We Launched a New Community

Noele Flowers

| Jun 12, 2020

After six years of hosting our community on Facebook, we launched a private, elevated community that’s integrated with Teachable. Here’s why.

If you’ve been a Teachable member for a while, you know that community has always been important to us. Our founder, Ankur Nagpal, created our Facebook group, The Teachable Tribe (formerly The Fedora Family) back when Teachable was just getting started six years ago as a way to stay connected with our earliest members. And as our Facebook group has grown to almost 40k members, barely a day has gone by where we haven’t turned to our community as a source of inspiration from those sharing successes, information about how our members work and what they want, and to keep our finger on the pulse of the online course space.

Plus, beyond our focus on virtual community, our company has embodied community values in other ways. We’re a team of people who thrive off of human connection—we invite local members to many of our company parties, and most of our team members have spoken to a Teachable member in person or over Zoom at one point or another. As a company, we love getting to know our members—probably because we’ve always taken it as a given that we couldn’t exist without them. Now, after six years of caring deeply about community, we’re making it official: community is now one of our brand pillars, and we’re launching a new and improved community experience just for our members to prove it.

Elevating what community means at Teachable

Before we dive into the why and the how behind our shift away from our Facebook community toward a private space, we’re so excited to tell you more about what you can expect from this new space. Read on to learn more about what you’ll see in our brand new community.

  • Easy to access. You can access our new community right from your Teachable admin using your existing Teachable login credentials—no need to create a new username and password.
  • A private space. Our new community is for paying Teachable members only. You can discuss your business freely there without worrying that non-Teachable members might see your discussions.
  • An experience that grows with you. Our new community is a tiered experience where you are automatically grouped together with other members in a similar business phase. Plus, you’ll have the chance to advance into higher tiers and unlock exclusive content in the community as your business grows.
  • An elevated level of conversation. Our new community is all about discussing best practices—it’s not a support forum, so you won’t get tired of seeing the same questions and knowledge base articles repeated over and over. Instead, expect to see detailed, high-level discussions of everything from how to set up a funnel that converts to how to get press for your online course.
  • Perks. We’re pulling out all the stops to create and surface everything you need to succeed as a business owner. From private presentations with successful course creators, to custom content from our team, to swag, challenges, and more, you can turn to us when you need a trusted advisor.

Plus, this space is just getting started and we’re committed to doing what we can to create the best virtual community there is for online creators. As one of our early members, we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on how we can grow this important program to make it the best it can be. To access the new community now, click here or head to Admin > [click on the three vertical dots next to your name in the bottom left] > Community.

Read on to learn more about how we researched and implemented this new community.

Going beyond the forum

We’ve come to realize in the past year that there would come a time when our Facebook group would no longer meet the needs of our growing community. Facebook has some limitations that make it difficult to create a community space that goes beyond the message boards.

In our community on Facebook, we weren’t able to ensure the members of our community were Teachable members. This led to conversations in the group that were less relevant to our members, the space feeling less private, and yes: lots of spam. Plus, Facebook groups were designed primarily as forums—meaning that the only thing that we were able to offer for our community members were discussions.

Our focus in building this new community space was to create an experience that enhances what it means to be a Teachable member: something more robust, high-quality, and packed with content and perks that our members need to succeed.

But, even though we knew that we wanted to offer more through our community, and we needed to move off of Facebook to do it, imagining a new community from scratch was daunting. So, we took the advice we often give to our course creators when they’re in the process of launching a new product: we turned to you, our members, to figure out what you most wanted and validate our ideas for a new community.

You helped us create it

When we first set out to create a new community experience, one of the biggest elements of our research was speaking directly with course creators on the phone. If you took time out of your day to speak to us about your experience with community at Teachable, thank you—your insights were invaluable in helping us build this new space.

In speaking with our members, both those who had been active in our previous communities and those who hadn’t, there was a lot we wanted to find out. What did our members want to get out of a virtual community? What other communities did our members participate in, and why? What kinds of programs and perks did our members want to see us producing for our communities?

After countless hours of conversations, some clear themes about what our members wanted started to emerge, and some of them were surprising. Here are some of the biggest things we learned:

  • Our members wanted a private space where they could speak freely about the triumphs and challenges of running a business online.
  • Our members wanted a space where they could discuss their business with others who were in a similar phase. This held true for beginners and seasoned creators alike—they brought up again and again that when the conversation was too basic or too advanced, it wasn’t as valuable.
  • Our members weren’t as interested in “accountability” as they were in actionable, practical insights into growing their business.
  • Lastly, our members wanted more from Teachable—things like workshops, how-tos, challenges, and swag to keep them moving toward their business goals came up again and again.

These insights were invaluable to us in determining the type of community we wanted to create. We never could have designed this community without your feedback along the way, and we’re so excited to share with you what we created.

Want in? Here’s how.

Our new community is accessible to all Teachable members utilizing a paid plan at any level. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a pro, we have a space for you. To access, you can either click here or head to Admin > [click on the three vertical dots next to your name in the bottom left] > Community to set up your profile now. We can’t wait to get to know you more in the community—there’s already a group of talented creators waiting for you to join them.

Noele Flowers is a Community Manager at Teachable. In her free time, she loves cooking, writing music, and home brewing kombucha.