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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0412: What Tools Do I Need to Create a Course?

AP 0412: What Tools Do I Need to Create a Course?

By Pat Flynn on

Update: I now use Teachable to host online courses.

AskPat 412 Episode Transcript

Pat: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 412 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I am here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. And we have a great question today from Saj.

But before that, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com. The amazing company that makes it super easy for all of us to keep track of our business finances including the money coming in, the money going out, and invoicing as well. They make invoicing super easy. So whatever kind of business you have you can join over 3 million other small businesses and get with FreshBooks. So go to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and enter “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section to get access to a 30-day free trial. Again that’s FreshBooks.com/AskPat enter “AskPat.”

All right, now let’s get to today’s question from Saj.

Saj: Hi Pat, and hello to all AskPat listeners. First of all, once again I would like to thank you a lot Pat. Because you are the reason that I have my first ever podcast live now. Its made it to top 10 in the news and noteworthy section as well. So it’s going quite well at the moment, at least for the time being. And you did actually answer one of the questions I had related to the podcast as well on your previous AskPat question session. So once again thanks for that.

For today I actually have three questions for you, so I do apologize. If you remember, most of the episodes that I’ve heard from you, and especially the ones where you had talked about giving out free information, I was kind of on the same line. You know I mean this podcast that I started gives out free information. And at that point in time I didn’t really have any reason you know why I was doing it. But I did think that it could lead to something; into another product or service that people would want from me. And that’s exactly what has happened by sharing free information. I’m in a situation where people are asking me for kind of a coaching service.

The three questions that I said are, I don’t know how to go about it. So the first question is, I don’t know where to actually host my actual course content. I’ve heard about Kajabi but I’m not sure if that’s the best option or if you could tell me if there’s anything out better than that. Or if this is the best option to go with.

And the second one would be. . . obviously for all these models that I’m going to create for the course, would need me to record my voice, while capturing the Screenflow as well at the same time. How do I go about doing that? I know GarageBand. I’m using that, but that’s obviously for the audio. So if you could help me out? What software should I use to create the other screen capture along with my voice as well, or you can say voiceover.

And the last one is. Obviously I’m going to be promoting this after by doing a webinar. Obviously at the end of the webinar I will be having a call to action button where usually people click to either subscribe to the product that you’re trying to monetize or the service. Now I always seen my competitors doing it. Which normally leads either to a lead page or an InfusionSoft page which usually then takes a payment. I’m not really sure what kind of software or the backend service is required to create so that I can capture the payment. I know that you can create an offer page on WebinarJam. If you put a link it will take you … You know the person who clicks it to your payment checkout page. But I don’t know how to set it up. So if you could help me out a little bit with that as well. That would be great.

Once again, thanks a lot for everything. And I hope that this question helps out your other users as well.

Take care. Bye.

Pat: Hey Saj. Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate the kind words. First of all, congratulations on the new and noteworthy and the success of your podcast. I think that’s really great. I think it’s really cool that you also shared that because of the podcast and because it’s doing so well you’re getting people asking you for coaching. I mean that’s just a testament to the power of podcasting. But also the fact that when you have stuff to share and people find you they’re going to want to learn more from you. Even if you’re giving away information for free, which I think is great.

So now let’s get right in to your questions. How do you host your content for these courses that you want to do? So, I mean obviously there’s a number of different ways to serve your audience. You can write books, and do digital products like that. You could do one-on-one coaching, which you could also do as well which you wouldn’t need any sort of host to do. But I like the idea of having some sort of membership site or course that you could do and feed a bunch of people through. Or maybe you can do some combination of having clients and having course work as well. Again you could build that as anyway you want but in terms of the type of software to use to host your content there’s a couple different options for you.

The first one. Actually I’m going to give you two options that are sort of out of the box. Meaning you don’t have to create your own website and things like that. These are places online where you can actually build your own course. They handle all the payments. They handle all the students and customer service and obviously you’d want be able keep in constant contact with your audience which you can through these platforms. But they take care of a lot of that stuff for you. Now, with that said, it’s built on another platform, and you lose control in terms of the customer experience. It’s all up to those websites.

The two websites I’m talking about a lot, you’ve probably heard of is Udemy.com. That’s a great one I have experience with it as well. And then there is another one out there that I just recently heard called Teachery. Teachery.co. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about this one as well. And it looks great. I love the interface. I love the homepage, and you can check it out. There it just makes it super simple for you to get set up. I mean literally how these work is you sign up. You start building your course. You upload the lessons and things like that. You style the course the way you want to. You create an order page on these sites, and you can just sell your course. You send people to that order page. And it’s all processed there for you.

Now you will need to setup with all of these ones I’m about to mention some sort of merchant account on a site like Stripe, and there is also PayPal and things like that you can integrate as well.

But what’s cool about using these types is it’s all beautiful out of the box and its very quick and easy to get set up. But, like I said, the con is you don’t have complete control of the customer experience. And I’m not exactly sure what happens to the contact information in terms of are you able to upsell them things or sell them other courses down the road that you can control. Can you take people off these sites and export those lists into your email list and that sort of thing. So you have to do a bit more research on that.

But I wanted to tell you about these other solutions as well. Kajabi, I don’t have a lot of experience with but I know it is another one of those sort of out of the box solutions that you could use as well. But I hear it’s very robust. But I also believe the price point is quite high as well. I’m not exactly sure but that Kajabi for those of you who are interested. It is its own platform I believe. It goes live on your website. But again I’m not sure about that one. But I’ve heard a few people talk about it in both positive and negative terms.

I also want to mention the most popular one people use. So what a lot of people do Saj is they create a WordPress website. They pick some sort of theme. And then they install plugins to help create the course on top of it. There’s three different plugins that I want to talk about that do that.

The first one is WP Wishlist. That’s the most popular one. It was co-founded by a guy name Steve McLaren. He was great. I’ve used it before I setup courses on WP Wishlist as well. And it also integrates with two. . . one of you other questions in terms of how to collect payments. Stripe and or Paypal or another merchant account like One Shopping Cart or Authorized.net. That’s how you’re then able to collect credit cards and things like that. And what you do is you drop in the script on a particular page on that website which becomes your payment page. And you just drive people toward that page or that’s where people click on, on the sales page when they click that “buy now” button. They fill in their information and it gets taken care of there. Things get sent out automatically in terms of username and login after they subscribe and so on and so forth. That one’s okay and it works, as I said, I’ve used it before.

Another one that I haven’t used before but I’ve heard that a lot of people love is WP Courseware. So again this is a WordPress plugin. So the first one is WP Wishlist and this one is WP Courseware And that one I hear is very good as well.

Now the one I do want to talk about and recommend doing right now and using is Zippy Courses. So Zippy Courses is by a guy named Derek Halpern over at SocialTriggers.com. And I’ve used this one very recently to set up a quick course for people who are interested in accessing old 1 Day Business Breakthrough live content that I’ve recorded. Me and Chris Ducker recorded and put in sort of a backend of a website where you have to login and create a user name for. And people have to pay to get access to that of course. And so it works. It works very well. It’s very easy to set up. It integrates with Stripe, which is, again, a merchant account. And Paypal and any other ones as well. It also integrates with the most common email service providers too so you can collect email while you’re building your course and vice versa. It’s great. I love it and it’s decently priced too. You can check it out by going to AskPat.com/Zippycourses. Again that AskPat.com/Zippycourses.

Each of any of the above that I just mentioned will walk you through the process of how to set these things up. Now of course with each of them you’re going to have to have your videos and your audios so let’s go to your second question.

Well, how do you record the audio over the ScreenFlow? Well ScreenFlow is for people who have a Mac. It’s a tool that allows you to record what’s on the screen. If you have a PC, the equivalent to that is Camtasia Studios. There is actually a Camtasia for Mac as well. Which is pretty much the same thing as ScreenFlow but I’ve just been a devoted user of ScreenFlow and everybody seems to love it as well, who’ve I’ve recommended it to. So I love ScreenFlow for Mac and then Camtasia Studios for PC. Bt whatever you use, essentially any of those tools you can use to record the video of whatever is on your desktop. You can record anything that’s playing in the background, your mouse moving, anything you click on. And, Saj, it also will record your voice. It will record your voice at the same time while you’re recording those desktop videos.

Now you will need a decent microphone in order for this to happen. And the one I would recommend would be, because it’s the cheapest but it sounds the best, which is the Audio Technica ATR2100. Now if you go to AskPat.com/ATR2100 you’ll see an affiliate link that goes to Amazon for that particular microphone. And it runs about $60-$70. And it sounds just like the mic I have now. Maybe a little bit less but it sounds amazing. To the common ear you won’t hear the difference. It’s a great microphone. The cheapest greatest sounding one. The one I’m on now is a Heil PR 40 which runs about $340. And it sounds virtually the same. The nice thing about it is you don’t need a mixer or anything like that in order for it to be used. It can just be plugged into the USB and it would work.

So when you’re recording your ScreenFlow or Camtasia Studio, you want to record the audio in from your microphone. You can choose from the drop-down menu of the ATR2100. Or if you have an external mic that you want to use that works as well. Just that one sounds professional and if you’re doing courses you also obviously want to make them sound professional as they will look professional too.

One tip for you if you’re recording ScreenFlow things. You don’t have to do it all in one take. Just keep the thing recording. Keep trying over and over again to get that section right that you’re getting on, and then just move on. And then at the end you can just cut up those parts in the middle that were just waste.You just hit, I believe it’s Control-T or even just T on ScreenFlow when your editing. So you bring the timeline to the area you want to slice in that layer you press “T” and then it cuts that audio and video file in half. Whatever one is highlighted and then you can just delete the lines in the middle. And then you can just squish everything over and then it’s like nothing happened in the middle it just goes right to that next good take.

One tip I like to do when recording ScreenFlow or any audio is do a little clicking sound like this. And that way I know when I’m looking at the wave forms, because you see the wave forms when you’re recording, that that’s where the last take starts. And so I might do a few takes and oh I messed up (click). I messed up (click). And Ill do that. I’ll go to the last one and that’s how I’ll know that one is actually the best one. So I don’t even have to worry about listening all the way through. Which it’s just taking you to that one good take. So hopefully that helps you.

And then number three, in terms of promoting it, obviously you have your podcast which is great. And you want to bring people from your podcast to a landing page which can then promote a webinar, for example, or at least a lead magnet; something that you give away for free related to your topic. Maybe it’s a first chapter of a book that you have written. Or just a really quick resource pdf file that you have to offer. Or beginner’s information too; whatever it is that you’re going to be leading people to in terms of your product. You give that away for free and people subscribe.

And then on your email list you can talk about this webinar that’s coming up or you can just promote the webinar directly as well. You could even do cold traffic from Facebook targeting specific pages related to your target audience to bring people into your webinar as well. And then, on your webinar, you know because you’ve been doing the research, it’s very obvious you’re on the right track here. You’ve been checking out what your competitors are doing and seeing what’s working for them. Do the same things. What ever you feel like would be improved, you improve on those things.

Now when you’re doing these webinars, provide a lot of value 30 minutes in, 45 minutes in, then you drop in that pitch. Make it very obvious and also try to include some scarcity in there. Maybe there is a limited time that they have to take action before either the price goes up or they lose out on a bonus for example. Or something like that. There is a lot of strategies you can use I recommend listening to a lot of the older episodes with Ramit Sethi in SmartPassiveIncome.com’s podcast archive. You can just look up Ramit and Smart Passive Income podcast. You’ll see a whole lot there.

So I recommend you check that out. And, again, in terms of collecting payments you could have that page already set up for you because you have it set up through Zippy Courses or WP Wishlist or any of those other ones as well, whatever you chose to use. And that the link you give to them. You could take it a little bit further and do what I know John Lee Dumas does and and I know a lot of other people do. They have their webinar play on a particular website. So through an embed. They’re either using Google Hangouts or Go To Webinar for example. There is another one called Zoom.us I believe is the website. Let me verify that. Zoom.us does webinars as well and that is the one. And it’s on a website that has the button already on that page to purchase. So when the call to action comes for you sell them to buy you just say, “hey, click on that big yellow button below that will take you to the painted page where you can then get access to your product.” If you use the right software and set it up correctly it’ll automatically take care of everything. They’ll get an email after they purchase with the place, you know, to create their username and login and get access to your course.

So, Saj, I hope that answers your question or at least give you some direction there. Thank you so much for asking it, and I hope this helps other people as well. And introduced a lot of cool new tools there for a lot of you as well. So you can check those out in the show notes at AskPat.com. Again, this is Episode 412.

I want to thank you all for listening in, and Saj, thank you for the question as well. For that we are going to send you an AskPat t-shirt. For anyone else who has a question you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.

I also want to thank today’s sponsor again that’s FreshBooks.com. I use them myself. I use them after having headaches and things stressed over trying to manage my finances through Excel. I finally learned the realization that there are amazing pieces of software out there like FreshBooks that help you with things that you don’t need to do yourself. And managing your finances and bookkeeping like this. Especially when it can be done automatically and hooked up to a lot of these payment systems that we talked about. It’s really, really helpful. Or hooked up to your banks that collect all this information and categorize them and make it easy to figure out what’s going on in your business as well. Plus, come tax season, it’s very easy for you to manage what’s going on as well. If you have your tax guy or you’re doing it yourself you just print out these reports and it makes it very, very easy to move forward so you don’t have to worry so much. So please check it out for 30 days for free by going to FreshBooks.com/AskPat and by entering “AskPat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. Again that’s FreshBooks.com/AskPat, enter “AskPat.”

Thank you so much for listening, and I appreciate you. And as always I like to end with a quote. Today’s quote is from Doug Ivester. He said, “Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.”

Cheers, take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks.

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