This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase products via the links in this post, I may receive a commission. Note that I only recommend products that I truly believe in.
Last August, I made the switch to Teachable for hosting and selling all of my online courses (which are my entire business!).
To be honest, I hesitated to “make the switch” for a long time before we did it.
See, when I first started creating and selling courses years and years ago, a lot of the technology that we rely on today did not even exist.
(This is why I am constantly telling you that you are SO lucky to have these software resources at your disposal that are both easy to use and amazingly robust. I’m not bullshitting when I say that NOW is the best time to create an online course.)
So when I first started selling courses, I had VERY limited options.
I chose the cheapest path. I set up email courses, connected everything with a $10/month payment gateway, and manually did EVERYTHING.
I added people manually to the “course” email list when they bought.
I sent out the lessons manually each week
When someone had a tech issue (which ALWAYS happened), I had to go hunting around for the issue and re-send emails myself.
But honestly, that was all the existed! There wasn’t all these course platforms like there is now.
Convertkit wasn’t even a thing yet.
Teachable hadn’t been imagined yet.
I did the best I could with what we had then.
Lucky for you and me and my sanity - times have changed in the best way possible.
Now, we have Teachable. Thank goodness for Teachable.
Look, by the time I finally switched my butt over to Teachable I was longgg overdue for a systems overhaul. My current way of doing things had started to crumble under the weight of our growing sales, number of students, and features that we needed.
When we started looking for the BEST course platform available, we did our research.
I sure as hell wasn’t going to be caught in the situation I was in again - flailing around with technology, hacking together wonky ways of doing things, and generally cursing tech and my business and wondering when the insanity would end.
These were the things that were most important to me when researching a platform/software to host our courses, run our payments through, and automate every.single.thing.
Scale-able: You want to choose systems that are “beginner friendly, empire equipped™”. What would happen if your business went from having 20 students to having 200 students? What would happen if you got 1000 students? Would your current system for selling and delivering courses still hold up?
Passive: Think about how passive your system or software is now. Are there tiny admin tasks taking up your day? If you went away for a week, would your courses still run smoothly? Are you doing unnecessary tasks because your platforms aren’t that great?
Automation: Does your platform have the ability to automate your tasks? For example, when someone signs up for this course, they get that email, and then an invitation to this forum. You want to make sure you can set up automations in your systems so you’re not doing that stuff yourself, or paying someone to do it (automate, then delegate).
Protected content: This one is pretty obvious, but how protected is your content? I was definitely having some real issues with people sharing their log-ins, forwarding their friends my courses, and all sorts of other headaches before I started using my current system, Teachable. You want your content to be protected and in a course site that looks good and works well.
Ease of use: Here’s what I believe - if you can’t use your platforms yourself and make changes yourself, you don’t really own it. I say this all the time to WordPress users who do not know how their sites work, and therefore need to ask their developer to make changes, you are at the mercy of those systems and let’s be honest, you don’t even truly own your site if that’s the case. I want you yo use systems that are so easy to use, anyone could figure it out, but that also have all of the features of the big, fancy, complex systems. This is my criteria for everything now - it has to be easy to use but also have the features of the most robust software.
Affiliates: You need to be using a course software that makes affiliates very simple. If you don't have affiliate capabilities, you’ll be smacking yourself down the line for not thinking ahead. Just because you might not need this feature TODAY doesn’t mean you won’t need it a month from now. Keep that in mind. (I am obsessed with Teachable because they pay out my affiliates for me. This feature alone is literally worth it’s weight in gold).
Profit sharing: This matters to me but is something that comes into play down the line. Now that I have joint products with other course creators, the ability to sell products together is a must. This is also absolutely necessary for webinar bundles that I do. Doing these things used be extremely painful and such a huge hassle. Now I just set up a co-author, set their percentage, and Teachable does the rest. One of those features you never thought about until you had it, and now you wonder how you ever lived without it.
The way your course is delivered will influence how people perceive the value of your course.
Before, our stellar valuable content was not being done justice by being a wonky email course.
People will actually put more value on your course, and perceive it as more valuable, when you have it on a professional course platform like Teachable. It allows you to charge a little more, feel super confident in the quality of your course, and give your students the best experience!
6 Reasons Why We Switched to Teachable and LOVE IT:
One Central Hub:
One thing I always struggled with before we switched to Teachable was the idea of having a “shop” full of courses on my site. When we got to the point of having multiple courses, my system at the time had no “central hub” where someone could browse what we offered.
With Teachable, you have a “School”, and then within your school or academy are your courses.
So now we just have a navigation link on our main site that goes to “courses”, and it takes people right to our Teachable school where they can see the courses we sell. I love having it all in one place.
And from the backend perspective, Teachable has become our “business hub” since we track everything through there. It’s so nice to have just ONE platform that does payments, affiliate tracking, and everything else - instead of having one tiny app for each individual step of the process of selling courses.
Customers think we’re amazing and professional:
I can’t tell you how many emails we get every week from ecstatic students in our courses that have logged into our program in Teachable and been absolutely DELIGHTED with the user experience from their side.
We get so many compliments about how professional we are, how our courses are the “most organized and easy to do courses ever”, and how intuitive and enjoyable our course platform is to use.
What’s interesting to us is just how positively using Teachable reflects on us as the company and creators of content.
We didn’t build the software - but our students just know that we’re providing an amazing, easy experience and they rave about it to us!
We now got students who purchased and immediately raved about the high quality of the experience, the course, and the amazing professional and easy to use platform.
And a happy user experience for them helps them get better results, so we get better case studies! Win, win!
It’s just a really good feeling when you can exceed expectations from the moment someone logs into your course for the first time. First impressions really are everything!
Affiliates and co-authors:
One huge things for us is the ability to have an affiliates program for our courses, so that our previous students and select influencer affiliates can promote our courses for a commission.
Affiliates used to be my #1 traffic driver to my courses in my other business. But running the program was also my #1 biggest pain the butt.
The affiliate program that Teachable has allows us to reward our partners and it works seamlessly. People can view their affiliate accounts right directly from their course dashboard (amazing).
For us, because joint venture webinars are one of our biggest revenue sources, the “co-author” feature that Teachable has is literally ESSENTIAL to our business. And it’s one of those features that not everyone has, I can’t think of any other platforms that do this.
When we do a webinar where we offer a “bundle” of the partner and I’s products, we can actually set all of that up through Teachable.
The joint venture partner gets set up as a co-author and can see their percentage of sales on their end. It’s incredible. This saves us at least 4-5 hours each WEEK in admin.
Unlimited Courses & Replication Feature:
From the outside, you might be thinking, “But Mariah only sells 3 courses? Why would you need INFINITE courses?”
Well, on the backend, we have more than 50 courses set up (and more being created all the time).
Some of them are duplicated courses, which allow us to give the correct content to people in different “sessions” of the same program.
Some of them are “courses” for webinar bundles with joint venture partners, which are essentially “shell” courses to process the payments and give links to join each course (and easily deliver bonuses).
Some of them are just bonuses, and the easiest way for us to give the correct group of people the correct bonuses is by bulk importing a specific group of people. (For example, our Webinar Vault, ConvertKit Trainings bonuses, and List Building Workshop Collection, Teachable Trainings, and more are just small “courses” in our library.
These “courses” aren’t published, no one can find them or see them, but they have been incredibly useful and time saving for us.
Easy to use and setup (saves us time):
What happens when something needs to be changed or edited and your tech person is on vacation?
I am so so serious about this. I don’t have to be the tech person, I don’t have to know everything - but if I can’t fix something on my own in a pinch, then we are NOT using that software. Not happening. Nope.
I’m way too self sufficient to be 100% dependent on a platform that I don’t fully understand or that is too complicated for the average non-techy person to use. That to me is scary.
What’s incredible is that Teachable is like the most easy to use, “non-techy” person software ever - it’s all super intuitive and drag and drop - and yet it has ALL THE FEATURES.
This is virtually unheard of. To have the best of both worlds - the ease of use AND the robust features - is nothing short of amazing.
At the end of the day, this is what saves us time. And that’s all we really want - more time!
Integrates with everything (maximum automation):
We love that Teachable integrates with all the other software that we use - like ConvertKit and Zapier. (And yes, we use Teachable with Squarespace no problem!)
Some of the integrations we have are:
Zapier creates a spreadsheet for us to track sales in a more detailed way and project revenue months into the future. It’s pure wizardry. Megan Minns is a genius with the spreadsheets.
When someone buys a course, they get “untagged” from the “LEAD” tag in ConvertKit, and tagged as a student so they automatically get excluded from any future promos about this course.
When someone buys a course, they automatically get into an onboarding sequence from ConvertKit. This keeps them on track, engaged with the course, gives them support and encouraging check-ins and gets them better results.
I know how tough it can be when you’re trying to decide what platform your business - your baby! - is going to be run on.
I hope this article makes that decision easier. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to use Teachable.
Why do we love Teachable?
It is so freaking easy to use. Extremely intuitive, very simple to navigate, it’s like “Squarespace for courses” which I love.
Extremely robust features, meaning that if I want to customize something or do more advanced things, I can. It will never hold me back.
This platform will work for me whether I have 100 students or 10,000 students. And since my business grew so fast recently, this became a real issue. Now I have peace of mind knowing that my course system isn’t going to fall apart or become too much maintenance if I make more sales!
Seriously - if you can at all swing it - invest here. It covers 99% of your bases when you have a course business. Worth every penny and more.
Their customer service is top notch. And they are always adding new features based on user requests. We just love them!
I just wish I had started using Teachable sooner!