How Disco Saves You 100s of Hours Running Your Online Community

Team Disco
10 min read

In this article you will learn:

  • What shared challenges many founders and operators of learning communities face as they build and grow their businesses
  • Why Disco is the all-in-one solution your learning business needs to design a thriving community with engaging events and transformative courses

Creating a learning community requires you to juggle a lot of different tasks — many of which are administrative tasks that can take hours away from time you could be spending curating your community and providing value to your members.

In our conversations with dozens of learning community founders and operators over the years, we’ve identified shared pain points and challenges every learning business faces.

If you’re experiencing any challenges running your learning community and dedicating a lot of time to the daily tasks required to run your business, keep reading to learn about how Disco’s all-in-one platform for learning communities can help you and your team save 100s of hours.

3 challenges you may be facing running your learning community

Creating a tech stack that helps your business function

Slack, Zoom, Notion, Airtable, Google Drive — they’re all wonderful tools when you’re using them individually. But trying to stitch multiple tools together to run your learning community causes confusion for your team and for your members.

At any point, learning businesses can be using dozens of different tools to communicate with members, run courses, host events, collect payments, set appointments, and more. Streamlining as many of those business functions as possible will free up precious time you’d otherwise be spending vetting tools, setting them up, and switching between each to complete single-use tasks for your business.

Setting aside time to do the purposeful, impactful work of designing transformative learning experiences

When you’re deep in the trenches of building your learning community— doing things like invoicing, setting up tech solutions, and marketing to prospective members — finding time to do the real work of designing transformative learning experiences for your current members can feel daunting.

With many learning communities often having lean teams, operations can be a heavy overhead to account for. It’s difficult to designate just one or multiple people to particular business tasks when you’re operating with only a handful of employees. For many learning communities, most team members are wearing multiple hats

Managing communications and operations of your learning community and the events, courses, and content you offer

There’s a never-ending list of communications and operations you need to have figured out if you want to create courses and events for your learning community to enjoy. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Sending tons of calendar invites for events
  • Following up with email reminders for participating members, as well as post-event feedback and recaps
  • Transferring data and information between multiple tools
  • Capturing event recordings and uploading them for evergreen viewing
  • Fostering conversation before, during, and after an event or course
  • Handling and tracking applications, member payments, and other registration documentation
  • Launching new programs or courses and generating communications to promote them

There’s a good chance you’re using too many tools in order to manage your members, learning experiences, and events. At some point — sooner than later — founders and operators of learning communities find themselves tired of having to jump between tools and solutions to create an efficient flow of business.

This is why we created Disco.

How Disco helps solve your most pressing operational challenges

With Disco, you’ll spend less time on administrative and operational tasks and more time curating your community and catering to members.  

Disco’s all-in-one platform features a number of tools and integrations so you don’t have to source, set up, and pay for multiple tech solutions. Disco is your one-stop shop for event management, member management, course creation, course duplication, reporting, and more:

“Disco has solved our problem of mixing many tools together to run our cohorts. That’s a common theme in the no-code world, people use many tools when one would do,” says Amie Pollack, Makerpad, Head of Educational Content

Everything your members need to succeed can be leveraged in a single tool with Disco’s many features, including:

Tracking Learner Progress

We know what operators of learning communities need to know about their members, so we’ve created a solution that allows you to track daily progress, measure member engagement within the community, track attendance to courses and events, and generate reporting to measure the health and success of your learning community. Not only does this feature help you save time, it enables you to provide a better learner experience and to gain deep insights into how your course content is resonating with your members.  

Creating and duplicating courses

Creating transformative courses and the curriculum to support them is a key feature of Disco’s platform. Our curriculum builder helps you design transformative learning experiences, and our easy-to-use UX ensures anyone, anywhere can easily access the materials they need. This seamless member experience is especially critical for courses like Dribbble’s Product Design Course, where design and functionality are top of mind:

“What we really liked when we first saw Disco’s platform was the fact that it felt so user centric. Disco feels like it's a fun experience, it’s not intimidating and offers accessible learning,” mentions Madeleine Sava, Dribbble’s Program Manager.

Plus, with course duplication, you can easily recreate curricula for future cohorts. With a few clicks, you can select the content you want to duplicate and save hours of time building a new course from scratch.

Ben Plummer, Sr. Learning Experience Designer at On Deck, says “I was able to save a lot of time on the logistics behind curriculum development in terms of setting up access to Notion docs and writing directions for how to use templates or hub documents. In fact, creating a Notion hub for this program would have been incredibly time-consuming. With Disco, it wasn't necessary.”

Managing applications, payments, and registrations

Say goodbye to operational busywork and hours upon hours of manually collecting payments, registrations, and applications. Disco’s platform integrates seamlessly with Stripe, so you’ll never have to worry about invoicing or sending payment requests. You can easily create unique discount codes to support the sales and referral efforts for your learning community. Whether your registration process is open, waitlist, or by application, you can manage all aspects of the registration process right within the platform—including creating, accepting, and rejecting members—with one click.

Hosting engaging virtual events

Virtual events are a great way to engage your learning community and galvanize members. With Disco’s suite of integrations, you’ll free up hours of time you would have spent logistically planning and running the event.

Disco’s deep integration with Zoom enables you to gather your members and track attendance. Automated reminders make it easy to manage communications leading up to your virtuals events, so you can focus on more important things. Once the event is over, you can upload recordings of each event to share with your community and with those who couldn’t attend the live event.

Disco also integrates with calendar and email so your members can choose to receive automatic calendar invites to their respective time zones. Simon Engelke, co-founder of BatteryMBA, notes just how important this feature is for their cohort-based courses of prospective battery professionals:

“The main thing for me is really about notifications and reminders. I think that's a massive time sink. To always have these regular scheduled emails to send—follow ups is the key, right? We really want to make sure that people don't forget about sessions. The calendar is a massive thing to help learners not forget. I remember in our early days, creating these Google Calendars was an absolute pain. [With Disco], other people can download it themselves in their time zones. You found a way to integrate both Google calendar as well as Outlook, which is important, especially for some of our corporate clients,” says Simon.

Automated event reminders and Disco’s ‘add to calendar’ feature means you never have to worry about members of your learning community or your cohort-based course missing a virtual event.

Zoom isn’t the only integration Disco offers. Learn about our suite of advanced integrations, including Slack, Zapier, and a selection of custom apps.

Managing you community (and the smaller communities within it)

As with any community, members naturally want to find others to connect with. Disco’s Community Management feature allows you to holistically look at your membership directory while allowing members to view and connect with one another. Understanding who’s in your learning community and what their level of involvement is allows you to more purposefully pair members up or foster situations in which members can engage more organically.

These community management tools also take a lot of the administrative work off of your hands by making it easy to set course or event capacity, send bulk invitations, rework your registration paperwork, and give your learning community specific naming conventions with custom labeling and branding.

Dedicate more time to fostering and scaling your community with Disco

"Running a program is incredibly operationally intensive. There are things that humans should be doing, they need to be teaching, they need to be engaging with the community, and giving support,” says former Head of Education at On Deck, Eliot Gattegno.

“But there are also many parts of operating a program that humans don't necessarily need to be doing and could be done by a product. I think that's one of the things that's most exciting for us in launching the No Code Foundations through Disco. With Disco, there are so many parts that can now have a much more product guided and product-led experience than we were previously doing."

Disco empowers learning businesses and their communities to thrive by enabling end-to-end solutions. We’re not reinventing the wheel; we’re creating the engine that will drive your business forward. When you can allocate more time to curating a transformational learning experience and growing your learning community, your team wins — and so do your members.

October 6, 2022