I’ve been in the online business space for a while now. I started back in 2012 as a Virtual Assistant after spending 13 years in corporate, with 8 of those years essentially managing databases.
When I was a Virtual Assistant, my specialty quickly became setting up and maintaining membership sites.
This meant that each of my clients not only had a member’s area, but different software programs to run them. Why is that? Usually when they found me they already had their members area software either choses or in the middle of being set up and they realized they were in over their heads so they found me to help them.
This also means I’ve been on the back end of a lot of different members area software programs and seen all kinds of ways they are set up. I feel after 11 years of this (After 2 years, I transitioned into coaching people on how to set their members areas up for themselves), I have a pretty good handle on how it all works, which ones work the best, and which ones are my favorite.
Also, in my Human Design, my profile is a 3/5, which means I’m here to test and experiment with different things and then bring back my findings of what works and what doesn’t work to those who need it.
So, here we are. 🙂
Now, when I say I’ve been on the back end of a lot of different members area software programs, I mean it. There are so many different membership software programs out there now that there’s no way I could have tested all of them, but I’ve worked with a wide range of self hosted WordPress Plugins to stand alone all-in-one membership platforms and everything in between.
One thing I’ve learned about building an online business is that, like in most things you invest in, it’s good to diversify (at least a little) and not put all of your eggs in one basket. But also with diversifying means, there are more potential breaking points.
Let me explain what I mean…
When you connect one software program to another, through an API connection, that connection has the possibility of not working, or “breaking”. Tricky part is, you may think it’s set up right and sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Then sometimes if it’s set up right, it can still get disconnected for no apparent reason. Sometimes things that should just work, don’t.
Oh, the joys of online business…
Other systems that don’t need 3rd party integrations to work the way you need them to, are called all-in-one systems because they have all of the components you need to run your membership area, and sometimes even your entire business, from their one platform. Super convenient, but is it better?
Each have their positive and negatives to them. It really depends on what you’re needing and looking for in your business.
After testing and using a wide variety of each, I personally like mostly all-in-one systems.
I don’t need a system to do absolutely everything for me. Usually those systems, because their trying to be everything to everyone, have weak areas that other software programs that are more focused, do better.
Here’s what I prefer:
My main blog and website hosted on WordPress.
My courses, programs, members area, forum, and client email list hosted on Zenler.
My calendar scheduler through AcuityScheduling.
My marketing email list for on FloDesk.
Out of all of the membership platforms that I’ve tested, built, used with clients and myself, my absolute favorite so far has been Zenler.
Zenler has been the most reliable and user friendly system I’ve used. It’s a great platform to use for all-in-one membership solutions. It’s easy to set up and manage, and has all the features you need to run a successful membership site. It’s also highly customizable, so you can make it look and feel exactly the way you want it.
With Zenler, you can create interactive courses that include videos, audio, quizzes, and other multimedia content. The platform also allows you to track student progress, create certificates of completion, and receive payments for your courses.
One feature I love is when you create a new course in the background, it automatically creates the sales page template, checkout page, and thank you pages for you, along with the course area. It makes it unbelievably easy to start creating a course because the most draining technical aspects are done for you.
There are loads of benefits to using Zenler as an e-learning platform. Here are some of the key advantages:
Easy To Use: Zenler is designed to be user-friendly and requires no technical knowledge to use. The drag-and-drop course builder and customizable templates make it easy to create professional-looking courses and webinars.
Range of Features: Zenler offers a range of features and tools to help you create engaging and interactive courses, including video hosting, quizzes, assignments, and certificates of completion.
Membership Feature: Zenler allows you to create and sell memberships, which can provide a recurring revenue stream for your business, and host life classes and webinars.
Private Community Forum: Zenler has a built-in community forum so you can build your communication and member connections and networking on your own platform.
Integration with Third-Party Tools: Zenler integrates with a range of popular tools, including Zoom, Zapier, Mailchimp, and Stripe, making it easy to automate workflows and accept payments.
Responsive Design: Zenler courses are designed to be mobile-friendly and work on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Analytics and Reporting: Zenler provides detailed analytics and reporting features, allowing you to track student progress, engagement, and performance.
Custom Branding: Zenler allows you to customize the look and feel of your courses and webinars with your own branding, logos, and colors.
Overall, Zenler offers an easy-to-use and comprehensive set of features and tools for creating and delivering online courses and webinars, while also providing the ability to create recurring revenue streams with memberships.
The support team is also great, and they are always willing to help you out with any issues or questions you may have. They are also very responsive and have a great knowledge base of resources to help you get started.
Zenler also has great integrations with other popular software programs like AcuityScheduling, FloDesk, and WordPress, so you can easily set up your entire online business with just one platform.
Overall, I highly recommend Zenler as a platform for running your online business. It’s a great all-in-one solution that is reliable, easy to use, and highly customizable.