May 22, 2019

How to not be intrusive

Mukhtar Raage @mooraage

I'm in the process of reaching out to my target audience. I've previously done this before with Facebook group but for example, in my case I'm targeting Tutors because they're the most obvious niche to start with. My project is a platform where you can host conversations and invite participants who then give you instant feedback.

My thinking is Tutors can invite their students in the discussion and they can have insightful discussions and invite other students (non clients) to the discussion. After the discussion is over the participants leave feedback for the tutor.


Tutor: creates a unique experience for students to interact and find common ground (especially since tutoring can be lonely). Tutors also get exposed to new potential clients. A way to differentiate from competition.

Student: finds comfort in not being alone (kinda like indiehackers .com ) They can also learn from other students perspective.

I am looking for people to help test this and give me their opinions on whether this is something they'd use.

My question to you is, how do I get a hold of tutors without being intrusive?

  1. 2

    Maybe instead of reaching out to tutors individually, you could reach out to a tutor company or tutor marketplace, explain your value prop and ask if you could conduct a free trial period or something with a handful of their tutors who are struggling relative to others (tutor, students, marketplace all benefit).

    Doesn't feel as intrusive when reaching out to companies IMO, and you'd potentially be exposing your product to multiple tutors per pitch. Just while it's on my mind, sounds like a cool idea that could be an integrated 3rd party add-on in the tutor marketplaces (and other industires...)

    Good luck!

    Side note: I've heard folks argue that for cold emails and DM's, if your product truly adds value to their life/business, then it's not intrusive - it's showing them something that will potentially make them more money and life better. Still feels weird/"icky" reaching out to strangers in my mind, but seems it's a common practice used by many successful Indie Hackers and can be done in a non-intrusive, non-spammy way.

    1. 1

      This is a really good idea, there are a number of tutor centres I could talk to based around me. If I could get something going with a tutor centre, it could potentially give me the start I need!

      a 3rd arty integration is awesome. I was even thinking of adding 3rd party integrtion like trello or into the mix to add more value to the product. I want to innovate on the "feedback" bit, the more conversations they have , the more feedback they'll have. I want to give them the option to analyse and cross reference multiple feedback sessions to hopefully measure the students overall improvement in understanding. Lofty goals haha :D!

  2. 2

    So far, I've had the most luck with Reddit! I'm not sure if there is any sort of teaching/tutoring subreddit, but start by commenting on on people's posts and providing insight and establishing yourself as someone knowledgeable to listen to, and then create a post introducing your product and why it would be useful and inviting people to try it out.

    Warning: some subreddits have a no-self promotion policy. You'll have to be careful of that.

    Did you choose tutors as your target market because there is something special about the app just for them or because you know that population very well? Or is there another reason you chose them?

    1. 1

      I haven't tried Reddit before but I'll give it a shot for sure.

      I chose tutors because I felt they had the most obvious use case for the product. Also because my whole mission for the product was to encourage peer to peer learning and group discussions because we as humans can learn best when we are talking to each other and not from just text books or lectures.

      I wanted to build a platform where an individual can create a discussion and host a "learning" session with their peers. So tutors seem like the obvious target. It can be used by freelancers who want to gather feedback on a new service they are trialing. It can be used by Lecturers to supplement a students study. Researchers who want to conduct focus group discussions. there are different use cases but I started with Tutors because they are more visible and I can easily translate direct benefits.

      1. 1

        Makes sense! I think the to being unobtrusive is definitely to start a conversation about something related and try to get them to admit their pain point so you can suggest they try your product in context of the conversation.

        1. 1

          This is a great tactic I'm going to try it out for sure!

  3. 1

    In sales, if you are not intrusive you are leaving money on the table.

    This doesn’t mean you can’t be respectful, interesting, valuable etc, but the nature of sales is that you are inserting yourself into someone else’s thought process.

    If you don’t want to message individuals you can look at cold calling local tutoring centers. Also LinkedIn as a community is generally more welcoming of business focused outreach than Facebook.

    1. 2

      Yes definitely, it's necessary to get anywhere and I think its all about finding that balance. Definitely tutor centres is something I'm going to take a look at. I've started to connect with tutors on linkedin and going to start hitting them up. I mostly just need them to try it first and not pay haha!