At KnowledgeLink we work with subject matter experts who want to have success selling their course offering to corporate clients. They could be speakers, trainers, coaches or consultants.
What they all have in common is that they need very specific business models because of the time, effort, and money required to get an enterprise course offering online. And at the end of the day our clients want to know that they have the ability to generate revenue and make an impact with their digital knowledge.
In this article, I’ll break down the best three business models for experts who sell to enterprise clients. The first option is subscriptions. Subscriptions are essentially membership sites and are extremely popular in today’s marketplace but sometimes harder to sell. Course bundles are probably the most popular option that you see today. These gives you the ability to package content and sell it at a higher dollar amount. And our final option is sponsorships, which are unique and becoming popular. This involves bringing in a larger corporate client to sponsor the users who have access to your offering.
Let’s dive in to the differences between the three models so that you can decide which would work best for your business.
First let’s talk about Subscriptions. They are great because you receive monthly recurring revenue, but with all subscription models the end user is continuously looking for new content and customer service in order to justify their investment.
Software as a service (or SaaS) is one of the most common subscriptions you see on a regular basis. Netflix, Blue Apron and, of course, KnowledgeLink are run as subscription models.
A subscription model requires that you continuously generate new releases, updates, and provide customer support to your subscribers. Here at KnowledgeLink, our clients expect new releases/upgrades and great customer support to take advantage of our platform.
I always want to see what new movies and TV shows are available on Netflix.
Your clients are the same! So if you are considering selling your content via subscriptions, here are a couple of questions to think about.
- What is your capacity to continuously create new content and launch it to your clients?
- What is your desire to do customer service and speak to your clients?
- What kind of time do you have to create content?
- Who might offer support to your customer base if you are unwilling or unable to?
Subscription models are great for recurring revenue but are best for those experts who want to create small amounts of new content regularly and service their customers regularly.
After 15 years servicing experts who sell to enterprise, we think course bundles are the easiest to sell.
Bundles give you the ability to package your content in one or more courses and sell it at a higher dollar amount. This model is particularly interesting and easier to manage because you can sell it over and over again to multiple clients without having to continuously create or change your offering.
As you begin generating more passive income you will have the ability to write more courses and begin filming new content to sell to your corporate clients.
Course bundles give immediate gratification and we have seen many of our clients build large businesses on this model.
Our third and most interesting option that we will discuss is sponsorships. Sponsorships (or licenses) are entirely dependent on your ability to access large enterprises that can sponsor large blocks of users.
What I mean is selling a license to them and completely branding your offering to that client. One of the unique features of KnowledgeLink is the ability to brand your offering to a corporate client, giving them admin rights, reporting rights, and assignment rights.
You still own the content, but the client receives a tremendous amount of value by having the ability to use your platform as an internal LMS. If you are looking to sell sponsorships and license your courses, then the ability to offer clients custom branding is vital. Corporate clients that want to sponsor your content are not looking to just add 1000 users; they are looking to add 10,000+ of users.
In this model it is also extremely important for you to have a platform and a partner that can manage large quantities of users and traffic.
The main reasons experts adopt online business models are to leverage your time, increase your revenue, decrease travel and spend more time with your family.
Having the right business model, especially when you are just starting out, will be important in your success. The model that you choose will be dependent on time, number of employees, and the number of courses you have at your fingertips.
All the business models here are what we believe are the best to leverage. Are there more? Yes, but with over a decade working with clients that sell to large corporate clients the models listed here are what have worked the best for them.
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Author: Peter Getchell
Peter joined Knowledgelink in 2005 with more than eight years of experience in client services and sales. He currently is a member of the executive team and spearheads all business development initiatives for Knowledgelink. As a long time Boston and Phillies sports fan, Peter catches a lot of slack from the New York faithfuls. Peter now resides in Connecticut with his wife and two beautiful daughters.