It is no longer necessary to attend the classrooms in person. Now classrooms enter our homes to help us acquire the skills, knowledge and skills we need to perform professionally. And offering training on the Internet is a business model to which more and more entrepreneurs and companies are joining.
However, if we put ourselves on the side of the creator, we will find a long list of tasks to be done before the students can enjoy their training; create the course syllabus, create materials in different formats, record videos, set up the virtual campus, sales, student onboarding …
All are important, along with a good automated marketing strategy, but one of the questions that usually raises the most doubts is which online training platform to choose.
The offer is so wide that it sometimes causes confusion. So let’s see which are the most recommended and what brings us the greatest benefit according to our project … an own or external platform?
Online training platform: Own or external?
This is the first question you will ask yourself if you are thinking of selling your courses through an online training platform, or you are going to launch a digital educational project.
Without a doubt, it is an important decision, as it requires a lot of time to become familiar with the platform, upload the material, configure it … It is not something that you should be constantly changing.
Also, keep in mind that the user experience of your students will depend on it. With which, you not only have to look for the one that gives you the most advantages, but also the one that can be easier and more attractive to your students.
➽ External training platform: Pros and cons
One of the options available and, a priori, easier, is to choose an external online training platform. Well, we are avoiding all the programming part and advanced adjustments of it, as well as having to solve any technical failure that exists.
But let’s dive deeper into its advantages:
- They do not require advanced technical knowledge. If you don’t get along with technology, or you don’t know how to create an online training platform, these tools are perfect. They have support and simple tutorials that you can follow to set up your formations.
- They are suitable for all pockets. You will avoid having to invest in programming and development. And you will only pay a commission for each sale made.
- They have 24 × 7 support. We have already discussed it. In the event of any incident, you will have at your disposal a support team ready to help you.
- They include automated metrics and reports. You will have access to a dashboard where you can analyze your results and the behavior of your students at a glance.
- They are easy to integrate with other tools. For example, email marketing platforms or affiliate systems.
So far it seems a good alternative, but it also has its cons. And you must know them before making a decision:
- High commissions. We have mentioned before that the only payment that you will have to make if you bet on an external online training platform is the commission per sale. This is sometimes quite high and reaches a significant percentage of your income.
- They can make use of your customer list. These platforms can sell other products to your list of students, because that is what their contract establishes.
- Lost of control. If the platform were to be attacked or disappeared, you would lose all created content, student comments, student data list, and other sensitive material and information that depends on them.
- Less flexibility. In case you want to customize your online training platform, with external ones you should stick to their possibilities.
- Exclusiveness. Some platforms force you to accept a contract clause that says that you can only sell your content on them, not outside of them. They ask for exclusivity.
➽ Why have your own training platform
Despite the pros of selling courses through external platforms, if you think about this business model in the long term and in a scalable way, perhaps the most interesting thing is to create your own online training platform without depending on third parties.
Reasons? Let’s see them:
- Maximum customization capacity. If you have in mind to create an online academy, you will need your own online training platform. This way you can differentiate yourself from the rest and have control of the user experience, as well as improvements that help you enhance their satisfaction.
- You have absolute control. You control and manage everything without third-party companies being able to make use of your data and customer lists.
- Commission free. The truth is that you will need a payment gateway and it will charge a commission for each transaction, but they are quite far from the high percentages of an external training platform.
- Everything on the same platform. If, in addition to sharing the materials, you want to offer live classes, support, communications via email … you can do everything from the same platform without problem. You choose how far you want to go.
Best online training platforms
Whether you are going to choose an external tool or another of your own to bring your digital educational project to life, here are some of the best online training platforms that could help you.
- Sensei. It is one of the WordPress plugins that allows you to create your own online training platform in this CMS. It is one of the most used and recommended.
- Learndash. It is also a plugin for WordPress, although it has less functionality than the previous one.
- Thinkific. In this case, it is software that allows you to create a training academy outside of your website. It includes all the tools you need and is very easy and intuitive.
- Hotmart. It is the most popular among external online training platforms. It offers great service and support and is a very powerful tool.
- Udemy. If you are looking for a platform that, in addition to allowing you to upload your courses, makes them reach your audience, this could be your solution. But beware, it will not only promote yours, but also that of your competitors.
- Crehana. It is focused on training for creative professionals. It has more and more followers and is positioning itself as a benchmark platform in this sector.
Ready to make a decision? Shuffle all the possibilities out there and think about your goals. The conjunction of both will tell you which is your best option.