In a previous post I've explained how you can use the Co-Kinetic platform to deliver a one-off event or educational presentation using our webinar sign-up and delivery pages (and offer purchasable 'upsells' to your event attendees).
As we continue to battle Covid, and potentially face similar ongoing threats in the future, I would strongly encourage as many of you as possible, to be thinking about developing and building additional online resources and revenue streams, that don't require you to be hands-on with your clients.
One of the best ways of doing this is by offering subscription-based online courses and/or classes or even content communities or memberships. These could involve any combination of content delivery from live videos, to pre-recorded videos (or a combination of both), as well as links to other educational resources in a range of different forms.
You don't have to follow any rules here, it's about putting together a 'product' that:
You are passionate about delivering
Solves a genuine problem for a large enough group of people to make your offering financially viable
That requires having the flexibility to test and experiment until you find a product that people want, that you can deliver in a way that suits you, and your programme, the best.
As you're likely to be building this new revenue stream from scratch, it's important that you spend what money you do have, on getting the best chance of success. The most important thing is to create enough of a 'product' to be able to establish if there is a viable interest in it.
That means building or creating enough of the content/classes to get started, and then spending the rest of your savings on promoting it to people, to see if anyone is actually prepared to pay for it. Until you've established that you have a viable product that people are actually willing to pay for, there's no value in spending money on anything else.
So with that in mind, I'm going to outline a number of features in Co-Kinetic, that you can use to help you to do just this, at little or no cost. It doesn't matter if there is a fixed end-point to your education sessions/classes or content delivery, or whether it's a subscription to an ongoing programme, nor does it matter what the content consists of, whether it's live classes or pre-recorded videos (or a mixture of the two), or anything else for that matter, all the same rules apply.
This post does assume you're going to charge for this course/content/community or membership (although there's nothing to stop you from providing it for free, just be warned that the time/cost investment required, usually turns what starts out as a passion, into a chore, which eventually becomes unsustainable in the longer-term).
There are two key elements to running any ongoing form of education, exercise classes or content product:
Taking the sign-ups and payments for the course (and managing your attendees)
Delivering the course/class content
Where To Publish Your Course/Class/Membership Content
It may surprise you to realise that nearly everyone, and certainly most of your prospective customers, all have access to a brilliant existing 'content' delivery mechanism that also happens to be free, and that comes in the form of Facebook!
Facebook has in fact got all the tools in place to help you build and manage communities, as well as deliver live or recorded video events. There are undoubtedly a bunch of different platforms you could use to deliver content to, and manage a community (and Co-Kinetic is 'agnostic', so you can use whichever one you choose), but Facebook has a few key advantages:
It is designed specifically to encourage person-to-person connections and interactions which is exactly what's required for online classes, video presentation events or other forms of sharing content
Pretty much everyone out there uses Facebook and can access it both via their computers as well as on tablets and mobile phones
The internationality of Facebook means you're not restricted or limited to simply a domestic audience for your content
Facebook Live video makes it super-easy for you to go 'live' with video instantly
Equally you can easily upload recorded video and there are no video hosting or streaming fees
You're also not just limited to video, so within your group you could add links to external pages, or documents or any other kind of media either private or public
Facebook has a whole Event management system built into it - allowing you to create (and publicise) one-off events, or recurring events
Importantly, Facebook groups and/or Facebook events can have different Privacy levels - so you can make sure membership of particular groups is limited to your paying members
You can utilise the phenomenal power of Facebook advertising and audience targeting to promote your events or membership groups
And lastly, perhaps most importantly, it's free for everyone to use, including you, the business owner.
Now, I'm a big believer in not re-creating the wheel, especially if something else exists that can do the job for you, and even better for free. So, I decided to invest my time and my money into building the sign-up, charging and management aspect of an ongoing programme, membership or community, and give you the flexibility to choose your own content delivery mechanism. I don't advocate Facebook specifically, it is just one of the more stable, best-suited and cheapest (ie. free) solutions that can deliver the widest variety of content delivery mechanisms and community engagement opportunities.
Actually Delivering Your Content
I'm going to talk about Facebook specifically, but the same holds true for any platform with the same sort of functionality as Facebook.
One thing I should mention here is that it really doesn't matter what your content is because Facebook can manage it. You're managing access by using a Private Group that only you permit people to join, based on their membership status on the Co-Kinetic management area. You add and remove people as and when required which moderates who gets access to what content.
Then you can publish whatever types of content you like, it could be a recorded video, or could be a live presentation delivered or uploaded directly into Facebook, or it could be a Share link to documents which you host on a simple document site like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.com, OneDrive (Microsoft's solution), Amazon Drive etc. Alternatively you could use unlisted videos on YouTube or Vimeo and share the link to it as a post in your Facebook group. The same could go for a podcast.
And remember, you don't have to be the originator of ALL the content. You could include other resources that are even publicly available, as long as you create enough unique content to make the subscription worthwhile. The important thing is that you curate the content and quality control it.
As there are so many variations in scenario, it's difficult to give hard and fast guides for everything, but here are some guidelines which should help.
Regular Subscription for a Regular Event
If you plan to charge a regular subscription fee for say a regular class or event, whether it's live or pre-recorded, I would create a private Facebook Group and take payments and manage your memberships through Co-Kinetic as I've described on this page.
You can then invite people to an event (either live or recorded) and deliver your class/course. Even if people can't make it, the class/course tutorial will still be available for them to watch at a time that suits them.
One-Off Charge for a Class
You could use our sign-up page making sure to specify the date of the event and set a one-off fee and then export your orders for that class into Facebook and invite them to an event. Equally, during Covid (2020) Facebook also introduced a way gives you the ability to charge for single live events, so if you just plan to run one-off classes, that could be the best way to do it. You can learn more here.
One-Off Charge or a Series of Payment Instalments for a Fixed Length/Content Volume Course
The Co-Kinetic system would be great for managing this model. Say the course fee was £150 and you wanted it paid in 3 monthly instalments of £50 you could easily set that up. Then you use Facebook to deliver your content in whatever form that takes, at the times that you want to deliver them.
You could choose to load all the content up in the Group in one go and give people a getting started Word document which gives them shortcut links to posts already published in the group (that way you can lead them through the content in the right order).
Or you could drip feed the content out on a schedule. Just bear in mind that if you'd like to drip feed the content, you ideally want everyone starting on at the same, so all members would receive the new content at the same time. The benefit of this is you can create more of a 'class' environment where everyone is learning together, which helps to encourage more engagement among participants and a better overall learning experience.
It also means you can feed in and support people through the process at the right time and right place. Facebook is actually a great delivery tool if this is the learning model you want to adopt.
Ongoing Subscription/Membership Charge
This is a good model if you want to give people access to regular resources or deliver more of a mentorship model. Once they subscribe they get access to everything that's been published before and continue to have access to it until their membership lapses (you could give them an index of past content highlights to save them having to scroll down through the whole group page).
You do have to make a commitment to producing regular content with no fixed end point, and as I know full well, that's not a commitment to be sniffed at, so I would probably advise trying a fixed period course/content delivery programme first and seeing how you get on and then if you find you love what you're doing, and feel there is a regular need or benefit of providing more of a subscription-based product, go from there.
Managing Sign-Ups, Payments and Memberships
What I've done within Co-Kinetic is to create a range of themed web sign-up pages which I've called Customisable Web Sign-Up pages, which allow you to ask people to take a range of different actions.
In the context of this ongoing course/community/membership model it means you can set up a web sign-up page (and take payments for):
a single one-off charge (eg. for one video/class/product)
a recurring charge for a fixed period of time (eg. a 4, 6, 8 week course or a monthly fee for a clinic membership)
an ongoing recurring charge for any amount, at a frequency that you choose, which continues until cancelled either by yourself or your customer.
The follow-up email that is sent post-purchase, along with the message which you can write that appears on the post-purchase page, can include instructions on what action the purchaser needs to take next ie. where they go to join their new group. This can include a link to a private Facebook group (or event) or to another website.
Under the membership management area in Co-Kinetic, you would see a new joiner and once you've added/admitted that person to the group, you can tick the new joiner off. If someone cancels their payment, or you cancel it for them, they will be added to a 'Remove from group' list and when you remove them, the will disappear from the active membership management area
The beauty and simplicity of this system is that it doesn't matter what the external system is that you're using to provide the membership access and that means should you wish to move membership or content delivery platforms in the future, you're not tied into anything. It's easy to export a list of your current active members out of Co-Kinetic and add them into your new content or membership platform.
What's Included With Which Subscription?
There are two blank Event templates included with ALL four of our core subscriptions which could be used to manage these kind of programmes/courses/memberships.
There is also a wide range of 'themed' customisable web sign-up pages which can be used to achieve the same outcome. The image below shows the Pros and Cons of each and explains what's included under each subscription.
If you are a Full Site subscriber you have access to all the pages and an unlimited supply of blank templates too.
If you have any of our three other core subscriptions (Patient Information, Clinical Education or Social Media - you have two blank Event templates you can use OR you can purchase individual customisable web sign-up pages as and when you need them.
If you don't have any subscription at all that's fine too, you can still purchase the individual Customisable web sign-up pages on demand.
More Help and Resources
10 Things You Probably Didn't Know Your Co-Kinetic Subscription Could Do For You - click here to read more >