From Users to Educators: Nurturing a New Kind of Brand Evangelists
May 4, 2022
⌚ 6 min read
→ Your growth practice
Enable your users to become educators and transform their product-related knowledge into non-monetizable and monetizable educational products.
→ Quick explanation
Apart from using your software, some people will also focus on acquiring product-related skills and knowledge. Subsequently, they’ll transform what they’ve learned into full-fledged educational programs for those who want to learn how to use your platform efficiently. As an example, think about the educators teaching people how to use platforms such as Webflow, Figma, Blender, or Sketch. Usually, this process happens organically. You can’t do much to inspire or nudge existing users into teaching other users.
📓 Users: People who use your SaaS product to achieve a specific goal. You can acquire trial, non-paying, or paying users.
📓 Educators: Users who create educational programs, such as workshops, videos, guides, classes, or masterclasses to teach others how to use your product.
→ How does it work?
Some users will show a growing interest in a platform. They’ll invest time and effort into refining their knowledge and learning how to use the platform efficiently. Simultaneously, they’ll start teaching others what they’ve learned. Subsequently, educators may transform their learnings into courses and masterclasses, articulating their knowledge based on a curriculum. Or, they may keep publishing disjointed lessons to consolidate and share their knowledge.
→ Types of educators
Occasional educators: Some users will randomly share things they’ve learned using your platform. Usually, these people have general YouTube channels or websites, where they publish a wide variety of tips, tackling different software and platforms.
Dedicated educators: These users are focused exclusively on teaching other people how to use a specific platform. They will share their platform-related knowledge regularly, accompanying others through their software learning process. Usually, these people have dedicated YouTube channels, websites, and educational programs, dedicated to one specific platform.
→ Types of educational assets
YouTube videos: Educators may launch specialized YouTube channels as knowledge distribution platforms.
Articles and guides: Educators will use different means of communication, written content included.
Webinars: Some educators will run webinars to share their knowledge and attract new students.
Email courses: This educational asset consists of an email sequence educators send for several days. Usually, educators use email courses to generate new leads for their paid programs.
Masterclasses: Some experts will create curriculum-based classes that teach advanced skills.
Cohort-based classes: Some educators will create group-based programs with a beginning and end date. Subsequently, they’ll open the course enrolment on a specific date. Usually, people who enroll in cohort-based classes have access to an entire community of students, being able to communicate, compare notes, and enjoy a collective learning experience.
Bootcamps: Advanced educators will build a curriculum-based micro-class, during which they’ll engage live with a small number of students and take them step-by-step through the entire program.
► Quick note: Educators can choose between two options when it comes to learning style. The first one is “self-paced,” which refers to creating flexible educational programs. This way, students will be able to design their own learning experience based on their interests, preferences, and possibilities. The second one is “guided,” referring to creating fixed educational programs. In this case, students will have to follow specific schedules and deadlines. But, they may also have the possibility to interact live with their educators and get feedback.
→ Types of rewards for educators
Attention and recognition: In most cases, occasional educators will seek to get traction and attention. In other words, they’ll create educational assets or programs to boost their leadership status and achieve additional business-related goals, such as increasing their website visits or YouTube views.
Monetization: Dedicated educators will generate educational assets and learning programs to derive monetary profit. In other words, they’ll sell their programs to people willing to pay for learning.
→ Your growth opportunities
Although you can’t control this process entirely, by creating the right environment for transforming users into educators, you’ll generate multiple growth opportunities, such as:
Increase brand awareness and recognition by leveraging a new kind of brand evangelists. Educators who monetize their learning programs will have a special interest in promoting your software. Webflow masterclass creators will be interested in talking about and supporting people to adopt Webflow. For example, educators may discuss the differences between Webflow and WordPress or Wix. Also, you’ll see educators listing the benefits of using Webflow instead of other website-building software. That’s free advertisement and endorsement for the platform.
Spend less on top-of-the-funnel marketing, as educators will do the talking on behalf of your brand.
Count on an external team of educators motivated to teach your future and existing users about your product.
Ensure a higher product adoption rate thanks to those willing to teach your future and existing users.
Extend beyond your network and reach out to new audiences and micro-niches (those belonging to your educators).
Acquire new users and customers from external networks (belonging to your educators).
Is my platform complex enough to require additional educational resources? Will in-depth knowledge be necessary to make the best out of my platform?
Is my product intricate enough to allow educators to identify different teaching angles and provide a wide variety of learnings? After all, products such as Figma will inspire users to become educators. Products such as Calendly, on the other hand, are pretty straightforward.
Your software is intricate, offering a wide variety of features and capabilities.
The learning curve* of your platform is steep.
People show interest in learning more about your product.
Users will derive value from learning more about your platform.
You’ve built a popular product, and your user acquisition rate is high. After all, educators won’t be interested in creating educational programs about platforms with a few users only.
* A steep learning curve is an expression that is often used in everyday speech to describe the initial difficulty of learning something that is considered very challenging. The implication is that learning will be slow and arduous. (Source)
→ Your action framework
💡 To consider: Users will become educators only if they feel:
Genuinely enthusiastic about your platform.
Confident about the possibility of monetizing or gaining leverage by sharing their knowledge.
Inspired to educate others.
In other words, you can’t control or nudge users into becoming educators. However, you can take several actions that will help you create the right environment for educators:
➡ Incentivize your existing educators. For example, you can organize webinars or AMA sessions with educators who teach people to use your platform. Or, you can promote them on social media and encourage your users to check out their videos or courses.
➡ Create educational programs for educators. Help users to refine their product-related knowledge and skills by getting certified.
➡ Sponsor industry YouTubers or bloggers to create a piece of content on how to use your product. Here’s an example.
💥 To remember: The only ways to take advantage of this growth practice are to build complex software with multiple capabilities and reach a high user acquisition rate.
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