Today, a company shared an offer on the EduHustles list for teachers to give feedback on their product.
Actually, I think the timing for this is perfect.
Right now, teachers could use a chance to earn a little extra compensation or a gift for sharing their opinion. Those without young kids probably do have some more time on their hands than usual. And everyone's probably spending some more time on their devices.
So, with the topic of interviewing educators on my mind, I wanted to share 7 questions for teacher interviews. This is excerpted from The LunchTime Files: A Ground-Up Guide to Marketing Your Education Product or Service:
- Tell me about your teaching situation.
- What is a typical day for you like?
- What's happening, what will happen if this problem does not get fixed?
- What other solutions have you tried for this problem?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would the perfect outcome be?
- What else would you like to add that I haven't asked you about?
- Is it OK if I follow-up with you?
When writing copy for education companies, I can go from being a novice to being an expert on a company's marketing by asking these 7 questions to 5-10 customers.
In the book, I talk about how these customer interviews are the foundation for any other marketing that you do.
As the name suggests, I recorded the book on walks around my school's neighborhood during lunch time. And yes, the audiobook (which is available by clicking the drop-down menu on the Gumroad page) is actually the recordings of me talking into my AirPods on these walks.
The details are here.
Thanks for reading,
PS - Here's another longer excerpt from chapter 3, page 17-18 all about interviewing teachers and school leaders to create a good foundation for (or to refresh) your marketing...
I once conducted a customer interview with a home economics teacher for an
edtech startup client. This is not too popular of a class anymore. So I began the conversation by
asking the teacher to tell me about teaching that subject area, and what it was like to be the only
teacher in a school teaching a particular subject. I asked her about what kids cook. Do they ever
burn stuff? Are there any good stories of kids who went on to really like cooking?
I didn't ask all those word-for-word, but you catch my drift of what you should do. Maybe you
can Google the person you’re talking to and learn something interesting about them. Ask them
about that. Say, "Hey, just in trying to prepare, I found that you were from city X or went to
college X. Have you ever heard of this place or do you know this person?" This shows that
you're connecting as a human first. People in education, which is a business of people, are
going to value that.
Then, I often ask, "Tell me about your teaching situation." I think that's a nice general way for
them to answer in whatever kind of open ended way that they would like. So notice that is not
saying, "Tell me what grade you teach, what subjects." Just say, "Tell me about your teaching
situation," and they'll tell you a lot more, this as well as what they like, what they don't like, et
cetera, after. And this could be the same thing if it's an administrator or even a parent for
consumer education product. "Tell me about your parenting situation. Tell me about your school
that you lead."
Next, I would ask, "What is a typical day for you like?" This gives you a little bit more insight into
what they're doing, how they spend their time, what kind of problems they might be facing, et
cetera. Then I would get into the problem that you're solving, so let's say again, it was a product
about reducing absenteeism in low income schools. I would say, "Tell me about student
attendance at your school," again, keeping it very broad and open ended.
The important part is the followup questions. When you think they're done speaking, resist the
urge to immediately jump in and follow up. Let silence go for even two or three seconds, which
will feel uncomfortable to let the people talk. They're going to fill in the gaps more often than not
with more information, even if it's just because they felt uncomfortable for a second with the
silence, so they decided to talk more. Don't worry about that. If they agree to talk to you, they
want to tell you more.
After that, one of the best ways to continue the conversation is to just try to repeat back what
they said to you in your own words. So if they said, "Well, I took over about seven years ago
and after that, we had a huge company leave the town which caused economic depression.
Things haven't been going so well and for a lot of kids, school is just not on the top of their list,"
you might say, "Yeah, that must be difficult. I appreciate you telling me about that. So it seems
like for a lot of your student population, school is not their number one priority." You just repeat it
back in the way that you heard it. This will either allow them to correct you if you weren't exactly
accurate or it'll allow them to elaborate on whatever they want to tell you more about. So that's
why your two most important tactics are just simply being silent and repeating back what they
If you've read this far, then you can check out the rest of The Lunch Time Files: A Ground-Up Guide to Marketing Your Education Product or Service here.