Did you know the global e-learning market is projected to reach $390.6 BILLION in revenue by 2026? In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing and lucrative industries for course creators, which creates an interesting opportunity for marketing agencies to grow client revenue.

Even if you are very knowledgeable about a particular topic and have created a course for it, you might not be too familiar with marketing or selling your business online.

Welcome back to Agency Accelerated with Agorapulse, where we explore ways to grow and scale your agency with some of the most trusted brands in the industry.

We are live Wednesdays this quarter at 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of this season’s exciting episodes.

In this episode, I’m joined by Raphael Zajtmann, Senior Manager Agency Partner at Thinkific, a platform dedicated to empowering course creators to share their expertise with the world.

Raph has six years of experience in partnership management, community, and building strategic business development. Additionally, Raph has worked with some of the most prominent digital agencies in the world.

Raph and I will discuss additional services you can add to your agency to help bring in more clients and even drive more revenue from your existing clients. In this interview, you’ll learn about:

  1. What course creators need help with
  2. How marketing agencies can support course creators
  3. How agencies get started and earn more revenue

Let’s get started.

What Is Thinkific?

First, let’s talk about Thinkific. What is it and what do they offer?

Thinkific was founded in 2012 when Greg Smith, an attorney, built an online class with the help of his brother, Matt Smith, a software engineer. The course focused on helping students write their LSATs.

They soon received many requests from friends, colleagues, and others who took the course for help in creating their own similar courses. Soon, Greg’s side gig was so successful that it became his main gig, and today, it is a publicly-traded company with users around the world.

Thinkific’s goal is to enable entrepreneurs, establishments, and businesses of all sizes to create, market, and sell online courses. Since starting in 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs have shared their expertise online from cake making, drone flying, exercise classes, bartending, and beyond.

In 2020 alone, entrepreneurs have taught over 21 million students and earned over $275 million in revenue from direct core sales using Thinkific. By the end of 2021, Thinkific expects to see course creators’ total earnings more than double to $1.5 billion.

“The educational tech sector is booming. As we see more and more people flock to online formats for both teaching and learning, Thinkific continues to tap into the online education market, which currently sits at about $390 billion.”Tweet This!

Thinkific is simple to use for students and creators. They even have a unique affiliate program where students can earn affiliate credits for referring people to the courses they’ve taken.

Additionally, Thinkific doesn’t provide services to only solo entrepreneurs. They also support large corporations such as HBO, Hootsuite, Shopify, and Intel through the Thinkific Plus Plan.

Thinkific also has an Agency Partner Program built for solo freelancers or mid- to large-size digital agencies. As long as you have experience in course curriculum design, digital marketing, paid ads, or even custom web development, there is a course creator out there who needs your help.

For example, a course creator may be a fitness enthusiast, but they don’t know how to build a business plan or create a customer intake funnel. They need an agency partner to help, and that’s where you come in.

Joining the Thinkific Partner Program is easy.

First, Google “Thinkific Agency Partner Program.” Then, apply online and answer questions. After that, you’ll receive an onboarding email with all of the resources you need to become a successful agency partner.

Thinkific also provides many tools such as:

  • Dedicated partner portal
  • Sandbox for testing
  • Bi-weekly webinar for new agency partners
  • Agency partner support specialists who respond within two hours

How Can Marketing Agencies Grow Client Revenue With Course Creators?

To support course creators, first, determine what unique services you can offer. Let’s think back to our previous example of a fitness enthusiast. They may have an exciting idea for a new fitness class, but no idea how to:

  • Build a curriculum
  • Build content
  • Design a website
  • Design a course player
  • Find and engage with customers

These are all topics that Thinkific agency partners can focus on to help you bring your course to life. Thinkific has over 50,000 course creators but is reaching the point where they do not have enough agency partners to support them.

“There is a huge opportunity here for digital agencies to build a practice around Thinkific and scale their business together. Digital agencies who choose to scale with Thinkific find that opportunities are limitless.” – Tweet This!

Steph and Raph discuss Thinkific Agency Partner Program

Whether you work in social media management, brand strategy, live streaming, or another industry, YOU are the expert in your field. This is your opportunity to expand your services in an untapped market looking for your creativity and expertise.

There are many ways agencies can grow once they start serving course creators. And, Thinkific strives to make everyone on their platform successful—whether you are a course creator or an agency partner.

Raph notes there are over 2,000 agency partners in the Thinkific Partner Program, and each one of them has a unique success story. One that stands out is Joan Smith (*Note: her name has been changed for this blog.)

Joan began her Thinkific journey as a Thinkific administrator, using the platform for a company she worked for. When the pandemic hit, she realized she could use her skills to help others, so she started her own agency.

Since joining the Agency Partner Program, Joan flew through the tiers and ranks; she is now an expert, which is Thinkific’s highest tier. There are three tiers: associate, specialist, and expert. Since hitting expert, Joan’s revenue has increased at 382%, with an average project cost of around $5,000. She receives about eight new client calls a week, and is quickly growing her agency and hiring more people to scale her business.

Joan attributes much of her success to the Thinkific Studio for Online Course Creators Facebook group. While you can’t promote your own services in the group, you can help creators with their pain points. All Joan did was provide the power of free information; that power of free information turned into so many jobs, which eventually led her to the expert tier on Thinkific.

Why Is Now The Best Time For Agencies To Serve Course Creators?

To put it simply: the e-learning industry is booming. Every day, more creators are joining the Thinkific platform. They had a 68% increase of paid customers in 2021 Q2 compared to 2020.

With that said, existing agency partners are swamped with work. This creates a tremendous opportunity with more demand than supply. For agencies looking to expand their portfolio and build a practice around Thinkific, right now is the perfect time.

Additionally, Thinkific recently launched a partnership with Fiverr, which is essentially a freelance marketplace. Through the Thinkific store on Fiverr, course creators can find agency partners to work with and solve problems. This also allows agency partners to gain more experience on the Thinkific platform.

“If you can show your work and show that you know what you’re talking about, a small job on Fiverr can blossom into a much larger relationship and partnership with the course creator.” – Tweet This!

Finally, determining your niche as an agency is vital. Take the time to determine what you want to do and how you can provide value to a course creator. Choose a niche that is profitable, sustainable, and growing. As we see a shift from in-person to online education, the way people both teach and consume education is also shifting.

How To Get Started As A Partner With Thinkific

As a freelancer or agency partner, you can join the Thinkific Partner Program by heading to their Partners page.

Thinkific Agency Partner Program

Here, you can find the benefits of partnering with Thinkific; as well as the differences between an agency partner, app developer partner, and affiliate influencer/marketing partner.

When you’re ready to apply, you can choose the partner track you wish to start: agencies, app developers, or marketing partners. After you answer the questions in the application, you’ll receive a welcome email with tools, the biweekly welcome webinar schedule, partner portal, and more.

The partner portal is one of the most important elements of working with Thinkific. It is your “home” and as an agency partner, where you can see and do everything you need. The partner portal has resources, articles, and updates.

Raph gave us a great walkthrough of the Thinkific backend. One exciting feature within the portal is an area called “Managed sites.” Raph explains this page allows you to connect to your course creator sites without sharing log-in information. As an agency, you can come here as your one-stop shop to see everyone you’re working with.

Another feature is a development feature: the dedicated sandbox site. Here, you can experiment and test your course and pages. For example, you can build a mockup sales page to show to potential customers.

Finally, Raph discussed the referral mechanism. You can still get a commission for inviting and referring people to the platform even if you are an agency partner (and not an influencer or an affiliate partner).

Agency Referral Program

In the referral area, you can see the different rewards and metrics available. One unique element of Thinkific’s referral program is that if you refer someone and they are on the free plan, once they upgrade their account, you still receive a commission.

Once you start working with Thinkific, you’ll discover how simple the platform is. The opportunities are endless once you have a few courses created. You can have flash sales or offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

As a course creator, I moved all of my courses to Thinkific in 2017. I even add presentations or keynote speaking engagements to Thinkific and create lead magnets for my audience. From a user perspective, the platform has even helped me land new speaking engagements.

“At Thinkific, we’re not competitors. We’re a community of people helping people.”

Your Next Steps So Grow Client Revenue

To succeed with Thinkific, it’s essential to show off your expertise and demonstrate that you understand the platform. Whether you are a web designer, work with paid ads, or run social media strategy, learn how to market yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Start by joining the Thinkific Studio for Online Course Creators Facebook group. The group has over 28,000 members who are actively discussing all of the questions you might have. Browse through the topics and join the discussion to see how your unique skills can help solve creators’ pain points. You can also connect with Raph via email.

Are you ready to learn more ways to grow and scale your agency? Take advantage of our free webinar on How To Add Agency Revenue By Adding Social Media Services at bit.ly/AddAgencyRevenue.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to our calendar to get notified before each episode of Agency Accelerated, live Wednesdays this quarter at 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Full Transcript

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[00:00:00] Stephanie: Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Agency Accelerated. So listen, the global e-learning market is projected to reach 390.6 billion. Yes. With a capital B billion by 2026, making it a fast growing and lucrative industry. For course creators. These are people who know a lot about a particular topic and are creating courses, but perhaps know nothing about marketing or selling a business online. That sounds like a great opportunity for me as well as for you as marketing agencies to go ahead and step in. So stay tuned in this episode.

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Agency Accelerated where we explore ways to grow and scale your agency with some of the most trusted brands in the industry. We’re live Wednesdays this quarter at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. 11:00 AM Pacific Time on Facebook Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. And I already see some amazing, wonderful faces in the comments.

Anna, Anthony, you guys are absolutely amazing. Thanks for being here. So make sure you go to Agorapulse.com forward slash calendar and subscribe. So you don’t miss any of this season’s episodes because we do have a wonderful lineup just for you. So hi everyone. I’m Stephanie Liu, and I’m here with

Raphael Zajtmann.

It’s going to be so much fun. We’ve been geeking out in the green room and I can’t wait for him to join the show, because in today’s episode, we’re talking about additional services you can add to your agency because it will help you bring in more clients, as well as drive more revenue from the clients you may already have. Now remember to stay until the very end, because you’ll get a chance to get your hands on yet another way to add more revenue to your marketing agency. So I want to go ahead and give a huge shout out to our live audience. Wes Wyatt. Hey, from Ohio. Nice to see you. We’ve got a Facebook user. This is Stephanie Liu in the house, and I can’t see your comments. I’ll make sure you go ahead and give us permission to see your name.

Cause I would love, love, love to give you a shout out. So listen, if you had more revenue coming into your agency from a more diverse set of clients, how would that impact your business? Tell me in the comments. Cause I would love to know what that would do for you, your business, your agency, and even your employees and your teams in knowing that there’s a new opportunity for all of you.

Shout out to Sarah Hutchins, New York. We got Sadie. Oh, from Brazil. Hello. Nice to see you. All right. Great. So let’s go ahead and bring on today’s guest Raph. Come on through, how are you?

[00:04:05] Raphael Zajtmann: Doing great. How are you?

[00:04:07] Stephanie: He’s excited. He’s excited. He’s in the office now, but before we get started, let me tell you a little bit more about Raph.

So Raph is the senior manager agency partners at Thinkific. Yes. Thinkific, which all of you know and love as a platform dedicated to empowering course creators to share their expertise with the world and having worked with some of the largest digital agencies in the world in previous roles, Raph brings six years of experience in partnership management, community building, strategic business development to the Thinkific team.

Honestly, friends, you definitely want to take notes, get to know him, add him on LinkedIn. If you must. He’s excited to support a wide range of freelancers and agencies of all sizes with growing their businesses through the Thinkific partner program. Welcome Raph. It’s so amazing to have you here.

[00:05:01] Raphael Zajtmann: It’s great to be here. Honestly. I’m excited. I’m excited to show everyone what Thinkific’s all about, the agency partner program is all about.

[00:05:08] Stephanie: Oh goodness. Yeah. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on Thinkific. We were talking about Robin Patty and my goodness. It’s been one of the best ways for me to onboard clients.

Cause I could put them through an actual course and once they experienced the magic of Thinkific that they’re like now, how do I do this? And I was like, Ooh, well, this is the episode for you. Cool. So Raph here’s a quick question for you. Can you start off with sharing more about who Thinkific is and what they offer?

[00:05:40] Raphael Zajtmann: Yeah, absolutely. An easy one. I like it. So Thinkific was actually started back in 2012 where Greg Smith, one of our co-founders was working as an attorney and he built his online class through the help of his brother, Matt Smith, who also a co-founder and a software engineer. Around helping students write their LSATs.

They then quickly started getting a ton of requests from friends, colleagues, people that took the course help build similar courses and the success of that side gig ended up becoming his main gig and becoming the company you see today as a publicly traded company. Thinkific, which is so amazing because that’s exactly what Thinkific is about.

It’s about enabling entrepreneurs and establishments, businesses of all sizes to create market and sell online courses. And since starting in 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs have shared their expertise online from cake making, drone flying exercise classes to bartending courses and beyond. So in 2020 alone, these entrepreneurs have taught over 21 million students and earned over 275 million US Dollars in revenue from direct core sales using Thinkific.

And by the end of the year, we’re expecting to see course creators, total earnings, more than double to 1.5 billion. So in general The educational tech sector is booming. As we see more and more people flock to online formats for both teaching and learning and Thinkific’s tapping into the online education market, which as you mentioned, sits at about 390 billion US Dollars.

One last thing to wrap up the answer to that question is that we don’t just provide services to solo entrepreneurs, but we also have the ability to support big corporations like HBO, HootSuite, Shopify, and Intel just to name a few that are on our Thinkific Plus Plan.

[00:07:28] Stephanie: That is so amazing. And here’s the thing too, is that what I even enjoyed about Thinkific as just an entrepreneur and a course creator is that you also make it so easy for my students. If they want to become affiliate partners to go out there and share the course, share the programs with others, and they get a part of that affiliate.

And I was like, oh, that’s so brilliant. You make it so easy. I like that.

[00:07:53] Raphael Zajtmann: And we’re making it even easier, too. Honestly, we’re introducing even new product features that makes it super easy for a course creator or even a student to refer people. Our goal is really to create this kind of flywheel where students are super happy with the course they’re taking. So then they sign up as course creators, then they can learn how to become digital agencies and affiliates, and just grow that flywheel and continue it.

[00:08:20] Stephanie: That’s brilliant. That makes a lot of sense too, because as we all know, there’s definitely an opportunity there’s, it’s booming. People want to learn online. This is a great opportunity to do so. And so it just having you here, so helpful. And shout out to Deb Mitchell, Anthony Mistretta, who are also here in the comments. Hello friends. Nice to have you. So Raph, here’s a question for you. I know a lot of people know how to create a course, enroll into a course, but what specifically is the Thinkific Partner Program and how do agency partners benefit from that?

[00:08:57] Raphael Zajtmann: Yeah, absolutely. So the Agency Partner Program has really built towards solo freelancers or mid to large size digital agencies. So long as you have experience, in course curriculum design, digital marketing, paid ads, or even custom web development, I guarantee you, as you mentioned, the beginning, there is going to be a course creator who needs your help.

These course creators might be fitness enthusiasts, but they don’t know how to build a business planner, create a customer intake funnel and they need our agency partners to help. So how you join and become a part of the Agency Partner Program is super easy. You can google Thinkific Agency Partner Program.

From there, you can apply directly online, answer a few questions. You’ll then get an onboarding email, which gives you all of the resources you need to become successful as an agency partner. And there’s a lot of tools that we provide, too. A dedicated partner portal, where you can log into your customer’s sites without having shared login information, a sandbox that you can go and test things out, build things and experiment. To get to know and learn how to use the Thinkific platform, if you’re brand new to it. We have a lot of help resources too. I also run a bi-weekly webinar for brand new agency partners, where you can go, you can ask me questions and learn about all the different tools that we have.

We also have dedicated agency partner support specialists that have a mandate to respond to you within two hours. So we provide you with all the support that you need to help you grow and learn how to be an agency partner on

[00:10:32] Stephanie: Thinkific.

I know, did you hear that? He said two hours. I was like, wow, you actually just said that out into the universe. I mean, everyone, how amazing is that? You know, especially when you’re an agency partner and you’re going out there and you’re offering these services. If the platform doesn’t respond to you in a timeframe that makes sense. It makes it awkward for us sometimes when we have to go back to our clients with like, oh, you know what, I’m still waiting to hear back.

And depending on the ticketing system, it can make or break a relationship with the client. So the very fact that you could have that type of support from Thinkific within two hours. And not only that though, but you have the weekly webinars, you have all the things it’s like you’re walking your walk and talking your talk, which doesn’t happen very often.

Shoutout to the tech team right now, because you’re on fire with the sound effects. I just have to tell you.

So that Raph, what kind of services, like specifically, what kind of services can agencies offer to support these course creators? Cause you talked a little bit about business plans. Like what are some other things that they’re looking for?

[00:11:49] Raphael Zajtmann: Yeah. Great question. So it’s everything from, Hey, I know that I have something unique to offer.

I’m an entrepreneur. I have this very unique fitness class that I want to bring to the world. I have no idea how to even build a curriculum though. Or, build content for it or design my website or design my course player, or get customers to it, or maybe design some super custom things that is going to make it incredibly engaging, like gamifying the course player.

Any of those topics are what our agency partners can do. We have some agency partners that focus on one of them. We have some that focus on all of them, but one thing I’d really want to stress is we have a very unique situation at Thinkific where we have over 50,000 course creators and we were running into the problem where we don’t have enough agency partners to support them.

So we have a ton of supply. But we’re running out of, sorry, we have a ton of demand, but we’re running out of supply of agency partners to meet that demand. So there’s, I just can’t stress enough how much opportunity there is for digital agencies that are willing to build a practice around Thinkific that can scale with us too, because that’s another thing we run into is we have digital agencies that are two, 3-person teams. And they get all of these inbound leads and we bring them leads as well. And then they’re tapped out after a month or two. So if you can scale with us, honestly, the opportunities are limitless.

[00:13:26] Stephanie: Yes. I have like goosebumps. I’m like you guys. Okay. I know you might have some extra tabs open and you’re like passively listening. Pay attention cause you just basically said I have customers, I have customers and there’s a specific need that needs to be fulfilled. And so if you’ve been thinking about just how do I expand my services? Here is an untapped market that is looking for your creativity.

I mean, there are times too where I was talking to course creators. Fitness and like, you know what, why don’t you do something where you could create some type of Instagram story where they talk about, these are the three things that I learned from module number one, and it completely blew their mind.

But as a social media marketer, I was like, oh, you know, that’s just your everyday. So use your gifts. Use your talents. Yes. I know. Now you opened up another tab. You’re like, okay, Stephanie, what is this Thinkific Partner Program? And how do I add Raph right now on LinkedIn? Because you know that I know that this is a show that’s really going to take your business to the next level.

And when we’re talking about 390.6 billion opportunity. This is perfect, especially like for you, Yvi. She’s in the audience and she’s all about systems and processes. And for those of us that are even livestreamers, video content creators, we know how to create content. We know how to create the intros, the hooks, and all the things hashtag all the things. And these are things that course creators may not know because they’re expertsin what they do. So whether that’s baking, drones, all the different things, but your magic, your genius comes in because you have that agency background. So if you’re looking for a little kick in the pants today. Cool. All right. So if you’re just tuning in, we’re talking about adding additional streams of revenue to your agency and why it’s important. But first, I want to give you a quick reminder and bonus the show’s brought to you by Agorapulse, voted number one the social media management platform today by customers.

My goodness, go to any review site and you’ll see how much people absolutely love Agorapulse. And if you’re looking for yet another way to increase and diversify your agency’s revenue streams. And not only that, though, but it looks super professional in front of your clients. Agorapulse also has a free webinar to help you do exactly that.

So head on over to Bitly forward slash ad agency revenue to sign up, learn and start driving more revenue from social media services. PS, by the way, Haley Gummer saw, she’s saying, this got my attention as a video coach and an e-learning designer. Yes. How could you make your videos, your courses much more engaging as a video coach? You know exactly how to do that. And if you also taught them how to repurpose like little bits and clips of their modules, that way they could share it and sprinkle it all across the internet on social media. My goodness Raph is like, yes, Stephanie, tell him, tell him, cause he’s got the customers and he needs you to show up.

He needs you to register and learn about all the different things. Sara Hutchins. Scott is saying love this. I’ve spent 13 years as a course designer. And now I’m a social media manager would love to build my agency around this. So yes, Sarah get to know him. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every week he’s doing a weekly webinar.

So Raph here’s a question for you. How have you seen agencies grow once they started serving course creators on Thinkific?

[00:17:03] Raphael Zajtmann: That’s a great question. And before I jump into the question, I just want to add one other thing. If you are at all curious about what our course creators are in need of, we have a Facebook group that has 28,000 members, very, very actively discussing.

They’re asking all the questions. So if you just, if you’re unsure, if you’re like, you’re not sure what your skill set is going to be able to solve our course creators things, go to the Facebook group. See the questions that are asked. I guarantee you you’ll see some of your skills as being able to solve, some of the questions that are asked there, but back to the question.

Wait, no, that

[00:17:41] Stephanie: was good. I’m like, hold on. Wait, can you put me back on the screen? Because he just said, if you really want to know my customers’ pain points, I have a Facebook group of how much did you say? Over 28,000?

28,000, yeah.

28,000 that have questions that are saying specifically, this is what I need help with. So for those of you that are really, really serious about, you know, I really want to grow and scale my agency, he just gave you like the mother of all of like, this is where you go. See Sandy was like, that was gold. See? Yes. Where’s my sound effect for that. That was gold, right, Sandy? Cool.

Back to the question. The question was, have you seen, how have you seen agencies grow once they started serving course creators on Thinkific?

[00:18:35] Raphael Zajtmann: Probably talking about is my, by far my favorite part of my job. It’s truly what I love about working at Thinkific. So as an organization, we’re extremely dedicated to making everyone that’s on our platform successful. That includes our course creators or students. But of course our agency partners too. So not only do we get to see our course creators start and build their businesses, but I get to see the same thing in the agency partner space.

So we have over 2000 agency partners in our program and there’s a ton of success stories built in there. One example. And I’m not going to use their real name but it is a real story. We’ll call her Joan Smith. She started her Thinkific journey using our platform for the company she actually worked for.

So she was a Thinkific administrator. She quickly realized during the pandemic that she could use her skills to help others and make some more money. So she decided to start her own agency. Since joining our agency partner program, she quickly flew through all of the tiers and ranks to become an expert. Expert is our highest tier.

We have three tiers, Associate, Specialist, Expert, and since becoming an expert, her revenue as a 382% with an average project cost of around $5,000. And getting about eight new client calls a week. She’s quickly growing her agency and hiring more people to be able to take on more projects at scale.

This is pretty incredible because it shows if you know what you’re doing on the platform and you get to the expert tier. There’s a lot of success at the end of that tunnel and this same person, the way she got to that expert tier. This is a quote that I love from her. Is she almost exclusively used the phrase and she provided, we don’t, we don’t allow you to promote your own business and promote, your own services on the Facebook group, but you can go in and help people. And all she did was provide the power of free information and that power of free information turned into so many jobs for her and those jobs led her to the expert tier.

And since she said that expert here, it’s just been insane her to see her growth. I’ll stop there. I have another story, but I’ll stop there.

[00:20:42] Stephanie: No, that’s brilliant. I love it too, because now you have Anna, you have Anthony and there’s just like, I never even thought about that. And there’s so many of us, especially in the agency world where we take little nuggets of our information.

And like I said, we break it apart. We turn it into digital confetti. We share in different little groups and whatnot. And so this is an opportunity for you to really build rapport with these course creators. And the Thinkific group gets to really understand what their pain points are. Right. Answer their questions and be able to answer them in different ways, just to show how you’re able to solve their problem.

And once they get to know you, once they realize like, okay, this is the person that could solve all of my problems, then that’s a good opportunity for you to get leads. I’m my goodness. Like she’s getting like eight calls a week from one group? You guys. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:35] Raphael Zajtmann: And that’s one story, right? Like there’s, there’s so many stories like that, honestly.

[00:21:41] Stephanie: Exactly. So at this point it’s really like, okay, Agency Accelerated, who’s next, who’s next? Right? Who’s going to unlock that expert level and really show them what’s possible? Because again, there are different ways to market and advertise your courses. You could do Facebook ads, paid media, YouTube ads. You can even do stories.

I mean so much. I mean, I’m even thinking like things that you could do on TikTok, because there’s like there’s special hashtags that are out that are all geared towards learning. So again, Agency Accelerated crew, this is an opportunity to really flex your creative genius and start sharing it with these course creators that have put in the work, have dedicated the time to put their content out there or thinking about putting it on Thinkific.

And because you are an agency partner, they give a partner, then you know how to do that. Cool. All right. So Raph, here’s another question for you. Why do you think now, why do you think now is the best time for agencies to jump into serving these course creators?

[00:22:45] Raphael Zajtmann: Another great question. So as we’ve alluded to a couple of times, the e-learning industry is absolutely booming.

And we’re seeing more and more course creators join Thinkific every day. As seen in our 68% increase of paid customers in Q2 compared to 2020, you can see that in our investor relations website. So we went public a little while ago, so all of our financial information and everything is available on our investor relations site.

In addition to that point, we’re also seeing our existing agency partners, absolutely swamped with work as I alluded to. So that’s creating a tremendous opportunity with more demand than we have of supply of agency partners at this moment. And for agencies that are looking to expand their portfolio and build a practice around Thinkific right now is the perfect time.

Especially if you have a team of developers with experience in HTML and CSS at CSS, which is kind of all you need to be a developer on the Thinkific platform or have a team that’s skilled and experienced in driving new revenue via paid ads, which I imagine a lot of the agencies on this call are, those are the two kind of biggest areas we’re seeing, in that are in need from our course creators is driving customers and then the custom web development issues. So if you have any experience in that and can scale, like I said the opportunities are limitless here. So in addition to that, we also recently launched, through a partnership with Fiverr, which is a freelance marketplace, essentially. We launched our Thinkific store on Fiverr, which is a dedicated place for our course creators to find agency partners, to work with, to solve their problems and then also allow our agency partners get more experience on the Thinkific platform. So I like what you said earlier, Stephanie. Kind of combining with the power of free information. Like if you can show your work, if you can show, what you’re talking about with even just a small job, which you might get from the Thinkific store on Fiverr that can blossom into a much larger relationship and partnership with the course creator.

And that’s what we’ve seen from a lot of our experts is that where they find successes by starting off small with a small job, proving their worth. And then that same client, that same course creator is coming back to them with more and more and more work. Then the last thing I’ll mention on this topic is that as an agency kind of determining your niche is vital.

So choosing a niche that is profitable, sustainable, and growing is critical. And that’s where Thinkific comes in. So I’m extremely confident that the shift to online education isn’t just a fad and it’s just beginning. So we’re seeing a permanent shift in the way people both teach and consume education from self-starter entrepreneurs to huge organizations.


[00:25:26] Stephanie: love it. Yeah. It’s, it’s one of those things too. Where sometimes when I’m in a Facebook group. Yes, it’s easy to leave a comment to answer somebody’s question, but if you just go the extra mile and you create a loom video, that says let me show you what I mean. And it’s just a real quick one-minute video, and then you’re showing the actual Thinkific studio, how it works, the little box that they have to tick or whatever it is they’re going to absolutely remember you.

And you’re going to become top of mind and tip of tongue. They’re going like, you know what? He knows. He knows the answer. Go talk to him. Cause, cause he’ll help you out. So shout out to the whole crew who is here. You’ve got Anthony and Anna, Anna is saying I’ve only heard good things about Thinkific. And there’s a reason for that.

There’s a reason for that, right? So friends, what we’re going to cover next. It’s going to tie in everything we just discussed together and make it super simple for you to get started. You guys like that? Make it super simple for you to get started? But first I want to give a couple of other shout outs to Yvonne Heimann, who I know, right.

She is spot on when it comes to systems and how to get clients started. So Yvi, I think this is going to be an absolute opportunity for you. Deb Mitchell, thank you so much for also sharing the Fiverr gigs. Thinkific. That’s brilliant. You guys, you know, just get started. Sometimes all it really takes is just one project for you to really understand the inner workings of it.

What questions you need to ask in order to onboard a client. And I’m pretty sure, even in your weekly webinars, they could reach out to you and ask you questions too, right? Like how do you handle this?

[00:27:09] Raphael Zajtmann: Absolutely. The one thing I’ll add to that is, we have 2000 agency partners and getting about 20 every week.

It’s impossible for me to talk to every single one, but if anyone is on this webinar, Stephanie, we can probably provide my email to anyone here somehow, but if you want to reach out to me directly, I promise that we can schedule a quick chat to talk about the agency partner program and follow up on anything we talked.

[00:27:37] Stephanie: That’s brilliant. That’s brilliant. Yeah. I’ve always loved and supported the Thinkific team. I don’t know if you guys know this, but whenever I would go to conferences, like you would have a Thinkific crew that was just right there for video course creators, social media marketing world, all the things, and everyone was so helpful.

They’re just, maybe it’s just built into your culture of just like, Hey, you know what? We’re here to help. What questions do you have? How can I help you to get started? So here’s something else that I want to talk to you about Raph is let’s say I’m an agency partner, or I’m a freelancer, and I’m interested in joining the Thinkific’s partner program.

How do I get started? Like what tools are actually available to me, because now, now the wheels are turning. People are trying to cancel their next call so that they can be here.

[00:28:29] Raphael Zajtmann: Yeah. I’m happy to jump into that. And Stephanie, I might just share my screen if that’s okay. Cause I think that’ll probably be the best way of doing it.

[00:28:39] Stephanie: Yeah, let’s go ahead and get that set up. And then what we’ll do is that in the studio, they’ll share the screen and then once that’s good to go, we’ll give you the green light so we can follow along.

He’s going to teach us.

Can totally see it yet. Wait a second.

[00:29:00] Raphael Zajtmann: You’re on the site.

[00:29:02] Stephanie: Next to the amazing.

[00:29:04] Raphael Zajtmann: Yes. Yes. So these are some of our amazing agency partners here that have worked with us in the past. Four are currently working with us, but it’s super easy. If you want to join, you can go to thinkific.com/partners. You can learn about all of the benefits that you can have as a partner, some quotes and actual benefits that you can explore.

Talking about the differences between an agency, partner an app developer partner, or an affiliate influence, an affiliate influencer slash marketing partner. What you want to do. If you do decide that you are more of an agency partner, you can click here to apply now and choose the track that you want to go down.

Agency partners is the one that I manage. App developers is if you have, if you want to build any apps for our newly launched app store, which is amazing, which lets you integrate with all of these amazing third-party tools that can enhance your experience on the Thinkific platform. And then marketing partners is more, if you have a social following and you want to simply just refer people to Thinkific and earn commission.

But let’s say you go through the agency partner track, you’re going to answer a few questions and we won’t go through all of them. But once you’re finished that you’re going to get a welcome email. That’s going to show you all of the different tools that we offer and invite you to that welcome webinar that I mentioned, which is biweekly.

But in addition to the tool specifically that I want to show you today is your dedicated partner portal and then partner stack. So there’s two ways to think about it. Partner portal is where as an agency partner, this is where you can see and do everything. You can get all of the articles that you need.

You can see updates. If you’re more of a developer, you have all of these resources here. You get access to directly to the support team. As I mentioned it within a two hour window, they will respond to you. If you have any feedback you want to deliver, you can give feedback. And I promise you, we do look at this.

This is not just go to an, either of nowhere. We do look at this and it is our product updates are dependent a lot on votes from our partners and our customers. But the two most important things I want to show here is in the sites feature, managed sites in particular. So it might just have to sign out and sign back in.

There we go. So in the manage sites feature, as I alluded to earlier on this is where you’re going to be able to connect to your course creator sites without having to share any login. So as an agency, you can come here as your one-stop shop to see everyone you’re working with. And it’s super easy.

All you do is you connect to a site and press that button you put in the URL of the course creator that you’re working with, it sends them a request. They accept the request and then this changes from pending to accepted and you can log in directly. So like I said, no sharing login information. You can go and you can do the work.

You can let them know what you’ve done. And it’s very, very easy to work like that. So that’s the manage sites feature. And then the last thing I’ll talk about on the partner portal is the development feature. So as I alluded to as well, you get your dedicated sandbox site where you can experiment test, build it as a sales page.

If you want to show potential clients, what you can do, this is a great place to do it. You cannot use this as your actual Thinkific site. You will not be able to sell anything on it, but you can show what you’re capable of. So those are the two biggest elements of the partner portal. The next thing I want to talk about is your referral mechanism.

Because even if you are an agency partner and you’re not necessarily an influencer or an affiliate partner, you can still get commission for inviting people and referring people to the platform. So you can click this button directly and that will lead you to your partner stack site. This is what it’s going to look like.

Hopefully you’re a little bit more successful than me. You’ll be able to see all of your different metrics here for the last 14 days or differently. You can see the different reward offers so you can get 30% commission for any new paid referrals. And the best part about this is if you refer someone and they’re on the free plan, and then they upgrade and upgrade and upgrade.

And you don’t do anything with them. You’re still gonna get commissioned for that. So long as they used your unique link to sign up, to Thinkific, you will always be attributed their commission. So it’s a super easy use a tool to use. In addition, you have different resources, which you can jump into, like you’re offering a link to offer a free month for the Pro Plus Growth Plan as an agency partner.

You have different badges as well. So whether you’re, as I mentioned, the tiers associate, specialist, expert, different images that you want to use, brand guidelines, a bunch of different resources can be found here. So that’s what I wanted to show you in terms of the resources that you get as an agency partner.


[00:33:44] Stephanie: is brilliant. My goodness. You are one of the most organized. Okay. I mean, let’s be honest for those of us that are in marketing in the agencies. There are different platforms, different softwares and things that we use. And so when you have a partner. How’s everything bundled up? Has all the links put together, walks you through it. My goodness. You even had like the badges.

Wait, wait a second because there’s a whole folder of badges right there. And so this is really exciting, Agency Accelerated crew. This is an untapped market. 390.6 billion, Facebook group with over 28,000 course creators. And here’s the thing is that the first time you create a course and you realize just how easy it is to build it on Thinkific, then it becomes well what’s my next course going to be?

And then you create multiple courses and then it becomes, how can I bundle this? And then you have flash sales, and then you think about Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the things, and this is really opportunities for you. So for those of you that just canceled your call, just like Anthony.

Anthony says I canceled a 2:00 PM call to be here.

Everyone’s canceling their meetings. Here’s the thing. What questions do you have? What did you learn? What are your ahas? Because this is the moment where I’m pretty sure if you told Raph, like hey, I would love to know if you had this. He’s all ears right now. You have his undivided attention. Ask it right now. I’ll give you some leeway time.

Cause I know that as soon as I say it, then it has to connect to the wifi into the internet, across all the things. So you have your time. Shout out to Haley who says that just signed up on the free account for now to check Thinkific out. Yeah. I’ve been using my goodness. When was the last, what was the first time I met Thinkific?

Probably 2017. So you guys launched in 2012. I’ve been with Thinkific since 2017. Moved all my things over to Thinkific, a complete no-brainer. Even as a speaker, as a keynote speaker. Sometimes I would even package up those presentations that I did and give them away as lead magnets. So Hailey, it’s a real great opportunity to really tap into. It’s great from a user perspective. It’s helped me land, new speaking engagements, all the different things students can learn, like what Stephanie’s teaching style is going to be in. So as an agency partner, I think there’s a lot that you can have fun with this, and then let’s see this.

Yep. And Yvi, I think she canceled her call, too. Hey, look here, we’re on a roll. We’ve got people canceling all the calls. Maybe we need to have like a badge for that. Cancel your calls.

Cancel your calls because we’re basically giving you leads. And I love that. What are some other things that. Go ahead.

[00:36:51] Raphael Zajtmann: No, I was just going to say, and one other thing to touch on. I did allude to the tiers and the partner program as well. So when you join, you’re an associate. You get all those tools that I just showed you. Those are available to everyone. As you grow up, as you move up through the tiers, you get access to certain things like a Slack community, where you have direct access to me, have direct access to our product managers, other specialists, other experts. It’s really a really great community.

We’ve really purposefully create an, this comes from like CEO, Greg, right? When we were starting kind of this agency partner community. We don’t want it to be capitalistic. We don’t want it to be like dog eat dog, like you’re all my competitors. No, it’s really a community of people helping each other out.

Like, I wish I could give you a glimpse into the Slack channel where like you have these so-called competitors who are all just like helping each other out and answering each other’s questions. So as you move through the tiers, you get access to that. And then when you become an expert, you get access to something called a Thinkific expert marketplace, which is where our course creators can go and directly find you search for keywords based off of your skills and expertise and hire you and contact you directly.

[00:38:00] Stephanie: Wow. This is just mind blowing to me. I’m like, you know? What am I doing for the rest of the day? Anyone? Anna is in the comments because it’s like, yes, cancel, cancel all the things. Anthony’s saying that he did have a question, but you answered it. So yay to us. The only thing needed next now is action. So that’s exciting.

Here’s a question from Sandy Raff. She says we can’t sell, but are we permitted to provide a free download lead magnet or host a video on the platform? I’m not sure if that’s right for the sandbox.

[00:38:35] Raphael Zajtmann: I’m assuming that is either relate to the sandbox or the Facebook group. Maybe Sandy, if you want to elaborate there, I’m happy to answer.

[00:38:44] Stephanie: I would say in the Facebook group show off your expertise, know and demonstrate that you actually understand the platform, which is why I’m like, if you do the loom video, my goodness, that’s going to be helpful. Especially if it’s a frequently asked question, that’s in the group for the sandbox.

I mean, the sandbox, I would imagine it’s limited because it’s a sandbox in that sense, but if you really wanted to give away a lead magnet, then go all in. Go all in, because if they’re already coming out of the gate, Sandy, with knowledge articles, you know, a feedback form that they actually pay attention to. And I laughed because we all know it’s like, does this feedback button really work?

Right? There’s does they have a Slack? Yeah.


[00:39:29] Raphael Zajtmann: to elaborate on just Sandy’s question on the sandbox. You have all of the features and functionality on there that you want to use. The only thing is you just won’t be able to process payments on it. So obviously we do that so that you can’t, you don’t get access to the free sandbox and then use it as your own course.

But if you want to host a video on that platform and show it to everyone and show people what you can do on that, then yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.

[00:39:55] Stephanie: Oh, yeah. Show the before and afters. This is how it looked before. This is how it was after. I would ask Raph. What are the best ways that people are marketing themselves?

Would it be the before and afters? Do they say like, because of my curriculum design that my client enrolled in, they’re now getting a completion rate of courses, because we all know that there’s, some times you could enroll in a course, but if only 10% of them are actually completing it, then there’s something up with how that course was designed.

So what do you think is like the most like powerful piece for these parts?

[00:40:29] Raphael Zajtmann: Yeah, I think it depends on what skill set they’re bringing to the table. So if you are a course curriculum and a course and curriculum design agency and expert, then I think if you can showcase even just visually, before and after what it looked like and new accounts and new enrollments. If you are a digital marketing and paid ads, SEO, SEM expert, then if you can show the revenue that you brought in that would obviously be the most helpful. If you are a custom web developer or even an app developer showing the visually what you’ve been able to do on the design side and on the backend to set up different integrations, for example, that would be the most powerful. So depending on what you’re labeling as your area of expertise, I would choose a different path of what to show, but case studies always help, power free information as I mentioned on the Facebook group, Loom videos, like you mentioned, is always great. Using that affiliate link on your webpage, you can do your own paid ads as well to drive people to your own landing page and direct people to Thinkific with that link, which can drive revenue and commissions for you. It’s very entrepreneurial, but we obviously provide all of the support that’s needed.

[00:41:44] Stephanie: I love it. You know what? I’m going to throw in one more in there because as a live streamer, I’ve also shared with my audience that if you are a remote live producer, you could help other people produce and launch their own shows. In that same thinking we’re doing like a lateral chunk.

I have experienced clients where they’re just like, I just need accountability. I just want to show up and have someone record, like just hit the record button. So I actually show up and give me pointers, like real life tips on how is my inflection? Did I say that correctly? Did I say that with confidence?

Did I appear congruent and whatnot? And once you’ve recorded it in whatever studio platform that you’re using online, then you could edit it and be like, here’s your first video. Cause sometimes people have the ideas, but when it comes to the tech that just like, I don’t even know where to get started. So in addition to everything else that Raph had shared with you, I mean, that’s remote live video producers.

Here’s an opportunity. You could do that. Cool. I hear that. Thank you. So shout out to Haley who says, I believe we’re moving more in this direction of being in a community with competitors as the realization is that there’s enough work for everyone and it’s true. We all have different teaching styles. Yes.

Some of us are great when it comes with visuals, we could draw something on a whiteboard. Some of us have the best alliteration where auditory teachers, you might even have like a podcast that’s tied into the actual course itself. And maybe if that’s something that they want. Right. Then you could tie that into, as a part of your services.

We have kinesthetic learners, learners that like to have the worksheets, the workbooks, the exercises. And so if your genius is actually in creating those course materials, that’s another opportunity for you. Cool. Sandy’s saying I’ve spent the last five years helping clients go live, generate leads.

So woo-hoo. Thank you for the confirmation. Anthony’s bumped skillsets are teachable, learnable possible. I’m up for the challenge and Thinkific is where the magic happens. So Raph, this has been amazing. Is there anything else that you want to share with the crew?

[00:44:00] Raphael Zajtmann: I think, first of all, just thank you for having me.

This has been a lot of fun being here. I’m so excited by all the comments and the excitement that I’m seeing on the chat here. As I mentioned, if you want to reach out to me personally, My email is raphael@thinkific.com, R A P H A E L thinkific.com. I will be more than happy to have a conversation with you and elaborate with you on anything that, you know, maybe you wanted more clarification on.

But yeah, I would just emphasize the opportunity that’s there. If you can scale with us, the opportunities are there. I just can’t emphasize that enough. And the other, the only other thing I’d add is if there are any developers in the audience, we also have a brand new app store. So the way that Thinkific partially differentiates itself from a lot of its competitors is, you can kind of pick and choose what works for you on the Thinkific platform.

It’s not an all-in-one platform. You are going to pay for what you get. And if you don’t like it, you’re not going to pay for what you don’t need, essentially. And so we have this app store that allows you to integrate with things like MailChimp or Active Campaign, if you want to do email automation, and it’s growing and growing and growing.

So if you are, and if we have a lot of our agency partners and experts that have built apps, and are very, very successful on the app store itself. If that is an area that you’re interested in as well, you can be an agency partner and an app developer, as many of our partners are, and kind of double that have another channel for your revenues.

[00:45:38] Stephanie: That’s exciting. So who was that? It was Deb, who’s saying, I love how you support agencies. Yeah. You’ve, you’ve thought of everything, honestly. And I love that you continuously go out there asking for feedback. And so I’m excited. I’m excited for you because now we’ve told the internet, the internet, that there are course creators that need agencies.

And so for those of you that are serious about scaling and growing, Raph’s really very much like help you scale. Scale with Thinkific. It’s 390.6 billion. Be a part of that. Be a part of that movement. And for those of you that are tuning in, thank you so much for watching another episode of Agency Accelerated.

This is our second episode, and it’s always fun because we’re introducing you to amazing people, just like Raph to help you grow and scale your agencies. In fact, we do have, we have more shows coming up. Well, there it is. Look at that. How clever is that? It’s like voice activated. So our next show is going to be coming up.

We’re going to be talking about how to use artificial intelligence to build marketing strategies. I think that’s going to be a ton of fun and then we’ll have how to add client revenue with live streaming services. Oh, I know who’s going to be there. How the advertising landscape has changed, how to boost brand loyalty for clients with UGC.

So if you love this episode, which I know you did, cause you canceled your meetings. Go here. Agorapulse.com forward slash calendar. And then even when you do that, make sure you don’t have any calls that run into that. Okay. Because we’re giving you leads, we’re giving you all the things and all the things that you need in order to accelerate your agency.

So, everyone. That’s all that we have today, Folks. Remember to subscribe to the calendar at agorapulse.com/calendar for the rest of the season. I’m going to be live next on August 25th with Supercharged Lab. And then we got September 1st with E-camm networks. September eight, with Microsoft advertising, September 22nd, with Square 11, it’s going to be a ton of fun and also remember, take advantage of our free webinar on how to add agency revenue by adding social media services and the best place for you to go to is Bitly forward slash ad agency revenue and waiting for the tech gods to go ahead and put that on the screen for you there. Just as I said it. So Bitly forward slash ad agency revenue, make sure you enroll in that.

I think as soon as you register, you’re good to go. You can find a date and time and you’re all set. All right, everyone. Thank you so much. I’ll see you next time. Thank you.

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