You’ve read the latest online business insights and–lightbulb moment!–you realize you can scale your business with a course! You’ve got the experience. You’ve built the audience. It’s time.
But now that you’ve decided to bring your expertise to the booming online course industry, how do you choose a course platform? Good news: that’s where brand iD can help! Read to find out more about why we love
LifterLMS and how it compares to other leading course builders like Kajabi, Thinkific, and Teachable.
Maybe you just have the initial spark of inspiration for your first course rumbling in your head, or maybe you’ve already got the content completely developed and polished. Wherever you are in your creation process, you know one thing for sure: developing courses is at least one component (if not the sole component) of how you want to grow your business.
You’re not alone.
Why online courses?
Global Market Insights, a market research and strategy consulting firm, projects that the e-learning market will exceed $200 billion by 2024 (yep, that’s a “B”).
Translation: everyone and their brother is buying online courses these days, and it doesn’t look like they’ll stop anytime soon… if ever.
Why? Because online courses are convenient, they’re (often) cheaper than traditional classes, and the options at your fingertips of things to learn are absolutely endless. (Want to learn how to communicate with your pet telepathically? There’s a course for that!)
All of this is great news for you, course creator.
But before you pop the champagne and start launching new digital courses at lightning speed, there’s one important thing you should know.
Online course buyers are more sophisticated than ever
Consumers have grown with the industry. They’ve become sophisticated and opinionated about how they like their courses as well as the experience they expect to have while going through one.
The days of putting up with wonky tech issues are done. The days of listening to a course creator drone on in monotone? Over. The days of investing money in a course that yields no real results are—poof!—gone.
Course takers have bigger needs and much higher expectations now. They want a personalized experience inside a course, they want high-quality presentation, they want rich discussion and community, and they want significant ROI.
And with so much competition in the online course space, they can get all of that and more—all they have to do is shop around.
So, how can you make sure they get what they need from you?
Hands down, the best place to start is with your course platform.
Now, hang on…don’t get all nervous. We know your zone of genius is in your content, your speciality, your subject area—not in your ability to pick course platforms. That’s ok!
We also know this: nothing kills the buzz of having your new course all polished up and ready to share faster than sitting down to research platforms. #beentheredonethatNothing kills the buzz of having your new course all polished up and ready to share faster than researching platforms. #beentheredonethat Find out why you should use LifterLMS to build your online course: Click To Tweet
How to choose the best platform for your online course
The process goes a little something like this:
Step 1: You check out Kajabi. It sounds pretty good—maybe this will work?
Step 2: You look into Thinkific. You begin to wonder if this might work even better than Kajabi. Or maybe it’ll be worse? Who knows…
Step 3: You poke around Teachable. The features look similar to the other two, and the benefits all start to swirl together. Oh no, overwhelm is setting in.
Step 4: You ask some of your friends and colleagues for recommendations. They each give you a different platform to research, and the more you learn, you realize you don’t have the foggiest clue which platform you like, need, or want. Eventually you’re so frustrated you don’t even care.
But here’s the thing: you have to care. Your course takers’ experience depends on it. You’re about to create a business on the web and you definitely want to get the foundation right from the get-go.
How LifterLMS compares to the big guys like Kajabi, Teachable, and Thinkific
And finally, you find LifterLMS (Learning Management System), one of WordPress’s most popular LMS plugins. You take a deep breath and dive into the details of yet another course platform.
This time, though, the lightbulb moments start popping. You realize a few keys things:
LifterLMS isn’t another hosted course builder platform–it’s all yours
Unlike Kajabi, Thinkific, and Teachable, LifterLMS isn’t a hosted platform—it’s yours. You control it and have ownership over it. That means you have way more freedom to customize the look and feel of your course than you would with a hosted option.
If you want to build a unique brand around your course or incorporate your already established branding, you can. The power of design is in your hands.
There are no limits to your functionality. You’re able to add your own tools, pick and choose your plugins, and link into other systems you already use to create a course platform that functions exactly as you need it to.
Hmmm, you think. I like being in control.
Next, you start learning about Lifter’s security. Here’s where you discover that WP Engine is rock solid. There are backup and restore measures in place if things were ever to go wrong. You’ll even have the ability to create and reinforce stronger passwords should you want to.
Drip content delivery
Next, you check into drip content. Lifter has that, too! You can drip content on specific dates and times or according to specific events, like when a new student signs up or completes a particular part of your process.
LifterLMS allows you to deliver drip content from your website or from your email platform. You can even pre-sell courses!
You exhale—the boxes are starting to get checked. Finally. Oh, and there are still plenty more great features for you to discover!
Email, e-commerce, and CRM integration
LifterLMS has its own email system. Whether you want to send transactional emails–like customer receipts–or entire email campaigns, they’ve got you covered.
Speaking of email, Lifter integrates with popular platforms like MailChimp and ConvertKit right out of the box, but there’s also a third-party tool called WP Fusion that connects your LMS to approximately 50 different CRMs, all with the ability to tag your course takers based on what actions they take.
You can even provide or restrict access to certain portions of content or offers based on a course taker’s user status.
Lifter’s e-commerce system can accommodate whatever pricing models you’d like: one-time payment, monthly payment, or course price plus monthly coaching. The possibilities are endless.
Wow, you think. This is getting me excited again. This actually sounds like it could be a seamless experience for me.
Yep, it totally can.
And then you discover something even more exciting: in addition to having everything you need when it comes to drip content, email, e-commerce, and CRM integration, LifterLMS also offers the features that make your course-taking experience seamless for your students.
Community building meets Social Learning
The most important aspect of any course experience? Community building.
LifterLMS has you covered with forums your course takers can access based on their enrollment status, as well as conversations to be had beneath the module content you provide.
But better still, there’s a feature called Social Learning, an add-on that creates a Facebook-like experience on your website where members can create profiles, add themselves to a member directory, and communicate with other course takers through their “social timeline” wall.
There’s also an add-on that serves as a “private area,” where your users can communicate with you, their instructor, one-on-one to receive private coaching or mentoring.
Create your online course on the only platform that gives you full control
With all of these features bouncing around in your head, you quickly realize one thing: LifterLMS is a platform for your course that offers everything you need for long-term growth.
And you know that in order to grow your business with courses, you need to create a customer experience that is effortless, professional, and integrated. The only way you can truly do that is through flexibility and control.
LifterLMS is one of the only course platforms out there that gives you that flexibility and control in spades.
“Lifter can flex like no other platform can,” says LifterLMS CEO Chris Badgett. “There’s so much that’s possible with Lifter—the only question is what kind of experience do you want to create?”
You relax now, confident that you’ve found your platform. Then, you realize one last thing…
The sky’s the limit.
It’s an adage you’ve always applied to your clients and course takers, but—now—it applies to you, the course maker, too.
Have you recently created and launched an online course? If so, which online course platform features were most important to you? Share with us in the comments below!