Leading the Learning Revolution - Jeff Cobb

Leading the Learning Revolution - Jeff Cobb

Create educational content and share your knowledge in a profitable way!

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People should not simply stop studying, since any area of activity changes. In this summary of the book "Leading the Learning Revolution", we will see some tips from Jeff Cobb to succeed in the educational market.

Professionals can't just be satisfied with what they learned in the past! They need to keep growing and improving their skills.

Therefore, providing products in the education area is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs who aim to increase their earnings.

About the book "Leading the Learning Revolution"

The book "Leading the Learning Revolution: The Expert's Guide to Capitalizing on the Exploding Lifelong Education Market" was written by the e-learning expert Jeff Cobb and published in 2013, by AMACON.

The work is a guide to building a successful business in the field of online education. It shows how to plan, develop, and promote a lucrative content and how Internet marketing works.

With 240 pages, divided into 10 chapters, Jeff Cobb not only brings theoretical concepts, but he also shares his experiences in the field.

About the author Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb is a supporter of lifelong learning and has extensive experience in the field, having written several articles and books and founded the company Tagoras, a consulting firm specializing in continuous education.

Also, he was co-founder and CEO of Isoph and senior vice president of Quisic.

To whom is this book indicated?

The book "Leading the Learning Revolution" is recommended for those who want to understand and explore the potential of digital and distance education.

Main ideas of the book "Leading the Learning Revolution"

  • The higher qualification requirement of employers, combined with the lack of qualified labor, makes the educational market a fertile field;
  • Technology has a great impact on this market;
  • Establishing lasting relationships with customers is an efficient tactic to profit in the educational market;
  • The other educational service providers are not the only competition in the market: it is also necessary to compete with the volume of information found online;
  • The educational product offered has to be valuable, of high quality, unique, memorable, and striking to stand out among the competition;
  • Do not use price as a way to differentiate yourself in the market;
  • It is necessary to have a balance between the issues of the business and the content;
  • Good content is crucial for informal and formal teaching processes in an educational business;
  • The principles for promoting educational products are no different from those used in promoting other products.

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[Book Summary] Leading the Learning Revolution - Jeff Cobb

Overview: Technology

Technology has a great impact on education. As the author Jeff Cobb emphasizes, it is already used as a learning tool, like TED Talks, webinars, diplomas obtained entirely online, and the use of cell phones and tablets to study.

The areas impacted by technology

From the perspective of the educational market, it is presented in the book "Leading the Learning Revolution" 5 key areas that are and will continue to be impacted by technology:

1. Access

Technology has opened up people's access to education.

Barriers such as time, distance, and, sometimes, costs have been brought down by the Internet, which allows access to content that was previously obtained only through university courses, conferences, or hours in the library.

2. Engagement

While studying, the Internet user can participate in the learning process by contributing with content and dialogue.

People can even create their own educational products to distribute to the world through platforms such as YouTube, WordPress, and Amazon CreateSpace.

3. Chaos

With so much content available online, students can quickly become overwhelmed with the flow of information and choices at their disposal. Then there is a new opportunity in the market: the need to filter content.

4. Diversity

The Internet allows interaction with a variety of people and ideas that we could never have met in the past. But on the web, there is also the risk of finding people and ideas that you agree with and limiting yourself to what sounds familiar.

For those working in the educational market, this setback is an opportunity to add value to their service, by boosting the diversity that the Internet allows and helping to connect people with different points of view.

5. Intelligence

Anyone can use a free or low-cost tool to gather information from different sources, identify and filter in a number of ways.

There are also personal learning panels, in which it is possible to collect and organize various resources.

For the professional who provides the online education service, these tools allow you to perform tasks such as evaluating, monitoring, and participating in the educational market in a way that has never been possible before.

Overview: Preparing the business

To make money in the educational market, the book "Leading the Learning Revolution" guides you to find a niche with the needs that you can supply.

Also, the author Jeff Cobb recommends focusing on adding value and creating long-term and faithful relationships within the chosen niche.

The tools you need

To put this into practice, the book shares the following strategies:

  • Search;
  • Listen;
  • Ask;
  • Test.

Business model

After identifying potential customers and defining how to deliver value to them, the next step is to determine the approach used in the distribution of your products and services.

This refers to the business model, which needs to have the following components to be successful:

  1. Customer value proposition;
  2. The resources needed to deliver the proposed value;
  3. The options for generating the necessary income to cover these resources;
  4. The sustainability of the model in relation to competition and other external forces.

As it is indicated in the book "Leading the Learning Revolution", when detailing these points, you need to be aware that they have evolved over time due to changes in technology and student expectations.


With the understanding of the market and the business model in hand, it is time to deal with the competition, which may be composed of other educational service providers and information found online.

Positioning and differentiation

Jeff Cobb says it is essential to stand out clearly among the competition. Have something valuable and of high quality to offer that is unique, memorable, and remarkable.

But, it's still necessary to be perceived by the public. Some of the strategies that help you position yourself in the market, stand out, and draw attention are:

  • Explore your strengths;
  • Redefine the market: change the emphasis or the main competitive factors in your niche;
  • Set standards in the market;
  • Go against the market: instead of offering many things of lesser quality, provide few high-quality products and services;
  • Create a story that adds value to your product/service and your brand;
  • Imitate strategically: borrow the innovations of others to position yourself within your area;
  • Creatively adapt ideas, tools, and principles from other areas to develop a unique position.

Overview: About objectives

There are entrepreneurs who may have products and approaches that don't fit the ideal in terms of achieving the best ways to provide educational value.

And there are educators who can focus only on educational results and forget about costs, marketability, operational challenges, and other problems that businesses involve.

According to the book "Leading the Learning Revolution", the solution is to bring the two together to fulfill the goal of the students learning what they signed up to learn.

Learning objectives

Learning objectives describe the results achieved by the student. Good learning objectives are specific to the actions that the student must be able to perform as a result of the experience.

The author Jeff Cobb explains that these actions need to be verified by the instructor, employer, or someone other than the student.

There are 7 crucial factors for creating excellent educational experiences:

  1. Positioning: students must know the reason why they should learn that;
  2. Pruning: editing the content to teach the central concepts, expressing them in the simplest possible way;
  3. Plots: divide the content into small segments;
  4. Stimulating the senses: doing this in a relevant way and connected to the learning experience;
  5. Repetition: repeated exposure to new concepts and skills is part of the brain's learning process;
  6. Activity: actively engage the student with the content so that it remains in the long-term memory;
  7. Sharing responsibility: promoting student participation, providing ways for the student to achieve the learning objectives.

Overview: Informal learning

The social network made the informal learning that has always been in people's lives gain more attention.

Jeff Cobb sees the social network as a teaching platform. He clarifies that the most profound and lasting impact of the social network can be on teaching, as learning is fundamentally a social act.

This can be noticed through tools like blogs, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

Influence on informal learning

Sales of educational products are influenced, which is sustained through the development of social capital. And do you know what makes it possible to build social capital? Informal learning.

In the book "Leading the Learning Revolution", it is presented 4 aspects of influence control that are essential to the context of informal learning:


This can be achieved through good copywriting, the ability to use images effectively, framing ideas in an unusual way, provocative questions, or making it clear that you have valuable information to provide an essential skill.


It arises from the promise that originated in attention. But, to maintain interest, you really need to have something interesting and valuable.

This requires a deep understanding of the student's needs.


Connecting with students in their informal networks makes it more likely to meet them when they are motivated to learn.

If the potential customer finds your content when searching for answers to a problem on Google or a social network, it is very likely that they will come back to you when another problem arises.


The chance offered by informal networks to help students solve their problems and show the value you can deliver, allows you to spread the evidence that this value exists and influences the decision of others.

This is called "social proof": when a person relies on tips from others to make decisions.

Overview: Free content

The market demands that you remain a recognized and visible source, even when the student is not formally interacting with you.

This is the advantage of constantly offering free content: you become part of the public's educational context, remain in the customer's mind, and are more likely to be chosen when a need for educational products arises.

A strong audience is built by producing content over time with a long-term vision, emphasizes the author Jeff Cobb.

The 4 tools

The book "Leading the Learning Revolution" brings 4 useful tools about the production of content to keep you close to customers:

  1. Stay connected: stay informed to find ideas and content you can share. So, you can find things that interest your audience or have ideas for producing future content;
  2. Curation: content curation involves selecting from the whole stream of content that appears on the internet what can really be relevant to your audience;
  3. Conducting quick research: you need to produce original content. A tool for this is to do research to find neglected information, forgotten ideas, and new perspectives;
  4. Writing: it is the basis for the production of any type of content. For Jeff Cobb, writing reasonably well is the best skill to have in the new learning environment.

What do other authors say about it?

In "Innovate or Die", Luiz Guimarães introduces a proposal that seeks to modernize and innovate companies to adapt them to the digital age, focusing mainly on customers. Also, he states that it is not necessary to be a startup to innovate.

In the book "Zero to One", the author Peter Thiel says that when there is competition, companies don't have power over the market. Therefore, they must sell their products at the price regulated by the market or they will be slaughtered by the competition. When you have a monopoly, you're the one who dictates the rules.

According to the authors of "Innovatrix", Clemente Nóbrega and Adriano R. de Lima, a company becomes sustainable, in the sense of self-maintenance, when it systematically manages to innovate more than its competitors.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Keep up to date with technology, as it impacts the educational market so much;
  • Take advantage of the teaching content curation market on the internet, selecting the best in each niche;
  • Maintain long-term relationships with customers;
  • Put into practice the strategies to get to know your audience and establish a relationship with them;
  • Build your business model based on the four pillars;
  • Stand out in the midst of competition, but avoid competition over price;
  • Obey the motto "demonstrate value early, easily and frequently";
  • Define the learning objectives of your product;
  • Use social networks as a teaching tool;
  • Work on the influence control aspects of informal learning;
  • Produce free content to keep customers close.

Did you like this summary of the book "Leading the Learning Revolution"?

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Book “Leading the Learning Revolution”