How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

Featured in this Story of Awesome: Sonopath Education

rocket

Launched May 2020

hands

3,600+ Members

money-bag

Freemium

SonoPath Education is a membership site that provides veterinary doctors and technicians with resources, continuing education opportunities, and a place to exchange advice and recommendations with their peers.


The Spark: After moving from a consulting role to Director of Business Development, Chrissy started looking for ways to make SonoPath’s course offerings more robust—and to help veterinarians connect with each other, too.


Chrissy’s Mighty Moment: “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We get people saying, ‘This is a breath of fresh air. I love having access to other veterinarians. I love not having to go on Facebook.’”

For years, SonoPath—a hub for veterinary ultrasound, telemedicine, and education founded by Dr. Eric Lindquist—has been teaching vets how to interpret ultrasounds and helping them complete required credits for continuing education.


But when Chrissy Laughlin came on as the Director of Business Development last year, she was tasked with totally revamping the latter.


SonoPath already had hands-on training in place, but Chrissy saw an opportunity to dust off their virtual education resources and bring them into 2020. While Dr. Lindquist had amassed a ton of valuable content over the years, SonoPath was selling access to it in an overly complicated way.



“We were selling everything through our website store that hadn’t been updated since 2017. Folks would place an order, check out, and then be emailed a zip file of Powerpoint presentations. They’d have to print their tests, scan them and email it back into the company for results. It was painful.”



That wasn’t all. With the way that the educational materials were set up, they were easy to reproduce. And that wasn’t exactly ideal either:



“Veterinarians by nature are super honest folks, so this wasn’t happening all the time. But Dr. Lindquist has spent 25 years developing these materials. It’s his life work. And we weren’t really protecting our property very well within that system.”



Beyond that, Chrissy saw even more potential to expand. She had the idea to connect veterinarians with each other and offer them a sense of community that most of them couldn’t get on their own:



“I don’t know if a lot of people know this, but the veterinary industry has one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. There’s a real sense of isolation within the community. They’re not really connected. And they’re set up without resources that would work in the modern-day world.”



Thankfully, Chrissy found the perfect fit in Mighty Networks, a place where she could check all the boxes. She could host both SonoPath’s educational materials and a community where veterinarians from across the country could meet each other, navigate challenges together, and really just know there were other people walking in their shoes.


With the platform of her dreams under her belt, Chrissy got to work.


Filling the void


Her first challenge was bringing members into SonoPath’s new venture, SonoPath Education. The first step? Diversifying the available course offerings.


Chrissy knew, from her experience with veterinarians, that there was a huge void in the subject of veterinary dentistry. So she approached a dental specialist that she had worked with previously and asked her to develop a series of courses.


From there, she designed an introductory program to build up the membership in her new course community. Inside, veterinarians and technicians could access 22 continuing education credits over 12 different courses, offered every Saturday:



“We have two specialists who do a case-based presentation and lecture over Zoom. Then we end the presentation with an open Q&A session. And these particular instructors are so passionate and knowledgeable, and they’re able to help vets just random things they’re struggling with. So the engagement is just amazing.”



While the Saturday sessions are free to join, attendees have to purchase the course for continued access. Once in, they’re invited to a dedicated group for veterinary dentistry where they can dive into content, videos, and guides. And while it’s been a huge help driving memberships, Chrissy has also taken a few other avenues.


Some of those avenues have worked better than others. Social media has been hit or miss, but Chrissy has found a lot of success from reaching out to small veterinary affiliated associations:



“We leveraged the Groups tool to approach a couple of associations that align with us and our target customers. Associations that are non-profit, or lacking resources, and really needed some marketing help.”



To bring those associations in, Chrissy offered each of them a free Group on the platform. That way, SonoPath is responsible for the day-to-day heavy lifting, but the association has a virtual home for their own members, and a dedicated space to communicate with their member base:



“One of the groups that we’ve brought in is the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association. They advocate for independently owned vet practices, which is a target audience for us. We invited them over, and now they have 500 members that they have invited into the platform, and they have this chance to really connect with each other in one place.”



A quiet space for over 3,690 veterinary professionals


Today, SonoPath Education has over 3,690 members and counting. It’s free to join, but Chrissy has set it up as private to keep an eye on who’s coming in:



“We have to have some level of control to ensure that the people joining are veterinarians. So we just ask them to provide their hospital name and their hospital’s website.”



And even though SonoPath Education kicked off in May of this year, they’ve already had a huge impact. Especially because with mobile app access, veterinarians have increased accessibility not only to courses but insight from their fellow vets:



“Vets are always going, going, going. They rarely have the opportunity to be in front of a computer, but they always have their cell phones in their pocket. So they can complete their courses, and they can go back and reference something quickly while they’re in the middle of a scan.”



The community aspect hasn’t been too shabby either. According to Chrissy, the platform has very much been a place where members can ask each other for basically anything—from advice to recommendations:



“I refer to it as a quiet space. And the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We get people saying, ‘This is a breath of fresh air. I love having access to other veterinarians. I love not having to go on Facebook.’”



Here’s a peek into what SonoPath Education offers within their network.



SonoPath Education’s bread and butter is courses, and the platform offers a variety for veterinarians and technicians to fulfill their continuing education credits. And because they always have access to each of the courses they take, members are also able to build out a kind of resource library for themselves to reference.


The community currently offers both free and paid courses. In addition to their established library around ultrasound practices, Chrissy works with different veterinarians to produce evergreen content around internal medicine, cardiology, and more including:



  • The Ultimate Ultrasound Image Library

  • SDEP Abdomen + Echo Lecture

  • The Importance of Veterinary Dentistry

  • Compassion Fatigue: Identifying & Sampling

  • Feline Resource Center


To keep up with her members’ needs, Chrissy surveys members to see what kind of courses they want:



“We try to offer a diverse selection of courses. We offer lots of stuff on ultrasound because that’s something we already have amassed. But we also survey the members to see what they want and to make sure we’re offering them something in line with that.”



SonoPath Education also utilizes the Group feature in a few different ways. Some Groups are a hub for broad subjects, like General Practitioners or Veterinary Dentistry. Others, as mentioned above, correspond to specific associations.


Additionally, Chrissy also creates Groups for vets who have signed up for SonoPath’s in-person labs:



“We create a Group for each of our in-person labs so that people have a static place to get logistical information. It also gives us a chance to set up pre-lab surveys, hotel information, and get people asking questions and networking before and after the course.”



Topics in the SonoPath Education membership correspond to course subjects and are the home to a variety of resources and videos that Chrissy comes across. Subjects include Cardiology, Compassion Fatigue, Dentistry, and more.


While SonoPath Education offers a lot of different resources and materials, Chrissy does her best to make sure each piece of content is offering some sort of value for her members:



“I really need to respect who my members are. They have a lot of noise and a lot of things coming at them all the time. So I’m conservative about pushing things out that won’t necessarily be super valuable.”



This is only the beginning


There’s no denying the future is bright for SonoPath Education. In the future, Chrissy hopes to be able to grow her burgeoning community and reach even more veterinarians:



“I’d love to get the platform to 10,000 members. That to me is a great number. I just want to keep attracting like-minded people to our community.”



And as a self-professed Mighty Networks obsessive, she’s finally been able to give veterinarians the thing they most deserve: a chance to connect and collaborate with their peers:



“It’s been really important to me that this platform is positive, upbeat, and supportive. It’s been amazing to see it grow and to see it really hit home for our members. So far, it’s been really, really gratifying.”



3 key takeaways from SonoPath Education’s Story of Awesome



  1. Not sure what your members need? Ask them. Chrissy surveys her members to get an idea of the course content they’d like to see. Asking for feedback is one of the easiest ways to A. figure out your next steps and B. get that much closer to delivering results and transformation to your members.

  2. Mobile access may be your saving grace. Encouraging members to take advantage of your mobile app can give your community, membership, or course an extra boost. It’s a super easy way to offer convenience, flexibility, and accessibility.

  3. Feeling stuck? Try a few different things. When it came to recruiting members, Chrissy walked down multiple avenues. Don’t feel like you have to pick one path and stick to it: be open to trying new things and experimenting until you find what works.

Read More Stories of Awesome

Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be

Mind Cake Vault is showing aspiring cake pop connoisseurs just how sweet the treat business can be

Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds

Introducing the GUILD, a five-figure membership for women entrepreneurs that’s evening the odds

How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours

How Lenéa Sims launched Outer Work to 500 members in 72 hours

Delivering a bright, new future for 3,200 birth workers and birthing women

Delivering a bright, new future for 3,200 birth workers and birthing women

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

How SonoPath Education built a five-figure course membership for veterinarians from scratch

Tuft stuff: This free community for fiber enthusiasts is teaching over 6,500 members the ins and outs of tufting

Tuft stuff: This free community for fiber enthusiasts is teaching over 6,500 members the ins and outs of tufting

How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,700+ members around the globe

How a platform for creatives, by creatives brought together 1,700+ members around the globe

How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels

How Elizabeth DiAlto built a five-figure membership business teaching women to feel their feels

How this community is empowering 1,500 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children

How this community is empowering 1,500 Black parent entrepreneurs to build a lasting legacy for their children

 How The Self Care Space launched their health & wellness brand with Mighty Pro

How The Self Care Space launched their health & wellness brand with Mighty Pro

How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders

How two therapists built a community to get at the root of eating disorders

How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners

How Tara McMullin pioneered virtual conferences and built a flourishing paid membership for small business owners

This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong

This premium coaching program for therapists went from passion project to 9,000 members strong

How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business

How Dan Miller’s "48 Days" went from book to podcast to six-figure membership business

How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year

How Martinus Evans' Slow AF Run Club made $140,000 in his first year

How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

How a floral designer launched her own $18,000 floral business school

Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks

Here's how esthetician Christine Byer launched a five-figure beauty membership in two weeks

How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community

How a healer transformed her spirituality podcast into a five-figure membership and community

Here’s how Ashley Fox launched The Wealth Builders Community and generated over $100,000 in her first two weeks

Here’s how Ashley Fox launched The Wealth Builders Community and generated over $100,000 in her first two weeks

Strength in numbers: Here’s how PLANTSTRONG consolidated its offering and built a six-figure community with nearly 20,000 members

Strength in numbers: Here’s how PLANTSTRONG consolidated its offering and built a six-figure community with nearly 20,000 members

LEAVE YOUR MARK community is teaching young professionals how to build their brand and crush their career goals

LEAVE YOUR MARK community is teaching young professionals how to build their brand and crush their career goals

Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year

Money, millennial style: How Financial University doubled its members in a year

From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year

From brick and mortar to digital membership: How Topstitch Makers grew a five-figure virtual business in less than a year

In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for over 1,700 Black creatives

In the Cut is demystifying the entertainment industry for over 1,700 Black creatives

Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices

Liberated Being brings together spirituality skeptics to learn embodiment practices

How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to help creative entrepreneurs make moves

How Emily Thompson built a five-figure membership to help creative entrepreneurs make moves

Nurses Inspire Nurses is providing a safe space for over 1,500 nurses to connect and share their experiences

Nurses Inspire Nurses is providing a safe space for over 1,500 nurses to connect and share their experiences

Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD

Meet the social worker who built a five-figure paid membership helping adults with ADHD

How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams

How Qpractice's cohort-based courses are giving interior designers the confidence to ace their exams

With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely

With Goddess Council, Cat Lantigua is making the real world a little less lonely

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Above and “Beyond”: These two communities are helping over 54,000 people impacted by diabetes to live well, now

Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 18,700 portrait artists

Sktchy Art School is creating a sanctuary for 18,700 portrait artists

This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events

This sound engineer created a micro community dedicated to the craft of audio for live events

This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals

This is Octo Members, a private membership home to over 2,000 UK finance professionals

How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members

How a membership dedicated to women traveling solo found a way to flourish during stay-at-home orders—to the tune of 2,900 members

This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating

This cartoonist created a five-figure membership site to stop artists from procrastinating

With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated

With Youth Ministry Booster, Zac Workun created a five-figure membership to help youth pastors feel less isolated

How Teach Music Online grew from a $500 course to a five-figure membership business

How Teach Music Online grew from a $500 course to a five-figure membership business

How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months

How marketing maven Trish Martin tripled her community in five months

This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a five-figure business

This visual note-taker combined courses and membership for a five-figure business

No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections

No perfect parents: This couple created a membership site for families to build compassionate connections

Find your niche: This membership site brings holistic equestrians together

Find your niche: This membership site brings holistic equestrians together

In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,700 artists

In the Mix: Meet the brother-sister duo creating a flourishing community for over 7,700 artists

There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 4,500 of its members the way

There’s another path to financial freedom and Wealth Without Wall Street is showing all 4,500 of its members the way

The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 7,800 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets

The duo behind this paid membership site is guiding over 7,800 passionate dog owners on how to train their pets

This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business

This community of womxn visual artists used mastermind groups to build a five-figure business

How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network

How two creators transformed their community from tech headache to six-figure network

Meet the community that’s making the outdoors fun again for over 2,000 members

Meet the community that’s making the outdoors fun again for over 2,000 members

This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic

This psychologist forged connections for 6,500 people in the middle of a pandemic

How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members

How Luvvie Ajayi Jones creates an intimate, safe space for over 14K members

Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 7,300 professionals

Welcome to the Academy to Innovate HR, a course community home to 7,300 professionals

Ryder Carroll built a five-figure membership business teaching people about the organizational power of bullet journaling

Ryder Carroll built a five-figure membership business teaching people about the organizational power of bullet journaling

Creating space: The Circle by Black Girl in Om made a five-figure membership centering Black women and holistic living

Creating space: The Circle by Black Girl in Om made a five-figure membership centering Black women and holistic living

The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 900 educators design an equitable new world

The eXd Community is on a mission to help over 900 educators design an equitable new world

This community of legal professionals is showing how anti-racism and technology can change the legal system for good

This community of legal professionals is showing how anti-racism and technology can change the legal system for good

 How a women’s apparel brand built a six-figure membership where runners can get inspired online and IRL

How a women’s apparel brand built a six-figure membership where runners can get inspired online and IRL

How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months

How Boston While Black went from hashtag to a five-figure membership business in six months

Mighty Networks: where people come for your content, but stay for your community.

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial