Outstanding advice for brokers of expertise
Nearly anyone with a decent computer, a high-speed Internet connection, and expertise or access to expertise in a topic or skill set can reach a global audience in very sophisticated ways, according to Jeff Cobb in his book Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert’s Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market. Although the book refers particularly to lifelong learning, its contents are relevant to any type of education organization including trade and professional associations and businesses which play a role as brokers of expertise.
After discussing the social and technological changes which affect the learning industry, the author goes on to consider a number of interesting issues, including:
- How to identify opportunities for providing learning services by listening to potential learners and comparing their needs with your expertise
- The importance of standing out from generic education providers, and ways in which you can make your offerings unique, memorable and remarkable
- Ways of creating high-value learning experiences which fulfil the advertised learning objectives
- How to understand the value which customers put on their learning needs, and price your offerings accordingly
- Software and hardware tools available for creating learning experiences, including learning management systems, and tools for creating and editing video and audio recordings, image editing, and hosting webinars
- The importance of continually creating and curating valuable content so that you remain a visible source of value to current and potential customers; and
- How to promote your offerings on the Internet
Although the book refers mostly to the opportunities for providing educational services, there are significant risks as well. Undifferentiated service providers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract paying customers, and the greater variety of available learning experiences is driving down prices. Considerable planning and effort is required to create a highly successful educational business.
I was extremely impressed by this book. The author has provided a comprehensive overview of the components and activities which are required to establish and run an education organization. There is significant value in every chapter, and the book ends with tools for creating an action plan.