April 10, 2019

Any advice for marketing/selling to blue collar/less-tech-savvy customers?

Question:
Has anyone here had success marketing/selling to blue collar or less-tech-savvy users (specifically we are trying to reach recruiters and hiring managers in these industries)?
If so, what would you recommend? (Thanks a bunch in advance!)

Context:
Hi there Indiehackers! We recently launched the MVP version of our product, EmployBlue (employblue.com), a DIY custom pre-employment testing tool. We designed it with blue collar in mind after hearing from a number of blue collar customers that there was a need for a more automated way for them to deploy skills tests which they’d already created internally (though, we’re open to testing our product for white collar use cases as well if there is interest).

We’re finding that reaching these companies/users can be particularly difficult as they don’t necessarily engage much online in places we might expect them to be. So far we’ve been trying cold calling and cold emailing (which is quite slow) and have been seeking corners of the internet where we might effectively target these types of users. We’ve been trying to delay spending any money on ads since we’re still very early in the process - this might be premature for where we are.

(Also, really excited to finally post on Indie Hackers - I’ve been a IH lurker for a long time; Courtland is my hero).

#ask-ih

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    Congrats on launching your MVP. Blue collar hiring / screening is definitely in need of improvement.

    I'm the founder of Build Easy (www.buildeasyapp.com) and we sell directly to SMBs in the construction industry. In general, these guys don't care about efficiency (taking a 3 step task and making it 1 step). Most of them still use pen and paper combined with email to run their business.

    What they do care about is money. Hiring the wrong people, not being able to find the right people to hire and high employee turn over costs them a lot of money, construction is capital intensive and labor is the biggest cost. Make this clearer on your website. Also, your website doesn't say that this is specifically for Blue Collar industries?

    You've just gotta be scrappy in reaching out to companies. Luckily, the construction industry is almost all referral based. Every time you meet a company, ask them to refer you to another company.

    Happy to chat more offline. Good luck!

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      Thanks Shane - this is great advice. It's helpful too that you've emphasized the difference in communicating efficiency versus monetary benefits to this user group. I come from an efficiency background, so sometimes I forget cost and efficiency isn't synonymous to everyone else.

      Also, I appreciate the feedback on the copy on the landing page. I'm about to take another pass at that, so I'll certainly take your notes into account in updating it.

      Thanks a bunch for taking the time to give your advice!

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        Also, BTW, at first glance your application looks really interesting. A friend of mine did some freelance work with a group of construction companies in the Bay a while back and they were desperately seeking to improve their cost through simple tech based efficiency changes (at the time my friend worked with them, they were struggling to even use clever functions in spreadsheets to make their data logging more efficient).

        I'll have to carve out some time to poke around your product more. At first glance it looks really cool to me. I'll definitely be checking it out!

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        This comment was deleted 6 months ago.

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    This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

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      Hey fgoos - thanks for providing that link. What we've heard from customers in the blue collar space is that resumes can be particularly misleading for the types of candidates they are looking for; instead they desire knowledge tests for their larger candidate pool followed by onsite hands on tests for the most promising candidates.

      Although, I'm sure there is quite a lot to be done to help folks with resumes in this space, so I'll take dive into the link you sent.

      Thanks for commenting!

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    This comment was deleted 6 months ago.

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      Hey thomasm1964 - thanks a bunch for the feedback. You bring up a lot of great points; some of which we'd tried in the past, but now that you mention it, it might be worth us trying those avenues again.

      Specifically, to your points about government services aiming to help job seekers find job placements, in the US we have plenty. There were a couple we were quite interested in earlier in the process - namely city counsel programs for job growth and military veterans programs who place vets in industrial jobs. Based on your advice, we'll look into a renewed approach in these spaces. The catch is the part of our product we have in production may not be able to be sold to those folks directly, but we have another feature set in our platform we've held back temporarily which caters more to that user segment - I'll give some thought to bringing that online to help open marketing avenues.

      I also think you're dead right about marketing offline. We've given thought to this as well, but haven't decided on a strategy to follow here. Though, we might just start with something basic along the lines of what you pointed out, just to get going here rather than overthinking it.

      To your final point about agencies who place these workers, yes we certainly have those and that is a great point. For example, there are some pretty large co-employment agencies who engage in this work (like Adecco and SMX) who I've personally worked with quite a lot in the past. One of our next steps is to look for engagements with these companies. We've been warming up contacts with those companies in preparation to make some pitches.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write such an extensive and well thought out response thomasm1964! We really appreciate the feedback.