Everyday we work with entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses by selling their subject matter expertise in niche markets.
How Do They Do It?
Knowing that people will buy your training is one thing but getting your content created, online and for sale with payment processing, delivery and tracking can overwhelm even experienced eLearning providers. This article will outline the basic process for you.
Off the Shelf or Roll Your Own?
When considering online learning, people normally think of the content: the video presentation; course slides; documents and other information that make up the courses you plan to offer. But beyond that you’ll need a system to market the content, collect payment, access the content and run utilization reports - i.e. the learning management system.
Over the years we've seen all kinds of legacy systems. Often a company will start with a basic content delivery system and have their IT department add some tracking, build custom reports and then try to connect a third party eCommerce system. This inevitably results in a system that is rigid and can’t grow with your business. Eventually you’ll need to redo all of your content when faced with the next wave of technology, such as mobile requirements. More often clients come to us because their old LMS had not kept up with technology or became too expensive as their business grew.
The good news is that there are vendors who have solutions that are ready for your courseware, extensible and forward looking. Solutions such as Accord LMS can also provide an ecosystem to organize your content, sell it to your customers, include a community and gamification if desired and track your activity.
Great, but is it Affordable?
Since you are going to generate revenue with your content, maybe even as your primary stream of income, you need to pay close attention to costs. This is where learning management systems are all over the board. Accord has built its reputation as the price performance leader in the LMS industry.
Our commitment is to provide you the best system at the lowest cost. And we allow you to grow with us as your business grows. You can start with a license limit as low as 200 users and add users incrementally as your business takes off. Some of our enterprise clients have over 200,000 users. This means you can get your training business up and running with a modest capital investment and be well positioned for whatever the future may bring.
Can I Brand It?
Yes, with Accord, you have many ways to make the site your own:
- Privately brand your site and use your own URL
- Select your logo and graphics
- Set the color scheme and branding
- Add pages and customize the site layout
- Add HTML content and organize the content on any page
- Tailor the home page to your target audience
Where do I Get Content?
Most clients have unique institutional knowledge or unique subject matter that is marketable. This requires that they create their own learning content. Thankfully the technology for creating content has gotten easier and more robust year after year. Features include PowerPoint conversion, voice over and point and click quiz makers.
It is crucial that your thoroughly review the eLearning authoring tools available. These tools should publish content to standards such as SCORM and HTML5. Accord LMS offers seamless integration with many best of class authoring tools, such as iSpring Suite or Lectora Inspire, that will produce content that can run on any LMS and faithfully render on PC, iPad or mobile device.
Be cautious about LMS that offer proprietary ‘built in’ authoring tools. Any content built with proprietary tools have limited functionality and cannot be moved to another LMS if you decide to change horses down the road. What seemed like a good idea at first can later tie your hands if the vendor falls behind the technology curve. All of the quizzes, surveys and courses you built will need to be redone.
Once you have authored your courses, assembled your videos and other assets, it’s time to load them into the LMS and open shop. Accord LMS provides everything you need to build a successful online training business.
- Custom learner registration forms
- Any number of course assignments depending on the user or what they purchased
- Present and launch SCORM, video or any other type of digital asset
- Reporting on quizzes and survey responses from learners
- Extended enterprise support for your customers who may want separate portals for different learning groups such as distributors or channel partners
- Robust storefront technology to organize e-learning products
- Support for over 30 credit card processing systems
- Unlimited variants, vendor discounts, coupons, real time shipping calculations
- One time and Subscription purchases
- Learning access, digital assets (such as PDFs) and physical product sales (such as books)
- Full branding
- Flexible site layout
To see how the Accord LMS can help you turn your domain expertise into a revenue stream please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a personal demonstration.