Your Learning Management Systems (LMS) was primarily designed to help you administer and teach eLearning courses online. But have you also considered taking it a step further by monetizing your LMS? Whether you use free open-source software housed on a self-hosted server or you pay a fee for access to a subscription-based hosted platform, there are a number of ways you can make the most out of your LMS. Follow these tips on how to make money with your LMS and give your bottom line a boost and increase your return-on-investment (ROI).
Charge a Participation Fee
The most obvious way to monetize your Learning Management System is to charge a participation fee / sell courses online. This can be a one-time fee paid per course or a subscription fee paid per month. If you don’t already have a following, are new to offering online courses, or lack ample marketing support, then offering some courses for free or sections of a course for free can help add to your credibility and motivate people to sign up for your paid courses. If you already have a substantial following and have had success in past free course offerings, then you’re ahead of the game. Simply experiment with adding one, a few, or all fee-based courses to your program line-up. In any case, whether free or paid, your course content and instruction should be of high value and quality.
Build an Email List
To effectively monetize your LMS, you need to be able to communicate with people on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you reach people through your LMS, website, social media, events, etc., the key is to religiously gather their contact information, an email address at a minimum. Make it easy for people to submit their information on your website with a very simple form that even a child could use. Most people won’t necessarily give you’re their email address without a good reason, so consider offering free access to a special course or free trial subscription. Free eBooks are popular and effective at gathering emails. Blogging helps to drive people to your site as well. No matter how you collect, a current or potential customer’s email is a very valuable and power piece of information because you can use it to automatically send pre-written emails over time. This helps you establish a long-term relationship, keep them updated on new offerings and motivate them to buy.
Add More Products
If it fits your situation and customer needs, consider providing a way that learners can become certified by completing specialized courses that you offer. There could be a fee for a study guide, certification test, printed certificates, and more. If it makes sense, perhaps you have another line of products that can act as a supplement or an extension to your course offerings. Many people have successfully made huge amounts of money on coaching sessions, training workshops, books, CD's, etc., even by offering their introductory eLearning course as freebies.
Branding, Branding, Branding
They say "location, location, location" is important, but you've already got that covered by making it convenient for people to access your information online. Having an online presence that makes good use of branding is key to being successful no matter what type of moneymaking strategy you implement. It’s imperative that you known your audience and understand their needs and wants. Your products and services should be in line with your target audience. Create an effective brand and message that is unique so that you stand out among the crowd of competitors. With so many marketing messages being thrown at people, you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention, so make every second count.
Choose a Capable Teaching Platform
Not all teaching / training platforms are the same. If you are serious about making money with your LMS, make sure you choose a learning management system that not only provides you with an avenue to sell your courses, but also an easy way to create them. Get a free trial of an LMS that gives you both the flexibility and scalability you need to make money selling courses online.