Why are we now giving our training content away for free? What drove this decision and where does the value for us and our customers come from? Here I’ll address these questions and explain exactly how and why training businesses like ours must radically change their strategy.
The Signals Are There For All To See
The world of education is changing. There was a shift some time back when we realised that we were not actually in the game of education, but rather edu-tainment; a world where training participants wanted to learn and be entertained at the same time. No longer would students willingly sit there and engage in mindless boring training and learning by wrote.
Right now there’s another shift at hand that every training and education business must address immediately, or they will slowly but inevitably disappear from relevance just like encyclopaedias and door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales people.
Training, skills development, professional development … whatever you want to call it, is essentially based on a transfer of content. And ALL content, not some, ALL content will be free in the very near future.
Don’t believe me?
Remember the good old days of encyclopaedias; a dozen or so thick books the held the answers to everything? Encyclopaedias were nothing more than a medium for putting content in the hands of readers. Then along came the internet, Google, Wikipedia and the like. Suddenly that same content was accessible for free via a different medium and the irrelevance of printed reference material became clear and inevitable and a harsh reality for those who clung fiercely onto the past.
The same future is also at hand for training content, particularly content being sold for online viewing. I realised this some time back and have spent hours .. no, make that days .. thinking about how to make sure we don’t get caught out, yet can stay in this business and still feed ourselves. This is why we decided that we would go with the flow and give it away for FREE.
“He’s gone mad” some say.
Here’s The Way It Works
I give away what I teach through our professional development platform which we refer to as AOBIL – www.aobil-plh.com. Look, I’m obviously not going to turn up at your company and deliver a class of training for nothing. But for everything we’ve recorded and turned into a format suitable for online learning, then it’s given to users at no cost.
How do training organisations make money doing this?
Again, something I’ve thought about for a long time. Businesses like ours generate an income by providing value. The value we deliver is primarily to differentiate you from your competitors by virtue of the competencies you posses. Employers want high performers and people who can deliver the goods. And it’s our mission to make it easy for you to demonstrate to your current and future employers that you can deliver those goods and your are a high achiever worth keeping or hiring or promoting.
And that value comes not from you undertaking training, but rather you demonstrating competency in what you’ve learned and delivering value to the people who matter. Our value is in confirming your professional competency through a process of formal and rigorous ‘certification’.
Of course our customers pay for the time spent doing that, but not for the content of it which doesn’t burn up our time and attention.
The Benefits To Customers Like You Are These
1. Free content if that’s all you are seeking
2. Much lower cost to access professional development as a complete package – great for individuals and exactly what businesses seek today
3. With online access you can always review previous training as many times as you like, plus you get the benefits of any improvements we make
4. Because we focus on the rigour of certification of competency, you benefit career wise through possessing a qualification that has value and isn’t just some cheap piece of paper