Yesterday we talked about the 5 most important questions to ask yourself when trying to decide if you should publish your course on a 3rd party platform or on your own.
You can read yesterday’s post here.
Now that you have answered these key questions you can make the first key decision in your course technology.
If you are not very comfortable with technology, don’t have the funds to hire someone to manage your tech, don’t have the other systems that are needed and/or are comfortable having your content hosted by someone else then a 3rd party platform might be right for you.
There are a lot of advantages to going with a platform that is designed fully with courses in mind.
Some of those advantages are:
- They require little, if any, technical skill
- They are often quick to launch due to their user friendly interface
- The layout of courses, lessons and topics is pretty much done for you, leaving just the content loading to you
- The visual set up of the pages is already one so everything looks great from the get go
There are, of course, a few cons as well:
- Most are pricier than self hosted options
- There is a bit less flexibility and customization possible with 3rd party providers
- There are fewer integrations available
- You may own your material, but if you ever cancel your account you will lose access and not everything may be exportable
Ok, so now that you know that, it’s time to choose a platform.
There are a lot to look at, many are similar, but each have their own quirks and features. One thing that can be helpful that we encourage all of our clients to do before choosing any tech platform is to get uber clear on your goals.
That way you are choosing a platform that works for you rather than fitting your course to the platform.
Knowing that, here are the 6 questions that are most important to ask so you can select the best platform for you.
*Note: Please notice I didn’t say “right” platform. That’s because there really is no “right” or “wrong” when making this choice. All of them are great and will allow you to launch your course. You are just going to decide which platform is “best” for your needs.
- How many courses will you eventually be offering?
- How many students would you like to have?
- Will you offer 1:1 coaching along with any of your courses?
- Does having mobile apps matter to you and, most importantly, your students?
- Do you want your course platform to replace your website and/or your email automation software?
- What can you afford on a monthly basis for your course platform?
Once you have the answers to these questions you can begin your research. By being clear on your goals you can look objectively at what each provider offers and choose the best option for your goals.
While looking, I also encourage you to ask these questions:
- What percentage do you take from each sale?
- Do you offer a free trial so I can get familiar with the platform?
- What is your refund policy?
- What kind of support do you offer?
- Do you have implementation support you can provide if I get stuck?
By covering these questions during your search you will be able to make fully informed decisions about what will work best for you, both now and in 6 or 12 months.
It is worth taking your time to do the research here because, while we believe that all choices can be changed, it is a bit of a pain in the...neck to rebuild a course once it’s already been launched and you have students enrolled.
It’s what makes this decision so ominous.
Once you build your course online it is inconvenient, to say the least, to move to a different platform.
This is not to say it’s impossible.
It’s not. We’ve done it.
Our team has moved courses and students from one platform to another, so it is possible. I don’t want you to take this to mean that this is the most crucial decision of your business.
It is not meant to terrify you into inaction.
It is simply meant to remind you to do your research before making a decision.
And the questions above, the things to consider will help you make the most informed decision you can.
If you need any help deciding on a platform or would like to run your plan by someone, you can book a 15 minute laser strategy call with someone from our team at no cost to you. In 15 minutes we will help you get uber clear on your goals and choose the platform that will work best for your goals.
Book your laser strategy call here.
And tune in tomorrow for a look at how self hosted courses are different, and how to choose among the choices in that arena.