Do you suffer from the curse of knowledge? Let’s find out.
A couple of years ago I read, and also recommend, a great book called Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. In the book they introduce the illness of which I speak:
Becoming an expert in something means that we become more and more fascinated by nuance and complexity. That’s when the Curse of Knowledge kicks in, and we start to forget what it’s like not to know what we know. (p.46)
For our purposes, the ‘expert’ of which the Heath Brothers speak is the world of independent schools and this fact is important as you start to use inbound marketing at your school.
Once you decided to utilize inbound marketing for your school a central component of that strategy will be to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One of the first activities you should complete is to determine 30-50 keywords that you would like prospective families to be able to search on Google to find your school.
It is through the creation of that list that the Curse of Knowledge will first flair up. As you create your keyword list you might decide that your school should be found for the keyword ‘(Your local city) independent school.’ Here’s the problem – how many families who are not familiar with independent schools actually search for them using the term ‘independent school?’
I would suggest — none! Those families would probably search for the phrase ‘(Your local city) private school.’
The first step to cure yourself of the Curse of Knowledge is to recognize and accept that you suffer from this illness.
The second step in your treatment is to generate a list of 20 keywords thinking like an ‘expert,’ or insider at your school, using the terminology that you would normally use.
The third step in your treatment is to generate a list of 20 keywords recognizing that your suffer from the Curse of Knowledge and try to formulate keywords that prospective families who have never heard of your school might use.
The finally step in your treatment is to then search Google and determine where your school website ranks for each of those terms. If your school doesn’t show up on the first page of Google for that keyword than you should add that keyword to your list of words to optimize for.
There Is No Cure
Hopefully your treatment has been successful but know this – there is no cure for the Curse of Knowledge. You can treat this illness but you need to understand that it never goes away.
Be always mindful that at any time you could slip back into the Curse of Knowledge and remember that fact as you continue your work with inbound marketing for your school.