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As businesses look to diversify their revenue streams, many are considering selling online courses and training materials. We spoke with Chris Badgett, the Co-Founder and CEO of LifterLMS, a learning management system for WordPress websites. We spoke with Chris about how businesses in Chester County can begin to sell their knowledge and expertise online.
- LMScast podcast: https://podcast.lifterlms.com/
- LifterLMS website: https://lifterlms.com/
- Facebook Group for Course Creators: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifterlmsvip/
- Chris Badgett on Twitter @ChrisBadgett
- Building Revenue Streams with Don Reid, Jr.
What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?
- Three primary buckets of LMS users:
- Expert industry;
- Traditional schools; and
- Companies and their training portals
- Imposter syndrome is real, but it is a addressable challenge
- Businesses can use a LMS to educate prospects about the industry or current customers about products or services
- An LMS can be very flexible
Pivot to Digital Case Study: Balloon Artist Training
- Ziv Raviv, owner of Kivi Media, took a love of balloon art and earned over $200,000 in a year serving a tiny niche, teaching customers balloon art
What goes into creating an online course?
- A COVID-19 idea: restaurant owners could teach customers to cook their signature dishes at home
- The training could cover putting together a shopping list and actually preparing the entire meal
- Simple is better for getting started
- Microsoft PowerPoint allows for recording screencasts and Zoom can be used to record talking-head videos; even entire courses can be recorded on a phone, but get a tripod or self-stick
- Get the fundamentals of online training right:
- Focus on a clear customer
- Address a very specific problem
- Aim for a clear result or resolution
- Follow a clear mechanism or method (“the secret sauce”)
Teachers and Schools
- Teachers are learning to flip the classroom using tools like Zoom and LMS
- Training videos are recorded in advance, where online video calls become more like coaching or Q&A sessions
Get in the Beginner’s Mindset
- Training is easier to produce when it’s super focused – don’t try to boil the ocean
- Be sure to keep the customer in mind – get back to a beginner’s mindset
What does an online course or training look like?
- Different course frameworks:
- Learn a process – e.g., learn a recipe
- Behavior change – getting in shape, adjusting diet, etc.
- Case Study – learn by deconstructing what others have done
- Resource Course – create a library of very useful tools and materials
- Hybrid – mixing the other four frameworks
Focus on the Customer
- Make everything about the customer, and not about money
- Put the customer first: focus on the customer’s success and profits will flow in due course
- Offer support for customers: provide weekly Zoom calls, create an online communities (i.e., a Facebook group)
- Coaching at a group or individual level can deliver more value for those customers, and provide additional revenue for the business
- Consider the 1,000 True Fans approach
- Read: Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
What is technically involved with adding an LMS to a website?
- Along with LifterLMS, there are a number of LMS plugins for WordPress
- WP Engine offers a hosted LMS on WordPress as a package service