Simplify technology in your online course business to save time, peace of mind, and your bank account.
Are you feeling the technology price and learning overload as an online course creator?
Many emerging course creators and online entrepreneurs feel compelled to invest in a lot of technology, but you may be wondering if it’s really necessary and when to say enough is enough.
While many experts, who often also get healthy affiliate payouts, recommend a long list of technology you “need” to run an online course business, it doesn’t have to be that complicated or expensive, especially when you are starting.
Here’s the truth, you can easily run your business quite inexpensively from your laptop (and for that matter, many simply use their phone). I spend less than $70 a month in total to run my online course business.
So, put away the credit card, and let’s look at how you can simplify the tech to save time, peace of mind, and your bank account.
Simplify your video recording:
Unless you are planning to become known as a YouTuber, you really don’t need to invest in special equipment to create social media marketing videos or your course instructional videos.
You can use the video recording feature on your phone. For recording videos with slides, you can use Canva or Zoom, yes, even the free account. You can also upload videos to Canva and do some editing. A quick search will also show you some free editing apps. With some practice, you will be amazed at how professional you can make your videos and presentations.
Investing in ring lighting isn’t a requirement, although it is relatively inexpensive. Instead, you can strategically place lamps, use natural lighting through windows, or record your videos outside.
Try out the sound on your built-in microphone and see if it works with your existing equipment. My phone, laptop, and desktop all work fine for this, and yours may too.
When you are starting out, your videos don’t need to look like a major studio production. Clear sound, a clear picture, and good information are what is most important. When you’ve hit the big time, you can invest in the equipment and team to add in all the bells and whistles if you want.
Course platform choices that simplify technology:
There are many digital course platforms, and as the industry grows, new ones are added yearly. When selecting the best one for you, think about what you are trying to accomplish and the features you know you need and want based on how you want to run your business.
Typically, for an online course business, you will need a website or at the least a landing page to direct your new audience to, an email service, a landing page and sales page builder, a host webinars or live classes, a course builder that might include quizzes, assignments, downloads, a way to store your videos and content, and a way to collect payment.
I recommend keeping it simple when you are a beginner. For me, that meant selecting an all-in-one platform. I wanted everything integrated into one place.
Here’s why an all-in-one platform may work best:
- You don’t have to hack pieces of technology together
- You get more bang for your buck– a lot more features for much less money
- You will deal with only one support desk when problems arise
- You don’t have to worry that one piece will no longer work with the others
- Payments are much easier when you only receive one renewal notice
- It’s easy to stay organized when everything is in one place
- There is less new technology to learn and keep up with
Why I chose Zenler for my platform:
After lots of research and experience based on working with other course creators, I selected Zenler. I’ve used it for two years and just renewed it for year three. It does everything I need, has excellent training modules, provides excellent customer service, frequently updates with new features, and is affordable.
- Robust Course Creation: Create bundles, membership sites, drip schedules, and add videos, audio, PDF, PPT, quizzes, surveys, and downloads to your lessons
- Flexible Pricing Ability: Set the price you want options include subscriptions, free trials, payment plans, tiered pricing plans, one-click upsells, and more
- Customizable page designer: Build beautiful landing pages, sales pages, and even your website using your own domain without having to know any coding
- Live Classes and Webinars: Integrated with Zoom without paying extra, you can have up to 500 video participants and includes built-in chat, screen sharing, security, WhiteBoard, recording, virtual backgrounds, share files, breakout rooms and more, plus you can Live Stream sessions to Facebook Live or Youtube Live
- Email Automation: Without needing a third-party email service, Zenler provides easy-to-follow stats, segmentation, and automated funnels, as well as nurture sequences to motivate enrolled students
- Marketing Funnels: with a focus on helping course creators market their courses, use the funnels for lead magnets, video series, webinars, and challenges– set up and forget
- Community: Skip social media and use this option for students for social networking and membership sites, a live chat room is included
Affordability was important to me when I chose my course platform. I knew from working as a copywriter for course creators that were paying $550+ a month for their platform and all the extra tools they needed to market and sell their course. That was way out of my reach.
One of the many reasons I chose Zenler was because of the affordability, even for emerging course creators.
As a pro subscriber, I pay $647 for the entire year which includes ALL of the features listed above. I eliminated the monthly expense of a Zoom account, cloud storage, an email provider, a page builder, and so much more!
You can check out Zenler for yourself here. (In all transparency, I signed up to be an affiliate because I love it so much! So if you sign up through this link, I may get a small commission.)
Other ways you’ll love to simplify technology in your online course business:
For emerging course creators there are only two other pieces of tech I recommend.
The first is Google Drive. It’s FREE and lets you do word processing, create presentations, use a spreadsheet, share files, and collaborate easily. I use it every single day in my copywriting business but also use it in my online course business to create templates, link PDFs, plan out my course and social media content, and so much more.
I’ve even known course creators who started their first courses by sharing the link to lessons on their Google Drive. You can’t get any simpler or inexpensive than that!
The second is Canva. There is a free version, but I pay for the pro version at $119.99 a year because of all the things I use it for in both of my businesses. If you haven’t started using this amazing tool, I highly recommend you sign up for the free version and check it out.
Besides using it for social media posts, ad graphics, ebooks, and PDFs, my favorite feature is how easy it is to create and record presentations for your online course. The photo editing features as well as new AI features make it a very robust design tool that is constantly evolving.
As a former journalism teacher, I was 100% an Adobe products disciple, but Canva has upped its game since then. It’s a tool I now can’t live without! And if you have zero design experience, no problem. Canva is made for the non-designer. There are thousands of templates you can use or adapt for your business.
So that’s it. It’s quite possible to simplify technology in your online course business by limiting the technology you use and need to learn. Don’t let the fear or overwhelm of technology hold you back. You can get started very simply and cheaply.
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