Justin Ferriman, co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, a learning management system (LMS) providing practical and experience-driven guidance for online course providers, joins the podcast to discuss current trends in e-learning and learning management. Additionally, learn what an LMS is, how it works, and what to consider when developing your first online course.
- Episode 35: Membership Series Bonus: All-In-One Approach to Membership Sites and Online Courses
- Episode 31: Employing ActiveCampaign to Educate & Inform with Lori Taylor
- Episode 40: Transitioning from Services to Digital Products with Mandy McEwen
Chris Davis: Welcome to the ActiveCampaign Podcast. I’m your host Chris Davis, and today I have with me [00:00:30] Justin Ferriman of LearnDash. LearnDash is a learning management system. If you ever wanted to know how to interject the educational component to your business, you can’t do so without a learning management system. We use one internally here at ActiveCampaign and I will attest having internal and external education is one of the greatest benefits [00:01:00] to any company.
So Justin today is going to talk about give us some background on exactly what a learning management system is. We’ll talk about his learning management systems, some trends of how people are desiring to consume content, to give you the ability and the know how to structure your courses, as well as some extra functionality. So this was really fun sitting down with Justin, and I hope you enjoy the podcast.
Justin, welcome [00:01:30] to the podcast. Glad to have you one. How are you doing?
Justin Ferriman: Thank you first, Chris, for having me here. I’m doing excellent. How are you?
Chris Davis: I’m well and about to be weller. Right. After talking to you. This is something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. A lot of our users are either using or have ambitions to implement an LMS in their business. We’re really seeing a trend. You can argue, [00:02:00] what’s that platform? Lynda. You can argue Lynda.com started something that now small businesses get to leverage with the aid of a platform like yours. But before we get too deep into that, Justin, give us a little information about your background.
Justin Ferriman: I’d be happy to. I come from the e-learning space. So prior to what I do today with LearnDash, I was an e-learning consultant implementing learning programs at Fortune [00:02:30] 500 companies all over the U.S. It was during that time that I realized that learning management and the way that courses were delivered and tracked was pretty archaic in terms of where software was, what software could do back in 2012. When I was in my hotel room on a client project, I started thinking up an idea of how to create a better LMS and that kind of segwayed into what I’m doing now. We’ve built our learning management system on [00:03:00] top of WordPress, which as you probably know is the most popular CMS in the world. So a lot of stuff has happened since then, but that’s kind of the Reader’s Digest of my background. I’ve been in e-learning really my whole career and continue to be very much involved in the e-learning and learning management industry.
Chris Davis: Wow. Now, this dates back before e-learning was really a thing. Right? How did you … I’m just curious, [00:03:30] how did you even have the confidence to do it? Because I know back then it was so specific and it was probably limited to like larger corporations. What have you the, “You know what, I’m going to stick with this,” back then and of course now it’s evolved? But was it just something that you were passionate about or …
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. I’ve always had a passion for it. You’re kind of right. It wasn’t really as big as it is now. I think it’s been, e-learning that is, has been more normalized with [00:04:00] sites like you mentioned like Lynda and other online education platforms like Coursera, those massive online courses. At the time, it was just large corporations and I was standing up these learning management systems and creating e-learning for these companies. So I think it’s funny. You can find inspiration in the smallest or in the weirdest places, but I was just tired of being in a hotel room and I wanted out. I knew I loved e-learning. I knew [00:04:30] I loved learning management, and so I looked for ways to be able to do that but on my own terms I guess is the best way I can put it.
So I talked a lot with my wife during this time. It didn’t start like thinking, “Oh, I’m going to create a robust piece of software.” It was more or less just exploring the idea starting up a blog, blogging about the concept for months actually, for 10 months or so, and putting up an email sign up form for people who wanted to learn more and [00:05:00] if this was something that they would want to try or be interested in. So once we started getting a lot of interest in what we were talking about, that’s when we started to pursue the development of it.
Chris Davis: Nice. Nice. So for our listeners who are like, “What? What is the learning management? What are they talking about?” What is an LMS?
Justin Ferriman: A learning management system is a way to deliver and track online courses. Now that’s the boring way of saying it. But today [00:05:30] you see learning management systems in many different ways. In fact, they’ve kind of merged into a way of creating courses as well. So we have users, for example, that may be bloggers and they want to create a course in their niche. So they install our software and they can create a course with lessons and quizzes, award certificates, and add other things like forums and gamification techniques and things of that nature. It’s really easy to do.
So back in 2012, it wasn’t [00:06:00] so easy. It was a little bit more technique overhead than it is today. I think that’s why you see so many options out there for creating online courses because one, it’s been normalized, but two, people want to create their own courses too. They want to sell their courses because they see it as a viable way to earn extra income or to replace their current income.
Chris Davis: Yeah. It’s really powerful. I remember when I graduated I was working as an engineer for Lockheed [00:06:30] Martin, and my first year I was single, had all this time on my hands, and I researched a lot of their benefits and what they did for their employees. One of them was they paid for your schooling. So at the time, I was like, “Well, I definitely don’t want to go to a physical location,” and I was looking up online schools. It was so archaic and so outland. I was skeptical. I was like, “Are they going to give me a real degree? Is this [00:07:00] going to be a fish. Are people going to laugh at me? Are they going to judge me because I didn’t go to an official university, physical university?” But I did it anyway due to the convenience.
Justin Ferriman: Yes. Exactly.
Chris Davis: When I compared the quality of education from someone who has gone to a physical university or whatnot, you can’t tell the difference at all.
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. You’re definitely right. It kind of reminds me in a weird way of online dating. At one point people were afraid to say that they were doing it, and [00:07:30] then now it’s just so normal. People meet their significant others all the time online.
Chris Davis: Yeah. It’s a thing. Back then you were a creep, lonely and like a pervert. Like now, you’re right. It’s just like, “Hey, look. I met the love of my life with technology.” So it’s just good to see technology really evolve and benefit the small business owner, right? So like for you, I know you guys have probably … Oh my goodness. You got so many different [00:08:00] types of businesses that are using learning management for their business or at least for a portion of their business. Is there any particular business that you’ve seen get the biggest impact from using a learning management system?
Justin Ferriman: What a great question. I think there’s so many exciting use cases for using an LMS. I think one of the interesting things about learning or online education is everybody defines it differently. So you’re going to [00:08:30] get a different flavor for how people are using education to further their business. I’ll give a few examples.
Some companies like Infusionsoft use LearnDash to train new employees as well as new customers on how to use their software. So they can have a significant impact because they are going to reduce their turn rate if they’re users are more educated as they start using Infusionsoft software, which is an automation type [00:09:00] software. But it’s really big and it’s really complicated. So it’s nice that they have education in place.
Chris Davis: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Justin Ferriman: On the flip side, so away from a company and internal training, you have bloggers and entrepreneurs who create courses and do launches and make six figures in a few days. They let us know about these things, and it’s really exciting for them because that’s something … Like four or five years ago, it was a [00:09:30] lot harder to do. I mean, people were doing it, but we were seeing more and more where people are taking the knowledge in their head, formatting it in a nice, structured way in a course, and selling it just from their website, which is so easy now today to set up.
So from the individual entrepreneur to the big company, there’s something for everybody in education, in online education in particular, and so that’s the kind of stuff that really energizes and motivates us to keep improving our software [00:10:00] and coming out with relevant features that are inline with the latest and greatest of the e-learning industry.
Chris Davis: Yeah. It’s real powerful. I’m just jogging my memory here. I remembered back when I was first getting started with internet marketing, courses used to be drip emails. It’s like sign up for this list building course and you enter in your email, and it’s an email that says, “Day one.” Next day you get an email that says, “Day two.” That was it. That was the course. [00:10:30] So now to see that you have the ability to actually take your expertise and put it in a platform that allows people to go through it either at their pace or a predetermined pace that you set is really powerful. So give us some insight into how a learning management system works, right? I mean, ideally I believe that the listeners have figured out at some point you have to enroll, right? You enroll but talk [00:11:00] about after that point of enrollment, what that experience is like with LearnDash and some of the features that you all offer.
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. I’d be happy to. I can give a pretty I guess generic scenario that would see. But somebody’s going to enroll in a course. Now this could be a free course or it could be a paid course. So maybe after they purchase, then they’re enrolled. So the learning management side, that’s going to take that user account and place them into the course or assign the course to them. So now they have a profile where they can [00:11:30] see, “Oh, okay. These are the courses that I have access to.” Then they jump right into the content. So there’s lessons in a course and in LearnDash, you can present all the lessons at once or you can do kind of what you were saying with those emails where you can kind of drip feed it over time. Some people like to do that especially if they’re selling courses because it can help with the refund rate. Instead of giving everything all at once like a fire hose. They just kind of feed them the material that they feel is relevant and actionable for that moment. [00:12:00] Then feed them a little bit more a little later.
In terms of LearnDash, the ability to have quizzes and we have a very robust quiz capability to have different types of questions, not just true or false but drag and drop and insert media like videos into the question and answer fields, things that keep a learner engaged. Because one thing that you have to remember is when people are online taking a course, you’re competing with Facebook, and you’re competing with Twitter and email. So you need to be able to hold [00:12:30] their attention, at least for a little bit. That’s part of the learning management systems. That’s part of the role of the learning management system as well as the course creator. But that’s why we make sure that we incorporate features that can help maintain that attention through gamification techniques like badges and points and quizzes.
So that’s generally, like I said, a generic overview of how people are using LearnDash to create these online learning [00:13:00] experiences for whether they’re selling the course or for people that are just signing up for a free course.
Chris Davis: Yeah. For the course creators out there or the aspiring course creators out there, when it comes to the actual format of the course, right? You always have do I make these big videos and say I’ve got an hour, four videos an hour each. Four total hours. Or do I chunk it up and say I’ve got four videos, 25 minutes to make it easier for people to consume. [00:13:30] What have you seen with your experience with having the larger or the more, I would say, modular pieces to consume in the video content work well?
Justin Ferriman: You know there was a time where very large videos were the thing for exactly what you said, the proceeds value of that. But today when you consider how busy people are and how distracted they are, micro-learning has really been on the rise. We obviously keep our finger on the pulse in the industry and we’ve incorporated [00:14:00] functionality to accommodate this trend. By way of example, you were mentioning videos so if somebody had a course and they had maybe an hour video, we would recommend splicing up that video into shorter, bite sized chunks, and then you can use our video progression tool where you just have to insert the video and the learning comes to the lesson. They are presented with a video. You can choose if you want them to be able to skip ahead or if you want them to sit there and watch the whole thing. [00:14:30] Then at the end of the video, it marks that lesson complete and just takes them to the next lesson. So it’s really hands-free learning as opposed to having to click around and navigate yourself.
This is the kind of convenience that people are looking for. If they’re at the airport and their planes delayed, they can open up their phone, take a quick lesson with your video, it marks it complete automatically. They don’t have to think about it and they get on with their life. You know what, that will create momentum and they’ll come back to keep taking the course. That [00:15:00] micro-learning trend, that’s all part of establishing higher completion rates, which was really the name of the game when it comes to online courses.
Chris Davis: Yeah. That’s a good point. I was thinking of Netflix. I don’t know when, but I just remember one day I was watching a series and then when the series ended, right at the bottom it said, “Next episode starting in five seconds.” Right? You didn’t have to do anything and [00:15:30] it just auto-progressed you to the next lesson, not the next lesson, but the next episode. You could hit the button yourself and say, “Okay. Start now.” I would love to know Netflix’s data on how much more hours people have consumed given that auto-progression model that they implemented.
Justin Ferriman: That’s a very good point. Yeah. That’s definitely … There’s something to be said there I think. We’re so used to things being automated [00:16:00] today and in good ways that having course content automated, if possible, is definitely I think well received.
Chris Davis: Yeah. What’s nice about is, and I was reminded of this, Justin, because sometimes when you’re so familiar, you just lose. You lose perspective of the beginner user. There’s a lot of people out here that are still not using an LMS platform but still have some form of education that they’re selling. [00:16:30] Right? What happens is they have like WordPress pages and all of that that they structure like ‘Page one. Lesson two. Lesson three.’ But there’s no tracking, right? That seems small, right? Like you can’t track. But I often hear complaints from people saying, “It gets overwhelming because I can’t remember where I left off.”
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. I think you make a good point. Learning management systems are there for the learner. So when [00:17:00] somebody is interacting with your content, that you want that experience to be good. They want to know where they are, what they’ve taken, and as the administrator or the owner of that content, I would think that you’d want to know where they are too. Because if you’re selling a course or you have a course and somebody goes through it but they’re dropping off, nobodies completing it. How do you know that in the scenario that you outlined before? There’s no way of really knowing. Something as simple as progress tracking can [00:17:30] give you a lot of insight over your course. Are they dropping out at the same lesson? If so, something’s not clicking there. Maybe you can improve it.
Chris Davis: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. I love it. I think that it’s one of those things that no business can really go wrong with, right? Whether its internal use, as you mentioned before, or external use, we’re all in the game. Whether you agree to it or not, but we’re all in the game of education. It’s tied so intricately with our [00:18:00] marketing and support of our business, regardless of what it is. That it’s become one of those things that’s just like, “Hey, it’s there. It’s there and it’s there to stay.”
One of the things I really like about LearnDash as well is you can have course requirements. So in the example where somebody sign up for a free course or they sign up to your academy, we’ll say, and they can see all of the courses in the library. [00:18:30] You can assign points and require that they complete courses a through c until they can access d. When they do that, d is automatically unlocked. Can you speak a little bit about what went into that decision?
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. I’d be happy to. So I guess the more generic term for that would be prerequisites. I think most people are familiar with what are prerequisite is. You have to complete one course before you can get to [00:19:00] the next. That’s something that we’ve had for a long time, just the simple linear prerequisite. But as we look at the online education space, it’s really about freedom of choice. People want to feel that they have a degree of control over their learning path. So if you have multiple courses, it’s a perfect way that these two features that you’re talking about to enable that. So you can have a linear progression path, but you can also let people accumulate points for completing courses. [00:19:30] Maybe say between courses a through c, you have to accumulate 20 points. If each course a, b, and c is 10 points, then they can get their 20 points by choosing two of the three. So they get a little choice there. Then they unlock maybe the next course or next set of courses. So it’s kind of a mix. You’re guiding them along, but you’re still giving them the choice to kind of choose their experience.
Chris Davis: Yeah. You know here at ActiveCampaign in the education department, it’s something that I’ve [00:20:00] seen a heavy trend for. You can provide people all of the resources you want, and they could be top-notch, highly valuable resources but it will get overwhelming, especially depending on your market. If these are business owners or people with families that are always on the move, all of that content gets overwhelming. Sometimes all it takes is a, “Hey, do this one first. Then this one. Then this one.”
Justin Ferriman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Davis: To remove that weight of trying to figure out which one to go with first. Then [00:20:30] it’s amazing how much more willing people are to jump in and actually engage and complete things.
Justin Ferriman: Yes. You’re absolutely right. That can be used for really courses of any nature. Let’s take ActiveCampaign for example. If you guys had somebody who just joined ActiveCampaign, and maybe they’re just not familiar with all the great features that you have from the get go, it can be kind of intimidating because you’re like, “Oh, wow. Look at all these great automations and email lists and [00:21:00] campaigns and all this stuff that I can run.” But maybe there’s a set of one to three core things they should know. Well, you could present that information and I’m not saying that you don’t do this, but you could present that information that they should take right away, and then let them unlock these more advanced things. So they all have a baseline. They’re all coming from the same point as opposed to jumping to a shiny object when they maybe aren’t prepared yet to fully understand what’s capable [00:21:30] with that feature.
Chris Davis: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. One of the things in conjunction with that, we’re talking about just people making that learning process easier for people. Another thing that I enjoy about the platform is that you guys have short codes, right? I’ll be honest, it took me a little bit to like truly understand the power of it. But they’re short codes that can display conditional content [00:22:00] based on what courses the user is enrolled in.
Justin Ferriman: Yep. Yep. That’s a good way to summarize it, for sure. But yeah, that’s powerful. If you have content on a page or it can be any page, doesn’t even have to be in a course, but if you have content that maybe is more advanced, there’s no sense in showing that to everybody. Maybe it only makes sense depending on their role and maybe certain roles take certain courses, [00:22:30] and then you can present that content to them. So I think what a learning management system. One of the benefits of having a learning management system in your education program or platform is that you get to have more control over the learning experience and the way that you’re content is consumed because if you have the right people taking the right content, seeing the right stuff, it’s going to be more effective. It’s going to be better for your business, for your brand, [00:23:00] for the learner, for everybody.
Chris Davis: Yes. Absolutely. I love how you when you talk about the learner experience, it’s beyond just the courses, right? Like you said, there may be a particular page and on there it’s just like … A resource page and that resource page displays different information depending on what courses that you have access to thus hiding stuff that wouldn’t apply to you. [00:23:30] Would just be a point of potential confusion.
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly it. Even the show some ways that I’ve seen this used is some people will have these programs and they have live coaching, like webinars, but they don’t want to offer that webinar to just everybody for whatever reason. Maybe they have a tier structure program or maybe they want their learners to be baselined first. You can, with these conditional short codes, as we’re talking about, show that webinar registration form or the [00:24:00] webinar details on their profile page once they either finish a course or whatever condition you want to have met. Then it will appear. So then that way you’re getting the right people into the webinar and you know that you’re not going to be wasting anyone’s time.
Chris Davis: Yep. Everybody listening, what we’re really talking about, if you haven’t caught, I’m merging two things here. I’ve got a method to my madness. We’re talking about personalizing the [00:24:30] education experience, which is like into or bread and butter is personalizing the marketing experience. You see this theme of personalization everywhere because it matters, right? If somebody can enroll in your online course without any human interaction, you want to ensure that when they go through that experience, that process, that they feel like a human.
Justin Ferriman: Yep.
Chris Davis: Right.
Justin Ferriman: Exactly.
Chris Davis: If they feel individual attention as they go through everything.
Justin Ferriman: [00:25:00] Let me give a good example I’ve seen with ActiveCampaign and LearnDash. Somebody signs up for a course that’s powered by LearnDash, immediately they’re added to an ActiveCampaign automation sequence and it’s a welcome sequence and tells them, “Welcome to our course. This is what you can expect. Here are some resources for you and how to get help.” Then they take the course. They complete their first lesson. Boom, another email. “Hey, great job. You finished this first lesson. You’ve also [00:25:30] unlocked all these other lessons in doing so. You got this many points. You’re halfway to unlocking the next one.” Okay. They’re feeling good about themselves. Then they get to a quiz and they fail the quiz.
In ActiveCampaign, you can set it up there aren’t another sequence. They get a message saying, “Hey, saw you didn’t necessarily pass that quiz. I’m wondering if there’s anyway that we can help. How about you join us for a webinar on Wednesday.” So [00:26:00] there’s was that you can really personalize it so people have ownership and can do things on their own time, but don’t feel like they’re alone in the process.
Chris Davis: Yeah. What you outlined is a very powerful system. It’s one of the reasons why I’m a strong advocate for people to really dive in deep with their tools and one process instead of trying to spread themselves too think, trying to offer so many things and od too many things. Because once you have your learning management system tightly coupled with your marketing automation system [00:26:30] and can truly personalize that journey based on the activity, oh my. I mean, the possibilities are endless.
Justin Ferriman: You’re right. It’s not only the activities that they do. It’s the activities that they don’t do. So if somebody hasn’t logged in in two days or three days or whatever, shoot them a message. “Hey, we miss you. Come back to the course.”
Chris Davis: Right. Right. Now, Justin, you all are using ActiveCampaign for LearnDash as well. What [00:27:00] are some of the ways that you’re finding big value or you’re finding a lot of value in the platform?
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. I’d be happy to talk about that. Sorry, didn’t mean to cut you off.
Chris Davis: No, you’re fine.
Justin Ferriman: I’m really a fan of ActiveCampaign. We switched from another provider a few years ago now, and just have been really happy. So we use ActiveCampaign for our business for onboarding obviously. When we get a new customer, we want to welcome them and share some resources. [00:27:30] We also use it for our marketing. We do this through a couple different automation campaigns that we have set up, but one of them in particular is so effective that people will respond to it as if I personally wrote it to them.
Chris Davis: Wow.
Justin Ferriman: Which is a testament really to the effectiveness of the things we’re able to do with ActiveCampaign. To be fair, I do respond [00:28:00] when people respond to those, it doesn’t go like to space. I respond to them. So they are essentially responding to me, but I didn’t have to obviously write this marketing sequence. But besides that, one of the things that I think is not talked about enough in the I guess the email marketing space are delivery rates and open rates. I think we get all hung up on automation, as we should because it’s pretty cool, but it all comes back to those open rate, delivery rates. [00:28:30] I’m continually impressed with both on our end, but the delivery rates are just incredible. What we came from for whatever reason things just weren’t landing in inboxes as much. So, like I said, I’ve been a fan. We have our business entrenched in what ActiveCampaign has to offer.
Chris Davis: Yeah. What you’ll see the common theme that I’ve seen when people are getting really good open rates, just really [00:29:00] good engagement and everything, it’s personalization. It’s sending that message at the right time where people are anticipating it so much that it becomes a no brainer. I mean, Justin, I’ve seen brands do personalization so well that people will go and search in the spam folder. Like they will find that email. If they don’t have it, they’ll email you. Say, “Hey, I never got this.”
Justin Ferriman: Oh wow. That’s a deep connection there.
Chris Davis: That is a very deep connection [00:29:30] and it’s a testament. I call the pinnacle of marketing is personalizing, right? You know you are top-notch in your marketing where a thousand people can go through and each one feel like an individual.
Justin Ferriman: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Davis: Right. Listen, shake my hand anytime. I will take you out. Let’s exchange strategies. But that’s the marketing is all about relationships. Right? The reason why you have an [00:30:00] education platform is to deepen the relationship through an exchange of value. I want to teach you something that you don’t know and it’s not easily found. Right?
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. You hit the nail on the head really. I think education is the new form marketing to some degree. I think it’s … I’ve seen people … There was a time where offering an ebook or a PDF download was the way to go for [00:30:30] capturing leads for example. That’s still a great strategy. Online courses have intrinsic … They have a perceived value because intrinsically there’s more involvement to it. So people will now use courses or micro-courses as lead magnets. They do incredibly well in doing so.
Chris Davis: Yeah. They just demand more of your attention. I often talk to people about different forms of content, right? You take blog post, somebody might [00:31:00] read that if it’s convenient, but you take that same information and you put in a course, right? All of a sudden, I’ll dedicate time to complete a course that I wouldn’t to read a blog post.
Justin Ferriman: Yep. Exactly. I think a course takes commitment. So you may get less people signing up for a course than maybe downloading a free report or something. But they’re going to be the committed ones. They’re going to probably be more likely to be buyers if [00:31:30] you’re selling something on the back end of that course.
Chris Davis: Yep. Yep. So true. So true. Justin, we’re at the end here. If you could in part some wisdom, some words of advice for those looking to get started with a learning management system. They want to inject in some education and value based teaching in their business, what would you recommend to get started? Like the process and how someone should get started and approach.
Justin Ferriman: [00:32:00] Yeah. My recommendation for that would be before you even open up Google to start searching for an LMS, think about the goal of what it is you’re trying to do. Is it to create a course to do what? Once you really understand what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, you can find a system that’s going to align with those goals. Because we first to say that there is a lot out there, there are a lot of shiny objects and a lot of cool things that can become a distraction, [00:32:30] especially in creating a course to get enamored with the tech side. So the e-learning enthusiast in me and the instructional designer in me is urging people to really get a grasp and understanding of what it is you’re wanting to accomplish with your courses or your learning program. Then inquiry with these different LMS providers if they can help you meet that goal.
I happen to think that WordPress and LearnDash is the [00:33:00] most flexible learning platform out there. So these are conversations that myself and our team have with customers and existing customers and potential customers alike about their goals. In terms of us, we’re honest. If we feel like it’s not going to work out, then we’ll let you know that.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Yeah. I actually have a bonus follow up question. What would you recommend somebody who hasn’t built a course before, it may be a bit overwhelming. How do you approach [00:33:30] mapping out your course?
Justin Ferriman: I think that’s a great question. I think it kind of comes to preference a little bit.
Chris Davis: Yeah. Yeah.
Justin Ferriman: But I personally I used to use a lot of times PowerPoint, even if it was just creating slides. Okay, this section I’m going to talk about this topic and then I’m going to talk about another topic. Some people use Word, and this sounds so not fun, right? To use Microsoft Office to do this stuff, but you don’t want to be distracted. Because what I see happen all [00:34:00] the time is people will set up their LMS and then they’ll say, “Oh, I can add a price.” Then they’ll start messing around with the shopping cart instead of the course. They get the shopping cart all figured out and then like, “Oh yeah. That’s great. Now I’m going to go over to this feature. I’m going to add badges and gamification techniques for when people take the course and finish the course.” But nothing’s happening to the course.
So I would say before you jump into all the tech stuff and get excited [00:34:30] by it because it is exciting and it’s fun to do, map out, even if it’s just a rough framework of the path you want your learners to take.
Chris Davis: That’s good. That’s good. Prepare the path. Prepare the path.
Justin Ferriman: Prepare the path.
Chris Davis: You know what, we can’t get away from this theme that taking some time away from the platform and mapping things out is often the best approach. I cringe, honestly, Justin, when I see somebody just diving right into like [00:35:00] a platform and building straight into that. That’s the only place stuff exists. I’m terrified, man. Because one, it shows me you didn’t think about this outside of the platform. Two, it’s like, “Man, what if …” right? It’s like the big ‘what if’.
Justin Ferriman: Yeah.
Chris Davis: If anything were to happen, it’s only in one place. So it just benefits you across the board to really do your due diligence and preparation. I love your suggestion of using PowerPoint [00:35:30] or Word, just anything that you’re comfortable with organizing your thoughts. Right? Listeners, you don’t even have to be the one doing it. You can have somebody just sit down and say, “Hey, look. Can you just kind of type these notes as I talk to you?”
Justin Ferriman: Yep. Great idea.
Chris Davis: You know, but just get that outline. See your content before you go into the platform. Don’t let you being in the platform be the first time you see your content. You’ll just be much [00:36:00] better served. Your course will be much stronger.
Justin Ferriman: That’s great advice. Yes.
Chris Davis: So, Justin, oh man, this was great. Thank you for joining us. Where can people find out more about LearnDash?
Justin Ferriman: Yeah. You can go to our website at LearnDash.com, and you can send us note from LearnDash.com/contact if you have any questions or also on all the popular social networks, Facebook and Twitter. But probably the best place to start would be LearnDash. [00:36:30] com.
Chris Davis: All right. LearnDash.com. Everybody, it will be in the show notes, the URL. You’ll just be able to click it if spelling it or typing it as you’re listening is too much, don’t worry. We got you covered. Justin, thank you so much for coming on, man. Best of continued success to you, your team and for now and into the future.
Justin Ferriman: Thank you so much, Chris. It was a lot of fun.
Chris Davis: Thank you for listening to this podcast. I hope it’s clear. I hope you can see [00:37:00] the power of a learning management system from offering your information in a means that is highly value or has a high perceivable value to just tracking. Tracking the progress of people who are learning with you. There are so much that you can do. I was so glad he touched on personalization so I could piggy back on that and kind of drive that point home. But remember, we have to understand that personalizing our marketing is [00:37:30] our primary job. It is not sales, everybody. It is not sales. If you focus on sales, you will drive more people away than you will attract. But if you focus on personalizing the entire marketing experience, you can anticipate consistent, predictable, big results in your business and your audience will love you for it. So give a learning management system a try if you’re not using one. If you are using one, think about ways that we discussed today that [00:38:00] you can go even deeper with enhancing that experience.
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If you need some help with configuring your ActiveCampaign or just getting started with ActiveCampaign, we have resources available for you. The first one that I would recommend [00:39:00] ActiveCampaign.com/training. Sign up for a one on one. Sign up for a one on one and talk to somebody in person from our success team about your business in ActiveCampaign to help quickly remove the barriers. If you’re more of a self-paced learner, you want to learn at your own pace, “Hey, I don’t need any help. Get your hand away from me. I got this,” ActiveCampaign.com/learn is the education center where you will find all of the guided content. Please consume as you will at your [00:39:30] pace and your preference.
This is the ActiveCampaign Podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.