Envision success through online community building. What does that look like for knowledge entrepreneurs?
- An engaged audience ready to buy;
- Receiving feedback that you can use to create more content;
- Being able to leverage user-generated content for testimonials;
- Organic audience growth;
- Providing more value.
If these sound like what you want for your online course business, it's time to learn about online community platforms. In this article, we'll discuss the top four community-building platforms and our recommendation for knowledge entrepreneurs ready to captivate their market.
What is an online community platform?
An online community platform is a forum to invite, interact, and build relationships with your community. All the tools you need to manage your online space so that people can contribute, conversate, and connect are included.
Whether you’re a social media expert launching your online course business or a knowledge entrepreneur who’s in full swing, using an online community platform will benefit you greatly.
With an online community platform, you can expect to:
- Establish connections within your community;
- Share ideas;
- Promote your products;
- Build trust with your audience;
- Build authority in your niche;
- Get live feedback from your buyers;
- Upsell online courses.
Why build an online community as a knowledge entrepreneur?
Knowledge entrepreneurs benefit from online community platforms because they allow you to curate an audience from anywhere in the world.
Community platforms remove the hassle of navigating time zones as they are often equipped with automatic settings that adjust to each user. Engagement platforms provide a space for you and your audience to connect and for your subscribers to engage with each other.
Being able to interact with a like-minded community creates a strong opportunity to gain valuable feedback from buyers and subscribers alike.
Overall, you increase your opportunity to connect with a larger audience and receive relevant information on their needs and habits. This allows you to serve your niche better, which promotes sales in the long run. Online community platforms allow you to create lifetime value for your audience.
Top 4 online community platforms for course creators
So, what are the best online community platforms? What makes an online community platform the right fit for your business?
As a knowledge entrepreneur, the platform you use needs to be user-friendly and monetizable. This ensures that people who enter are interested in using the software, even after purchasing.
With online community platforms, you can incorporate more user-generated content into your authority-building journey. Interactions within the group and positive highlights could become testimonials for your thriving online course business.
The possibilities are endless, but only if you choose one of the best ones. Here, we’ll take a look at the top four online community platforms and their standout qualities that will help you build authority online:
1. Facebook Groups
With roughly 2.934 billion users worldwide, Facebook groups present an attractive online community-building experience for course creators. Though customization options within the group are limited, you can create a custom header and title for your group to attract new audience members.
Facebook groups are fully monetizable, and you can include guides, videos, reels, and other organic content along with your paid course inside the group.
Facebook has built-in SEO-optimized search, so you can even drive organic traffic to your group with your title and header elements. For knowledge entrepreneurs, this provides more reach and authority for their content. This also creates the potential of ranking in search engines for increased visibility.
The key to engagement and growth with Facebook online community platform is to utilize the messenger function for one on one sales and community-building interactions. The Messenger app can be used to create group chats that further organize members of your community and increase engagement.
Some consider Facebook groups to be a poor choice for course marketing, but as a knowledge entrepreneur, you can benefit directly from the wealth of demographic information Facebook inherently carries. Not only will the built-in SEO connect you with more target prospects, but by adding a Messenger-based sales process, you can increase revenue exponentially.
2. Mighty Networks
With Mighty Networks, you can build your website landing page within the app and connect it to your courses and membership, allowing full community-building functionality.
The main online community platform benefits they offer are web creation integration, hosting paid virtual events within the app; course sale integration within the app.
Mighty Networks is nearly an all-in-one solution for creators who want to monetize their community right off the bat. However, the drawback with this platform is the limited ability to create a full-fledged course because it lacks quiz and certificate features.
Students need measurables to feel successful, and features like quizzes and certificates are a great way to provide those. As a knowledge entrepreneur, you’ll have to consider if the website functionality and clean UI are worth sacrificing such key online course features.
Messaging is a huge part of your marketing strategy–why not incorporate it into your online community-building strategy too?
With Slack, you can create custom groups within the app to facilitate conversation and idea sharing. Slack functions like an instant messaging board, with individual channels being optimized by discussion topics and team members.
4. INDIE LMS
The list just wouldn't be complete without our INDIE LMS platform. The best online community platforms will give knowledge entrepreneurs integration with other platforms, customization, and full control over course creation, including time-saving automation features and a comprehensive e-commerce system. INDIE LMS does all this and more.
With our learning management platform, all the tools you need to create a thriving online community will be available to you. Use chat to quickly connect with learners, create groups (similar to Facebook ones) based on interests or tackle important course-related topics through forums.
From creating interactive course content within the platform to creating social networking opportunities for your audience, focusing on building your online community is key to growing your online course business.
Knowledge entrepreneurs should embrace the opportunity to provide value for their audience more interactively and profitably. With online community platforms, the opportunity to build authority and trust with your audience can have a positive effect on the growth of your online course business.