Why I Sell Courses Through Teachable
My Teachable affiliate link is used throughout this post. I joined their affiliate program because I love the Teachable platform and can't recommend it enough. I think you may just love it too!
I started my business because I wanted to control my own destiny. I was desperately craving more freedom and flexibility, and I dreamed of how working for myself could set me up for that special someday when we decided to expand our little family.
Owning my business is an amazing thing. I get to decide how and where and when I work. I get to be picky with my clients so we're the right fit for one another, and best of all I get to choose the direction my business takes. This also means forging new business ventures when it feels right.
Only So Many Hours
Shortly after starting my business, I realized there was one resource I had taken for granted—my time. When you run a business by yourself, everything rests on your shoulders. My focus has always been on building a balanced business for myself with a “work to live” focus and not the other way around. However, there are only so many hours in a day.
With my business focused on one-on-one consulting services, there were only so many projects I could take on, only so many people I could help, and honestly only so much money I could make. This was a definite riddle as I pondered how I could build my business around working less, helping more people at once, and also creating more income for myself.
The answer? Passive income.
Putting the Passive in My Income
Like so many designers, I'd always thought the idea of owning a little stationery or luxury goods shop was dreamy but the idea of endless shipping and fulfillment always stopped me short. Then I began to notice some of my design peers teaching online courses and selling digital products.
With digital products, there was no actual physical thing to ship. I could create something helpful, people would buy it, and it would be delivered instantly without any additional effort from me. Creating premium digital products that could potentially help an unlimited number of people? Now that is a dreamy idea.
The magic of digital products is they're easy to deliver and have the potential to help an unlimited number of people.
Note: A common misconception with passive income is that you can set it and forget it, and that somehow big piles of money magically come rolling in. Far from the case, passive income definitely has its own unique challenges and a lot of effort goes into building high quality, smart digital products. That said, once you create something people want and are able to get it in front of them in a non-obnoxious way, the potential is really amazing.
Choosing My Online Course Platform
I've always been really lit up by helping and guiding others, so online courses was a natural direction for me when it came to building my first passive revenue stream. I had ideas on what I might teach, but knew a big question mark was where I'd sell my courses.
I knew some people hosted courses through their own websites—but those people were mostly developers or people that had hired a developer to build all that functionality into their site. I wanted to get my online school up and running quickly without all that hassle. Luckily, Teachable showed up just when I needed it.
A course creator I admired shared that she used the platform, and although I was seduced into signing up for an account a bit prematurely with a tempting course bundle and artificial urgency, I'm so glad I signed up and adore the Teachable platform for so many reasons.
1. My Own School
While Teachable removes the headache of hosting courses on my own website, I love that it allows me to create my own school. Other online course platforms like Skillshare are formatted as more of a course marketplace, which encourages students to shop around and can easily lead them away from your content.
I compare this to selling things on Etsy versus having your own online store—it can be a great start but your goods are surrounded by other shops and distractions. With Teachable I love that when potential students browse my courses, I know I have their full attention.
2. Easy Set Up
Teachable allowed me to get up and running with a professional-looking online school in no time at all—once I had my course lessons and content ready that is..
As you might expect, creating the actual course content is the hardest and most time consuming part. But once you have that content ready, Teachable makes it a breeze to get it all uploaded and ready for sharing.
3. Nice interface
As a brand designer, looks and brand experience are really important to me. After trying out Teachable, I loved the user interface and found it to be a nice experience from both a user and admin perspective—win win!
4. Highly Customizable
Having obnoxiously designer standards, I loved that Teachable also allows me to add additional code to make my school even more custom and to ensure it feels cohesive with my brand. I love incorporating subtle details and surprise delighters, and my online school is no exception.
5. Secure Content
With Teachable, I also know my content is secure and that only students who have purchased my courses can access them.
6. Payment Plans + Coupons
Teachable allows me to decide how my students will pay for my digital products—with a one time payment, payment plan spread across multiple months, or even a recurring subscription plan. I love offering both the one-time and payment plan options to give my students a bit of extra flexibility so they can choose what works best for them.
Not only can I easily create coupons within my Teachable account, I can choose what courses and payment plans they apply to and even have them automatically expire at a specific time. This allows me to orchestrate some special incentives for my students without much effort at all.
7. Affiliate program
For me, selling my products is a challenge since I don't enjoy being pushy or salesy. I don't like spammy ads and I only want people to purchase my products if it feels right for them.
That said, I'm still a business owner with something to sell and I truly believe my products will help people. So I do the best I can to spread the word and make every launch as much fun as I can. But I wanted to supplement my own “sales” efforts, and I love that Teachable has the option of adding affiliates to my school to do just that.
Not only can my students speak from experience about my products while sharing the love, but they can also use a custom affiliate link generator to point directly to my sales pages and exterior site they want. These external links could be a blog post, special incentive, or even one of my free Crowdcast lessons.
Meanwhile, I can quickly make any user an affiliate, set their commission rate, and choose what courses it applies to. Just like magic!
8. The Analytics
Teachable has easy to access (and understand) analytics, so I can see how my students are progressing on course content and also where they might be getting hung up.
Teachable also allows me to bundle my courses—a feature I find really fun and exciting. This allows me to bundle my courses together as well as combining them with the courses of other instructors on Teachable too. This way if I want to offer a special promotion where people can buy multiple courses at once or team up with another instructor whose class complements my own, I can easily do just that.
Lastly, I love that Teachable has been simple for me as I get my feet wet selling online courses and products. However, the platform also has so many features and advantages that I'm excited to take advantage of as my passive income game grows. With things like the ability to add more instructors to my school, I love the scalability and can't wait to see how my offerings grow.
Worth the Investment
Now Teachable is definitely a higher price than other online course alternatives, but I believe the features and platform are worth the investment and allow me to create a more premium course experience (which in turn allows me to charge more).
Admittedly, I've heard great things about Teachery and know course creators who love it, but Teachable has been the right fit for me. After reviewing your options, I'm sure you'll find which option is the right choice for you too.
I can't say I knew my business would take this direction when I started, but the more I lean towards education the more fulfillment I've found. The magic of digital products is they're easy to deliver and have the potential to help an unlimited number of people.
Getting your products in front of the right people is another challenge altogether, but choosing the right online platform to sell your courses and products is definitely an important step in the right direction.
PS - My Brand Guidelines Template recently launched, and I'm so excited to see it help my fellow brand designers save time and headaches while better serving their clients. If you're interested, check it out!
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