Using an LMS to grow a business is a great idea not only for medium-sized and large organizations, but also for entrepreneurs or one-person companies. Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are the tools independent entrepreneurs need in their life which can transform their business by giving them the possibility to create, promote, sell and analyze the content they want online.
Activating in today's knowledge economy means entrepreneurs can overcome size barriers and make the most of the available technologies. E-commerce is an expanding world which makes the selling process easier and cheaper. Everything you need is online and that means you can sell your product directly to your customers without intermediaries.
Here are three areas in which an LMS can bring considerable advantages for knowledge entrepreneurs:
Creating online courses easily
You can use an LMS to seamlessly create and manage online courses about what you know best, all without too many technical skills. That's because an LMS is an online learning hub that provides an indispensable set of features to support efficient teaching and learning.
It is accessible. It can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere due to the extension the platforms have through apps that are mobile friendly and that can be used without restrictions. This feature is a must in the context of having flexible access to information in the online education world.
It is engaging. In this social media era that sees everyone connected in one form or another, having features that make the learner feel part of a study group can increase the level of involvement. By interacting with people that have the same interests, by receiving news-feed-like announcements and by receiving instant feedback, learners become more engaged in their learning process, and as a result having better and faster results.
It supports diverse content. This feature is a requirement in today’s knowledge world since students are more responsive if they are provided with content in different formats, especially multimedia ones, like interactive images, videos, audio files or the like. Thus, learners can receive different types of input while you are making the whole learning process easier.
It is gamified. Games are and have always been part of people’s lives, no matter how old they are. Having the possibility of gamifying your online course will make your learners feel like they are playing and not learning. This means they don’t lose their motivation which is constantly fed with rewards in the form of points, badges, certificates.
The features mentioned above transform your course into a modern, attractive one that lures potential learners and keeps them interested and engaged, ensuring great results.
Promoting and selling those courses
Sharing the professional looking online courses you create and safely exchanging the knowledge inside them with real money — all within the same platform — is a great way to grow your business. An LMS usually comes with various options to market and sell your courses online.
Having an online course on the market implies promoting it in order to sell it, just like any product. E-commerce provides the necessary tools to do everything online. From pre-selling to continuously promoting it, everything you do responds to one purpose: selling your product. The e-commerce features integrated within your LMS allow you to sell your knowledge as well as track and increase sales by offering, for instance, incentives in the form of discounts, bundles, subscriptions and much more.
Nowadays, LMSs are the only tools you need that can be used to market and sell your online course. And it's all done internally since you have all the necessary tools and access to the social media networks right on the learning platform.
Here are some LMS features that make selling easy:
- Payment gateways. Most LMSs integrate the most popular payment gateways like PayPal, PayUbiz, Authorize.net, Stripe, etc. and facilitate payments through different currencies like the US dollar, Canadian dollar, UK pound, Euro and others. This feature is essential to ensure buyers convert easily.
- Subscription plans. This allows customers to purchase updates in the course in exchange of a recurring fee.
- Bundles and bulk purchases. These are useful if you want to sell more courses on the same topic at one price or purchase for more people at once.
- Coupons and bulk discounts. These incentives can be used to attract prospects or reward existing customers. You can offer a discounted percent or a fixed amount based on different criteria like the amount or the number of items purchased.
INDIE Guide: Selling online courses using INDIE
Analyzing course data for constant learning
An LMS analyzes learning data and creates targeted reports on any aspect of the course, helping you learn more about your learners and adapt your business strategy in real time to keep ahead in your industry.
Adaptability is one of the most important aspects of any business. To be able to meet customers’ needs you have to gather data that will help you improve the content you provide.
LMSs offer the possibility of analyzing things like:
- Participation — When, how and by whom various sections of the systems are visited;
- Access to resources — How often people access the provided resources and which ones are valuable to them;
- Content efficiency — To what extent does the content of the course meets the needs of the buyers;
- Completion rates — How many learners finish the courses they enroll;
- Performance — The results learners get during the course;
- Progress — If learners make progress;
- Learner satisfaction — The level of contentment with the course.
These indicators provide you essential information regarding trends and patterns, let you see any flaws in the course and give you the chance to adapt and change the content you sell so that it brings more revenue. Analyzing the data helps you get to know your customers better which means you can take their needs into consideration when updating your content or when you want to rethink your product altogether.
LMSs let you generate reports on various criteria which makes the analysis easier and accessible. Making the necessary changes based on these reports you can provide individualized feedback.
INDIE White paper: Find out how a learning management system can help you increase your revenue
Knowledge entrepreneurs who want to create, manage, promote and sell online courses about what they know best in order to grow their business need the right toolkit to build and deliver content to their audience. Considering the above benefits, an LMS should definitely be a part of that toolkit.