Managing training content is often frustrating and time-consuming. Multiple authors and stakeholders may be involved with a single training asset, and document versions may be spread across an array of content management systems ranging from SharePoint, DropBox and Google Drive to network drives and email.
Worse, a poor training content management strategy can put valuable intellectual property at risk. While some trainers feel the best way to navigate this risk is to keep materials in print or email PDFs directly to clients, these approaches do little to deter and prevent unauthorized sharing.
So, how do you bring order to content management chaos while also providing a great downstream experience for trainees? For professional trainers and coaches, conventional options are often not a good fit. Their needs are often different than those of training professionals who work within their client organizations. For those who sell training to organizations, the following capabilities are critical:
Let’s see how these needs map to conventional solutions.
Some of your clients may use a Learning Management System (LMS) for their internal training programs. The core value of an LMS system is its ability to track the learning experiences of employees across time and integrate that information with other enterprise systems such as human resource management software. These capabilities and other features like gamification and learning paths are simply not needed by many consultants and would result in an unnecessarily high per-user cost.
Additionally, though it may seem surprising in 2017, many learning management systems lack a native mobile experience and, instead, provide a web-based experience for mobile which frustrates users on tablets or phones.
This combination of high per-user cost and substandard mobile experience makes many LMS systems a poor fit for the needs of training firms selling training services into organizations.
There is a broad spectrum of content management systems that range from large enterprise solutions like SharePoint to SMB solutions such as Google Drive and DropBox. Fundamentally, these solutions help teams author, manage, organize, and collaborate on content.
In many cases, these tools are excellent for internal collaboration but not ideal for external sharing. Professional trainers, coaches, and consultants must be able to easily share training materials with clients while protecting their intellectual property. The ability to track who is accessing training content and their patterns of usage is critical to ensuring content is not being shared without authorization. In many cases, CMS’s do not provide this level of insight.
Finally, many trainers and consultants wish to sell content online. Online content sales can be both a valuable incremental revenue stream as well as a way to seed interest in future training engagements. Since most content management systems are designed to be internal collaboration tools, e commerce is typically not part of their feature set.
SharedBook is a platform for secure management, distribution, and selling of training materials. Recognizing the shortcomings of LMS and CMS solutions for professional trainers, executive coaches, and consultants, we designed the platform around their specific needs.
The SharedBook platform provides a secure, cloud-based library in which to centralize and organize your training materials. Any of the materials in your private library can be combined into “packs” which can be distributed to trainees via unique access codes, links, or sold via a private marketplace. Whether you distribute content directly to trainees or sell it to them, you always have insight into who is accessing the content and you can remove access at any time.
Your SharedBook content is always accurate and always up to date. If you need to update materials that have already been distributed to users, you can replace the old version with the new version with the click of a button. No expensive reprinting of materials is required.
When clients access your training content, it’s important that they have a positive user experience. Printed workbooks and training binders often end up buried, on shelves, or otherwise unavailable when your clients need to reference them. When accessing your materials via SharedBook, your clients have the convenience of experiences they are accustomed to such as highlighting, note taking, and bookmarking but also benefit from the ability to rapidly find important content via full text-search that spans both individual books or all of the training materials you have provided to them.
And when it comes to engaging clients during the training process, let’s not forget about video. When you include video segments in your SharedBook materials, you can enrich print-based content, drive higher engagement rates with your materials, and increase learning and retention of your content.
For many trainers, it is also important to assess trainees’ mastery of information they have been taught. SharedBook’s assessment engine provides 50 premade question types ranging from staples like multiple choice, text, and essays to engaging options such as visual questions, graphs, audio and voice, and more.
Finally, it’s important that every touchpoint you have with clients and trainees reinforces your brand. This is particularly true with respect to your training materials. SharedBook’s professional edition allows you to present clients with branded iOS and Android mobile apps and web reader.
Even though using the SharedBook platform is easy (just upload existing materials, add them to packs, and distribute or sell), we know that making the transition can be daunting for some. That’s why every SharedBook subscription comes with support from our Customer Success Team. Whether you need help migrating large volumes of content to your SharedBook account, or planning events which include your SharedBook materials, we’ll help assure that you and your users have a great experience.