Bit of a niche behind the scenes episode for you this week! I recently moved all of my courses from Teachable to Podia. In this episode I explain why and how!
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Hey everybody, in this episode I want to talk about moving from Teachable to Podia, which is pretty niche but you might find it interesting, especially if you are thinking of moving to Podia or from Teachable. If you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about, these are the tools that I use to host all my courses.
So, to give you a bit of background I was with Teachable for, I want to say like a decade, since it was called Fedora, very hipster. So, I’ve been with them for a long, long, long time since I started my very first course, 30 days to go freelance, and I left them this year. That sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it? I mean, essentially, my breakup with Teacheable was a long one. I’ve been kind of feeling low key fed up with them for a while. It really frustrated me that they had an app that they then just stopped supporting. So, I was telling everyone ‘Oh, they’ve got this great app you can use’, and then half my courses just weren’t even accessible on it, because they just stopped supporting it, which I know, app support can be very expensive. But equally, I think a lot of us use apps to access a lot of courses. I know, there are a lot of platforms that I use to access content. So that for me was kind of a game changer. Ironically, Podia doesn’t have one yet but their mobile responsive website is so good and they are in the process of creating one. And I’m not selling it based on the fact that it has access. So anyway, I also just felt like a little bit clunky, and didn’t have a lot of the customisation options to make the school and the courses that really great and fresh and young. Young, I’m 38, I don’t know why I keep wanting things to be young, but I want them to look fun and inviting.
But actually, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was they changed their prices and packages at really short notice. So, I was creating a new course on there and I have a lot of courses because I have the Freelance Business Lounge, which has all of my courses and resources, but to put them in a bundle, I had to create them as lots of little courses and resources. So, I had a lot on there and I was on like an unlimited plan so I didn’t have to limit how many I had. So, I started creating this course and then I went to hit publish and I had an alert that they had changed all the packages and I was now limited to five courses. And I had way over that.
So, there was a jump to the next tier but it just didn’t make financial sense for me. The price of the next tier up, that would have allowed that, it just didn’t make any sense. And they haven’t actually announced this change until the day after I tried to hit publish. So, they stopped it the day before, which to me suggests that there wasn’t any notice given. And I just found it really, really frustrating. I didn’t like the lack of communication, because for me, transparency is a massive thing. And for me, that was just, that was the point where I was like, Yeah, I’m gonna move, it’s gonna be a pain, it’s gonna be a nightmare. But I’m gonna move. And I do want to say I understand prices going up. 2023, I mean barely a week goes by when a platform doesn’t go up. And I get it. Cost of living, I do get it. I just felt the lack of prior warning and the fact that it was the lower tiers that were all suffering. And we’re the ones that are the small businesses or the freelancers. I didn’t like it.
Now, I’d already been using Podia as a user for a couple of other courses, and I liked it. And then two experts that I know and I really trust what they say they both recommended it. So, I tried out different things. They had a free trial, I tried that. And it felt good. It felt really easy to use. I like their roadmap for the future. I like that they have a really good community hub that is updated regularly with updates, and they seem to be very quick at implementing new things as well. And it’s the transparency for me that was what I’ve really, really valued. But I was dreading it. But thankfully, I have an amazing team and I have to especially shout out Jo Shock here. Jo I’ve been working with for years. Jo is the reason that the newsletters go out every week. Jo is the reason that well the whole move to Podio went pretty well. And yeah, she’s the reason that the Freelance Lifestyle is organised because it’s not down to me.
So, I wanted to share some of the steps that we went through in case that is useful for you. So step one, transferring those courses. So, all that content moved over. Now actually it wasn’t too difficult. Most of my content was text based and the videos and files, it was quite easy to download from Teachable and upload into Podia. Nice. And actually, I will say with Podia, they do have an option, if you end up buying that annual package, that they will transfer it all for you as well. So, if you’re pretty certain that you’re going to do it, or you’re happy to do that, because most of my courses, and my bundles are kind of lower cost, it didn’t necessarily make sense for me to do annual yet, I wanted to see how it went. So, we did it manually. So as part of that transfer, I kind of took the opportunity to refresh the courses. So, I checked through any information that was out of date. So like references to old social media platforms, like I’m trying to remember that one that’s the video one that was incredibly popular for three months, and then just died a death. Periscope, that one, Google+ those kinds of things, and any links that didn’t work anymore. And again, Jo was incredible about working through those and helping me spot any of those.
And then once the courses were published in Podia, the next job was to hunt down every link I’d use for teachable and replace them with links to the Podia courses. So, on my website, newsletters. Now I would say now I’m using pretty link, which is a WordPress plugin, so you can put in, so for example, I can add in freelancelifestyle.co.uk, which is my website and then slash and then whatever word I want, and it will redirect. So, I can do freelancelifestyle.co.uk/courses, and then use that everywhere. And if the link changes to where I’ve got my courses, I just go into the Pretty Link creator in WordPress, update that with the new link, and it’s changed everywhere. So, it’s less of a problem. This obviously was a bit more work to find all the Teachable links, and I’m sure we’ve still got more to come to find them. So that’s going to be an ongoing job I think. I have put however on a Teachable page a note, like a banner at the top saying I’ve moved. So hopefully that will help. So that would be my recommendation. If you’re building courses and things like that now start using something like Pretty link so that you can change the redirected link if you need to. And kind of the last part of this bit of the first step, is setting up community membership plans for the Freelance Business Lounge. So, the business lounge, they get access to everything that I have. So, we needed to find a way to do that, without them getting like loads of different emails for every single course. We just wanted to create one membership. And it was a bit tricky, we were trying to work out the best ways of doing things and also using the community element of Podia. I think we found a good way of doing it. We’ve kept the Freelance Business Lounge community on Facebook for now for communications, just because we all use the messenger chats quite a lot on there. The Facebook group everybody tends to use. And unfortunately, we’re still not at a point yet with Podia, where people would use it naturally every day. So, I wanted to use something that was convenient for everybody. However, I have actually found since I’ve launched the Freelance Lunch Club, which is my Friday sessions that you can also bundle up. That’s been really useful to use the community function to share when the replays are going out and things like that. So that’s really useful.
So step two, once all that was set up, was transferring the customers. This was the trickiest bit. Jo created this beautiful timeline in Notion. If you haven’t used Notion’s timeline feature, it’s really good for tracking projects. We had to sort of track when course customers will be transferred for each of the individual courses. When the business loungers would. We then had to work out how to communicate this with everybody and give people plenty of time for communication. The courses weren’t too bad because people had already signed up and pay for them. They were just like a one-off payment. So, we could just give them access to the course on Podia. So they would need to sign in to access it but they wouldn’t have to sign up and purchase it or anything like that again. We also kind of had to decide who to transfer because had been going for like 10 years, there were a lot. And there were a lot of free courses when I first started as well. And what we decided was we’d move customers who had bought access to the course in the last five years. If people come back to me afterwards and say, Oh, I bought this course and I haven’t accessed it in five years. I can add them in, that’s fine. But we figured that was probably the most relevant. I think some of the biggest challenges was the membership side of things. So, we moved everybody over. What we did was we gave people two months free, because it was over the summer holidays, I was going to be away a bit anyway because I had my son. So, we gave them two months free access and then for it to start on the first of September. What we didn’t really think through was that if people didn’t sign in until the first of September, their two months would trigger at the start of September, which was not what we wanted to do. So, there was a bit of trial and error and finding out the best ways to do it. Essentially, when you move them over. You need to get them to sign up on that date if you want them to all be starting at similar times. But the free trial works nicely in that they could add in their bank details but it wouldn’t trigger it until that first of September date. So, we got a lot of people to sign up that way. I was worried because of it being, people having to sign up again. They’d have their Teachable, cancelled, that was fine. But having to sign up again is an extra step, I did worry that we would lose a lot of people, especially because a lot of the community is neurodivergent. And it is extra executive function tasks. And I’m so grateful that the vast majority of the group has moved over. I’m really, really, really pleased about it. Because they’re such a lovely group as well, I would have been gutted, because they’re just the loveliest group of people. So yeah, anyway. And then so we offered monthly or annual membership, just as we did before.
One of the things that we also did was I had gotten a bit haphazard about throwing out vouchers here and there, and the prices on Teachable was all over the place. So, we standardised it when we got to Podia. Same monthly, same annual for everybody. It just made it easier. And I’m trying not to be quite so haphazard with vouchers, it is the impulsive element of me. And what else did we do? So, I think once we got everyone over there, everybody seemed pretty happy. We didn’t need to change the Facebook side of things. We kept everybody communicated with, we gave people nudges, and if necessary, there were a few people who hadn’t done it by the end, we just dropped them direct messages, or Jo dropped the message, she was fantastic by doing that.
So that was kind of the full process, there was a lot of communication, we tried to tell people what would be happening. And yeah, I’m really pleased with how many people moved over and how people still access it. And just to give you a summary, essentially, it was when we decided to move, it was deciding on the platform to move to. Check out the plans against each other to make sure it’s all possible. Everything that we can do in Teachable we could do in Podia and more. Getting together all the content that needed to be moved over. And an optional thing is updating the course content where possible, and then setting up the courses in Podia and creating the payment links or adding people in. So Podia has an option where you can add in customers so that they bypass the payment side. So that was really nice and easy. The only slight problem we have with Podia as well, while I remember is if people didn’t tick the box for being emailed, it meant that they didn’t get any of these alerts. But because it was a purchase of our product, rather than us marketing to them, we were able to drop a message directly. But it was a little bit frustrating that we couldn’t do that through Podia but we’ve learned through that. So yeah, set up the courses, payment links, set up the voucher codes, if necessary for students moving over to the ones that would get the two months free. Communicating, lots of communication wherever possible. So I tried to mention it on the calls, I tried to mention in the Facebook group, and we would send out emails as well. And then for the people that have already purchased courses on Teachable, when they moved to Podia it was a case of giving them access to the new course. And they didn’t have to do the payment process again. And then for subscribers making sure that they all were signed up in the new Podia accounts and activated it, including adding in their bank details. Oh, and updating any links that point to the courses, as I mentioned, Pretty Links is really good for that. And setting aside some time as well in there to answer any customer questions and things like that.
That’s basically how we did it. And Jo was incredible. There were times where something came up and we hadn’t planned for it, because we had no idea that it’d be a problem. But it all seemed to go really well. I really am enjoying using Podia so far. I like that I can do all the webinars in there, the Freelance Lunch Club webinars in there and I think they’ve got some good stuff coming up. The upsells are really good in there as well. From a seller point of view, it’s really nice that I can be able to add in or offer people the option of adding in extra. So yeah, that’s pretty much the process. So, if you’re thinking of moving to Podia, or from Teachable, regardless of what you’re doing, those are some things that you might want to have a think about or consider before you do it. I highly recommend mapping out the whole process. And again, Notion was brilliant for that. We could work out the timelines, see when we are going to be doing it all. And if you’re feeling wobbly about doing this, I highly recommend hiring like a VA or something like that to work through it because it makes it so much easier than when you’re panicking about it on your own.
There you go. Quite a niche one this week. I hope it was helpful if you are looking at that. If you’ve got any questions about courses as well, I’d love to hear them. I have been creating them for quite a long time now. And I don’t do big long courses because I don’t complete big long courses. I would much rather sell short actionable courses and that is the whole idea around the Freelance Lunch Club in that you get 30 minutes of learning and 30 minutes of implementation time on that Zoom call, so that you go away with something that you’ve achieved and that you’ve progressed with rather than another thing on your to do list. So yeah, if you have any questions about creating courses, do let me know I’d love to answer them. And I hope you have a wonderful week