What do you setup first when creating your Online Course?

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Start with the end in mind. Always Setup Your Finances First

At the end of the day, after you’ve sold your programs you want to be sure that the money gets deposited into the right places, and everyone has an easy way to pay through a protected source.

This is why I always set this up first. Here’s a quick overview on how you want to set up yur finances when getting ready to launch an online course.

Who is Collecting the Money?

First off, you need to establish who is collecting the money. Most likely it’s you, but we need to clarify if YOU are a singular person, or a company.

If you are a singular person, and you operate as a sole proprietor, you will be using your own bank accounts to collect money. In this case for organization reasons, I would suggest opening up a separate checking account for these funds so you can monitor this income flow for tax reasons.

If you are an LLC or Incorporated, you should visit your branch and open up a dedicated set of accounts under the name of your company. Your funds should go directly into these accounts once people pay for your products.

How is the money being collected?

People who are purchasing your online course will not be sending you money directly, as there needs to be a payment processor in between the two parties to receive online payments, and then transfer the money to your accounts.

The payment processors you’ll need to setup are Stripe and PayPal.

These are the two most highly used and trusted payment processors in North America, and are generally well accepted around the globe.

These processors are free to setup, but take a fee off approximately 3% from every transaction they process.

When you set these up, they will ask to be connected to your bank account as one of the setup steps. This must be done to achieve the transfer of funds into your accounts.

You can create links to send buyers inside these payment processors, and use these as a checkout for them.

There are other softwares that you can integrate with these payment processors to create a more robust checkout experience like ThriveCart and Sam Cart, but we will dive into these in more depth in future posts.

The Final Flow

The checkout software step is optional, so without it the funds would go directly from the purchaser, through the payment processor, and ultimately deposited into your account in a few days.

Happy course creation!

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.


What is the difference between a Membership and an Online Course?

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What is a Membership (or Members Portal)?

In the world of online business, there seems to be an infinite amount of business models and terms for what your online offers could be.

Let’s talk about two of the most popular info-product models to emerge in the last decade from online business owners.

The Membership Model and The Online Course Model.

These are similar in that they both offer the knowledge and expertise of the creator to their audience, for a fee.


What is the difference between hosting a Membership Program and an Online Course?

The answer is simple on its surface, money.

In the realm of memberships and online courses, a membership is a content delivery method (webinars, weekly lessons, forums…) that you pay for monthly for and loose access after you cancel your payments.

An online course is a chunk of knowledge that you pay for upfront (or in a payment plan) where the payments end and you still get access to all of the material from anywhere from a full year to indefinitely. These are usually in the form of traditional video lessons, PDF downloads, and a sequential timeline of instructions that lead you to a specific result.

These models correlate to other places in our lives where we use memberships, like Netflix or a gym membership. Those are recurring fees where your contend delivery/service only lasts as long as you’re paying for it. Whereas, online courses don’t necessarily correlate payment with length of service.


What should you do?

It depends!

In simplest terms, if you have a community where you’re offering hands-on support with continuing education, and new material constantly being introduced and updated, you should package it as a monthly membership.

If you are teaching a number of lessons meant for people to achieve a specific result after your lessons are completed, you should package it as an online course.


Hybrid Models

Are you offering step-by-step guided lessons with a ton of hands on support in an ever-evolving industry? You can also consider a hybrid model which charges a flat rate for the online course portion, and an ongoing membership fee to be part of the community.

There is no right or wrong way to sell your info-products, just be sure that the model serves the content, and not the other way around.

First priority should be how to best serve your audience this information by making it as accessible and digestible as possible, not shoehorning content into a specific model.

Happy content creation!

Stay posted for next week when we cover all in one solution, and I’d love to hear any questions I can answer to support you in your online course journey.


Are Shopify Themes a One-time Purchase?

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Shopify themes are a one time purchase, and many themes can be used on more than one shop. However, be sure to check the terms and conditions of your theme because you don’t want to accidentally violate them, and have your store shut down as a result.

Tips for purchasing a theme:

  • Chose one from a reputable source. The Shopify Marketplace vets all the themes that are sold there, so you can be sure it’s high quality. Another great source is a company called “Out of The Sandbox“. They have premium themes, and amazing support.
  • Pick one that has a navigation and homepage layout that you like. These are the most unique parts about shops, so make sure it’s something you love. The collection pages and the single product pages are fairly standard throughout all Shopify sites, so make sure you pick one that has a strong navigation and home page to make your brand come alive.
  • Check the mobile version of the demo. Mobile usage has taken over online shopping, so be sure that the template you want looks  good on mobile!

Finally, make it your own! So many themes are pulled straight from the box and slapped up with the default colours and fonts. Hiring a designer to go over your theme and make some professional adjustments can make a world of difference.

Next, let those sales roll in!