manage, & Scale Your Courses
Finding the perfect online course builder platform for your growing business can be quite a challenge, especially with so many options available.
In the world of online training, founders and business owners like yourself often face a common problem: lack of time.
This "lack of time" can be further broken down into four key challenges that we've identified through research with existing and prospective clients, which we'll explore together:
- Feeling overwhelmed with online learning tools and processes
- Struggling to balance low-value, time-wasting, and time-consuming tasks
- Experiencing ineffectiveness in sales and marketing conversion and retention
- Encountering limitations in learning accessibility and training collaboration features
Knowledge management is a booming industry, and knowledge leakage can be costly. This is what we know today:
- The “e-learning market size surpassed $315 billion in 2021.” Projections estimate a 20% compounding annual growth rate (CAGR) this year and into 2028.
- And the corporate elearning market, valued at $100 billion in 2021, can expect the same 20% estimated compounding growth for 2022 and over the next six years.
- 75% of organizations in a Deloitte survey stated that creating and preserving knowledge across their workforce is vital to their success.
Global Market Insights attributes the fast-growth e-learning and training market to two primary drivers:
- Increasing global internet accessibility to affordable plans
- The pandemic-driven global remote work shift, where companies focus on upgrading existing training programs to meet modern standards and drive growth.
Now is the best time to share your team's expertise with the world. With the increasing demand for online learning and an industry projected to grow to $400 billion by 2026, you have the opportunity to generate new revenue streams by creating and selling your own online courses.
The ideal online course builder should allow you to create a unique learning experience without extensive coding – ideally, no coding at all. Not only will this help scale your team and business, but it also makes building and launching online courses more accessible than ever before.
When choosing an online course platform for your growing team, the decision ultimately boils down to two core considerations:
- How can it be painless?
- How can it scale along with my team and business?
We're here to guide you through the entire platform selection process, making it painless and future-proof. So, let's dive in and find the perfect solution for you and your business!
Benefits of online course building platforms for your service business
Online course building platforms bring a wealth of benefits to your service business. Let's explore just a few of these advantages:
- Effortless sharing: Create online courses that sell around the clock, with diminishing hands-on involvement over time.
- Establish authority: Position yourself, your team's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and your brand as industry authorities or thought leaders.
- Cultivate niche audiences: Leverage online courses to attract niche audiences or even build a community of like-minded individuals around your business.
- Enhance reach and impact: Offer genuine value in exchange for people's time, attention, and loyalty, effectively expanding your reach.
These benefits showcase the immense potential that online course building platforms offer, empowering you to expand your business and make a lasting impact in your field.
What should an online course builder do?
An online course builder, also known as an online course creator, is a versatile tool, software, or complete platform designed to help you effortlessly:
- Design your course with minimal coding experience.
- Launch your course seamlessly and efficiently.
- Generate revenue by transforming your expertise into a profitable online course.
In the past, creating an online course presented numerous challenges, such as:
- High costs
- Time-consuming processes
- Frustration and complexity
- Uncertainty regarding the outcome and success
Thankfully, modern Web 2.0 and 3.0 online course building platforms have revolutionized the way we create and scale courses. These state-of-the-art solutions provide:
- Significant time and cost savings
- User-friendly and painless course creation
- Effortless scalability to grow alongside your business
By harnessing the power of innovative online course builders, you can unlock the potential of your knowledge and expertise, making a lasting impact on your audience and expanding your business like never before.
8 Key factors to consider when choosing your online course builder software
Based on feedback from the Profi community through our Product/UX Research, Customer Success, Marketing, and Sales Channels, we've identified eight essential categories to consider when selecting an online course builder platform. These factors address the core jobs to be done, feature requests, and pain point patterns.
- Effortless onboarding: Easy-to-follow process for integrating employees and clients into the platform.
- Flexible configuration: Simple setup for creating new online courses from scratch, as well as migrating existing courses from other tools.
- Branded customization: Customizable setup that allows for seamless integration of your unique branding.
- Accessibility: A streamlined process for adding new clients to the system and nurturing them into paid learners.
- ROI reporting: Straightforward reporting features that demonstrate the platform's value to your organization's leadership.
- Built-in collaboration: Features that promote teamwork and provide an accessible interface for both teams and clients.
- Learner engagement: A coaching platform that goes beyond a standalone course tool, offering a user-friendly experience, shared coaching goals, and to-do lists that enhance the entire service delivery process.
- Security and privacy: A system that securely and privately stores customer and client communication and history data.
By carefully considering these eight key factors, you'll be better equipped to choose a consulting software that meets your unique needs and helps you achieve your business goals.
Finding the ideal online course builder for your business
The good news: There are so many course builders to choose from for your business. The bad news: With so many options, it's easy to feel overwhelmed!
We understand that technology can be daunting. The perfect platform for you, your team, and your business's future largely depends on your overall strategic goals. So, it's essential to consider a few aspects:
- What do you need as a founder, visionary, expert, or course creator?
- What will your team need as they grow for internal training, client training, lead generation, or monetization?
- What platform aligns with your long-term vision for your business?
To find the right course builder, focus on two aspects: pain reduction and scalability.
Which online course building platform will make my life easier?
Online training can present various challenges, such as cumbersome setup processes, lack of student engagement, or the need to use multiple solutions for success.
To address these issues, consider the following questions when evaluating an online course builder:
- Is it user-friendly for me, my team, and my clients?
- Can I create courses without coding expertise?
- How quickly can I launch a course?
- Can I delegate course creation to team members or partners?
- Can my team or partners collaboratively deliver lessons or services?
- Can I embed diverse content types and formats for different learner needs?
- Does it integrate with other tools I use in my business?
- How quickly and easily can I monetize it?
- How easily can I distribute courses to prospects and leads?
Which online course platform will adapt & grow with my needs?
Choose an online course builder that meets your current and future needs to avoid switching platforms later. The wrong choice may result in overpaying for features you don't use while missing critical features you need to scale your team or grow your business.
- The result: Wasting precious time and energy migrating to a different platform and retraining your team, impacting your clients' experience.
- The impact: Annoying your learners, interrupting their learning process, or overcomplicating their experience, leading to retention issues.
Ask the following questions to ensure your chosen course builder is scalable:
- How accessible is it for my partners and vendors?
- Does it address internal knowledge management and external knowledge leakage?
- What types of online course content does it support?
- Can I easily share or collaborate on content with my team?
- What tasks can I delegate to team members?
- Can I co-deliver services and modules with the platform?
- Is it safe and secure?
- Do I have control over branding?
- Will I need additional tools or resources to build, launch, and monetize a course?
Now that you're clear on your requirements, let's explore the three most critical feature areas to consider in an online course building platform before investing time, resources, or money.
Which platform can I use to create a course?
When choosing the best-fit online course building platform for your training, coaching, or consulting business, remember the critical aspects discussed earlier: pain reduction and scalability.
Now, let's explore the key features to look for to ensure the platform truly aligns with your present and future business needs.
1. The learner experience
A great course experience is crucial for growing your business, retaining loyal students, and enhancing your brand image. A complicated or unappealing course will deter potential learners and returning clients.
Consider these essential factors for the learner experience:
- Ease of use: Ensure that the platform is user-friendly for both you and your students. Is it intuitive, or will your students struggle to navigate the course or access materials?
- Responsiveness: Ensure your students can access the course on various devices without glitches, whether they prefer a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
- Payment methods: Simplify the checkout experience by offering multiple payment options, such as credit cards, Stripe, PayPal, or Zelle. Check the platform's available payment methods to ensure a frictionless process.
2. Online course builder capabilities
Of course, you’ll want to be able to build a class quickly and easily. But some other considerations to make when deciding on the right course building platform are:
- Course building features: Determine if you need additional features, such as quizzes, certificates, or discussion forums for students.
- Customer support: Support is vital for the overall success of your course. Research online reviews to gauge the responsiveness of the platform's customer service and user satisfaction.
- Integrations: Maximize your online community by ensuring the platform integrates with your existing tools or platforms, such as email or social media marketing tools, websites, or CRMs. Preferably, select a platform that offers these tools for seamless integration.
3. Business essentials
The ideal online course builder will support your business's growth beyond the course launch. Consider these critical business aspects:
- Fees & Revenue Models: Evaluate the platform's pricing structure and sales percentages, as these charges can accumulate over time.
- Flexibility: Review the terms and conditions to identify any limitations or restrictions that could impact your business.
- Automation: Examine the platform's automation capabilities, such as automating self-paced content delivery, to save time and effort.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that your chosen course builder grows with your business, provides an exceptional experience for your learners, and allows you to focus on expanding your business rather than dealing with platform-related issues.
Creating & monetizing your course: A comprehensive guide
It's time to dive into creating a valuable online course that you can monetize effectively. This section will guide you through the process of designing an engaging course and implementing strategies to sell it successfully.
How to create an effective online course
Developing a valuable course demands thorough research, a solid strategy, and a way to engage learners. To create an effective online course, consider the following steps:
- Understand your audience: Identify your target audience and understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. This knowledge will help you create a course that addresses their specific challenges and provides value.
- Embrace Learner Experience Design (LxD): Focus on helping learners achieve their goals through a holistic and immersive learning experience. Conduct user testing to optimize your course structure, content, and delivery for a seamless learning journey.
- Incorporate a variety of learning methods: Utilize a blended engagement strategy by incorporating visuals (infographics, images, videos), reading content (articles, ebooks, case studies), one-on-one and group sessions, and activities (quizzes, discussions, projects) to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
- Personalize your content: Create pathways within your course to accommodate learners with varying goals, timeframes, and knowledge levels. Provide options for learners to skip or revisit sections based on their needs.
- Set learning goals & objectives: Develop a results-oriented lesson plan with clear takeaways and defined learning objectives for each module. Ensure that these goals align with your audience's needs and expectations.
- Keep learning simple & engaging: Integrate LxD principles and follow Bloom's Taxonomy to create clear, engaging, and effective learning experiences. Break down complex concepts into digestible chunks, and use relatable examples to facilitate understanding.
- Monitor progress & provide feedback: Implement mechanisms to track learners' progress and provide timely feedback to help them improve. This includes quizzes, assignments, and peer-review systems.
- Foster a supportive learning community: Encourage learners to collaborate, discuss, and share their experiences. Establish a platform for communication, such as a forum or a social media group, to enable peer-to-peer support and engagement.
- Continuously update & improve your course: Regularly revisit and update your course content to ensure it remains relevant and valuable to learners. Gather feedback from your audience and make data-driven improvements to enhance the learning experience.
Remember, building an online course is a long-term investment. The effort you put into strategizing, researching, and creating a valuable course will pay off in the long run, leading to satisfied learners and a successful online education business.
Monetizing your online course
There are several ways to monetize your online course, depending on your goals:
Lead magnet for primary products & services:
- Offer a free or low-priced course that showcases your expertise and attracts potential customers to your higher-priced offerings.
- Ensure the lead magnet provides real value to build trust and credibility with your audience.
- Use the course to grow your email list and nurture leads through targeted marketing campaigns.
Passive income stream:
- Create evergreen courses that require minimal updates and maintenance.
- Automate marketing efforts with tools like email autoresponders, social media scheduling, and ad campaigns.
- Focus on courses with broad appeal and scalable content to reach a larger audience.
Part of a membership or community:
- Offer your course as part of a subscription-based model, providing ongoing value through regular content updates and exclusive resources.
- Foster a sense of community and engagement among members by hosting webinars, live Q&A sessions, and discussion forums.
- Offer tiered membership plans with varying levels of access to cater to different budgets and needs.
Primary income stream:
- Develop comprehensive, high-quality courses with premium pricing that reflect the value provided.
- Invest in professional production, expert content, and cutting-edge learning techniques to justify the higher price point.
- Continuously update and improve your courses to maintain relevance and customer satisfaction.
These are all effective ways to grow revenue. In fact, 36% of top course creators intend to sell memberships, while another 36% said they planned to sell their coaching services.
The method you choose will impact your marketing, effort, and course development. Your overall goal will also affect your pricing strategy.
For example, a lead magnet should be free or very low-priced to attract subscribers. If you’re using the course as your primary source of income, you’ll need to price it significantly higher.
Pricing your course
How much does the average course cost?
One study that looked at over 132,000 course sales found the average price was $137, but there was a wide variation. The length and complexity will impact your overall cost.
For example, an in-depth 50-hour course delving into a complex matter, such as how to heal your inner child, will be significantly higher than a 5-hour course on how to make small talk less awkward.
Research other courses similar to yours to see how much you should charge.
Resist the temptation to price yours lower to sell more, though. It will make yours seem like it’s less valuable than your competitors. It will also make it more challenging to support your students because you’ll be forced to have so many more to reach your income goals.
Here are some tips to optimize your pricing and maximize revenue:
- Understand your target audience's willingness to pay and their perceived value of your course.
- Benchmark against similar courses in your niche to ensure competitive pricing.
- Experiment with different pricing models, such as one-time fees, installment plans, or tiered pricing with varying levels of access and support.
- Offer limited-time discounts, promotions, or bundle deals to incentivize purchases.
- Continuously analyze sales data and customer feedback to refine your pricing strategy over time.
Marketing your online course
A successful launch and ongoing marketing strategy are crucial for effectively selling your online course. To maximize your reach and generate consistent sales, plan at least an 18-month marketing strategy and consider the following tactics:
Develop a strong brand identity:
- Create a unique and recognizable brand that reflects your course's value proposition and appeals to your target audience.
- Design a professional and user-friendly website to showcase your course offerings and establish credibility.
Optimize your course landing page:
- Craft compelling sales copy that highlights the benefits and value of your course.
- Include testimonials, case studies, or success stories to build trust with potential customers.
- Implement clear calls-to-action and an easy-to-use checkout process.
Leverage social media:
- Utilize paid social media ads to target your ideal audience and drive traffic to your course.
- Share valuable content, engage with your audience, and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
- Collaborate with influencers in your industry to promote your course to their followers.
Implement affiliate programs:
- Recruit affiliates to promote your course in exchange for a commission on sales they generate.
- Provide marketing materials and resources to help affiliates effectively promote your course.
Offer early bird discounts or promotions:
- Incentivize early purchases with limited-time discounts, bonuses, or additional resources.
- Use urgency and scarcity tactics to encourage quick decision-making and boost sales.
Build & nurture an email list:
- Offer valuable lead magnets, such as free resources or mini-courses, to grow your email list.
- Implement email marketing campaigns to nurture leads, promote your course, and share valuable content.
Host webinar launches or live events:
- Offer free webinars or workshops to showcase your expertise and provide a preview of your course content.
- Use these events to answer questions, address objections, and build rapport with potential customers.
Utilize content marketing & SEO:
- Create valuable blog posts, videos, or podcasts related to your course topic to drive organic traffic and showcase your expertise.
- Optimize your website and content for search engines to improve your online visibility and attract targeted traffic.
Track & analyze marketing performance:
- Monitor the performance of your marketing efforts using analytics tools to identify what works and what doesn't.
- Continuously refine and optimize your marketing strategy based on data-driven insights.
While these are all effective strategies, social media remains a popular space for attracting students. One survey found that 58% of the top course creators use social media to find and attract customers.
Remember, your job isn't over once your course is created. Effective marketing takes your course to the next level, enabling you to reach more people and generate sales consistently.
Achieve more & struggle less with the right online course platform
Streamlined course creation
Gone are the days when creating a successful online course required expert technical skills or a large budget. Profi's intuitive and user-friendly platform empowers you and your team to effortlessly design, structure, and build high-quality, code-free courses that can scale to meet growing demands.
With Profi's integrated online course building features, you can:
- Develop engaging content tailored to your audience's needs.
- Easily organize and structure your course materials for optimal learning progression.
- Implement various multimedia elements, such as videos, quizzes, and interactive activities, to enhance the learning experience.
- Save time and resources by leveraging a platform designed to simplify the course creation process.
Transform your ideas into reality and make a lasting impact on your learners by harnessing the power of Profi's streamlined course creation tools.
Enhanced customer experience
Deliver an exceptional learning experience for your students with Profi's advanced tools designed to foster a supportive community and streamline learner management.
Foster a supportive community:
Enhance the customer experience by creating a vibrant and interactive community around your courses, which encourages collaboration, knowledge sharing, and peer support. Profi's platform enables you to:
- Organize embedded live and group sessions for real-time interaction
- Facilitate discussions and networking opportunities among learners
- Encourage peer-to-peer learning and mentorship
- Nurture a sense of belonging and motivation within the community
Efficient Learner Management:
Profi's platform helps you manage the learner's experience from end-to-end, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable learning journey. With Profi, you can:
- Centralize scheduling with a team calendar, simplifying the coordination of live sessions and group events
- Design professional course landing pages that showcase your offerings and provide essential information
- Seamlessly integrate team bookings, allowing students to easily reserve spots in classes or consultations
- Monitor progress and provide personalized feedback to learners
By combining a supportive community and efficient learner management, Profi's platform elevates the customer experience, ensuring that your online courses leave a lasting, positive impact on your students.
Expert assistance for holistic service delivery
Our dedicated product coaches provide personalized guidance to ensure your success and a holistic service delivery experience.
By booking a demo with Profi's product coaches, you can:
- Gain valuable insights into training industry best practices for course creation and optimization
- Receive tailored advice based on your unique goals, audience, and content
- Learn how to effectively leverage Profi's platform features to maximize the potential of your courses
- Access ongoing support throughout your course creation journey, from initial planning to launch and beyond
Our team is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can easily book a demo or try for free by clicking on the corresponding buttons located on the top right of this page.
With the right platform and support, you can transform lives through the power of online education. Trust Profi's expert guidance to help you create a high-quality, engaging course that empowers your students to achieve their goals.
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