In the business world one way of getting an expert’s advice is an Information Interview where you can get:
- advice on a new field before you enter it
- inside information on trends in the market
- best practices, details, and facts from someone in the field
An Information Interview is not asking for a job.
It’s also not a sales pitch. It is strictly asking questions to get advice from an expert.
It also happens to be a good way to introduce yourself to potential employers and help you decide if this is a field you want to get into, or more poignantly, what you might be diving into.
Market Research for Good Business
For instance, the going rate for teaching kids yoga for an hour class in my city (Toronto – population just under 3 million) is between $35 – $250 per class. The price varies depending on size, experience, location, frequency, and extra work (advertising and registration) involved in organizing your class.
What is the price range for your area? Each district, city, or country values these skills differently and you can get an idea of the pay rate in your area in an Information Interview.
Tips for Information Interviews: Be Prepared
Out of respect for the person you are interviewing and to make the most of your time prepare yourself in advance for the interview.
I recommend having your questions ready before you call for an interview. You may call someone and they will to talk to you right away. You will want to be ready.
Take your list of potential places to teach (see this post) and create a survey for your top three. Most of the questions will be the same, but think of a few unique questions for the specific place.
Phrasing for Accurate Answers
Interviewing experts suggest that to get accurate answers, it is better to ask people what they did in the past rather than what they want to do in the future. After all, isn’t that one reason to meditate, to break free from our past karma!
For example compare:
- How many specialty teachers, like yoga teachers, dance teachers, clowns, magicians did you bring to your school last year?
- How many specialty teachers. like yoga teachers, dance teachers, clowns, magicians do you plan on bringing in?
What we actually do, compared to what we plan to do, are often different. Try to find out what they actually did.
Multiple Choice Saves Time
When you were in school what did you like better, open ended tests or multiple choice? Most people prefer multiple choice.
It will be easier and faster to answer multiple choice questions. They know exactly what you want. They don’t have to try to figure out what answer you are looking for.
Sometimes you will get a person who likes to talk and go off on tangents. Before you know it you’ve asked a couple of questions and your time is up! Multiple choice helps you stay on topic and stick to your time limit.
For instance you could ask:
What is the most you have paid for a specialty teacher or event:
- under $50 per hour
- $50 – $75 per hour
- $75 – $150 per hour
- Over $150
- Please describe the event:
Now jot down a few questions that you want to know about the daycare, schools and studios near you to start forming your interview.
One of the challenges of self-employment is motivating yourself to get new business. So write down your ideas now. It will be much easier if you do it in small pieces then having a big task looming before you.
Here’s to your business success and getting new classes!