Social Media Marketing School

Please do get in touch with me for chat helen@helenlindop.com. Or if you'd rather get your ideas down on paper first, feel free to download my free website planning checklist.

The aim of the Social Media Marketing School website is to sell online courses.

The aim of the homepage is to build trust and then lead visitors to the courses. For this reason the homepage is clean, uncluttered and explains the benefits of learning social media, as well as taking these specific courses. The 'see our courses' button is in a contrasting colour to attract attention and leads to the main course page, but it could easily offer a free course, which could be used to generate leads for paid courses.

Towards the bottom of the page visitors are invited to take a look at featured courses.

One of the key decisions to be made when setting up an e-learning website is whether to host the courses on your own site or to use an online course platform such as Teachable, Thinkific or Zenler. The advantages of using a platform are they are easier and less labour-intensive to manage in the long term, which saves you time, effort and money. But two reasons you may shy away from platforms are a) you want your own site with your own branding and b) why pay an ongoing fee to the platform when you could pay a one-off fee for a WordPress plugin?

I created Social Media Marketing school to show that you can have a hybrid solution. The site has a homepage with its own branding, plus a blog that can be used to position the school as an expert source of learning as well as driving traffic from search engines. But the courses are hosted at Zenler, meaning that the shopping cart, technical support for the courses, logins, passwords and responsibility for paying EU VAT* are all taken care of by Zenler.

So why pay Zenler when I could install a WordPress plugin for you? Your time is valuable and the most effective ways to spend it are on building your business and working with your clients. If you don't have a team working on your site then you're likely to find you spend more time than you want on customer service and tech support. The day may come where it's more cost effective to host your courses entirely on your own site, but until you're ready for that, using a combination of a platform and your own site is likely to be the best strategy.

(I'm happy to work with your choice of online course platform. Zenler is my personal favourite but if you prefer Teachable or any other platform, then no problem at all.)

*EU VAT - if you're selling automatically delivered courses into an EU country, including from one EU country to another, you need to collect EU VAT at the rate charged in the buyer's country and keep a record of the buyer's country. For example if you're in the UK and sell a course to someone in Ireland, you need to charge VAT at the Irish rate, then pay that VAT to the Irish government and keep a record of who you sold to and their address. There is no threshold, so as soon as you sell a course in a EU country (except your own) you are liable to pay this tax. Most course creators don't want to deal with this admin personally, so they will either use a platform that handles it for them or their bookkeeper will do it for them.