There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet when it comes to nurturing. Many people confuse nurturing with educating. For our conversation, you can think of business nurturing as what you do to help your customers level up. It’s a part of the customer success process.

Educating is what you do when you try to convince someone to purchase a product or service that they don’t know they need. At it’s most dangerous, educating is what some people try to do to impose their will on a general audience instead of choosing to “niche down” to a level where people want their help.

Did educating the public ever work?

During the Mad Men era of marketing, you could take any audience and convince them to buy with a substantial amount of advertising. That worked back in the 1960’s because people didn’t have many choices. They only had three channels on television.

The last vestiges of this strategy can be seen in the movie industry. Producers spend millions of dollars trying to jump-start new franchises. It seldom works and consumers money that could be used to make better movies.

How can you tell when someone is educating?

The easiest way is when someone says forget everything you know about a subject and listen to them. Except in extreme situations this doesn’t work. It only serves to alienate the customers.

When did things start to change?

It started changing during the dotcom boom. Internet companies spent millions of dollars on advertising trying to educate a general audience on the benefits of their products and services. You could make the case that the high rate of advertising spend is what killed the first generation of internet companies or web 1.0.

Why does business nurturing work?

The majority of people online today have had a positive experience with video gaming. They understand the concept of leveling up. These people are willing to work for their successes As long as they have some confidence that what they are doing will help them achieve their goals.

What challenges do business nurturing present.

The number one thing you must be concerned about is the level of difficulty. You can’t make things to difficult or too easy. It’s like exercise.  You’ve got increase both resistance and complexity. You got to increase the resistance to make the muscle stronger. And you’ve got to increase the complexity to keep it interesting.

Adult learners react differently to education.

Nurturing allows adult learners to retain their dignity. They can progress at their own pace and pick and choose the order of tasks. You can think of nurturing as a peer-to-peer relationship. On the other hand, you can think of educating as an adult-child relationship.

How do you go about business nurturing?

You provide pathways for customers to use your services to achieve their goals. For example, not everyone may be able to afford your services. So you provide them with free content on your website and suggestions for those who can’t about how they can help themselves afford your services in the future.

Once they can afford your services, they may not be ready for your advanced topics or exercises. This time you provide experiences that will augment what they already know and suggest opportunities for gaining new skillsets.


Business Nurturing is much like the process of leveling up in video games. Business Nurturing works best when you treat your customers like adults who are capable of figuring out what they want. Educating is what people do when they are unwilling to niche down to a level where people want their help.

Zachary Alexander