:Creativity / Equipment and tools

Case study: How one Teachable creator customized his community with Circle.so

man teaching online man teaching online

We’ve already shown you how one course creator used his Circle community to help market his Teachable membership and courses so that it now pays for itself. Now, we’re showing you how another creator leveled up his community experience with just a little extra elbow grease. See how Mastering MuseScore creator Marc Sabatella customized his Circle community on Teachable, below.

A creator’s goal

Marc is a long-time instructor. In fact, he’s taught music online in some form for more than 25 years. Needless to say, Marc is passionate about what he teaches, and his students’ learning experiences are always top of mind. 

Marc’s school never had a community of its own before. As a creator, he was active in the comments section of lessons within his Teachable course. And he participated in some industry-related forums and pre-existing Facebook groups. But, he never gained the traction he desired. Enter Circle.

Getting started

At the heart of it, Marc’s community strategy is a simple one. He offers:

  • A free lead magnet option
  • An exclusive option available to those who purchase his $17/month membership
mastering-musescore-sales-page mastering-musescore-sales-page
Mastering MuseScore community options

His free option doesn’t enroll you in any courses but gets you into the public areas of the community. The “all-access membership” is good for all his courses plus a private area of the community. (This is all in addition to the “a la carte” courses Marc still offers on his school page, which also get you into the public areas of the community.)

Within his “all-access membership” community, he regularly adds high-value content, engages in full discussions, and makes a space that’s as valuable as a course—without all the overhead of actually building an entire course. 

“I’ve had the membership option for over a year but never really pushed it because I couldn’t really define the value proposition,” he says. “Now I have a clearer picture to convey.”

Mastering MuseScore community Mastering MuseScore community
Mastering MuseScore community home

Ultimately, Marc’s main goals for launching a community are also simple:

  • Increase student engagement to improve learning
  • Market his already-created courses and content within his free community
  • Streamline students’ comments and discussions (more on this later!)
  • Offer a high-value, exclusive selling proposition for his membership

A space of his own

In order to help him achieve his community goals, Marc opted for a Circle.so membership. But that was just the kicking off point. Marc wanted to put in some extra work to customize his community integration with Teachable to provide the exact experience he wanted for his business.

He had a few main reasons to customize his community experience. But the main one is to avoid confusion. Marc explains that not only does MuseScore the program share the name with his school, but it has two websites with both free and paid options (similar to his own school’s options). And his YouTube and email list are also separate, so it was imperative to him to eliminate any more confusion with a single sign-on.

“The most important thing to me was not requiring yet another account, so the SSO was huge,” he says. “Setting that up was a piece of cake. Next, I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be confusion as to which site was which (Teachable vs Circle) or how to get from one to the other or which site was for which purpose.” 

So Marc got busy to make Circle work for him. His overarching goals being:

  • Create a better flow for student comments
  • Build a better navigational structure for his school and community within his site header
  • Eliminate any uncertainty of “where to post” (Facebook group, comments section of course, etc.)

A little work, big reward

Marc will be the first person to tell you that his customizations have been a little extra work. But because he wanted to accomplish specific goals with his community, opting for a Cirlce.so membership and going the extra mile to customize the experience was totally worth it for him—and his students.

And, although it was a bit of extra elbow grease, Marc says he’s happy with the result. He’s even shared how he made his customizations so other Teachable creators can also customize their Circle.so communities as well. Watch his how-to video, below.

Ultimately, Marc was able to make the following customizations to his community for his Teachable students:

  • A customized menu bar with community navigation options right next to his school option
musescore-community-header musescore-community-header
Community customized menu bar
  • A Circle community widget that appear within his Teachable school
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Circle community widget within a Teachable school
  • Customized Circle space groups that correspond to his Teachable courses, so that comments flow seamlessly between his Circle and Teachable
musescore-space-groups musescore-space-groups
MuseScore community space groups correspond to Teachable courses
MuseScore-community-course MuseScore-community-course

And although he’s always working to improve and make changes that work for his business, you can see a complete deep dive of all the changes Marc has made to customize his Circle community in this video below. 

Have any more questions on how to get the most out of your Circle.so membership and integration with Teachable? Head over to teachable:hq (our native community—yep, we use Circle) to see what we’re talking about.

Author: Caitlin Miller, Caitlin Miller is the Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at Teachable. In her spare time, she's often found listening to vinyl records, buying too many house plants, and enjoying a run on the streets of Brooklyn.

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