Implement’s ambition is to make sprints as popular as platform video courses.
We believe that sprints are a better learning experience and we want to make this learning method available to everyone.
Implement is an ambitious project that is only possible if independent coaches invest the platform to:
1) create sprints
2) make money and
3) make the marketplace thrive.
Therefore Lucie and I face a well-known challenge for any upcoming marketplace:
the famous chicken & egg challenge (or in our case coach & participant challenge).
How do we attract coaches without participants and how do we attract participants without coaches?
It is a tough challenge and here is how we plan on solving it.
There are 2 phases to our plan.
Phase 1: we split the effort many times.
Phase 2: we recruit both coaches and participants at the same time.
Phase 1: splitting the effort many times.
First topic splitting
Implement is starting with sprints about marketing. However, ou ambition does not stop there. We hope we can expand to other topics such as software, design, etc..later on the journey.
We started with one topic because we quickly understood that starting with many learning topics from the get-go would be a terrible mistake.
By splitting the effort, and focusing our beta on marketing topics exclusively, we made the effort manageable to some extent.
Now, you could argue that marketing is a very wide topic as well!
And you could also argue that this does not solve the chicken and egg problem.
And you are right… but we are getting there.
Our main challenge is to convince coaches to join the platform by showing them that our platform is able to attract traffic and eventually participants to their sprints.
Plus, you need to be capable of attracting this traffic organically, if you want your model to be scalable.
This means we need to create scalable marketing channels that will deliver on this promise.
The first channel that came to mind for such a challenge is obviously: SEO.
SEO is the first step in solving our chicken & egg problem.
We are not reinventing the wheel here, actually, Udemy used and still uses the same strategy.
Of course, there are other traffic channels we plan to put in place but SEO is where we start.
Once we have come to this conclusion we had to split the effort once again.
Second topic splitting
SEO is hard work. It is technical. And it takes time.
Lucie and I have practiced SEO professionally before and we know what we are up ahead.
We know that to make it work we need to split the effort again.
Facebook Marketing, Email Marketing, SEO, Instagram Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Copywriting, Analytics… All these topics and more will soon be available on Implement.
However growing SEO assets on all these topics, all at the same time is mission impossible.
So we are about to take them one by one.
Starting with the most traffic-driving topics and going down the list.
To my surprise, the most traffic-driving topic for education/courses/learning in all marketing topics is Facebook Marketing.
Don’t ask me why it’s just how it is and by far…
So our first marketing objective is ranking on the strategic keywords of this topic.
We came up with a system that should position us there fast.
If this system is successful, we will write an article about it and share it with you in our newsletter.
This system requires us to create a lot of content.
This content will help us rank on Google but it will also help us build a brand.
It will be converted to different formats: video, audio, webinar, ebooks, training…
And then shared on social media and through our email list.
Phase 2: recruiting both at the same time
As I said earlier we need qualified traffic to help convince coaches to settle on our platform.
However, we know that, even with traffic, recruiting the first 100 coaches is going to be a lot of work.
And we cannot wait for our traffic to grow substantially to start recruiting coaches.
This is where splitting the effort by diving topics will help us again.
Once we are done setting up our traffic machine for a topic, we will start approaching coaches and experts specialized in that topic.
For example, while we start generating traffic on Facebook Marketing, we will start the recruitment process for Facebook Marketing coaches and experts using a direct approach (aka cold approaches by email and social media).
We will favor a direct approach. Again, we are not reinventing the wheel, as this is what Udemy did to recruit their first thousand instructors. They took email addresses from websites and just prospected for instructors this way.
It is tough to grow a marketplace startup. The online learning space is also competitive. However, when you look at it closely, at an early stage, we will face the same challenges faced by any startup company: driving traffic and building a brand. The tricky thing with marketplaces is that your marketing effort is double (clients+vendors) and you definitely need to build your marketplace one segment at a time.