Topic: Strategy

Marketing Strategy And Funnel Ideas

Posted by dracount on 125 Points
Hi, I have recently launched a new business and I'm at a loss as to how to get myself out there.

What: The business is coaching IT professionals who hate their jobs and turn their lives around by helping them craft/create their dream jobs.

They suffer from stress, anxiety, energy draining activities, job hopping, burnout etc. Some can develop mental health issues such as depression and PTSD.

Specifically I have a program that goes through 3 steps: self discovery, vision/planning and impact. These are broad areas and I can elaborate if that would help.

The program itself is planning to be 9 modules (3 of each) in the areas above and weekly group coaching with Facebook group support over 9 weeks.

Who: Targeting at 29-40 year olds with 6 or more years of experience in senior IT roles. I know IT is broad but I don't know if it is necessary segmenting down further to eg web developers or software engineers etc. Not sure how to decide on this step.

Where: social media - Facebook or LinkedIn. I don't know if I would be able to focus on both, and from what I have seen Facebook groups are full of recruiters and spam. Alternatively there are more specific IT forums I could look at but the reach I don't think is as wide.

How: I have been thinking about content marketing, providing posts or possibly videos about the topic and providing value.

Price: I am looking at 3-5 USD. A little cheaper than a family vacation. It requires the client to really be invested in order to implement and do the work necessary. It is highly valuable to my target market if you spend your days hating what you do.

Step 1: produce engaging and valuable content on LinkedIn/Facebook/somewhere with offering a lead magnet to engage with them.
Step 2: direct message, send the lead magnet and start chatting to people with the problem
Step 3: seeing if they are a good fit for my coaching (qualify) in the chat
Step 4: sell them through chat or a zoom call

Is this a good plan?
Have I missed any key areas?
How do I plan and create lots of valuable content?
What kind of lead magnet would be most suited?

I have read and got lots of theory as to how and what I need to do but 0 practical experience when it comes to marketing and I don't know how to get started here.

I need a plan that I can follow. I hope someone can help.
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  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    What's missing is proof of the value of what YOU'RE offering. What expertise do you have? Why should this niche choose your program instead of any of competitors?

    How did you choose this niche? Have you interviewed lots of IT professionals and developed/tested this program with them? How are they looking for mental health support?

    If you created a marketing strategy, likely most of the answers to these questions can be found there.
  • Posted by dracount on Author
    @Jay Hamilton-Roth I have been working in IT for 12 years and have been through burnout, anxiety, stress etc. personally.

    I have also started coaching individually and have helped others through the problems.

    No - so I should try to create a marketing strategy? Where do I start with something like that?
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    It's great you figured out how to help yourself and some others in your immediate circle. However, you're wondering how to branch out to attract people who don't know you or your talents to hire your services. That requires a lot of research - for example, have you interviewed IT people from various companies, regions, experience levels, etc.? Do you know how these people might realize they have a problem and what solutions do they reach for? Do you know who they ask for help? That's what a marketing strategy does. You currently have something that you're thinking may be a great business for you. But you don't know how to advertise it, since you don't know how/where people are looking for something like what you're wanting to do. This is not guess work - it's homework to gather the knowledge of identifying the issues your clients are facing, proving you have the best solution/value, and differentiating yourself from the myriad of choices people might choose. You could simply create an AdWords campaign with words that you hope might attract your target market, or you can do your homework to increase the likelihood for success.

    There are a number of people on this forum who could help you to develop a marketing strategy (myself included).
  • Posted by dracount on Author
    Yes the all the points and questions you have touched on are important. Where do I begin? What is involved? How long does it take to conduct such research?
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    There are a wealth of various templates to create the plan. But I'd strongly suggest you start by conduction informational interviews (at least 5, from various niches) of your target market. The goal isn't to sell your interviewee anything. It's to learn more about burnout, when it likely strikes, how people cope with it, the value of solving their problem, and how/when they might be explore other opportunities to get closer to their dream job. This is a relatively quick process, requires great listening & recording skills, and the ability for you to set aside any of your preconceived notions of about the issues. You might find you've accurately identified your market and can then start to determine how to market your program. Go slow now to go fast later.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Following Jay's lead, you might want to begin by developing an interview guide for your interviews. What questions would you want answered? What areas would you want to explore? You probably don't want too many questions, so think through the really important ones.

    Your first couple of interviews will probably suggest some modifications to the interview guide, so think of them as pilot tests. Adjust the interview guide, and then line up 5 or 6 candidates who will spend 30-45 minutes with you to go through the revised questions.

    If you can do it, it's best if you can ask your questions without relying on a stiff questionnaire. People respond more candidly if they feel like they can help steer the discussion themselves. And, as Jay said, do NOT try to pre-sell your services. Just ask your questions and listen carefully. Taking notes is fine, but don't become so focused on the notes that the interview subject feels like you are not understanding him/her.
  • Posted by dracount on Author
    Thank you for the responses.

    I have spent time researching these topics. Lots of research on burnout has been done and may answer some of the questions (although much is from the perspective of companies rather than the individual suffering).
    Out of a survey of 11,000 tech workers 57.16 said they were feeling burned out by their jobs.
    "...three top-cited factors for workplace burnout: unfair compensation (41%), an unreasonable workload (32%), and too much overtime work (32%). Other common factors included poor management, negative workplace culture, and employees feeling disconnected from the company strategy in their roles."

    How people cope with burnout:
    "Stress is also responsible for higher rates of quitting or job-changing among employees: 95% of HR leaders agreed in the Kronos survey that burnout was sabotaging workforce retention."

    How burnout arises
    According to research, the stages of burnout are:
    Onset of burnout:
    1 Hope
    2 Frustration
    3 Anger
    4 Apathy
    5 Burnout manifestations
    Overcoming burnout:
    6 Physical or psychological removal (quitting, checking out)
    7 Self knowledge and acceptance
    8 revised psychological contract

    "Value of solving burnout and exploring opportunities to get closer to their dream job". The burnout manifestations such as stress, anxiety, physical and mental illness, I will need to explore further as to how a person values these things. These I think I need to work out how to get this info, through interviews perhaps. Although I will need to work out how to ask these questions.

    I have also been monitoring Reddit, an anonymous website similar to a forum with a few Subreddits which fit my target clients: cscareerquestions (computer science career questions), experienceddevs (experienced software developers) and I have found a considerable amount of posts are related to burnout and individuals attempting to deal with and ask questions about it.

    There are at least one a day in both of these forums, showing how individuals are struggling with burnout and their job dissatisfaction. Most advice depending on severity is in line with the above- physical or psychological removal, either different roles, jobs and in many cases even industries. Some link examples are provided to specific posts below. There are hundreds of similar ones including almost all topics I am looking at.

    Am I able to use these to help with my marketing strategy?

    Is there an organised way to make use of these?

    I guess designing the questions I want answered and whether I can get all the answers I need from the above resources?

    Are there templates of questions I should explore?
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    This research is a great start, but it still doesn't help you attract people to YOUR offering. From their perspective, why should they trust you? If they choose to hire someone to help them, why shouldn't they go with someone who's helped lots of people, read a well-researched book, talk to their friends/family, take a vacation, or apply for a job elsewhere? Why is what you're thinking of doing better for them than all of these choices? The informational interview questions can yield much more insight than simple statistics, surveys, and anonymous postings.
  • Posted by dracount on Author
    Yes you definately have a good point.

    The main issue that I have seen is career coaches have a bad name, they are not trusted and there are lots of bad apples. E.g. give me $2000 and guaranteed a job etc. They look like sharks and don't deliver any value. So that has muddied the water considerably.

    Secondly it is a a fairly novel approach to career coaching. I haven't seen career coaching specialising in this area so I think part of the issue is that it doesn't exist on most people's radar and they associate what I would like to do with these sharks before the conversation even starts.

    When you say coaching most people think "help me get a better job through CV improvement, interview training etc."

    And I think that interviewing my ideal clients will definately help.

    How do I come up with questions that will help me work out how (if) I can help me?

    Secondly what's the best way of approaching and finding good candidates?

    This may come later.. though I guess how do promote and market something my target clients have the wrong idea about?
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    For the last several years (OK, decades) I have been doing what you need to do on behalf of clients -- big and small, many industries, different objectives, etc. Telling someone how to collect 40+ years of experience in a year or two is more of a challenge than I can accept. Maybe you can pay a professional to help you get the research phase (and perhaps the business planning phase) started. Jay Hamilton-Roth would be an excellent mentor. If you want other candidates, I can recommend some.
  • Posted by dracount on Author
    mgoodman and Jay Hamilton-Roth, thank you both for taking the time to answer my questions and I will take your advice to heart.

    It appears this is far more complicated than I imagined, however I will continue to try and hopefully I will make some progress.

    I would be most grateful for any mentoring that could be provided, if Jay would agree to mentor me, be assured I will do the best I can.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Click on my name (above) to get to my profile and email address to discuss further, Dave.

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