Technology advances in the blink of an eye. Your software gets upgraded, your phone gets outdated, and there are so many tech options available that it can make your head spin. Sometimes, it’s just easier to sit back and watch the progress roll by instead of running to keep up.

But sticking with old technology can mean bad news for your business. If you’re selling courses or other products “the old fashioned way,” you’re leaving money on the table. Making the switch to an online course platform like Summit Evergreen can help you save time, sell more, and build a profitable long-term relationships with your students.

The question is: how do you know when it’s time to upgrade your technology?

Well, it depends what level you’re playing at and where you want to go. If you want to play in the big leagues, you can’t use your AOL email address to contact your students. Even if you want to play in the minor leagues, you still shouldn’t have a sales website that looks like a Geocities nightmare from 1999.

In any business, there comes a time when you have to invest in technology to help you go farther. The online course business is no different. But you don’t necessarily have to make that investment right when you get started.

Where are you in your online course journey? Pick the phase below that best describes where your business is, right now.

The 5 Phases of Online Course Growth

1. The TALKING Phase

You want to create your first online course, but you’re still in the thinking, dreaming, and talking part of the process. You feel like you don’t have any money to get going. (Even if you have some money, it’s common in this stage to feel like you’re positively broke. Trust us, that will all change when you make your first sale!)

Price is your main concern at this stage — not quality or long-term goals. You’re probably willing to put in long hours of grunt work to do something yourself rather than invest $50 to ensure an impeccable experience.

Your course income is: $0

Time to upgrade?
If you’re in the TALKING phase, it’s not the right time to upgrade your technology…because you don’t have any! At this point, just focus on creating your first course. It’s okay to do it by hand if you’re adverse to putting up any money at this level. (If you’ve been stuck in the TALKING phase for too long, here’s a little something to kickstart your progress.)

2. The STARTING Phase

You’ve built your course, probably by hand. You may have a few paying students, which is a great step in the right direction. But, everything about your product feels very down and dirty. You’re probably using tools like Google Drive and PayPal to deliver your course, and the overall student experience might feel a bit amateur or disjointed.

Your course income is: $500/month

Time to upgrade?
If you’re in the STARTING phase, we’re proud of you for getting this far. There’s nothing wrong with starting small or starting from scratch. We recommend you focus on selling your products for now. (Here’s a great place to start.) You can always upgrade to a system like Summit Evergreen later down the line.

3. The EARNING Phase

You’re making some real money on this whole online course thing! Good for you. You have at least one successful course going, and you’re beginning to see how easy it is to build a profit off of your own expertise.

Your course income is: $1k/month

Time to upgrade?
If you’ve made $1,000 a month on a recurring basis, it proves there’s a market for your products and that you can sell even more. It’s definitely time for you to invest in a course delivery platform that helps you create courses quickly and easily, streamlines your sales process with automated emails, and delivers a secure, high-quality student experience.

Summit Evergreen can help you with all of those things — which adds up to more sales for you. We tend to recommend upgrading for people in the EARNING phase because you’re already pulling in enough profits to cover the minimal platform fee, and you have lots of room to grow.

4. The GROWING Phase

Your first course was so successful, you’ve expanded your business. Your readership is growing rapidly, and one course isn’t enough to fulfill their demands anymore. You’ve created additional courses and are thinking of making even more. You may have someone working for you to help you keep up.

Your course income is: $5k/month

Time to upgrade?
If you haven’t upgraded to Summit Evergreen by this point, you may be in trouble! You might be growing, but older technology is wasting your time and leaving money on the table. You should start putting together a plan to upgrade your course platform now, before it becomes a time consuming (and expensive) task in the future. (Did you know that Summit Evergreen offers concierge on-boarding to help you get your existing content up and running in no time?).

5. The ACHIEVING Phase

You’re a big fish with highly profitable courses and a large, engaged readership. You’ve reached great levels of success with your products. It feels like things couldn’t get any better.

Your course income is: $10k+/month

Time to upgrade?
Surprise! Things CAN get better. There’s even more money to be made by upgrading to a course delivery system. We’re always surprised at how many people have reached this phase and are still manually deploying emails, configuring old-fashioned shopping carts, and using any number of processes that waste time and give students a less-than-great experience. If that’s you, it’s time to make the switch.

Here’s what you’ll get when you upgrade to Summit Evergreen:

  • Conversion optimization expertise  Everyone likes to do things their own way, and our way is focused on conversion optimization. Every part of the platform is designed to create efficiency, build profitable relationships with your students, and help you increase your overall revenue.
  • Automated marketing tools
    Email automation is the #1 most important time saver/revenue booster you’ll find…anywhere! If you’re sending sales emails manually, it’s time to move into the 21st century. (Unless your business objective is “spend more time sending emails,” in which case you can keep on doing what you’re doing.) Get the scoop on email automation here.
  • Improved student experience
    Are your emails interesting and engaging? Is your website well-designed and modern? Is your course interface professional and easy to use? Is your customer service helpful and available? These are the factors of a quality student experience, the kind of experience that develops into increased loyalty and a profitable, long-term relationship. Summit Evergreen makes it possible.
  • Safe, secure shopping cart
    Does your checkout process look like the digital equivalent of a shady drug deal? Don’t lose sales by making your students second-guess the security of your checkout. Summit Evergreen comes with a seamless, secure shopping cart built right in so you won’t lose potential students who are scared to hand over their credit card info. (More on protecting customer data here.)
  • Built-in support staff
    When you sign on with Summit, you’re not alone anymore. Our team is working around the clock to make sure your course is top notch and your sales are growing. We’re invested in your success. Why go it alone?

If you can’t tell by now, we’re pumped to help you build and sell courses in the most profitable way possible. We know making a change to a new technology platform can be scary. (Remember the stress of upgrading from Hotmail to Gmail? But who would ever go back?) Switching to Summit Evergreen couldn’t be easier…and our customers agree that they’d never go back to their old way of doing things.

We hope you’ll sign up for your free 30-day trial of Summit Evergreen or get in touch if you’re ready to upgrade. Don’t be scared. Change is good!

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