Explore the unfiltered truth in this Skool review – no sugarcoating, just honest insights

Skool Review: Pros, Cons & Pricing (No Sugarcoating)

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In this Skool review, we’re diving deep into what makes this platform a standout choice for digital learning and community building.

Ever wondered if there’s a tool that can truly revolutionize the way you teach or learn online?

Well, buckle up, because Skool might just be the game-changer you’ve been searching for.

With its unique blend of course hosting and community engagement, it’s not just another e-learning platform.

It’s a vibrant, interactive space where learning meets real-world application.

So, let’s peel back the layers and see if Skool really lives up to the hype.

What is Skool?

Skool homepage

Skool is a fantastic community and course creation platform for creators who are eager to build online communities or offer courses. It’s particularly handy if you’re into coaching, consulting, or any kind of information business.

What really makes Skool stand out is how it tackles community engagement with a focused approach. You’ll find its layout refreshingly clean and the design user-friendly, not to mention some unique features that you might not find elsewhere.

Skool also offers a 14-day free trial, so you can get a real feel for its features before making a decision.

This overview is meant to give you a clear picture of what Skool brings to the table, helping you make an informed choice about giving it a try.

Who Owns Skool?

The brain behind Skool is Sam Ovens, also the creator of consulting.com. His vision has shaped Skool into a platform that stands out for its simplicity and focus on building an engaged community.

What I especially like about Sam’s approach is his emphasis on a user-friendly experience. Sam Ovens has gone the extra mile to ensure that Skool is an intuitive and enjoyable platform to use for both business owners and community members.

This is great because as a business owner you’ll have a platform that’s easy, enjoyable, and actually fun to use, all while knowing that your tool of choice is providing a good experience for your customers at the same time.

What’s Inside Skool?

Peeking inside Skool, you’ll find a host of features tailored for online community building and course management. I’ll get into the nitty gritty here in this article in a few moments, but here’s the skinny:

Skool offers an impressive user interface (UI), personalized engagement tools like leaderboards, and options for rich course hosting.

Additionally, Skool embraces a gamified approach to keep members engaged and motivated. The good thing about this is it fosters a more interactive and dynamic online learning environment, which is key in today’s digital learning platforms.

As a business owner or course creator, you’ll get access to tools like communities, classrooms, calendars, email broadcasts, chat, notifications, user profiles, a pretty decent search feature, and great metric analytics.

And, Skool is an absolute god send for people (like myself) who hate using Facebook groups. Personally, it drives me nuts having to spend ages searching in a Facebook group just because Facebook want to keep you on their platform for longer.

Facebook’s a massive time suck, and not a smart tool to use to most your primary community groups, IMO. Sure, it can be helpful for free and preliminary groups, but beyond that you’re gonna want something that’s more professional and user-friendly for your paid groups.

Rant over.

Skool profile

Skool Pros and Cons

Before we continue on, here are the pros and cons of Skool so you can get a snapshot of the awesome parts, and where it falls down.

Skool Pros

  • Skool’s got an easy-to-use interface, so you won’t get lost.
  • One login for all your groups
  • There’s a leaderboard to keep things competitive and fun.
  • Community manager can enable chat and follow options to help community people connect better.
  • It’s good for hosting your courses, giving you what you need.
  • The gamification part makes learning a bit more exciting.
  • Course creators have both their student communities and content in one accessible location.
  • You can charge for your membership programs.
  • One-click upgrade and the flexibility to establish multi-tiered membership plans for community builders.

Skool Cons

  • No native video hosting for courses yet, but you can easily host on YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia and embed them in your Skool group
  • Missing quizzes and file uploads, which might be a downer for some.
  • No funnel builder

Features of Skool

Here’s a quick rundown of Skool’s features, all designed to make your online community and course management easier:

  1. Community: Engage in group discussions with  posts, comments, categories, likes, mentions, and even polls supported by robust community features. Plus, you get real-time interactions and notifications to keep the engagement buzzing.
  2. Classroom: Seamlessly integrate your courses with your community. You get modules, videos, resources, searchable transcripts, and progress tracking, all geared towards enhancing course completion rates.
  3. Calendar: Keep everyone in sync with scheduled group events. Upcoming events are highlighted in the community tab, making it a useful calendar feature. Members see everything in their local timezone and get email reminders.
  4. Gamification: Add some fun to your group with points, levels, and rewards. You can even personalize your group by naming your levels and incentivize engagement by unlocking courses at higher levels.
  5. Email Broadcasts: Reach all your members with just one click. Write a post, hit a button, and voilà – it’s emailed to everyone. No hassle with segmenting lists or tricky formatting.
  6. Chat, Notifications, and Profiles: Chat with members, follow posts, get notifications via the in-app system and email notifications. You can tune your preferences and get email digests of popular posts, all with one profile for all your groups.
  7. Search: Find what you need with a single search box. Whether it’s posts, comments, course content, or members, it’s all searchable.
  8. Metrics: Keep an eye on your community’s health with a dashboard showing key metrics. Track growth, engagement, and progress at both group and member levels.
How people use Skool

Benefits of Using Skool: Why Choose This Platform Over others?

So, as you can see, Skool’s got some pretty decent features. But, what are the benefits of using Skool, and why might you choose it over the competitors in the online course and community space?

Here are the benefits you should know about:

  1. Focused User Interface: Skool’s interface is streamlined and user-friendly, making it simpler to navigate compared to more complex platforms.
  2. Community Engagement: Its features like personalized leaderboards and interactive options enhance community involvement.
  3. Gamification Elements: These add an enjoyable and motivational aspect to the learning experience.
  4. Specialization for Coaches and Consultants: Skool is specifically designed for information businesses, coaches, and consultants, providing targeted tools and functionalities, ensuring complete control over your specialized content and services.
  5. Subscription-Based Monetization: This allows for a consistent revenue stream from your courses or content.
  6. Simplified Experience: Skool’s less-is-more approach means you’re not overwhelmed by too many features.
  7. Competitive Pricing: It offers a more affordable option compared to other platforms like Teachable and Kajabi.

Skool Review: Hosting Courses

If you’re planning to host courses on Skool, then you’ll be glad to know it’s mostly a breeze, especially if you’re all about keeping things straightforward and efficient.

The platform is user-friendly, so setting up and managing your courses won’t give you a headache. It’s got a neat, modern look that makes your content pop, and your learners will find it super easy to get around.

Now, while the simplicity in design is a big plus, it also means Skool doesn’t pack a bunch of fancy features. So, if you’re looking for high-level customization, you might find this a bit limiting.

But hey, the clean layout and focused approach mean your students won’t get lost in a maze of menus and buttons.

I especially like how Skool keeps the learner experience engaging. With features like gamification, your courses aren’t just educational; they’re interactive and fun. This is great because it helps keep learners hooked and coming back for more.

Sure, it’s not the Swiss Army knife of course platforms, but its simplicity and focus on engagement make it a solid choice for many course creators.

Community Engagement with Skool

Hosting and running a community business on Skool is mostly a smooth sail. It’s pretty simple to get your online community empire up and running, and the tools you’ll use as a business owner are straightforward.

Your members will likely find it easy and fun to engage, thanks to the platform’s friendly user interface. At least, that was my personal experience using Skool.

While the design of Skool is neat and tidy, making getting around the platform a breeze, it’s not all perfect – the platform could use a bit more in the way of features and customization. This might leave some folks wanting more.

Still, the leaderboard is a nice touch, adding a bit of friendly competition and camaraderie to the mix.

Overall, while there are a couple of niggles here and there, the experience with Skool leans more towards the positive side, especially when it comes to building tight-knit online communities.

Leaderboards

Skool Mobile App – iOS and Android Experience

Jumping into the Skool mobile app, both iOS and Android users are in for a treat. It’s like having your whole course and community management toolkit right in your pocket. As a business owner, you’ll love how easy it is to keep tabs on everything, no matter where you are.

For your customers, it’s all about that seamless experience. They’ll get the same clean and simple vibe they love from the desktop version, making it a breeze to dive into courses or connect with the incredible community. Navigating through the app is a piece of cake – everything’s just a few taps away.

What’s really great about this is how the app keeps everyone in the loop with push notifications. This keeps the engagement going strong, even when folks are on the move. It’s a smart way to make sure your Skool community stays buzzing and your courses get the attention they deserve.

Single Search Box Feature on the Platform for Course Hosts on Skool

The Single Search Box feature on Skool is a real game-changer for both course hosts and customers.

As a business owner, you’ll find it incredibly handy. It simplifies searching for anything within your single platform – from specific course content to community posts. This means less time hunting for information and more time focusing on what matters.

For your customers, this feature enhances their learning experience. They can easily find what they’re looking for without any hassle. The search box is intuitive and blends seamlessly with the platform’s overall design, maintaining that clean and uncluttered feel.

When I used this feature, I noticed how much quicker it made navigating through courses and community content. It’s a small but powerful tool that streamlines the user experience on both ends – making managing and learning through Skool a smoother ride.

Skool’s Email Broadcasts

Skool’s Email Broadcasts feature is also a great asset in the toolkit.

Imagine being able to reach all your members with just a single click – that’s exactly what this tool offers.

It’s super easy to use, which is great for those who aren’t tech wizards. You don’t have to fuss over list segmentation, tags, or complex formatting. It’s all about simplicity and efficiency, and I especially like how it saves you a ton of time.

For your customers, the experience is just as smooth. They get your email updates straight in their inbox, making it more likely they’ll stay engaged with what you’re doing. The emails look sharp and professional, which is a nice touch for maintaining your brand’s image.

Navigating the Email Broadcasts feature is a breeze. The interface is clean and user-friendly, so you won’t get lost in a maze of complicated menus. The style and design of the emails are sleek and modern, aligning perfectly with Skool’s overall vibe.

What I like here is how this feature integrates with the rest of Skool’s toolkit. It’s not just an isolated tool; it works hand-in-hand with the community and classroom features.

This integration is fantastic because it ensures a consistent and familiar experience for both you and your customers, keeping everyone on the same page.

Pricing and Free Trial of Skool

Skool offers just one, simple and straightforward pricing plan, so you won’t need to scratch your head over which plan is best for you.

Here’s what you get access to on the one and only Skool pricing plan:

The Only Plan Plan: $99/month

  • Includes one group
  • Access to all features
  • Unlimited courses
  • Unlimited members

You can get up and running quickly on Skool with a 14-day free trial. This is great because it allows you to fully test out the platform risk free.

A picture of Skool's simple pricing plan

Skool Alternatives

Not sold on Skool as the right solution for you? Or, maybe you just want to know how it stacks up to the main competitors.

In any case, here’s how Skool compares to the other main players in the course and community hosting industry:

Skool vs Teachable

Teachable is a strong contender, known for its robust course creation tools. It’s great for those who want to focus solely on building and selling online courses.

However, Skool offers a more community-centric approach, which is key for engagement and interaction.

Teachable might lack this community aspect, but it excels in detailed analytics and marketing tools.

Teachable has more pricing options than Skool, but on the most comparable plan will cost you more money for less resources.

Skool vs Systeme.io

Systeme.io is an all-in-one platform that includes email marketing, funnel building, and course creation.

It’s a powerhouse for those who need a wide range of tools. Skool, on the other hand, focuses more on community building and interaction.

While Systeme.io offers more in terms of marketing tools, Skool provides a more streamlined community-focused experience.

If you particularly want additional tools like a funnel builder, an email autoresponder, webinars, etc, then Systeme.io might be a better choice for you.

Having said that, if membership and community hosting is your main aim, then you’ll likely find Systeme’s solution in this department considerably more basic that what Skool offers.

If you want to know more, then you can see my full review of Systeme.io here.

Skool vs Discord

Discord is popular for real-time communication and community building. It’s great for instant interaction but isn’t tailored for structured courses or content organization.

Skool, in contrast, offers a more organized approach to course and community management, making it easier for structured learning.

Skool vs Facebook

Facebook Groups are a common choice for building online communities. They’re easy to use and widely accessible.

However, they lack the educational structure and dedicated features for course hosting that Skool provides. Facebook is also super-distracting for you and your customers.

Skool offers a more focused environment for learning and thriving community engagement, free from the distractions of a social media platform.

Wrapping This Review of Skool: My Final Thoughts

Wrapping up this Skool review, it’s clear that Skool stands out as a dynamic and user-friendly platform for both educators and learners.

It’s not just about the courses; it’s the cozy community center and interaction that set Skool apart.

Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge or build a thriving online learning community, Skool seems to tick all the right boxes, emphasizing its commendable efforts on community building.

So, why not give it a whirl?

Sign up for Skool’s 14-day free trial and experience firsthand how it can transform your online learning and teaching journey.

Who knows, Skool might just be the missing piece in your digital education puzzle!