Skool Review 2024:
1 Year Of Using Skool.com

By Jesse Kroon
Updated June 6, 2024

This is a complete review of Skool.com.

Skool is a community platform for creators.

If this sounds interesting:

  • Run your courses, community & event schedule on one simple platform
  • Relieve your community members from ads and distractions
  • Reward people for being active/adding value with gamification
  • Have people log in daily, take action and feel accountable
  • Grow community engagement, with little effort from you

Then Skool might be right for you.

The best part?

In the past 12 months I ran my own private Skool group as a business owner, and have been a participating member of multiple other groups.

So in this review we’ll cover what it’s like to run your own Skool group and what it’s like to be a member of someone else’s.

Let’s dive right in.

What is Skool?

Skool lets you put your course, community, and event schedule together in one place.

By offering a simple to use all-in-one solution it replaces the need to use separate tools like Kajabi or Teachable to run your courses and MightNetworks, Circle or Facebook Groups to run your community.

Co-founded by Sam Ovens, the platform launched in 2019 with a closed beta and has been publicly available since early 2022.

With a steady release of new features and growing customer base, one thing is for sure:

Skool is here to stay.

Who is Skool for?

If you are a:

  • Business owner
  • Coach / consultant
  • Educator
  • Course creator
  • Youtuber

And you want to:

Teach or gather together people into a single, distraction and advertisement free community, where you have complete control over all the content these people see.

Then Skool.com might be right for you.

Let's dissect and review the Skool platform piece by piece, so you can make a well-informed decision whether it's the right choice for you.

Skool Community
Hot tip
Sam Ovens

The key to community — "10 True Regulars"

To build a successful community, you don't need 1,000 fans.

You need 10 true regulars.

(Credit to David Spinks for this idea... It's brilliant).

This may contradict what most people imagine about communities — spaces with hundreds or thousands of people actively contributing and forming relationships where everyone is engaged and involved.

In reality, only a small percentage of your members will actively participate.

You don't need a lot of active members to get.... See more

SHOW ENTIRE POST

The 4 main features of Skool

Basically, a Skool group consists of four main features:

  1. Community
  2. Classroom
  3. Calendar
  4. Gamification

Within the community people can engage with each other via posts, likes, comments and direct chat messages:

In the classroom your customers can learn by following your courses/training programs:

Via the calendar you can schedule online and offline events such as recurring calls, webinars and meetups for you and your members:

Gamification awards points to members for each 'like' they get on their posts/comments. Reach a certain amount of points and you 'level up'. Rewards can be linked to each level to boost engagement.

Leaderboards show the most active members and rewards for each level:

Feature #1 - The Community

The community of a Skool group looks like this:

It’s a clean interface, where you can pretty much do two things:

  1. Post something yourself.
  2. Read and engage with posts of other members.

(more later on the types of posts you can do in a Skool community)

Here’s a screenshot of your average Facebook group:

They look similar and you can post/engage with other people’s posts in a Facebook group too.

But on Facebook, there’s always so much going on. 

Visiting Facebook and navigating to your group feels like navigating through a busy shopping street.

Something or someone is always fighting for your attention.

With Skool, as you log in, you simply land in a nice little oasis. 

In the past 12 months I have always found it a nice experience to spend time in a Skool community. Both as a member, and as an admin.

Posting in a Skool community

Both members and admins can post in a Skool community

You can attach files, images, GIFs and videos (YouTube, Vimeo, Loom, Wistia, or Bunny.net) to your post. It's possible to run polls too.

When posting something, you do so in a specific category. 

This helps to keep posts organized. Your members can easily view posts by category via pill menu and use the filter button to sort posts, which is handy for finding specific information quickly:

As an admin you can set up categories as you like.

You even can set up specific categories where only you as an admin can post, and your members can only view posts.

User profiles, chat and notifications

Each community member also has a public profile page:

On a profile page you can see:

  • All community activity of that person, like what they posted and when, and what they commented on posts by other people
  • Groups created by this person (can be hidden on group level)
  • Groups they are a member of (can be hidden on group level)

Following someone means you get notified whenever that person posts.

Besides that, you can start a 1-on-1 chat (there currently is no group chat feature).

skool-direct-message-feature

You can always find all your chats and notifications in the top right of the screen:

Skool chat notification

Skool Community feature - In conclusion

Skool delivers when it comes to the necessary elements needed to build a thriving community:

For members, they offer a supportive environment without distractions where you can engage and connect with other members, feel accountable and consistently work towards a common goal and even specific rewards.

The chat feature allows members to privately connect with other members as well as admins to discuss specific topics and exchange knowledge which facilitates the building of relationships even further.

Also “time to value” is extremely fast. When entering a new community the learning curve is about 3 seconds.

For admins, they’re simple to set up, easy to use, low maintenance, and more importantly, you can make them fun with gamification (which we'll touch upon at feature #4).

Feature #2 - The Classroom

The classroom is the second main feature of a Skool group

This is where your members can follow your courses.

It looks like this:

If you add more than one course, members will first have to select which course they’d like to see when visiting the classroom tab:

You can add as many courses to the classroom as you like.

Note: if you don't add any courses to your group, the classroom tab will be hidden.

Setting up your course(s) is easy

Setting up your course takes a few minutes, via the classroom tab you simply add a new course.

Access to a course can be set to:

  • All members can access
  • Members unlock at a specific level
  • Members pay a 1-time price to unlock
  • Members unlock after x days
  • Members you select can access

If members unlock at a certain level, you can decide which level members have to reach in order for the course to be unlocked in the classroom.

(reaching a level ties into the gamification aspect, more on that in a minute at feature #4)

Next, you simply use the inline/drag-and-drop editor to add and arrange the modules in your course:

skool-classroom-add-modules-to-course

Each module can include:

  • One video
  • Description (linked video timestamps are supported)
  • Multiple links
  • Multiple files
  • Actions items
  • Transcript (this makes video content searchable)
  • Drip release to delay access (can be turned on/off per module)

Skool (as of yet) doesn’t offer video hosting, so you will have to upload your videos to either YouTube/Vimeo/Wistia/Loom/Bunny.net and enter the link while setting up a module:

Skool Classroom feature - In conclusion

Again, Skool comes through by providing a sleek looking course delivery platform via the Classroom feature.

For members, the classroom is a place where you can easily navigate to, to continue your personal learning process. The user interface works well and members intuitively find their way without any learning curve. 

I’ve never had any of my customers ask me questions about how to use the classroom. 

That’s a pretty good sign.

For admins, courses are easy to set up (it takes a few minutes). You won't need to reference any guides or tutorials, as the interface is so intuitive.

There’s enough flexibility to set up your modules pretty much however you like - descriptions, timestamps, files, links, action items, transcripts - it’s all there.

You can’t edit the layout and what goes where, but there’s also no need for that in my opinion. The default layout works well.

A downside for some people is that you have to host your own videos. For me personally that’s not an issue, but I’ve seen other Skool users ask about this feature quite some times.

Lastly, if you want to use student testing tools to assess someone's understanding of the material you're teaching (using a quiz for example) you will have to use a 3rd party tool (like Typeform).

Student testings tools aren't available in Skool (yet).

Now let’s look at the calendar.

Feature #3 - The Calendar

The third main feature of a Skool group is the calendar feature, which looks like this:

It’s basically a public agenda where you can schedule (recurring) online and offline events for all your members to see.

Note: if you don't add any events to your group, the calendar tab will be hidden until you add one.

Scheduling an event works intuitively and is similar to Google calendar:

Simply enter a title and choose the date, time, duration and timezone for your event.

You can also choose to send your members an email 24-hours prior to the calendar event (this works very well to increase show up rate).

Note: you still need a tool like Zoom or Google Meets to run the meeting. Skool doesn’t offer this service.

The time of the event is automatically converted to the timezone of each individual member too.

Finally no more confusion about timezones!

Members can click on the event to view the description or to add the event to an external calendar like Google, Apple, Outlook, Outlook.com and Yahoo:

The event that’s coming up next is also highlighted in the community to tab:

If you click on it, you go straight to the details of the event, pretty nice!

Tip: If you run Q&A calls, record them and post them in a designated category in the community, so your members can go back and view the recording whenever they want. 

You can even go all out and have your Q&A calls transcribed, which will make them searchable via Skool’s search feature!

Skool Calendar feature - In conclusion

The calendar feature is simple, but adds a ton of value to the entire experience of Skool.

For members, it’s easy to see when events are coming up and accessing them is usually just a few clicks away. 

Automatic timezone conversion instantly makes it clear when events happen, no matter where you are in the world. 

Forgetting about an event happens rarely with the email reminder, add to calendar feature and notification in the community tab.

For admins, setting up events is done in a few clicks. Expect to receive much less to possibly even zero questions about when events happen or how to access them.

Besides that, show up rates are boosted without any effort from your side with an email reminder and notification in the community tab.

Feature #4 - Gamification

Now onto one of the coolest features, gamification.

If a member posts or comments something valuable, other community members can like that post/comment:

Likes translate into points which are linked to a level connected to a user’s profile.

(Sam Ovens is currently level 7 in this specific Skool group).

Reach a certain amount of points, and you level up (there are 9 levels, which you can also give custom names to).

Community members who gather the most points (by adding the most value to your community) are listed on the leaderboards of your Skool group:

As an admin, you can connect rewards to each specific level.

For example, when you reach level 6 in the group of the screenshot above, you unlock the ability to chat with other members and post in the community tab (this prevents spam and low quality posts).

You can also unlock classroom content at a certain level. When a member reaches the level your choose,  the course will automatically come available in the classroom tab of the same group.

Besides unlocking content in the classroom, you can pretty much give any reward you like.

You could for example give away a free 1-on-1 coaching call to the #1 person on the 30-day leaderboard each month. 

Skool Gamification feature - In conclusion

Setting up rewards with gamification works insanely well. 

What better way to grow community engagement (with little effort from you)?

Every member of the community has an incentive to take part and add as much value as possible to get their rewards.

Especially with the leaderboard tab showing your points, progress, and how you compare to other members.

The best part?

Your community members decide what’s most valuable, which creates a peaceful harmony and great balance in your group. Spamming posts to get points isn’t a thing.

More noteworthy features

Now that we have gone over the four main features of a Skool group, let’s look at some other noteworthy features.

Charge money for membership to your community

Skool let's you charge money for membership to your community!

Skool replaces your landing page, order form, merchant account, and everything else — it does everything, end-to-end, seamlessly. You simply add a price:

Next, you get some members and voila, you make money!

Currently Skool only supports a monthly membership fee, one-time payments are not supported (yet).

Send email broadcasts about your post (admin only)

As an admin, you have the ability to send an email broadcast to all your Skool group members about your post (you can only do this once every 72 hours):

Here’s what the email that your members receive looks like:

If you add images or other media in your post, they will also show up in the email.

The deliverability of the email is solid, I’ve never had any of these emails go to the spam folder.

This is a great feature to inform your members about updates or promotions you're running, without them needing to log in to see your post.

Skool's single search box

Skool.com has a single search box to search all:

  • Posts
  • Comments
  • Course content 
  • Member profiles

Search results look like this:

Via the tabs you can switch between types of search results.

Pretty simple and works well.

Chat & Email notifications settings

Members can easily decide if they’re available to chat with and which emails they receive regarding notifications, including the frequency of those emails:

It’s possible to change the timing of each type of notification and you can even turn them off completely.

This is great for members, as it lets them adjust how the platform works for them so that they can focus on their work instead of getting bombarded with notifications they don’t want or get too frequently.

For admins, these notifications are great for getting members to come back to your group.

Group metrics (admin only)

As you an admin, you get access to some neat metrics like:

  • Total members
  • Active members
  • Daily activity

This helps to get an understanding how well your group is performing, and where you can improve.

Public vs Private Skool groups

When creating your own Skool group, you can choose to either make your group public or private:

(you can change this setting later at any time after creating your group too)

A private group means that only members can see who’s in the group and what they post, all the content is hidden from search engines. These are great for gated content, like paid courses and masterminds.

A public group means anyone can see who’s in the group and what they post. Content is indexed and discoverable by search engines.

These work well for running public communities around your brand and products. You can also use them to generate leads, nurture them and from there on convert them to your paid group.

Note: before people can post/comment in a public group they first need to request access, which an admin will have to approve.

Community members can invite friends to join

All members can share a link to your group with their friends:

This is a very nice feature if you’re planning on running a public group because it can greatly grow your following without any effort on your side.

Tip: You should pin a ‘Welcome & how to get started’ post in your community and include clear step-by-step instructions on how members can invite friends.

Ask up to 3 questions when people request to join your group

If someone requests approval to join your group, you can ask them up to 3 questions.

This is handy to get additional info about the members who want to join, and maybe even to decide if you want to let them into your group or not based on their answers.

You can ask members up to 3 multiple choice or open ended questions. You can also ask them for their email address.

Oh, and you can send all answers to your CRM via Skool’s Zapier integration.

Welcome new members with an automated DM message

Skool lets you set up an automated direct message that's sent as soon as someone joins your group.

This is great to instantly welcome new group members and instruct them on how to get started using your community.

Skool mobile app for iOS and Android

Skool has a mobile app available both for iOS and Android devices.

Installing the app means you're able to receive push notifications about certain posts (depending on your notification settings).

Both apps work great and they're very fast!

Skool pricing

Skool pricing is as simple as the software itself.

There’s one plan with everything included which costs $99 /month.

Note that this is the price per group.

If you want multiple Skool groups, you’ll have to pay $99 /month per group.

Skool does offer a free 14-day trial via this link.

Currently there is no free plan.

Skool discount & special deals

Currently there are no discounts or special deals available for Skool.com.

But as soon as there are, I’ll make sure to update this post accordingly. 

The best deal you can get at the moment is the free 14-day trial.

How to get your Skool group for free

Creating your own Skool group costs money, but Skool has an auto affiliate system.

If someone creates a group from your group, you get 40% commission for life ($39 /month per group).

That means if 3 people create a group from yours, you’ve made back the monthly cost + an extra $18.

Skool customer support

Personally I've never had to ask for support in a whole year of using Skool, the platform is self-explanatory.

But if you do need support, you can contact the Skool team via email. I've heard they reply pretty fast.

You can also ask questions or chat with the Skool team in the public Skool community.

In the public community you can expect to get an answer within a couple hours, either from the team behind Skool or other Skool users.

Conclusion: Is Skool worth it?

PROS
plus
One platform for community, course, calendar
plus
Amazing community building capabilities
plus
Distraction and advertisement free
plus
Unlimited courses & members
plus
Built-in calendar for online/offline events
plus
Automatic time zone conversion for events
plus
Easily charge a monthly membership fee
plus
Gamification to boost community engagement
plus
Great user experience & easy to learn
plus
Free trial available
plus
Zapier integration
plus
Great customer support and strategic guidance
plus
Low technical complexity
plus
Effective features for member retention
plus
1 on 1 chat
plus
Mobile app (iOS & Android)
CONS
minus
No course assessment tools (like quizzes)
minus
No group chat functionality
minus
No native video hosting (but you can use Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia, Loom and Bunny.net)

Skool is free of unnecessary features, very easy to use and the combination of running your community, courses and calendar on one single platform works very well.

The learning curve for Skool is about 3 seconds, both for members and admins.

This makes the platform accessible to everyone, no matter the level of technical skill.

If someone joins your Skool group, there won’t be any confusion about features or options filling the screen, which can heavily derail the overall experience of your members.

This also means Skool is very suitable if you have a course or want to start a community for a “non-techie” target group.

Once you get your group going, Skool offers very solid mechanisms to grow your group and retain your members, while at the same time not overwhelming them wilt alerts, notifications and emails.

Do you sell courses? The awesome thing about Skool is that it lets you put a community at the center of your customers' learning experience.

Courses without a community can feel empty, boring and are much less engaging.

With Skool, your customers will feel more excitement, accountability and motivation to keep working towards their goals as they feel part of something larger than themselves.

Who doesn't want a higher course completion rate and more success for their customers?

The possibility for people to connect (via the community and direct chat) means they can easily help each other whenever they get stuck, instead of only turning to you for support.

The cherry on top?

Gamification, which gives all community members a common goal:

To add as much value as possible to unlock course material or any other reward you’ve defined.

This makes your community grow faster and bigger without much effort on your side.

Skool has 3 cons, but there's a solution for 3 all of them.

When Sam Ovens introduced Skool he said:

“Skool gives you everything you need, and nothing you don’t.”

After using Skool for 12 months, I can definitely say this is true.

You’ll find that whether you’re using Skool as a member, or as an admin, the experience on the platform is enjoyable at all times.

I definitely encourage you to try Skool for yourself and see whether you like it!

Visit Skool.com or create your own Skool group (14-day free trial).

Thanks for reading!

Updated June 6, 2024

JK