Apr 21, 2023
The antidote to fluffy content: Tactical, Actionable, Concrete, Specific (TACS)
By Wes Kao
Co-founder of Maven
Learn how to craft content that is tactical, actionable, concrete, and specific (TACS) to captivate your audience and provide real value.
There’s enough fluffy content on the Internet. We don’t need more of it.
The content that stands out is: Tactical, Actionable, Concrete, Specific (TACS)
- Tactical: "This isn't a generic idea I've heard a million times before"
- Actionable: "I can put it into practice and apply it to my own work"
- Concrete: "This can be observed and measured--not just theory"
- Specific: "This is precise advice for a particular situation"
By the way, this is a concept I teach in the Maven Course Accelerator, our 3-week program to build an engaging course. Enroll today (it’s free).
1. Tactical: "This isn't a generic idea I've heard a million times before"
Respect the intelligence of your audience (students, customers, clients, subscribers). If the “what” and “why” of your content isn’t groundbreaking, you don’t need to spend very long explaining it. Assume your audience understands, and quickly move on to the “how.”
2. Actionable: "I can put it into practice and apply it to my own work"
Your audience should learn something they can put into practice after your workshop or reading your content. What can they do differently starting now?
For example, you can share a list of questions your audience can ask themselves, frameworks to see existing problems with a new lens, or scripts that help folks articulate ideas they weren’t able to articulate before.
3. Concrete: "This can be observed and measured—not just theory"
Examples are your secret weapon. They provide more tacit information than what you can describe with words alone. Examples show what “great” looks like. What can you show examples of?
- Paid ads
- Strategy docs
- Text messages
- Internal memos
- Before-and-after edits
- Google Docs or Notion
4. Specific: "This is precise advice for a particular situation"
🚫 “Communication skills are important for product managers”
^ Super obvious, nothing new, and too vague. Except for recent college grads, most professionals already know why communication is important.
Tell us the specifics:
✅ "How to communicate when you don’t have positional authority"
✅ "How to keep your CEO informed with the right level of detail"
✅ "How to explain why you’re deprioritizing a feature folks advocated for"
^ These are tactical, actionable, concrete, and specific. Your audience will appreciate you for respecting their intelligence and giving them insights without fluff.
Your audience wants to learn ideas they can immediately put into practice and isn't generic fluff. Regularly ask yourself these questions below.
- What does my audience want to learn to do?
- Is it as direct as possible?
- Could this be turned into a visual?
- Could this be turned into an interactive experience?
- Where might my audience be confused and how can I proactively address that?
- What screenshots, scripts, or examples can I share?
This should get you started…
But here’s the thing: The fastest way to understand what a tactical, actionable, concrete, and specific course looks like is to take a great course yourself.
The Maven Course Accelerator is our free 3-week program on how to build a successful course. Hundreds of instructors have made millions building their course businesses, and many of them took the accelerator.
When you start earning on Maven, you keep 90% of your course revenue minus Stripe fees. On average, instructors earn $20,000 in their first cohort. Plus, you own your IP and content. Our goal is to help you launch and grow a course you’re proud of.
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