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August 28, 2015 at 7:35 am #992699
I run a platform for business advice. Like ebay, amazon or airbnb, our job is to match supply and demand. In our case, we’re matching business owners with successful entrepreneurs in the same industry. For example, one of our latest recruits is a retail pharmacist. He’ll be assisting other pharmacy owners around Australia and abroad with one-off business advice or longer-term mentoring over the phone. Many people like to help others in their industry and already do so. My challenge is to reach out to them. I’m interested in any thoughts on how to get more advisors/ mentors/ experts on board this amazing resource.August 28, 2015 at 10:47 pm #1187607webdiggerMember
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A useful business but it sounds like you have the chicken/ egg scenario? You need the mentors to attract the mentees, and vice versa.
I would say good old fashion research is the best way forward. Find the influencers through social media, trade bodies, industry specific events, etc. Build relationships on both sides – experts and with people needing assistance. It sounds slow and boring, but surprisingly, it works.August 28, 2015 at 11:05 pm #1187608
That’s right – the glorious chicken and egg challenge! Mentors like to see a demand and mentees want to see some supply. We need to cover more industries. Fortunately, once I reach out to them, prospective mentors have largely been really excited by it and love the site. So getting in front of the influencers there is definitely a good idea. Thanks for your input Daniel. Much appreciated. I spend a lot of time on the internet helping others but rarely ask for advice myself.August 28, 2015 at 11:14 pm #1187609webdiggerMember
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Agree. Put some thought in to this one, “We need to cover more industries.” Or maybe you should focus on a particular industry? Trying to be all things to all people can difficult, you end up spreading yourself too thin. As an example, we built Seniors Discounts in the UK. 7 years on we have 170,000+ members and plenty of businesses that want to get their discounts in front of our members — but in the early days we faced the same scenario, we needed members to attract the business discounts, but we needed the discounts to attract the members.
If I was to do anything different I would have focused on a town, then a county, then England, then Scotland, etc. Not the entire UK from the start.August 28, 2015 at 11:26 pm #1187610
Well done Daniel. You’ve done well.
That’s true. Many people do spread themselves too thin. Many global businesses started local, Airbnb, for example, in New York. I think we’re doing okay on this one. We have a small number industries we’re already well known in and pursuing with vigour. Likewise with locals, who sometimes feel more affinity with us even when they don’t know us better than someone in Perth.
Meanwhile, we get enquiries from a wide range of industries, so we continue to be more generalist on social media. So as well as a chicken and egg, we’re also having our cake and eating it. But yes, it’s true. No one can be everywhere and we’re experimenting with the proportion of effort in each. Your thinking will definitely add weight to the local focus. Thanks for that.
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