Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Leaders must be willing to create an atmosphere of sustainable innovation designed to continuously move organizations forward while connecting employees and clientele to meaningful experiences and their definitions of personal fulfillment.
How many distance-learning leaders are adding value to the lives of learners, faculty and staff from a holistic perspective?
Personal fulfillment is a growing trend and may be a growing trend in distance education as well. Research on the “entrepreneurial learner” in the distance learning environment demonstrated an increase in credit hour completion as learner motivation associated with personal fulfillment strengthened (Reimers-Hild & King, 2006). People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment. Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. At first glance this may seem like an odd topic for administrators in the distance learning arena to consider; however, minimalism is gaining popularity in trend-setting places like Silicon Valley and is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design. The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. How can future-focused distance leaders create a better experience for learners and employees alike? Leaders can connect with individuals’ beliefs while helping them find purpose and meaning in their educational endeavors and careers while living fuller lives with less clutter and greater health and well-being.
Technology may help distance learning administrators holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both learners and employees. For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud.” They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:
Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.
This forecast provides an example of how distance leaders can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning might be help institutions focus on both learners and employees in a more holistic manner.
Two trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 2) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality. People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play.
How do these trends influence distance learning? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, educational institutions should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:
- Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into distance learning programs in an effort to create better learner experiences and to create more value in courses, programs and the lives of learners (including the lives of their families).
- Providing coaching for learners and employees to help them uncover their purpose and create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their educational endeavors and lives.
- Adding physical activity and fun to courses or programs in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness (perhaps an App or the intelligent cloud can help).
It’s time to move beyond the traditional grading scales, discussion boards and homework assignments and focus on the whole person and what life means to them. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide distance-learning administrators with tools to innovate their institutions. Competition for learners, along with their precious time and dollars, will continue to increase. Distance-learning institutions will have to find new ways to add increased value to the lives of learners, employees and their families. Not only can people choose to learn anytime from anyplace, people can choose what they want to learn and from whom they want to learn it. Institutions that add the most value will have the competitive advantage.
If you have been following my blog, you know I am enrolled in Ali Brown’s online Elevate Your Business program. The following article by Ali is really helpful to anyone looking to make a great first impression on their target audience. Best of all, she suggests having fun while generating great headlines! More evidence that fun and business do go together!
Go Wild, Get Creative and Have Fun Making Amazing Headlines!
PS: Click here to learn more about the Elevate!
In the world of marketing, your first impression – your headline – can lead to either sales success…or failure. It’s important to realize that headlines work best when they appeal to your reader’s interests (not yours).
Not only can headlines grab attention, they can also make your message easy to read, convey your main selling points, and lead your customer to a sale. Remember, you want to go for a bold statement that the reader can’t pass up!
Here are 9 easy headline formulas I use all the time:
1. The Question:
“Are You Worried About Your Financial Future?”
A question automatically gets your readers involved in your message, because they answer it in their minds. Many people will read further just to find out what answer or solution you provide. Again, make sure the question focuses on the reader’s interest, not yours. A bad example would be: “Do You Know What New Product We’ve Created This Year?” (No one cares but you!)
2. The How-To:
“How to Get Thinner Thighs in 30 Days”
How-to headlines work very well, because people love information that shows them how to do something. (Thousands of book titles begin with “How to….”) Think of the results your product/service offers and then try creating some “how to” headlines.
3. The Testimonial:
“Jane Smith’s Consulting Is Pure Magic – Our Sales Have Increased by 30%!”
Why not let your clients do the selling for you? Their commendations can go a long way in convincing others to use your services. Tip: To appear credible, always include your clients’ information (as much as they are comfortable with) such as name, city, state, business name, etc.
4. The Command:
“Boost Your Business Today!”
Turn your most important benefit into a commanding headline. A few examples are: “Make More Time for Your Family,” “Look Younger Instantly!” and “Get New Clients This Month.”
5. The News:
“Introducing Our New ‘Rest-Assured’ Tax Service!”
Caution: This only works if you truly have something big to announce that is of interest to the reader. (Something that will make their life or business better.) Don’t try to make news out of something that’s not.
6. The Promise:
“Give Me 3 Days, and I’ll Show You and Your Partner How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams”
I first used this formula years ago with my Online Success Blueprint Workshop sales page, and then I suddenly started seeing it everywhere, especially for other live events. It’s a good one!
7. The Secret:
“REVEALED: How Any Solopreneur Can Use Email to Leverage Their Business and Make an Extra $5,000+ a Month… Easily and Consistently”
Everybody loves being let in on a little secret. I’ve used variations of this headline through the years, and it’s always been very effective. It says it all…who it’s for, what they’ll learn, and what type of results they can get if they use my methods.
8. The Number:
“7 Secrets of the Super-Wealthy That You Can Start Using today to Build Your Own Portfolio of Riches”
People love numbers. That’s why you see so many magazine covers promoting articles like “The 3 things your husband’s not telling you” and “101 great fashion finds for spring”. Numbers tell us exactly what we’re going to get, making the statement more digestible and believable. (And some studies show people prefer odd numbers to even ones.)
9. The Who-Else:
“Who Else Wants to Work at Home in Their Pajamas and Make a Million?”
This encourages the reader to jump on the bandwagon. If everyone else is doing it, don’t you want to also?
Take Your Time With Headlines. They’re Not Always Easy
Headlines are often the most difficult part of any sales letter or marketing piece. In fact, I typically spend a good 15 minutes brainstorming before I arrive at a single headline. Set a timer and have fun doing it with these formulas. Do not censor yourself, just be outrageous and then when the timer goes off go back and see which ones are usable. If you’re stuck, another trick is to write the rest of your piece first. Then scan what you have written—your headline may be hiding within!
Question: What great headline are you using for your business right now? I’d love to see it below. ~Ali
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com”
Today is your LAST CHANCE to catch Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown‘s Encore Presentation of her free
“Marketing Mastery Workshop”.
This was Ali’s last teaching event of the year, and thousands
joined the live event (I was one of them!) But Ali and her team heard from many
participants who weren’t able to attend due to technical
difficulties. So, Ali’s decided to make an Encore Presentation
available at no charge, but only for a limited time…
The event will air TODAY, Thursday October 17,
and you get to choose which times work best for you.
Go here to request complimentary access and select your preferred
Here’s what you’ll dive into during this 6-HOUR online event:
* Step-by-step video tutorials to help you dramatically INCREASE
your marketing and sales results using your computer and phone
(to the tune of tripling $$$ your current income.)
* Quick ideas for generating fast cash with your business… while
you also work the “slow and steady” angle for long-term success.
(Most clients Ali works with want to both generate quick cash
infusions while they also build their website, grow their list,
* How to take FREE tools you are already using–like Facebook–and
make them start working FOR you (not just wasting your time).
Just one tip she’ll share could help you reach 10,000+ more
prospects with your very next post!)
* Advice from Ali and her team of Elevate coaches to refine your
marketing strategies, what to sell, what to charge… and more!
BONUS: All attendees will receive Ali’s BRAND NEW Marketing
Mastery Success Kit… for FREE. During your day together, you’ll
receive direct access to all of her best how-to cheat sheets,
templates, checklists, and scripts that you can use in your
business right away!
Go Wild with Ali Brown!
P.S. This Encore Presentation won’t be a typical replay. You’ll
have a real-time chat roll while the workshop airs, and several
chances to win a $200 gift certificate to Amazon. To request
complimentary access to the special Encore Presentation, go here.
As I mentioned on earlier posts, I am enrolled in Ali Brown’s Elevate program, and I am loving it! I am in the midst of pivoting my business model and have set the following year-long goals for myself:
1) Become a Best Selling Author
2) Publish a children’s book with my daughter
3) Develop a strong enough blog following to generate income and more of a celebrity status
4) Have fun growing my business, and strengthen my entrepreneurial mindset!
Yes, I am completely going Wild with my business and loving the ride!!
More updates in the very near future,
“Entrepreneurship is an area that we are particularly passionate about in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). We are committed to improving the future of Nebraska’s people, businesses and communities. IANR’s innovation in research, teaching, and extension education is greatly enhanced through the active engagement of entrepreneurs. To build on our commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit we are in a partnership with Gallup, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce; to create the Entrepreneur Accelerator System. (More information below). We are currently recruiting companies to participate, so if you or someone you know could benefit from this program please visit the website below.”
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.
Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Nebraska and
Harlan Vice Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
202 Agricultural Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0708
Ph: (402) 472-2871
FAX: (402) 472-5854
Recently, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and Gallup formed a partnership to increase the rate of entrepreneurial growth in Nebraska. The Gallup Entrepreneur Acceleration System (EAS) started in 2011, and the first year was a resounding success, with many organizations realizing improved business metrics due to the learning from the program.
As a Nebraska businessperson, we invite you to take part in this unique opportunity to receive training in the core concepts of Gallup’s consulting model for business growth.
The Gallup EAS program is based on the science of behavioral economics. Through years of research and studying the way people think and behave, Gallup has discovered the powerful results that companies can achieve when they develop engaged human capital. In simple terms, engaged employees lead to engaged customers, which increases sustainable profit, and reduces turnover.
If you are interested in this program, please visit our website to register for the 2012 cohort and to learn more about this exciting program. You will find past participant testimonials and a video from Governor Dave Heineman describing the success of this program.
Information from the web site: