Fumbling your way through the online goodie box of tools and applications is incredibly time-consuming.
You need one tool for each aspect of your online course business, so, how can you break your business down?
Your essential business tools fall into just three categories:
Course building platform
Course Building Platform
Start by listing the features you want from your learning platform:
Simple – get your courses live faster
Integrated payments – you don’t need a merchant account
Mobile responsive – that’s how people will view your course materials
Can be customized – your theme matches your branding
Community enabled – students can talk to one another
Can drip content – students keep coming back for the next segment
Custom URL – give you credibility
VAT compliance – essential for European business owners
Tool 1 – Kajabi
Your course building platform will determine the success of your business, so you cannot compromise on this.
The Kajabi course building platform has brought success to many entrepreneurs and could be what you are looking for.
Kajabi has all the essential features listed above and many more, including; no branding option, a built-in blog, upsells and affiliate program.
Once you have decided on your course platform, you can need course content. And, for that, you need outstanding visual content.
You will need an image editor so you can add watermarks or your logo to any images you post to your social accounts. You will be posting many videos, so a video editing app is essential.
Tool 2a – Canva
Canva is popular because it is free and does what it is needed superbly.
Canva has many fonts you can use to create memes to stimulate visual learners on your course. You can also post some course images share on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and followers will share them and help you reach more people. You can use your own images without charge, but even if you use Canva’s images, the costs are very low.
Tool 2b – Pablo by Buffer
If you use Buffer to control your social media posting then Buffer’s image editing app, Pablo, would be an excellent choice as your image editor
Pablo helps you add text to any image so you can create inspirational or hilarious quotes that are likely to be shared. Image editing is as simple as dragging a crop box.
Tool 3 – Animoto
Video is no longer an option. Your marketing and course must use video clips because prospective clients expect them and they help many students to grasp key concepts.
You need more than just video clips from your phone if you want people to see you as professional.
Animoto has a quick to learn interface and can give you the basics you need to look competent without the complications and options that make a program hard to grasp quickly.
Your biz needs marketing just like a grill needs charcoal. Without marketing, you have no business.
You need to master both social media marketing and real-world marketing. Your blog is your most valuable social media tool, but you need frequent and engaging posts on the channels your prospective students use.
And you need real world social skills to convert social media leads into buyers.
Tool 4 – Buffer
Social media channels are where many of your leads will come from. However, posting four times a day to three channels will consume all your free time and energy.
Buffer allows you to spend one hour a week scheduling your social posts for the week, which makes social media a tool to grow your business rather than somewhere you spend 40 hours a week instead of on activities that drive more immediate income.
Tool 5 – Toastmasters
Not everyone has the confidence to speak to large groups, or even to individuals, but these skills are an essential part of growing your business if you are to convert social media leads into customers and course buyers.
Toastmasters offers training in public speaking, and there are groups everywhere, even in sparsely populated areas. Regular meetings are run according to a strict format, and the friendly atmosphere helps you to become confident in your public speaking abilities.
The Short Version
One of the pitfalls of running an online business is the sheer number of tools you are presented with that all profess to make the difference between success and failure. This GlowingStart.com article is a good guide to general business tools that are essential.
The most important decision when you build your online course business is your learning platform. You can economize and use free or freemium software for social media and image/video editing, but Kajabi is well worth its cost as a course platform because free options such as WordPress plugins are so dysfunctional.