Building a Community Around Your Shopify Courses

Building a Community Around Your Shopify Courses

Digital learning is a vast and ever-growing sector, with Shopify courses being a major player.

With over 100 million students worldwide and an estimated market valuation of $9.74 billion in 2024, online courses are undoubtedly one of the next big global industries.

Building an online course is a popular and effective way to share knowledge and skills with a global audience. It is also an excellent way to earn passive income and make money online by sharing your expertise and knowledge with others.

But with a growing market and many courses available, more than simply creating and offering a course is needed to ensure its success.

There are many ways to improve your course and enhance its chances of success.

One of the most effective ways is through building a course community.

Building a solid and engaged community around your course can massively improve the learning experience, boost collaboration between students, increase student satisfaction, and help you retain and gain new students.

But building a community alongside your course is no easy feat. This is where Shopify course apps and platforms like Tevello help you integrate community-building features seamlessly with your course offerings.

Here is everything you need to know about why creating course communities is essential, how they help you, and which tools and strategies you should use when crafting your community.

The Importance of Community for Online Courses

Despite its growing success, one aspect that online courses struggle to match is what in-person education can offer: human interaction and connection.

To fix this issue, and ensure your students feel at home on your course, creating a strong community is vital.

When done right, online courses with great communities can be even more successful at connecting people than in-person education. No matter their location, your students can connect with people who have similar goals but come from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and challenges.

Fostering an active and inclusive community alongside your course ensures your learners can benefit from a supportive network that fosters accountability, motivation, and a sense of belonging.

If you’re looking for the tangible, data-backed benefits of creating communities, it’s estimated that having an online community for a brand or course boosts engagement by 21% and increases web traffic by 72%. Alongside this, 68% of brands claim their communities boost leads, and 55% claim their communities greatly increase sales.

The results are in, and it is clear that having a thriving community alongside your course benefits everyone. Students get more out of their learning, and you, the course creator, reap the benefits of a more successful course with glowing reviews, increased satisfaction, and better learning retention.

This form of learning, where learners can ask questions and collaborate with others, can be just as valuable as the actual course content itself.

Even better, a vibrant community can foster a growth mindset and a culture of continuous learning, pushing your course subscribers to be more engaged and even search out other courses (that you may also provide) to learn even more.

Choosing the Right Shopify Courses App

So, you’ve seen the benefits a community brings and are ready to build one for your online course.

Where do you start?

Instead of slogging through complex code and app building, you can make use of intuitive Shopify course apps. These not only allow you to create and manage your course, but they also help you build your community, all while integrating with Shopify for more manageable payments.

With so many Shopify courses apps out there, how do you know which one to choose?

When selecting your perfect Shopify course platform, here are some of the key tools and features you should look out for:

  • Robust discussion forums or message boards: Your new Shopify course management platform should allow you to create multiple boards organized by course, module, and topic. These will enable learners to engage in discussions, ask questions, and share insights, all of which boost collaboration.
  • User profiles: Customizable bios, avatars, and interest tags will help learners connect with like-minded individuals, allowing them to find study partners and possibly new friends on your course.
  • Collaboration tools: Any good Shopify courses app will offer integrated or tailored messaging and file-resource sharing tools, allowing for broad online forums as well as smaller group projects and study groups to exist on your course.
  • Gamification: By providing leaderboards, badges, and other reward systems, you can more easily motivate students to participate actively, boosting engagement.
  • Live streaming/webinar capabilities: Having live-streaming tools within your Shopify courses app is crucial for allowing you to host interactive sessions and Q&As. Even more critically, it enables you to host real-time lessons between instructors/experts and your students.
  • Social media integration: The ability to seamlessly integrate your course with popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will encourage students to share their progress, achievements, and course content. This will massively increase cross-platform engagement and attract new learners.
  • Analytics and reporting: Something many course platforms miss out on, providing analytics and tracking data allows you to measure engagement, participation metrics, and completion rates. This will help you identify areas for improvement and ensure your course is constantly evolving alongside the needs of your students.

Tevello is an excellent example of a Shopify course community platform, giving you the tools you need to manage community forums alongside your course content. 

With tools such as certificate creation, unique channels, and forums for each course, analytics to help you track your course’s progress, and an intuitive course dashboard. Tevello enables you to manage your courses and communities in one place.

How to Set Up Your Community

Setting up a thriving community for your Shopify course is straightforward with the right app. Assuming you decide to select a platform or app to help you, here is what you need to do to set up your community:

  1. Choose and install a Shopify courses app that supports robust community features, such as Tevello.
  2. Customize the community space on your new app to align with your course branding, tone, and visual identity – any good app should allow you to customize your UI, layout, and graphics to suit your course.
  3. Next, create discussion forums or boards organized by course modules, topics, or themes for focused and directed discussions.
  4. With everything set up, the final step is to encourage learners to create detailed user profiles, including their interests, goals, backgrounds, and areas of expertise, and then join the discussion!
  5. Even once your community is created and bubbling with activity, the job isn’t done. You will likely need to manage your new community, posing questions or adding events to promote discussion, as well as setting clear community guidelines that encourage respect.

Building a Successful Community Around Your Course

While setting up the community infrastructure is important, several other aspects are crucial for building a thriving and engaged community around your course.

Engagement Strategies

Having forums and discussion boards open is not always enough. You will likely need to get the ball rolling yourself.

To do this, you can use discussion prompts, Q&A sessions, and live events to help encourage your students to interact.

Another great tactic is introducing gamification elements like badges, leaderboards, and rewards to encourage friendly competition between your learners.

Content and Resources

While communities are important, the backbone of your success remains having valuable and engaging course content.

Regular updates and fresh content will keep the community engaged and encourage ongoing discussions and collaboration. To ensure you’re on the right track, make sure to request feedback from your students.

This will help you identify the types of content and resources they find most valuable, helping you tailor your course content and community approach accordingly.

To boost engagement, you could also offer additional content and resources that are only available to those on the discussion forums, whether it be documents won through gamification elements or students attending live events.

Facilitating Peer-to-Peer Interaction

While instructor-led discussions and guidance are valuable, encouraging learners to interact with and support each other can greatly enhance the community experience.

To do this, you’ll need to implement strategies such as group projects, study groups, or mentorship programs to spark conversation.

If your course is large enough, community managers or moderators must play a crucial role in guiding discussions, highlighting insightful contributions, and fostering a positive and inclusive environment.

Tracking and Measuring Success

The key to maintaining success is seeing the data.

This means that to improve your community and guarantee long-term success continually, you’ll need to track key metrics to see what strategies impact student engagement the most.

Practically speaking, this requires monitoring active user numbers and participation rates in discussions and events, as well as collecting feedback through surveys, polls, or direct outreach.

By analyzing this data, you can more easily spot what works and what you need to improve. This will allow you to adapt your community strategies and address any pain points or barriers to engagement.

Case Studies and Examples

Many successful online course communities built around Shoupfiy platforms are inspiring examples of the power of community building.

Tevello’s customer Wisdom of the Womb saw just how valuable Tevello was in hosting their courses, allowing for all the community and course management tools to be kept in one place.

“If you’re scratching your head, thinking about which app to choose for your courses, I really think Tevello is the answer. It’s got everything: it’s easy to use, everything’s in one place, and the team is super friendly. Can’t recommend it enough.” – Wisdom of the Womb

Conclusions – How to Build A Course Community

Building a thriving community around your Shopify-integrated courses is the perfect way to boost engagement and enhance your student learning experience.

But a great, active community doesn’t just build itself. To create a robust and prosperous community around your course, you’ll need the right tools and the right Shopify courses app.

This is where Tevello comes in, offering you robust community features to help you implement effective engagement strategies and increase student discussions and interaction.

We also help you manage your actual course content alongside any surrounding course communities on one intuitive dashboard, allowing you to easily track progress and see the big picture.

Sign up for a free trial today to see how Tevello can help you integrate course management, community building, and your Shopify store all into one easy-to-use courses platform.