Whether your course teaches meditation, marketing, knitting or Jedi mind tricks to succeed in this competitive environment you need to sell. Whatever your course topic is about it’s crucial to be sales focused. I know, I know, not everyone likes being ‘the salesmen’ so by having a really strong Learning Statement is one way how to attract students naturally which, if done well, can speak directly to the student, and this post teaches an exercise on how to go about crafting one.
What is a Learning Statement & Why You Need (a great) one?
A Learning Statement is a promise of value that clearly communicates the benefits that your potential student gains by completing your course. It distills all the complexity of your course material into something that will grab their attention in such a way that they say to themselves: “Yes, that’s just right for me”. A well-crafted learning statement will attract students, but more than that it can attract the right students.
It’s not enough just to describe what your course covers, your statement needs to be very specific. It must explain how your course solves students’ problems or improves their situation, delivers specific benefits, tells your ideal student why they should invest in you and not from your competition.
Ask yourself: does your course improve on existing solutions, does it create a better alternative, will allow your student to do more, be better, go faster…?
How To Create a Learning Statement To Attract Students
So, we now know that a Learning Statement needs to speak directly to your ideal student, it should be tailor-made just for them so that when they read it, it becomes desirable, something they need.
This is not easy and it will take time, practice and plenty of experimentation. To start with you need to think about their jobs, the day to day tasks they need to carry out to achieve whatever it is that is important to them. Try to describe what your students are trying to get done in their work and in their lives.
Describe the bad outcomes, risks and obstacles related to their jobs. As well, describe the outcomes students want to achieve or solid benefits they are seeking by carrying out their jobs.
Let’s Create A Compelling Learning Statement
Your Learning Statement can be created step-by-step, by answering a series of questions. Once you answer these, you have the ingredients to create a value proposition that answers your customer’s question: “Why should I buy this specific product or idea?”
TIP: Use a business model canvas to help you see the bigger picture.
Step 1: Know Your Student
Thinking from the perspective of an ideal student and ask the following:
- Who is he or she? What does s/he do and need?
- What jobs does he or she need to do?
- What does s/he value?
Step 2: Know Your Course
From your student view point:
- How does your course solve the problem or offer improvement?
- What value and hard results does it offer the student?
Step 3: Distill the Student-Oriented Proposition
The final step to attract students is to pull it all together and answer, in 2 or 3 sentences: “Why should I invest in this course?”
Try writing from the student viewpoint by completing the following, (and don’t forget to include the numbers and percentages that matter!):
“I want to buy this course because it will…”
“The things I value most about the course are…”
“It is better than competing courses because…”
Now To Pull It All Together
Now, turn around your students ‘answer’ from step 3 into a Learning Statement.
Let’s try an example. Let’s say that your course is about the art of amazing lawn mowing and your student is someone with a large back yard they are proud of — based on this knowledge let’s make a few assumptions:
- Your student is a businessman with quite a large house, who likes the “zen-like feeling” of cutting his own lawn, but gets bored by the job when it takes too long.
- He’s a bit of a perfectionist and is very proud of his garden, so he’s looking for a better solution that gives a good quality of cut, for the job to be done quickly and enjoyably.
- The course is about a little-known lawn mowing technique developed by British groundsmen in 1930’s who crafted the lawns and gardens of the British aristocracy.
Here’s The Student-Oriented Learning Statement
Used on the above assumption I’ve created a pretty compelling Learning Statement, well one that’s worth testing anyway:
“By completing our lawn mowing secrets course you will have gained the knowledge on how to cut your grass in 50% of the time and produce amazing results so that your lawn will be the envy of your neighbours.”
This is just some fun and I could have probably come up with a better case study but this exercise demonstrates that in little to no time you can write compelling Learning Statements that speak directly to your prospective students. I also recommend you write as many variants as possible so that you can start testing in your sales copy, landing pages, social content, inbound marketing, advertising etc.
Caveats And Other Things To Consider
Of course, you can not just promise any old thing — you have to deliver on your promise — your content needs to be up to scratch. Really, don’t oversell and under deliver, that’s bad and does no one any favours, ever. Never do it.
Finally, you must always appreciate that a Learning Statement is an organic ‘thing’. And as such, it needs to adapt to fit its ever changing market. One thing that is certain, online learning is an over-crowded space. So be expected to revise your Learning Statement and be ready to tweak it and expand on it as your course material evolves, your reviews and student feedback roll in and your competitors pick up on what you’re doing!