You have knowledge that deserves to be shared. Companies around the  world could benefit from your insight into improved work practices and  performance. So you decide to impart that knowledge by developing a  training brand. You start off local, but with great ambitions to reach  workers and managers around the world, and heck, why not start a global  movement?

Depending on your field of influence and peer community you might  already have a wider reach. But how to scale effectively is a subject  that needs careful reflection and planning.

Knowing your purpose

All successful brands have a clear purpose. They have identified the  difference they want to make in the world and build their product around  achieving it. This is especially important for a knowledge brand, as  ultimately your purpose is to educate.

Think of your business purpose as the roadmap to your success. A  manifesto that sets out your goals and objectives, and which  differentiates you from competitors. You sell training workshops, but  your business purpose is to transform lives of workers around the world.

Having a business purpose will help you:

• Do more meaningful work

• Stay focused

• Clarify your objectives

• Create a value-based business

Delivering content online

The knowledge sector has been transformed by online learning  platforms. With access to educational and training materials readily and  often freely available. You need to find the right platform to share a  select content. Aside from your own website and posting articles on your  own site, LinkedIN or another content platform, you might want to  develop a webinar for prospective students, add taster courses on some  of the multi-learning platforms, or use social media to reach your  target audience.

Whatever you decide, the more content you have published online, the  wider you reach and the more likely it is that Google will recognise you  as an expert in your field and reward you with a better search ranking.

Horizontal or Vertical Scaling?

As your business starts to take off, your capabilities as a  solopreneur become stretched. You must decide the optimal time to employ  extra resources, or develop new products, which will keep your  followers engaged, without draining your financial support.

There are two categories of creating a scalable business. Typically  referred to when scaling network systems, but also work perfectly work  for the purpose of discussing the scaling of a knowledge brand.

Horizontal scaling engages external resources to communicate and grow  your brand and product. Bringing on licensed trainers or facilitators  is one such way of growing horizontally.

With vertical scaling you are relying purely on your reputation. You  might write a book, or undertake keynote speeches to help develop your  knowledge brand.

Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can scale your business horizontally and vertically.

Types of Horizontal Scaling for a Knowledge Brand

Licensed Trainers

Recruiting licensed trainers to facilitate your training sessions or  workshops is one of the most effective routes to distributing your  knowledge outside of your geographic or peer reach. Allowing horizontal  growth and a future passive income.

I get a lot of workshop requests… too many to do on my own. And also,  some clients want workshops in another language, which I can’t offer. I  set up a Facilitator licensing program so that I could handle all the  workshop requests. I didn’t want to hire staff to run workshops — as I  wanted to remain a solopreneur as much as possible. The licensing  program gives me the opportunity to shrink or expand my business without  the stress of hiring and firing people. It also gives the Facilitators  total flexibility.” Lisette Sutherland, Collaboration Superpowers

Building a profitable community

Your followers, or fans, can be your biggest campaigners, if you know  how to delight them with unique and engaging content. If you already  have a steady follower-base on social media and a database of past  attendees, the natural progression is to start a community, where you  can share and discuss topics, and promote future workshops and products.

App and game development

Gamifying your knowledge brand gives you access to potential clients  and companies looking for internal training methods. Games and apps can  be distributed at a much lower cost to the customer, although the  upfront development cost to you is much greater.

Types of Vertical Scaling for a Knowledge Brand

Keynote Conference Speaker

Speaking in front of an audience may terrify you, but it’s one of the  best ways to build your personal brand. If you don’t tell your story,  someone else will; so keynote speaking is an essential part of the  jigsaw in scaling your knowledge brand.

Write a book

Your objective is to boost your brand and become the go-to expert, so  write a book. Simple? Not quite. Your book has to be unique, digestible  and engaging, if it’s lend credibility to your brand. Writing a book  should also contribute to your brand transparency; opening the door to  PR opportunities, media interviews, reviews and writing gigs for  industry media.


Podcasts are an ideal medium for communicating your message to  potential clients and collaborators. Brand building is typically lacking  in the educational industry and this is a good way of developing a  professional identity and voice amongst your peers.

Example: if you are keen to get facilitators onboard then a great way to get known is by having an industry podcast.

These are just a few of the ways you can scale or commodify your  knowledge brand. In our next two articles we’ll look at each option in  more depth: the pros and cons and when is the right time to launch each  new initiative.

Until then…!