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As a small business owner, you might want to create an online course at some point and that’s great. There are SO many strategies and information out there about creating online courses. This post will hopefully help you find a good platform for yours!
I did things backward with my small business. I jumped straight into building a course BEFORE growing my email list, building trust with my audience, and networking with other business owners.
I learned so many lessons and if I could do it over again I would choose a course topic that is related to what I want to do instead of what I am good at. Because as we know, because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that you should do it.
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I signed up with Teachable when I started creating courses based off of what a few other online course creators were using. It was easy to use and if I couldn’t find how to do something I could search online and thankfully someone else had a post or video about it.
When I did my first-course launch I was so happy that I hit my financial goal BUT then I realized that since I was on the FREE plan, I had to wait 30 DAYS to get paid.
I signed up for the next level plan and made sure that wouldn’t happen next time. Even though I had all of these features that I didn’t really know how to use, I stayed with Teachable because it was what I learned on.
I created a few courses on Teachable, both free and paid. When I would reach out to support when I got stuck or couldn’t find a google search on something, I would send an email to support. Then I would hear crickets or receive an automated message but no reply from a real person.
This just felt icky to me and I was paying almost $1k a year for this software I knew there had to be something more. I started to look for other options.
I signed up for a free trial and told myself that I had to make a decision before my teachable account renewed to decide if I would switch. This gave me a WHOLE month to dive deep and see if I wanted to make the switch.
After testing out Thinkific and seeing that even if you are on the FREE trial you will receive instant access to your funds!! I was sold!
Remember, every piece of software comes with a learning curve. When I reached out to support at Thinkific for a specific problem, a REAL person responded back to me instantly. I even received a phone call to talk things through.
As an online business owner, you know how difficult it can be to speak to a real person these days, so this was a plus!
Here are Seven reasons why I switched from Teachable to thinkific:
1. Great Customer Service
The customer service at Thinkific is one of the main reasons that I made the switch, being able to speak to a real person is so important to me.
I had Teachable for a little over a year and not once was I able to speak to someone for support. I was always referred to a web page and felt like I was pulling teeth to get an answer. I also have a friend who was told that since she wasn’t on a higher plan they were unable to help her. How rude, right?
“Every single member of our team takes a turn in customer support every week, from the CEO to our newest member.” – Thinkific
2. A video library to upload videos to
Previously with teachable, I had to host my videos somewhere else (I used Vimeo) which added another expense.
With Thinkific, I am able to add videos to a video library and easily add them into my courses or membership.
Here’s what this looks like:
3. Hidden courses
I am able to create hidden courses for clients so they can have one place for our documents/files. This is so much better instead of emailing back and forth or searching for emails. (Hidden courses can technically take place on teachable but it’s more of a hack, not a feature. Here’s how to hide your course on teachable.)
4. Ability to create a membership site
I recently created my new membership site, The Action Taker Haven and love that I can use Thinkific for this.
Here is the post that helped me set up a membership site on Thinkific:
5. Beautiful Course Design
Thinkific’s new site builder allows you to create beautiful, clean, and easy-to-use courses and landing pages.
When I transitioned from the previous theme builder to the current one this was the post that helped me do so easily.
6. The Affiliate Program
I was an affiliate with Teachable for about two years and I was not impressed. Teachable’s affiliate program is one of those where you sign up but there wasn’t much guidance, imagery, etc. Just a link and login info.
When I requested to be an affiliate with Thinkific, they reached out to me to have a phone call with their affiliate manager.
After discussing how much I loved their product and how user-friendly it was, I was set up as a partner and offered some pretty sweet incentives.
They also set up my own landing page where I can send people to sign up with their accounts.
This is HUGE and makes me even happier to tell my audience why they should use Thinkific too.
Just to be clear, I only reach out to companies that I believe in and trust. After using Thinkific for a month, I knew that this was a company that I wanted to share with you and my audience.
I highly recommend that you only sign up to be an affiliate for software and programs that you have personally used yourself and love!
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7. The Facebook Group
Thinkific’s Facebook group is a great community to be in. Anytime you have a question- you can jump into the group, search for an answer or ask a question. Thinkific’s team is very active inside the Facebook group. This makes things easier than googling how to do something with their software.
Note: If there’s a piece of software that you use or what to use, join their Facebook groups for more information. Here are a few other Facebook communities that I enjoy from the software that I use:
For what it’s worth, I didn’t write this post to bash on Teachable. Teachable was a good fit for me when I first started creating courses. As my business grew Thinkific’s features offered me more of what I was looking for. Plus, I love Thinkific’s brand and its vision.
There are a LOT of features that I didn’t mention in this post from Thinkific that I also enjoy. You can find the complete Thinkific feature list here.
Thank you so much for reading, if you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you shared it!
If you’re looking for more in-depth articles on Teachable vs Thinkific definitely check these out:
As of June 2019 I have switched from Thinkific to podia. Podia allows me to have all of my products, courses, and membership can be in one place. It’s super easy to use, the user interface is gorgeous and they don’t have any transaction fees!
So far, I’m loving the switch and highly suggest podia to patreon.
Update 2021: I tried out Thinkific and then podia and now I’m using shopify for my online course programs because that is what has worked best for me! Read Why I switched to podia from thinkific.