Here’s the best way to make your course stand out
By Rachel Cai
A spiky point of view is a thesis you believe that other people might disagree with. Read on to use prompting questions and templates to define your own spiky points of view.
This article is based on Wes Kao's blog post: Spiky Point of View
It can be hard to stand out in a noisy world. There’s a ton of content out there on nearly every topic. And there are plenty of other experts like you in your field.
So why should someone learn from you?
The solution lies in developing your spiky point of view.
A spiky POV is a belief you feel strongly about and are willing to advocate for. It can be debated, but isn’t controversial for the sake of it. A solid spiky POV is rooted in your expertise and teaches your audience something they don’t already know.
People don’t have to agree with your spiky point of view, but they will be sparked by it. The goal is to share your truth and start a conversation—not to aim for 100% agreement from everyone you come in contact with.
Examples of spiky points of view from Maven instructors
1. 🌵 Amanda Natividad (Content Marketing 201)'s thread about "Permissionless Co-Marketing." This is spiky because it teaches her audience something they don't already know using evidence and insights from her own experience.
2. 🌵 Dave Kline's (MGMT Accelerator) LinkedIn post about how to market your job description. This is spiky because he is sharing a counter-intuitive lesson that he learned from his years of experience as a recruiting leader which goes against conventional wisdom.
3. 🌵 Shreyas Doshi's (Managing Your PM Career) LinkedIn post on solving tough product problems with non-product solutions is a great spiky point of view. It's spiky because he offers tactical ways to solve a problem without code.
4. 🌵 Emily Kramer's (B2B Marketing) LinkedIn & blog post about the limitations of having a sales-centric view of marketing is another great spiky point of view. She backs up her claims with evidence and insights.
5. 🌵 April MacLean's Community Building for Jerksis built around her spiky point of view that "The best communities are built by jerks."
6. 🌵 Christine Carillo's The 20 Hour CEO features a spiky point of view in her above-the-fold description. Her course teaches CEOs how to better leverage their time, and she has the track record to back up the claim.
To figure out your own spiky points of view, ask yourself:
- What’s something you believe that others might disagree with?
- What do you wish more people understood?
- What’s a generally accepted best practice that you think is not useful or doesn’t work based on your experience?
Try to come up with 3-5 initial answers. Some of your responses might be too generic, which is normal. You should refine and iterate based on feedback.
Here are a few templates to help you write your spiky POVs:
- “Most people think [X], but actually [Y].”
- “Stop doing [X]. Start doing [Y].”
- “The best way to [X] is to [do the thing that people usually avoid].”
Start sharing your spiky points of view with friends and coworkers, and see how they react. Use their feedback to figure out the spiky POVs that should be at the center of your course’s positioning.
- Wes' article on spiky point of view
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