If you’re a training provider and already using an LMS learning platform then you’re probably already monetising your knowledge in some way. However, having helped numerous training providers to build commercially viable online businesses, this article covers a few ways you might not have thought of. You can monetise your knowledge by:
- Turning it into e-learning courses and videos
- Using Virtual Classrooms
- Offering certification and recertification
- Auto-renewing services and annual licences
- Automated payment for attendance course booking
- Letting your customers upload their internal resources on your LMS
- Offering white labelling and customisation
- Using discounts and coupon codes
- Selling documents and ebooks
- Providing a Wiki based knowledge base
- Giving your e-learning away for free
If you’re unfamiliar with LMS learning platforms then take a look at what facilities an LMS provides and how they might benefit your business. Or just contact us and we’ll run through things with you.
1. Monetise your knowledge by turning it into e-learning courses and videos
Okay so this is the glaringly obvious one! But there are numerous inexpensive (and sometimes free) authoring, screen capture, recording and editing tools available to help you pull together your knowledge into a compelling and engaging e-learning course or video that has value to your target audience.
Once you’ve created your courses they’re available for re-use time and time again – freeing you up to deliver greater value in the classroom.
Additionally, many training providers are turning to a blended approach to learning (part e-learning and part attendance) so they can offer customers less time in the classroom which means lower cost of attendance, reduced travel time, less time out of the office and reduced carbon footprint.
Furthermore, if you’re able to offer a pre-attendance e-learning course to your participants then there’s an awful lot you can learn from them before they even arrive in your classroom. Include surveys and quizzes to pre-assess their capabilities, and to find out a little more about them.
So give some thought to what elements of your training could be delivered online. If you’d like to chat through how that can be achieved then contact us.
2. Monetise your knowledge by using Virtual Classrooms
Virtual classrooms (think webinars) allow you to ‘meet’ your clients online with two-way video and audio. The virtual classroom enables you to share your PC screen, presentations and videos with your attendees, as well as offering a shareable whiteboard and chat-rooms for additional real-time collaboration. You can also use the virtual classroom tools to deliver your presentations and pitches to potential new clients.
If you provide coaching of any kind (one-to-one or multi-party) then consider using the virtual classroom function of an LMS to deliver some of that coaching as part of a blended approach to learning.
What’s more, these online presentations and meetings can be recorded for use at a later date so that your web meetings and presentations retain value after the event. Record those meetings in your virtual classroom and publish them for purchase via your LMS’s catalogue.
Whatever you use the virtual classroom for it will reduce your travel costs and carbon footprint (and that of your clients), and it will free up more of your time which can be better spent earning, as opposed to travelling.
3. Monetise your knowledge by offering certification and recertification
Some training providers offer a free training course so that potential clients can gain a taster of their training – and at the same time ‘capture’ that user into their marketing database. Even if you give something away for free you can still monetise that by offering the user the option of gaining accreditation for that course via paid for certification.
If you try this out then make sure that your LMS can automatically generate your company branded certificates in PDF format containing the users name, course title and date of completion and validity period, etc. You don’t want the added burden of the material and time costs of printing and posting certificates, so let the LMS automate that process for you.
4. Monetise your knowledge by auto-renewing services and annual licences
If you’re selling annual licences then instead of chasing those annual renewal signatures from your customers simply make your terms of service auto-renewing (unless the customer cancels of course). You’ll be amazed how much time this frees up for your sales account managers who can then chase new business rather than renewal paperwork. You will also see your retentions increase significantly.
Even if a customer does contact you to cancel their subscription you still have the ‘grace period’ of the cancellation during which time you can meet with the customer (or talk to them via your virtual classroom). You can then find out why they feel the need to cancel and explore what you need to do to keep their business.
5. Monetise your knowledge with automated payment for attendance course booking
If you’re still using a manual process for attendance course booking and payment processing then don’t! It’s labour intensive, costly and prone to human error!
Make sure your LMS can handle attendance course bookings and that the LMS can also take the automated payment for those courses. Attendance courses should be managed by your LMS in the same way as online courses. The only difference being that attendance courses have limited places for each course and different locations.
So if your LMS can handle attendance course bookings then use it to free up any manual and time intensive booking and payment procedures.
6. Monetise your knowledge by letting your customers upload their internal resources on your LMS
If you have customers who are using your LMS to access your e-learning and video resources, why not allow those customers to use it for their own e-learning and/or internal procedures. Many of your smaller and mid-sized customers will not be able to afford their own LMS for their internal training but they could licence the use of yours!
Consider how your customers training manager will benefit from all of the real-time reports that your LMS will provide them and how much time this will free up for them - no more manual and time intensive administration of training records. This can all be offered through a simple licensing arrangement with your client. If your LMS supports white-labelling you can even make it look like your clients’ own brand.
7. Monetise your knowledge by offering white labelling and customisation
If your LMS can have different client skins then this is likely to be of value to your client. All customers like to feel that you’ve done something special just for them. So why not offer customisation of their user experience to make the LMS look and feel as though it were their own? This can be offered as a value added service (to differentiate your offering from that of your competitors) or it could be a paid for service.
8. Monetise your knowledge by using discounts and coupon codes
If your LMS supports the creation of coupon codes and time-limited discount codes within your product catalogue then you can email your clients and prospective clients with links to your promotions in your LMS catalogue.
For example, if you know your markets and clients then you probably know which times of year each of those clients will be looking to spend surplus budgets. Using time limited catalogue offers you can schedule your promotions accurately for each of your markets and clients.
9. Monetise your knowledge by selling documents and ebooks
It costs very little time and effort to do and once those resources are in the catalogue then they’re there for everyone to see – and hopefully purchase. If a visitor to your learning platform makes a purchase, however small, then they’re a customer. Once they’re a customer you can then offer them more.
10. Monetise your knowledge by providing a Wiki based knowledge base
Think Wikipedia … But this is your own private knowledge base within your LMS learning platform that you allow your customers access to. You can offer this as a value-added or a paid-for service.
You can use your Wiki tools to build a searchable knowledge repository that is populated and managed by your own subject matter experts. Your wikis can include articles, diagrams, documents, contacts, white papers, etc – all of which are searchable and accessible by your customers.
Whilst it may take time to create an extensive Wiki knowledge base, it can become a valuable asset that ensures your clients continue returning to that resource.
11. Monetise your knowledge by giving your e-learning away for free
It sounds counter-intuitive but if you strategically place certain free products in your LMS catalogue then some of your visitors will sign up for them. Use email marketing and social media to promote those offers. Once a visitor signs up for a free product then they become a prospect that you can engage with.
The real-time management reports in your LMS should be able to show you what the user has done, when and for how long, thus giving you a greater insight before you call them.
Make sure that your user registration page of your LMS captures the user information that your business needs in order to enable you to follow up appropriately with each of those potential clients.