So you’re building an online course to sell what you know in the virtual economy. Congratulations!
But…. now what?
How will potential students find your online course? How will you market your course? How are you going to share the course with others? How will you present your content so that your students learn, and apply what you teach them?
You need a course hosting platform, but beware: not all platforms are created equal!
Before you take the leap, let’s talk about the 7 questions you need to ask when considering a course hosting platform on which to build and present your digital course!
Ways to Host Your Course
Before we get started, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with a few definitions.
Self-Hosted Course Platform
A self-hosted course platform is typically built for the specific purpose of course hosting, tracking and sales. You’ll also hear these referred to as a Learning Management System or LMS. Some platforms offer additional functionality, like emails, automation, CRM, landing pages, funnel pages, or forms.
A marketplace houses thousands of courses that consumers can locate, buy and consume. Course marketplaces typically work like e-commerce sites. A customer can find and buy the course they choose, but the experience is pretty generic.
Mastermind.com is the new way to sell what you know online. Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi have both spent decades in the self-education space. Because they’ve obsessively researched and investigated almost every other course platform, they knew what they liked… and what they didn’t. So they pooled their collective experience and built a platform with the course creator in mind… YOU!
Mastermind.com is the most complete tool on the planet for launching or scaling your own digital course, workshop, or mastermind with less complexity and the resources you need to succeed.
Before you select a course platform, ask these seven questions to save yourself a lot of frustration, heartache, and lost revenue!
7 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Course Platform
1. Do I Get My Students’ Email Addresses?
The benefit of having your own online course is to have the ability to directly interact with your students. The best value you can obtain from your course is gathering a database of students who you can not only provide the best education possible but also offer additional courses in the future. It is better to catch a client for life than to constantly have to find new clients.
With self-hosted course platforms, you’re collecting the information and the payment, so you can add new students right to your email list. This allows you to provide them more value, build their trust, and market new courses to them.
But marketplaces are land you borrow. In most cases, you DON’T have access to student contact info. In fact, on some marketplaces, you don’t have any way to contact the student at all. As a course creator, this is a huge drawback, as you lose any opportunity to bring them into your world and continue to serve them further.
At Mastermind.com, we’re marketers, so we know just how vital your email list is to your course. You have full access to your student’s contact information, including their email address, so you can communicate with them on or off the Mastermind.com platform.
2. How Will People Find My Course?
If nobody knows about your course, then nobody will benefit from it… so getting your course in front of the people who need it is essential. How do we do that? Traffic!
Organic (non-paid) traffic comes from sharing about your course on social media, with your email list, through search engines, being a guest blogger or on a podcast, etc. There are lots of ways to let people know about your course – and many of them are free!
On the other hand, paid advertising like Facebook or Google ads can be more effective and take a lot less time – but, of course, this requires you to invest in that attention.
With self-hosted course platforms, you are responsible for your own traffic. This means that you can spend as much time and money as you like trying to get people into your course. If you have marketing skills, this may be a no-brainer, but if you’re new to online marketing, it can be extremely overwhelming!
If you host your course on a marketplace, they will typically drive traffic to your course (either by driving traffic to the marketplace in general or directly to your course). Sounds great, right? Maybe, but go back to point #1. If you have no control over how people find out about your course, you’re building your business on borrowed land – not on land you own. You don’t control the traffic, so you don’t control your revenue.
On Mastermind.com, you get the best of both worlds. You have complete freedom to do whatever marketing you like for your course – paid or organic. But you also become part of the searchable, thriving Mastermind.com global directory, which we generate new customers for every single month. That’s via our marketing – not yours! Potential students – many of them course creators themselves – can discover your course and change their lives!
3. How Much Control Do I Have Over Pricing My Course?
It seems reasonable to expect to set your own price for the course that you’ve created, but that’s not always how it works.
If you use a self-hosted platform, you determine the price you want to charge for your course. $97? $497? $9997? Up to you. And if you want to run a flash sale or provide a discount code to your email subscribers? No problem! It’s your call!
But on the marketplaces, this is NOT the case. Most marketplaces have the final say in how much you charge for your course – but that’s not the worst part. Some run “sales” (without your consent or input) where they will discount your course to the price that they determine – often lowering the cost of your course to only $10-15! Not only does this feel like a punch in the gut to you the course creator – it undervalues your course, your skills, and your knowledge! The long-lasting effects of this perception can hurt your business and your mindset.
On Mastermind.com, we believe that you know your audience, your content, and your industry best, so you have complete control over your course pricing. In fact, if you look in our global directory, you’ll see a wide range of prices determined by the course creators themselves. If you’d like to run a special or a coupon code, make a few simple changes and you’ll be ready to go!
4. How Much Of a Cut Will the Platform Take?
They say that nobody gets a free lunch, and for the most part, nobody gets a free course hosting platform, either.
Self-hosted platforms typically charge a monthly fee of $97 to $397 or higher, depending on their pricing plans (platforms that are “all-in-one” often charge by the number of contacts you have, so that as your student list grows, your monthly platform costs increase, too). But in general, these platforms don’t take a royalty or percentage of your sales.
Marketplaces, however, are a different story. They typically don’t charge a monthly fee, but they may take up to 50-75% of your course sales as a royalty. Yes, you read that right: 50-75%! So not only do they get to determine the pricing and discounts to your course – they can take 50-75% of your revenue right off the top!
Mastermind.com charges a monthly fee starting at just $47. And we do NOT charge a royalty! We’re here to support and encourage course creators. You did the work – you deserve the reward!
Do the Math: An Example
Course Price: $100
Course Sales: 100
On a self-hosted platform, you’ll get about $97 of that because you’ll have to pay credit card processing fees (usually around 2.5%). You would also need to factor in the price of the platform you’re using. Self-hosted platforms can cost anywhere from $97 to $397 per month, so $1-4 of each sale goes to cover your platform subscription fee. So by selling 100 courses at $100 each, you’ll net around $9300-9600.
Many marketplaces take 50-75% of the course cost as royalty… so right off the top, you only get $50 (or less!) for each course sale. But also consider that marketplaces have complete control over when they discount your course as well… and many of them will discount courses to $10-15, no matter what the starting price! So they could discount your $100 course to $10 and then take 75% of that in royalties, leaving you with just $2.50! So of the $10,000 worth of courses you sold, you’ll only see about $2500.
With Mastermind.com, you can pay a flat monthly platform fee of $47, but you do NOT pay royalty on your course sales. You do still pay the 2.5% processing fee, so for each course you sell, you’ll take home about $97 of every course sold. Sell 100 courses, and you’re looking at a $9653 payday.
It’s important to note here what we talked about in question #2 – Who is paying for traffic? Marketplaces may pay for traffic, but they’ll have to generate a TON of traffic to your course to make up the difference they take in royalties. On a self-hosted platform, you’re responsible for all the traffic, which means how many courses you sell is directly related to how much money or time you put into your marketing. If you spend $1000 or more a month on ads, that drops your net profit on each course pretty significantly.
On Mastermind.com, you can pay for traffic if you wish, but we’re also creating thousands of new leads for the platform every single month, bringing fresh traffic to the platform… people who could be looking for your solution to their problem.
5. Does the platform provide any kind of marketing focus?
Most self-hosted course platforms are built by software programmers – they do the job, but they are not built with marketing in mind. Programmers don’t understand direct marketing strategies or best practices, so they don’t build marketing elements into their websites, landing pages, or course areas.
The same goes for the marketplaces – their primary goal is to sell, not to market. They don’t understand how to help you leverage direct marketing to grow your online courses – so they haven’t built it into their platforms.
Mastermind.com, however, has a very clear direct marketing focus. After all, it was built by Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi, two of the legends of direct marketing! They know first-hand how essential marketing is to the overall success of a course. So the platform was built with marketing in mind.
6. What Kind of Support and Training Will I Get?
We’ve heard from thousands of people that the tech is what trips them up every time they try to launch, so support needs to be a big consideration when you select a platform.
Any self-hosted course platform worth its salt will have a basic tech support package at any pricing tier – email support, helpdesk, chat support, or maybe a Facebook group. But in general, you’re doing the legwork in getting your course set up.
The marketplaces are typically so limited in functionality and customization that there’s not a lot to get confused about, but they do have basic support available.
We took that feedback to heart when we built Mastermind.com – we designed it to be simple, clean, and confusion-free so you can focus on what you’re already good at and get up and running in record time without the complexity.
But to be truly successful in the virtual economy, you need more than just software.
You need the tools and knowledge that have been proven to help take your course idea to reality, and we’ll help you dial those in early with a 14-day Fast Start Training so your launch goes as planned (or even better!).
At Mastermind.com, we match your passion by investing in you with ongoing help and support, weekly training, and an amazing private Facebook community to maximize your confidence, connection, reach, and success. We don’t just teach you how to host a course – we teach you how to be successful as a course creator.
7. Does this platform provide training directly from Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi?
Okay, maybe this is a trick question. But if you’ve been in Tony and Dean’s world for any length of time, you know that 80% of your success in any area of your life is directly related to your mindset. When you join Mastermind.com, you receive mentorship and training from Tony, Dean, and their entire team to help you overcome your obstacles, get out of your head, and build the mindset to make this real in your life.
Plus, as instructors, you get to learn from Tony and Dean, two of the most impactful servant leaders in the industry. They KNOW how to attract a digital crowd. They KNOW how to make an impact. And they KNOW how transforming your knowledge and experience into an online course can absolutely change your life…and the lives of generations to come.
Mastermind.com Exists To Make You Successful
At Mastermind.com, our primary goal is to help you to be successful – not just with a single course but with your digital course business. We know that you have skills, knowledge, and experience that will provide immense value and impact to people who are struggling. That’s why we created this platform that will empower you to capture what you know and deliver it to the right people at the right time.
Mastermind.com gives you the platform, strategies, support, and training you need to generate success and impact with simple technology that you CAN master.
Are you ready to get started? The world is waiting, and we’re behind you the whole way!