In today’s Maven review, we’re looking at an emerging digital platform, designed to empower course developers and educators branching into the creator economy.
In the last couple of years, online learning has become an increasingly popular tool for businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs alike. As consumers from all backgrounds continue to look for ways to expand their knowledge and skills in their own time, demand for digital learning platforms has skyrocketed. In fact, by 2030, the online learning market is expected to reach a value of $645 billion.
The good news for today’s innovators, is there are various ways to create a compelling online course. You can drip feed content to customers through a membership platform, create live streamed webinars, or design comprehensive educational websites.
Maven is just one of the tools creators can use to build, manage, and promote their educational resources. Let’s take a closer look at what it can do.
Maven Review: What is Maven?
Maven is a relatively new learning platform in the course creation landscape, founded by AltMBA’s Wes Kao and Udemy’s Gagan Biyani in 2020. The platform was built to combine two rapidly growing sectors: the creator economy, and educational technology.
Earning funding from some major industry investors, Maven has achieved rapid growth in the last couple of years. The company focuses on “peer-driven” learning, prioritizing courses led by experts, and designed with a strong focus on community experiences. The Maven platform provides learners with access to a range of hundreds of courses, taught by market leaders like Google, Nasa, and Tesla.
For content creators and educators the “Teach” side of Maven offers an opportunity to get involved in the growing landscape. The platform provides all of the tools professionals need to create cohort-based courses, with active learning experiences, peer feedback, markable projects and community features. You can even set deadlines for each assignment and lesson.
Maven Review: The Features for Course Creators
Maven aims to be the ultimate solution for educators and thought leaders looking for new ways to share their expertise online. Open to a range of influencers, entrepreneurs and experts, the platform already has a community of more than 10,000 students, which creators instantly gain access to from the moment they produce their first course.
At the core, Maven is a SaaS platform, which provides an all-in-one environment for creating cohort-based courses from scratch. Unlike other course development tools, this platform doesn’t necessarily require companies to build a brand-new website for their course.
Once you’ve developed your learning program, you can promote it on the Maven course marketplace, for instant conversion opportunities. The core features of the platform include
At the heart of the Maven dashboard is a selection of course creation tools, designed to help you put together your own ideal syllabus. You can produce video content for your course, and send it to customers at pre-set times, according to your specific needs. There’s also a built-in calendar for organizing live events, webinars, and streams, connected to your educational experience.
The course creator comes with step-by-step guides, and support delivered by prompts and tool tips. Plus, you’ll have access to a comprehensive resource library, and a free training program to help you make the most of all the available tools. The course creator will allow you to accept payments for your courses, based on your designated monetization strategy.
There’s also the option to produce a range of engaging tools to boost your chances of connecting with your audience, such as surveys, quizzes, and assignments.
Student Engagement and Management
Maven aims to provide companies with the support they need to not only build impressive courses, but activate their community of fans and students too. The course creation platform has a built-in landing page builder, to help you expand your reach and earn more subscriptions.
You can use the pre-built templates and contact forms to generate leads for your new course, and store all of your student details in one convenient location. The landing page builder ensures you can take the next step towards strengthening your online presence, rather than just relying on the Maven marketplace. There’s even the option to add countdown timers to increase conversion opportunities.
Within your Maven dashboard, you’ll be able to keep track of your students, and the submissions they give you for assignments and quizzes.
You can also leverage email marketing automation tools, to keep your customers up-to-date with the latest components of your course, or drip feed valuable content to each user. Maven comes with ready-to-go campaigns already available to customize however you like.
Additionally, to boost your chances of building an exceptional brand reputation, Maven allows you to leverage social proof, collecting feedback and reviews from your customers. You can ask for full reviews, comments on your courses, or just star ratings. You can then publish everything you receive to your landing page, or showcase it wherever you like.
As community experiences become more popular in the digital world, Maven is also branching into the world of community management, helping more content and course creators to engage and activate their learners over time. Although the community options within Maven aren’t as comprehensive as you might get from other competing tools, there are some great features.
For instance, companies can offer chat, course schedules, and project tools to members of their course, all in one convenient student hub. Students can access this ecosystem every time they want to connect with learners, comment on courses, or share feedback.
It’s even possible to respond to videos with emoji reactions, similar to social media channels like Facebook and YouTube. Through the chat service, you can simply allow your students to talk freely, or you can respond to their feedback, for closer audience connections.
Reporting and Integrations
From a reporting perspective, Maven’s dashboard is relatively basic, but it does provide some useful insights to beginners. There’s an “Earnings” tab on your admin interface where you can track the number of total students you’ve earned for your course, as well as the number of “Cohorts” you’ve run within a specific time period.
You’ll also be able to gain instant insights into the number of people you have on your email list, as well as your overall lifetime earnings. Plus, there are also tools for tracking your students, the success of your email campaigns and more.
As an added bonus, Maven does integrate with a range of tools already used by content creators, such as Slack, Convert Kit, Google Docs, Stripe, and Squarespace. You can even connect with Zapier to create a number of automated workflows.
Maven Review: Customer Support
One of the best things about Maven for course creators is how much support it provides for its teachers. Within the Maven ecosystem, companies and business leaders can find a range of useful resources to help them get started. There’s a simple worksheet which allows you to rapidly figure out what kind of courses you should produce to generate the most engagement.
Maven also has a fantastic instructor community which any educator can join. Here, you’ll find a membership-style forum where you can connect with other like-minded thought leaders and experts, and get tips on how to boost your course engagement levels.
Hundreds of fellow experts are available to interact with, all sharing tips and insights into course creation. There’s also a fantastic social media environment for course creators, and a brilliant resource library. The library includes access to a range of worksheets, fill-in-the-blank templates for beginners, and how-to guides. So, even if you’ve never created a course before, you’ll have no problem getting started, and leveraging Maven’s tools.
Another fantastic customer support feature offered by Maven is the “Course Accelerator” program. This is a free, two-week lesson plan, which teaches you everything you need to know about sharing information and courses online. The accelerator program is highly recommended by Maven for all beginners on the platform, and it’s definitely worth checking out for tips on marketing, operating your course, and engaging with your community.
Maven Review: Pricing and Payments
At the time of writing, teachers and course creators looking to get started with Maven can create an account for free. There’s the option to sign up with Google, or just enter an email address and password to make your account. Of course, you will have to ensure your courses are accepted and approved by Maven before you can start earning money.
While the platform doesn’t have a monthly subscription fee, it does keep a portion of your profits whenever you sell a course. You’ll keep 90% of the price you set for your course, while Maven keeps the other 10%. However, your 90% will be reduced slightly, as you’ll still need to handle the payment processing fees on your side.
Maven integrates with Stripe, so you should be able to take payments relatively easily, but you will need to account for the processing costs of the platform.
One great thing about Maven is it does allow you to set your own prices for courses, so you can maintain a certain level of control over your profits. The guidance and tutorials provided on the Maven website can offer advice on how to price your courses.
For instance, Maven recommends pricing a 1-week course at around $500, and ensuring you deliver at least 3 90-minute lessons during that course. However, you’re free to adjust your pricing however you like, and you can offer discount codes if you want some extra help converting initial learners.
Maven Review: Pros and Cons
Maven has a lot of great tools to offer content creators looking to engage and activate their communities with compelling, in-the-moment cohort courses. The organization has already received significant attention from the educational community, as well as dozens of thought leaders and brands. It’s an easy-to-use platform, with a straightforward interface and plenty of guidance for beginners, as well as an accelerator course to get you started.
You can get all the tips you need to run and market your course, and even build your own landing pages to boost enrolment. Plus, you get instant access to an existing community of students, so it’s relatively easy to find people to purchase your content. However, as a relatively new solution, the platform might not be as advanced as some of its competitors.
- Easy to use interface with plenty of advice for beginners
- Exceptional community and customer support tools
- Existing marketplace to help boost your online presence
- Included landing-page builder with ratings and timers
- Automated email marketing for customer engagement
- Automatically collect and show student testimonials
- Manage all of your course operations in one place
- Community features for your course members
- Insights available through the course dashboard
- You will lose some money on fees
- Limited community and engagement features
- Basic analytics and reports
Maven Review: Finishing Thoughts
So, is Maven the right solution for you?
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a simple way to connect with consumers through valuable, cohort-driven courses, then Maven could be a great tool. This platform has earned a lot of attention recently as the demand for community platforms and marketplaces continues to grow.
With Maven, business leaders, educators, and thought leaders can produce high-quality courses in minimal time, without investing a fortune into content production. The all-in-one ecosystem makes it simple to manage your community, nurture your audience with email marketing, and even collect social proof. Plus, alongside a course builder, you even get your own landing page development tools, to increase your lead generation results.
Maven is easy-to-use and straightforward, and it takes some of the work out of having to find the ideal audience too, as there’s already a dedicated group of learners active on the platform. With plenty of guides and tutorials to get you started, you can dive in with minimal effort. However, you may find you need something a little more advanced if you really want to take your community-based courses to the next level.
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