Teaching Maps are tools which can help people remember content a lot easier than they would otherwise. Instead of presenting people with reams of detailed information, you give them simplified content and ideas that get right to the point. Not only will they remember the information that you gave them, but you will understand it better too. There’s a big difference between remembering something and understanding something, which is why Teaching Maps are so important. So let’s take a look at Teaching Maps and how they could help you connect better with your target Audience using your content.
Remembering and understanding are the two main ways in which people come to learn anything. You can study and remember information from a book, but does that mean you will understand it? On the flip side, if you understand the content that you have been given, does that mean you will remember it? They’re two sides of the same coin.
Teaching Maps will ensure that your target market remember and understand content so that they can learn from it. Once the Audience learns, you can help them achieve their goal—whatever that might be.
If you are an entrepreneur, then you can use Teaching Maps to remember all the problems and demands that your target Audience has. Once you have helped your Audience overcome these problems and have satisfied their demands, they will remember this in the future.
To give you an example of a Teaching Map, think about the last time you went to Disneyland (if you have). Most rides at the park have signs which tell kids how tall they must be to get on them. These signs are usually decorated in illustrative and colorful ways so that people will remember and understand them. That is what makes them Teaching Maps.
You have to educate your Audience on the experience they can expect to have with your Brand using your content. Your Audience must clearly understand which of their problems are going to be solved and which ones won’t be solved. Going back to the Disneyland sign example, it’s easy to illustrate to people the height requirement for rides because you can just have a picture of a cartoon character with his hand pointed to where the height limit is. This grabs people’s attention, and it’s so easy to understand that it’s universal.
However, it isn’t so easy to illustrate other requirements for the ride, like whether pregnant women can go on it. These more complex ideas need to be written out as text on the same sign which gives the illustrated height requirement. People will read these additional complex requirements after their attention is drawn to the sign. This is what we mean by Teaching Maps. You start with a simple idea which gets people’s attention and then incorporate the more complicated information after that.
There are six traditional types of Teaching Maps that you need to know about. These are the system, philosophy, metaphor, acrostic, acronym, and code. However, the one we are going to focus on is the Visionary Loop. To get started, let’s say we have 23 blocks that need to be remembered. Obviously, it is going to be hard to remember each individual block. So, we split them up into 4 different groups which all have their own objectives and goals.
In the first group, these blocks are for helping you envision the business you want to create. In the second group, you will research the necessary skills that you need to succeed, and then study them. You’ll also research the competition in your market and what your Audience’s desires and demands are. In the third group, this is where your Brand is actually created. Finally, in the fourth group, you figure out your marketing strategy and then try and sell your products or services.
After you understand these 4 groups, you need to understand the smaller steps that go into making each thing happen. This is where Teaching Maps come into play because they will help you and your business partners understand first the basics, then the nuances of how to build a Brand. Going back again to the Disneyland Teaching Maps, they give people instructions for the rides. They’re visually pleasant to look at while still containing information that is easy to remember and understand. So, the big question is, how do you create a Teaching Map that is as successful as Disneyland’s?
Before you get carried away with the visuals, remember that Teaching Maps have to actually teach something. Let’s start by looking at the word “TEACH”, which is actually an acronym.
The “T” represents touching the Audience that you are targeting. In other words, you want your target Audience to connect with the Teaching Maps on an emotional level.
The “E” represents making your maps easy to remember. This means you don’t want to have 20 steps or rules on your Teaching Map because no one is going to remember that many. The most they will remember is 3 to 5 steps.
The “A” represents the word attractive. When people have a first impression of something, it is usually based on how something looks. If you do not have an attractive Teaching Map, then nobody is going to pay any attention. This means decorating it nicely with vibrantly bright colors and illustrations. But what you must remember is to not make the Teaching Map that complicated. Don’t cover the entire map with steps. Just make the map get right to the point after it attracts people to it. Most importantly, make the map have an actual purpose and then list a few of the main steps which will make the purpose a reality.
The “C” represents the content of your Teaching Map. You have to put a lot of thought into your content and not just write a few steps off the top of your head. To give you an example, let’s look at something called the “7 Step Winning Athlete Formula.” Imagine this is written as the header of your Teaching Map and then all the steps below the header feature the word “Winning” somewhere in the sentence. This word may even be a different color or in bold font to make it stand out from the rest of the words. Again, this will make people remember it a lot more easily because it will make the content relate to the name of the Brand. That is huge in helping people remember.
Finally, there is the “H” which represents the word helpful. You need to actually give your Audience some real value when they look at your Teaching Map. Otherwise, people may stop to look at the map, but they won’t care about the content at all. Remember that your Teaching Map is called a “map” for a reason. It needs to map out the steps which people have to follow to achieve a certain outcome or solution. That’s why it is important for them to remember the content of the map because they can carry it with them and implement the knowledge later to achieve their objective. Of course, the map’s content must also make sense so that they can understand it as well.
These are all the main elements that you can’t make a Teaching Map without if you want it to be effective for your Audience. But don’t think that you can only have one Teaching Map for your Brand. The elements above would apply to the core Teaching Map of your business. Then, you can make separate Teaching Maps for each of your services/ products that you sell. These would be Teaching Maps which take the Audience from their starting location to the point where they purchase the product or service and achieve their ultimate desire. First, you need to educate them so that they can make an informed decision going forward.
Basically, when someone looks at your Teaching Map, they need to quickly understand the product or service that you’re trying to represent. Underneath that, there will be 3 to 5 steps which outline what they need to do to achieve their ultimate goal with this product /service. The fewer steps that they have to take, the more people will feel encouraged to try because they think it’s easier.
Remember that people like simple maps that make it easy for them to succeed at their goals.
If you want to use a Teaching Map to sell multiple services or products at the same time, you can incorporate various services or products into each step. Just be sure to plan your Teaching Map effectively so that your Audience will clearly understand it. This is crucial when putting multiple products or services on a Teaching Map because you don’t want to confuse your Audience with all these things. Each product or service needs to be congruent in some way that makes sense to the overall goal. Don’t use the Teaching Map as a basic advertisement board for what you’re selling or else satisfying the Audience’s objective will be impossible.
As an example, let’s say we want to make a Teaching Map about dog training. The target Audience for this Teaching Map would be people who just purchased a dog and want to know how to train it after they bring it home. But you wouldn’t be creating a series of steps which all sell the same dog training leash (for example). Instead, your Teaching Map would be comprised of steps which sell various products involved with dog training. This might sound confusing but let’s go over some of the possible steps you could have here.
Dog training is a generic topic; it’s not just about one product/service. For instance, you could have your first step talk about grooming a dog and how that’s an important part of dog training. Meanwhile, you can have a particular dog grooming product be mentioned which your Audience can use for that step. If you want to get really creative, you can create a whole other Brand for the dog grooming product and then connect people to another Teaching Map which talks about dog grooming.
As for the second step, you could move on to talking about dog walking and how to train your dog to listen to your commands as you’re walking them. You do this same type of thing for the remaining steps so that you can have them all relate to the overall objective of dog training. If you do this correctly, people will want to purchase all those products in order to get the complete gist of training their dog.
The overall objective of dog training Teaching Maps is to teach people how to train their dog. However, your target Audience may have more specific objectives which differ from each other a little bit. Maybe some people want to know more about training puppies while others want to know more about preventing dogs from behaving too aggressively. These could be two additional groups that you split your target Audience into. On your main Brand’s Teaching Map, you would refer to all three groups and the Audience’s goal for each one.
When you create a Teaching Map for each group, you will also have 3 to 5 steps for each Teaching Map too. This means all the steps in the previous example would have to be created again for the other two groups. Obviously, you wouldn’t use the exact same content because the objective of each group is different. But you would create similar types of steps for each group so that they accomplish the goal for that group.
A Brand isn’t just one product. Try not to get so preoccupied with building your website or conducting a webinar. You need to have the foundation of your Brand set in motion and the only way you can do this is with a Teaching Map. This is one of the most powerful building Blocks you can have for your Brand. But don’t just throw up any old Teaching Map, because it needs to be clear and concise. If it isn’t, you will lose your Audience because they won’t understand what you are trying to teach them or what objective you can help them solve.
The importance of developing a powerful Brand is more than just helping your Audience achieve their goals. It is also to create a passive income for yourself because your products or services will just keep on selling themselves. Meanwhile, your Brand will become an authority in the niche that you’re a part of. Word-of-mouth will spread about your Brand and new people will be introduced to it and its Teaching Maps. As the years go on, you will have a whole new generation of people who are learning from your materials and benefiting from them. This is a powerful way to leave a fulfilling legacy that is one of accomplishment and reward.
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