How to Create Your Own Certification Program: Hibiscus Moon Case Study

Learn how to create your own certification program with this Hibiscus Moon case study.

Online courses are all the rage…

But what if your teaching lends itself to something even bigger, like empowering others through a certification program?

That’s exactly what Hibiscus Moon has done with her Certified Crystal Healer Course.

For over 10 years, she's been in business, delighting her clients with a warm, charismatic personality and an instinct for “what works” in online training.

Today she provides the perfect example of how to create a certification program with over 1000 graduates and students from 38 countries around the world.

A Passion That Turned into a Thriving Business

A screenshot of Hibiscus Moon's certification program. Hibiscus Moon's Crystal Academy is built on a love and passion for crystal beauty that she's had since childhood. As an adult, she began to follow this passion, exploring the spiritual and metaphysical facets of working with crystals as a healing tool.

It's her personal mission to share the knowledge, wisdom, fun, and science behind working with crystals with her fans.

She uses her online business and membership site as the primary tools that make it happen… which led to creating her online certification program.

Hibiscus Moon has built a sustainable lifestyle for herself, and her business continues to generate abundant income for her and her family.

Keep reading to find out why her certification program is the “go to” in her industry, and what struggles she went through to make it happen.

Are People Asking You To Create an Online Certification Program?

One of the primary driving forces behind the success of Hibiscus' business is her ability to listen to her clients.

Now we know that listening to clients is the key to successful marketing…

But Hibiscus wasn't just using it for the marketing: she was using it as the primary guide for her business decisions.

My directions have always been through my clients' suggestions,” shared Hibiscus. “Can you do a class on this? Or can you write a book on it? That meant I was diving into the world of online courses long before it was a ‘thing' among online entrepreneurs.

Listening to the requests of her followers also meant that Hibiscus Moon understood exactly what it was that would bring her business to a new measure of success.

One thing I found out,” she said, “was that students wanted certification.”

Online Certification benefits and the number of students enrolled worldwide

Creating A Certification Course

The foundation for this Certification Program began through an active YouTube channel with 39,000+ subscribers and over 3 million views. These trained students in the what and how of using crystals.

A successful Certification program will empower a student by giving them the tools they need to become an authority in your niche.

For the Crystal Academy, this means that the lessons don't stop at crystals and healing. She goes on to teach her students how to grow and build a successful business, so that they can start earning an income from doing what they love.

Her certification program is designed to deliver the tools students need to start their own crystal-focused businesses: marketing, sales, and business strategies included.

Taking it one step further, Hibiscus Moon also was approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.

Offering Continuing Education Credits through your online certification program is one way to make your certification more effective and attractive.

Through this additional approval process, the Certification program delivers 18 Continuing Education Credits for the Certified Crystal Healer Course. This is perfect for licensed massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, yoga instructors or bodyworkers who need CEs.

The process of getting and remaining approved to offer CEs is rigorous and gives the Crystal Healer Certification an extra benefit for students, and sets it apart from other programs in the industry.

This is an example of the certificate of completion that Hibiscus Moon offers students at graduation.

Stay Focused On Certification Goals

As we dove deeper into the conversation, Hibiscus Moon shared more about the mindset and philosophy that allows her to stay so focused on her clients:

You just have to get really clear on what you want to deliver to your students.”

When you're building your course (or choosing software), look at features and benefits,” advised Hibiscus. “Go through the list and circle everything that's going to help you meet your goals for the course that you want to deliver to your students. A lot of people get sucked into marketing and sales, but you have to learn how to see past it.

When it comes to creating an online certification program, you need to decide how rigorous you want your curriculum to be.

For example, will you be testing students and providing quizzes, or practicums to ensure proper understanding of the principles you're teaching? This may not apply for all online certification programs, but it's best to be clear up front before you decide on your online course software.

For Hibiscus Moon's certification program, she put in place certification requirements to bring students to a high level of competency:

“Students must complete the 8 classes listed above, complete the 3 volunteer sessions as taught in the course, and satisfactorily complete the required final assignment within one year.”

Another screenshot of Hibiscus Moon's Certification Program course page.

These types of certificates of completion can easily be generated by AccessAlly Pro.

Creating an Online Certification Program is Not a One Person Project

Hibiscus Moon's Crystal Academy isn't an accidental success. It's been intentionally designed to achieve a high level of success.

As hands-on as Hibiscus Moon is for her business, she is equally emphatic about having a great Sparkle Team in place, working behind the scenes.

That's why when she decided to use AccessAlly to host her online certification program, she chose to hire an AccessAlly® Certified Partner.

Nathalie Doremieux set up the technical side of the membership and certification program, while Emma from Soul Stirring Branding created the latest design of the site.

I know how to deliver the goods. But these days, I don’t always want to do everything myself,” she told me. “So I have a team. And there are one or two people on my team who do the tech stuff behind the scenes. That's made a big difference for me.”

For the Crystal Academy, having a team in place meant that they could launch online courses long before there was adequate software to make it easy.

Crystal Academy Branding from Soul Stirring Branding

Finding the Right Course Certification Platform

Hibiscus Moon started offering online courses way back in 2011.

The difficulty in delivering these early courses was caused by the tech setup: a hodge-podge of custom coding and various plugins duct taped together to make it happen.

Oh my goodness, what a mess that was!” laughed Hibiscus. “I would come up with the ideas and go to the tech team to find out if it was possible. So we cobbled together a membership course site.

When it worked, it would be great, but then a plugin would stop working or a piece would fail.

“In 2013, it all kind of blew up in our faces.”

That's when Hibiscus Moon started looking around for a tool that would make her membership course area work exactly the way she'd envisioned… without taking such a toll on her team.

This brought her to the AccessAlly plugin for WordPress.

I might be biased because I know Nathalie and Robin, I’ve spoken with both of them and know their abilities. I know they create high quality and stand behind their work and offer unlimited support.

The support was extremely important to Hibiscus Moon:

I’ve been burned a lot before I found AccessAlly… and remember, this was in the Wild West of online courses! We were delivering an online certification before people knew what an online course was.

Click to get the 6 membership site models and case studies

A Membership Setup That Delivers on Certification Promises

When Hibiscus Moon connected with AccessAlly, it was brand new on the market.

This meant that there were some reservations from her tech team who were wary of using a newer plugin.

My team wasn't as open as I was, but I told them not to worry about it. And I was right. If we run into any difficulties, all we have to do is explain what we want to do to the AccessAlly team, and they jump right in to make it happen.

What's been so important to us over the years is that Robin and Nathalie are always open to hearing ideas and improving. I know that’s the kind of product that Nathalie and Robin deliver.

A sample of Hibiscus Moon's online certification course.

The investment in AccessAlly lifted the burden of unreliability from the Crystal Academy, and allowed them to focus on and enjoy the all-in-one setup.

I love the setup of our membership site today,” Hibiscus Moon said. “It’s one place where everything is officially organized for our students. They can check off what's done, when they belong to a certain level, everything they need is there, it makes everything so easy.

Even people who aren’t very tech savvy get around in our AccessAlly site very easily,” she noted. “Makes things so nice and tidy. Everything is where it belongs and has it’s cubby hole…

“Even people who aren't very tech savvy get around in our AccessAlly site very easily.”

Hibiscus Moon's online certification program for crystal healers.

Hibiscus Moon's Certification Program Tech Stack

When you're putting together a complex certification course, you need to use the right tools for the job.

Here's the tech stack that the team at Hibiscus Moon uses:

  • WordPress – for the website itself
  • AccessAlly Pro – for online courses, membership area, and LMS features like progress tracking and checklists
  • Ontraport – for membership site and marketing automation, CRM, emails, etc.

Using A Membership Area to Cross-Sell Other Offerings

Hibiscus Moon's main offering is the online certification program, but over the years she's also released several other online programs, kits, and courses.

When she switched to AccessAlly, Hibiscus got a cross-selling dashboard to showcase all of her paid courses:

This is a side benefit of AccessAlly I really love – that people can see our other offerings. It was really fun, like an addictive game: people were actively buying products that we weren’t selling to them.

This kind of cross-selling is easy to do with AccessAlly, and it can add significant revenue to the bottom line without having to market heavily.

Discover More About The Power and Success of Hibiscus Moon's Signature Certification Program

The Crystal Academy is thriving business that serves thousands of customers across the globe.

It's a testament to the brilliance of Hibiscus Moon, who made the decision to turn her passion into a new standard for online Certification programs designed with the success of her students in mind.

If you want to know more about Hibiscus Moon, her work with crystals, and her coaching – head over to her site here.

You'll certainly come to appreciate her genius, and will come away with a deeper understanding of the high-quality Certification programs that are possible when you're determined to see that your students succeed.

This case study gave an overview of how to create your own online certification program, from someone who has done it exceptionally well.

2 Comments

  1. Lynette Leckie-Clark on June 13, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Really want to say a huge thank you for all the information on your fabulous site. Lynette



    • ambitionally on June 14, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Thank you so much Lynette, I’m glad to hear you’re getting a lot out of the articles here!



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