Growing From A Single Course To An Academy: Feedback Loops And Beyond

Growing From A Single Course To An Academy Feedback Loops And Beyond
Khakimullin Aleksandr/
Summary: You’re officially a course creator—congratulations! Once you’ve successfully created, marketed, and sold your first course, you can start expanding your business further. Scaling your business from a single course to an academy takes planning—here’s exactly how to grow your business and keep improving your course offering.

How To Use Feedback Loops To Enhance Your Course

When you’ve got a steady stream of students coming through the door and enrolling in your courses, it’s time to develop feedback loops to keep improving your course offering. This is the way to keep making sure that your course keeps getting better.

eBook Release: The Ultimate Course Builders’ Guide: How To Plan, Design, And Monetize Your Online Course
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The Ultimate Course Builders’ Guide: How To Plan, Design, And Monetize Your Online Course
Uncover tips to build a business and generate revenue creating and selling knowledge products.

What Are Feedback Loops?

A feedback loop is a process that involves using customer feedback to refine and improve a product or service. In the case of course creation, feedback loops are critical for adapting and changing your content to suit the needs of your students.

Automating Your Feedback Loops

Automated feedback loops allow you to gather continual feedback from your existing students to improve the learning experience for future customers.

If you incorporate automated feedback opportunities throughout your course, you can gather more in-depth information on each stage or module. The best way to gather feedback is through questionnaires or surveys—use a tool like Typeform to make a quick and easy survey for students to fill in. You can create an automated email system to send out surveys whenever your student completes a module or add them to your course dashboard with Thinkific.

Ask Them What They Would Change

In your surveys, ask students what could be improved and if they have any comments or suggestions they want to raise. Keep it simple and clear—students won’t want to spend more than a few minutes on this.

You can also schedule one-to-one check-ins with your students where you can ask them more detailed questions on what could be improved. This not only helps you to establish a closer connection with your customers but it also gives you in-depth insight into what it’s like to be a student in your online academy—an important step in your feedback loop system.

To take your feedback game to the next level, set up a cancellation survey too. Find out why your students canceled and what you could do better. The ones canceling their paid plan are the ones you most need to hear from!

Implement The Feedback

Gathering feedback is one thing—now you have to act on it! Once you have collated feedback from your students, take a look at the key themes that come up time and time again.

Your feedback loops might throw up something as simple as a typo or something as major as a module that just isn’t working. Whatever it is, it’s important to take action and adjust your course content or structure as needed. This is the best and only way to make your course as good as it can possibly be.

Next Steps To Grow Your Course Business

To grow your course business into a full academy, you also need to think about how you will scale your business. This includes improving operations, outsourcing tasks, and forming business partnerships.

Here are 3 things to consider as you grow your business now and in the future.

1. Tech Automation

Depending on the scale and scope of your business, you might want to automate some of your processes. As with feedback loops, automating other tasks can save you time and resources, helping to free up your to-do list for creating more content and other income-generating activities.

Some tasks that can be automated include:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media posting
  • Mailing list building
  • Administrative tasks
  • Student onboarding
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Data back-ups
  • Personalized advertising
  • Issuing certifications and awards

The tasks you choose to automate will depend on your business strategy. You might prefer to automate all repetitive tasks or you might consider outsourcing instead. With an online education software like Thinkific, a lot of tasks can be automated through the platform and through our app partners.

2. Outsourcing

As your business grows, you might find that you have too much work to handle all on your own. At this point, it’s a good idea to outsource tasks that don’t need your direct input.

While you can hire full-time staff, it’s easy and straightforward to hire freelancers to help you. This means you can use them when you’re busy but you don’t have to worry about paying a full-time salary during quieter periods. Freelancers also bring skills and experience that you don’t have so they can be a huge asset.

There are lots of freelance marketplaces for finding specialist freelancers to assist with every aspect of your business.

Here are some of the top sites:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Freelancer
  • Thumbtack

When you’re advertising a position, make sure you include information on what you do and what your niche is, as well as a task list and approximately how many hours per week or per month you will need assistance.

3. Business Partnerships And Collaborations

To take your business to the next level, it’s time to start reaching out to other entrepreneurs and organizations that align with your business. Business partnerships and collaborations are a really effective way to expand your audience and grow your business.

With the right partnerships you can:

  • Increase traffic

Once you have created a course that you’re proud of, you can start approaching other businesses to establish partnerships and collaborations.

Look for brands that have the same audience as you and who are not your competitors. Reach out and ask if they’d let you write a guest blog or make a guest appearance. This is a great way to drive more traffic to your site and course landing pages.

  • Earn affiliate commissions

Business partnerships are also ideal for enabling you to earn affiliate commission and gain more affiliate partners for your business. The more people you refer, the more money you make.

This is ideal if you have certain products or services that you use every day or that are central to your course content—promotion is easy and effortless! Use this as a method to increase your number of passive income streams.

  • Become a thought leader

If you can establish business partnerships and collaborations with other brands, you can also increase your authority in your field. Methods like guest blogging, appearing on podcasts, and encouraging reposts of your content can all work to get your name out in the world.

Thought leadership is a brilliant tool for edupreneurs hoping to become the go-to authority in their chosen niche. It extends your reach far beyond what your own marketing can achieve—and it encourages reciprocal relationships with other businesses.

Use Feedback Loops To Improve Your Course And Grow Your Education Empire

Every online course academy starts with a single course—the trick is what you do next.

If you want to expand your online course offering and build an education empire, you’re going to need some strategies. From automated feedback loops, to outsourcing, to building new business partnerships and collaborations, there are loads of methods you can use to make your life easier and keep the leads rolling in!

Any Entrepreneur Or Established Business Can Use Education As A Tool For Growth

Thinkific gives you everything you need to create an amazing experience for your audience from the moment they see your site, and throughout their entire learning experience to achieve their educational goals.

Download the eBook The Ultimate Course Builders' Guide: How To Plan, Design, And Monetize Your Online Course to learn insiders tips for creating, launching, and marketing your eLearning course. Also, join the webinar to bring your vision to life.

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