How Do You Get Users To Help You Grow Your Site?

Have you noticed that the fastest growing web sites are masters at getting their users to promote them? How do you build that kind of promotion machine?

I asked Jon Bischke, founder of eduFire how he empowers his site’s teachers to promote their classes–and thereby help eduFire grow.

Jon Bischke

Jon Bischke


Jon Bischke is an experienced CEO and Founder with background in SaaS, human capital management (HCM), consumer Internet and education technology.

Here’s an edited excerpt of his response.

Notice who’s successful

When you look at the most successful businesses on the web, you see that they really leverage their audience to be their marketers. The most successful marketers for Digg are the people who are digging stories and trying to get their friends to digg their stories. The most successful marketers for YouTube are the people who embed videos in their MySpace pages.

Build them a platform

We’re trying to do the same thing with eduFire. Basically, giving a platform for our teachers to be able to market the site on our behalf. And we’ve seen some pretty good evidence that that’s happening so far.

Notice what they use

There are a number of ways that we empower them to market their classes and our site. A lot of it is the standard social media stuff that you would expect. We see teachers updating their Facebook status messages, saying that they’re teaching on eduFire. We see teachers posting messages to Twitter that they’ve got a class coming up. We have teachers who go out and put an ad on Craig’s List.

Create “teacherpreneurs”

There are things that teachers have done that really inspires us. Most teachers typically haven’t thought of themselves as marketers. As they come to eduFire, they really start to think more entrepreneurially. We’ve even coined a somewhat clunky word called “teacherpreneur.” We like to impress upon our teachers to think to themselves not just as “I come to eduFire and students find me,” but also, “I come to eduFire and I have tools and resources to go out and reach an audience” via the platform that we have set up.


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