With LearnWorlds you can run your own online school to provide students with your expertise.
The platform makes it easy to construct your school, sell and market your courses, and understand how your students are interacting with your course content.
It’s a one-stop shop for all your online school needs.
But running a business is tough work and requires a whole load of added duties that can distract you from your core product: selling your skills.
That’s why we’re going to explore how you can use LearnWorlds’ Zapier integration to automate a bunch of the tasks and save precious time.
Using automation reduces the need for manual data entry and allow you to leverage information in useful new ways.
How to Use Automation to Manage Teaching Workflows (and Save Time)
First, I’ll start off with a little example.
I work in processes; understanding how organizations function and trying to find better ways for them to do so.
There are a couple of things which are useful process-principles I like to hold to:
My partner provides training and coaching services. She teaches English to students from all over the world, often focusing on those working within tech.
However, she’s not interested in highly technical solutions for her own business workflows. What she wants is a smooth experience which is simple and can show her information which can be understood at a glance.
Her workflows are primarily constructed around effectively managing her time and around creating custom content tailored to the needs of her students. The two are interrelated.
I’ll give you a brief overview of her process, and how she simplifies it with automation.
Her online course workflow example
This all sounds complicated but it’s super easy for her.
For her, the process looks like this:
This results in her feeling in control of her schedule. It means she has cut out the wasted time for data entry which she can then use to maintain consistently high quality. It means that the extra time she has saved can be utilized instead on designing more specialist courses and developing her business.
It allows her to increase her customer intimacy – the most important thing for a business based on one-to-one interaction. That closeness and attention place her skills at a higher value than students would be able to get otherwise from language learning software. And if you can’t offer a student more valuable training than they could access on their own, then your training career will not last long.
When tools like LearnWorlds exist to make running your school easy, you only have to worry about your supporting workflows.
For her, the supporting workflows in this example are:
But there are lots of other workflows you might want to consider automating.
Maybe you’re providing one-to-one tuition all over the world like her? Maybe you’re creating fixed course content which learners work through at their own pace? Maybe you provide in-person training locally and your school operates as a central point for resources and further learning materials?
There’s a massive span of use cases, so we’ll pull out a few sample workflows that might apply to each:
We all know accounting is a pain.
Many times it might come to the end of the tax year and suddenly you’re having to speak with an accountant because you haven’t done your bookkeeping correctly and your balance sheet doesn’t make any sense.
Fortunately, accounting is often easier than you think.
Keeping your bookkeeping up to date is the simplest way to make your life easy, and this just requires regular updates.
You could utilize some accounting processes from Process Street and set them to run as checklists once a month. This will notify you via email that it’s time to sort your books. It can help you keep on top of your finances before they become a mess.
But there are added automations which can do the manual work for you behind the scenes.
One example might be to record all LearnWorlds purchases as entries in Google Sheets:
You could then build another automation using Google Sheets and Quickbooks with the following trigger and action:
This means that every sale in LearnWorlds is now recorded as a sale inside your accounting software, making it super easy to stay on top of everything.
And it was all done automatically behind the scenes!
One of the great challenges of utilizing new software or of expanding your business in general is integrating the new with the old. Making different software talk and continue to function smoothly as a system.
If you’re using a tool like Infusionsoft for your sales and marketing then you likely already have campaigns set up, contacts and previous purchases stored, and a whole array of workflows which you want to keep in place.
If you’ve decided to start using LearnWorlds to deliver your product or one of your products, then you want a way to manage the connection between the two platforms.
One example would be to set up a Zap to replicate information from Infusionsoft into LearnWorlds.
With this Zap you would tag a contact in Infusionsoft and that contact would be enrolled in a course or bundle inside LearnWorlds. You could create different tags to enrol students in different courses.
The Zap is here if you want to play with it:
Marketing is crucial for any business and there are so many different ways you can approach it.
You might be running social media ads or maybe publishing rich blog content.
From each of these sources you could have someone decide to buy your product or decide to subscribe to a mailing list – keeping them in the loop without the full buying commitment.
Not every potential student will buy something as soon as they see your marketing materials. Many of these students may require further poking and prodding – you have to find a way to demonstrate your value to them.
Process Street has a host of marketing processes you could use to help guide your efforts and boost your inbound traffic.
But let’s say you decided that inbound traffic from your blog was a seriously useful route for reaching your potential students. One great way to leverage this would be to give them the opportunity to sign up to a mailing list. With this mailing list you could send them new articles when you publish them and you could send them a monthly newsletter.
These kinds of materials help to cement your value and reiterate your expertise, giving you the opportunity to turn leads into a sale.
LearnWorlds integrates with the top 4 email marketing platforms making it easier to automate your email marketing processes with them!
Personal productivity workflows
There are loads of products out there for productivity.
Which one you use depends on what feels best for you. There’s no real science behind it – some people respond better to certain methods than others.
I have a couple of suggestions for this one and they’re super simple.
The first is the simplest. We all have preferred ways to be contacted. Getting notified about something as and when it happens helps us to stay on top of things.
Zapier has loads of app options to help notify you about different things, but here are two LearnWorlds specific ones:
The second is surprisingly simple too. It just depends on what information you want to pull and what you want to do with it.
If you take the example of the Zap earlier in this article, for accounting, you can set LearnWorlds information to be automatically duplicated into a Google Sheet.
Once it’s in a Google Sheet you can build a Zap to do almost anything. Much like we did with Quickbooks.
You could set a new line entry to create a Trello card, or to run a Process Street checklist, or to create an Airtable entry.
Google Sheets is one of the most flexible tools to integrate with Zapier because it just holds nicely formatted information. You can pull that information and do loads of different things with it.
You can construct whatever workflows you think would be best for you, and you can trigger them automatically.
Course design workflows
When it comes to designing new courses, there are a bunch of things to consider.
You might want to do a load of research to find resources and materials which you can use and repurpose in your own course.
You might want to do keyword research to find out what courses people are searching for and how you can target that.
You might want to have a set process you follow every time you create a course in order to create your best work each and every time.
So, let’s say we want to store all of this information centrally somewhere – perhaps Google Drive. What we can do is create a folder in our Drive for this course and then we can try to centralize the storage in there.
When you find interesting materials online you can save them directly to your Drive in a number of ways. One of the simplest ways might be to have the Evernote browser extension. This allows you to save things as Notes in Evernote. It also has a really useful screenshot tool which saves the image files as notes too. Evernote might be the easiest way to save things you come across online.
With this Zap you can set Evernote to send all of these notes automatically into your Drive:
Now you have your potential course materials and inspirations being stored into your folder straight from a little browser extension.
For your keyword research, you can record the information into a Google Sheet which can live in that same location too.
When it comes to designing your course, you could create a set process to follow each time. It could look something like the Unit Plan Template from Process Street.
As you work through your process you can enter the important information into the checklist. You could build a Zap to automatically generate a Google Doc from the information entered into the checklist.
This then means that your course outline, learning outcomes, and more can all be immediately included in that same folder in Google Drive.
Everything you need to design your course before moving it into LearnWorlds is now right there in that folder.
Automation makes your life easier
There are so many different ways you could leverage automation in your personal and professional life.
What automations do you think would be most useful in your business? Let us know!
Adam Henshall is the editor at workflow management tool Process Street and COO of the language learning application Idyoma. His main area of interest is agile methodologies and how to scale them.