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Thinkific: App spotlight

How this app lets you create and sell your online courses

By Elena Alston · January 14, 2022
Thinkific logo on a blue background

Whether you're an entrepreneur with a popular podcast, a qualified nurse practitioner, or an ice-hockey coach, you might have thought about sharing—and monetizing—your knowledge through remote learning. 

It's not a bad idea. After all, the corporate e-learning sector alone is expected to grow by as much as $38 billion from 2020 to 2024. Online courses give students a flexible way to pass their exams in specialized subjects and help professionals learn new skills or develop existing ones anywhere in the world, independently of where the course creator is based. 

Yet choosing the right platform to create, market, and sell your online course can be tricky. You probably want full autonomy over your course content but don't want to be bogged down by expensive fees and cut revenue. 

That's where Thinkific comes in. This platform is for people who want to create online courses, build a sustainable business, and really own their brand and customer relationships. 

Thinkific origins: A single course creator

Founded in 2012, lawyer Greg Smith first conceived Thinkific when he decided to move his LSAT course online, knowing he'd reach more students globally. With the help of his brother Matt Smith (a software developer), his online course was soon generating more revenue than his corporate law practice. 

Other entrepreneurs and businesses began to take notice: they too wanted a way to sell their courses online and turn their expertise into a sustainable business. With that in mind, the Smith brothers joined forces with Miranda Lievers and Matt Payne to build Thinkific.  

Did you know? In the early days of 2006, brothers Greg and Matt Smith shared a flat to work on what would become Thinkific, often placing bets on whether or not the venture would be a success. 

Thinkific today: Owning the learning experience

To date, 50,000 entrepreneurs and businesses have created courses using Thinkific, bringing in roughly $650 million worth of revenue to creators. Educators can create their own courses, and then sell them on their own websites while setting their pricing and keeping the revenue. 

With Thinkific, creators can choose between live, on-demand, or blended classes—no coding skills required. The ready-to-use templates make it easy to start building right away, and you can easily manage course content with simple drag-and-drop editing. 

Fave feature: If your course proves successful, you can create memberships and course bundles with Thinkific's Pro plan to generate recurring revenue on an ongoing basis.

Growth through automation: Popular Thinkific workflows

Unlock even more value out of your online courses by connecting Thinkific with Zapier. That way, you'll be able to easily automate workflows with other apps you use. Here are a few popular workflows to get you started:

New to Zapier? It's a tool that helps anyone connect apps and automate workflows—without any complicated code. Sign up for free to use this app, and many others, with Zapier.

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Elena Alston picture

Elena Alston

Elena Alston is a content specialist at Zapier based in London. She's a big advocate of automation and loves making it more accessible to people via storytelling.

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