Idea Overview:
An education app built for the future and spearheading generational change. Life Skills digitises the knowledge I already share in my personal development books & with my community. These are topics that make the individual feel better, grow faster and go further e.g., Emotional intelligence, Financial Literacy, Effective Communication, and Self-Confidence. Life Skills will deliver carefully curated, research-backed content designed to address education inequalities. Community engagement & rewarding loyalty will be key experiences to ensure ongoing customer satisfaction. An idea born out of painful family and personal experiences, I’m passionate about using my voice as a catalyst for positive change.
Who might use it/where it might be used?:
Women & men aged 25 - 55. They’re ready to shift their mindset, manage their emotions, find their tribe and advance personally & professionally. I’m passionate about reaching marginalised, underrepresented and historically oppressed groups. I have found a large, untapped niche of often highly educated yet burnt out individuals who are considered “first generation”. Their parents were born in a different country to the one that they were raised which comes with unique challenges. There are over 33 million (and growing) first generation individuals in the USA alone with their roots in many places including South America, Asia and Africa.
The Market (B2B, B2C or Both):
Sector the idea belongs to:
Professional services
Is there a similar idea to be found?:
A strong and growing EdTech market exists yet I feel my USP is strong: delivering technologically advanced education that empowers + a community driven ethos. My competitors are other online learning platforms such as Udemy, SkillShare, Masterclass and Open University - however they are stagnant, do not focus on uplifting the individual and offer such a vast range of topics it can be distracting and/or overwhelming. I consider the highly successful platform Headspace - a meditation solution – my benchmark as they deliver courses on topics such as Difficult Conversations and Compassionate Communication as well as a constantly evolving offering.
Why you think there is a demand for your idea?:
I’ve been testing and refining since finding my calling and passion in late 2019. I launched my first physical product September 2020 - delayed by the pandemic(!) but still profitable in just 3 months. I expanded to digital & audiobooks often selling 10 copies of my women’s empowerment title in a single order. My latest book “Finding Yourself” was promoted through pre-orders and hit #1 on several amazon.com charts upon release. “Finding Yourself” is an effective lead magnet into my email list funnel of individuals being primed for the release of Life Skills. Over on Meetup my community share their struggles and needs – using this insight I have crafted their perfect solution.
Who would be the ideal customers?:
Regine is a first-generation child of Haitian parents who moved to Miami. She excelled at school and went on to post graduate degree level. She has worked tirelessly to establish her career – often without acknowledging her many wins. She has a lifetime of trying to achieve a body fabricated by the media. Her mental health suffers. Regine has begun her journey of self-development knowing things need to change. She seeks others she can connect with – her tribe - who motivate her & ease loneliness. Regine enjoys sleek, well-designed experiences that encourage physical movement and can be used on the go. She wants a solution that can not only help her in the moment but is also lifechanging.
What ideas do you have to reach these customers?:
I am well versed in successful Facebook/Instagram ad campaigns – they give me the opportunity to niche down and A/B test. I will partner with brands & groups that already have access to my target audience (for an affiliate fee), podcasts guest spots, Facebook group engagement and probably most effective - reward referrals from my existing audience. I will promote the features my community has asked for as well as the fact that Life Skills is for them AND by them.
How far have you developed this idea?:
I’m in collaboration with London Southbank University (LSBU) to develop the content and platform for the first phase of Life Skills. In August 2022 the LSBU immersive tech team will help me capture green screen content for my pre-promotion. We are using the advanced facilities at their campus in Maidstone Studios (a film & TV set). The Computer Science team will begin platform design in October 2022. An academic at LSBU in a relevant discipline e.g., education, psychology or counselling/coaching will assist me with the research necessary to deliver an impactful platform. The Innovation Solutions team will assist me with my business model and pricing structure.
What – if any – feedback have you had for this idea so far?:
From the incredible Start Up Hackathon community: 1. Find a co-founder (yes please!) 2. Be more upfront about the backing and in kind support that I’ve already received (includes the EU development fund, JP Morgan & Mastercard) 3. An enticing user journey for retention 4. Explore referring my community to additional help (e.g. a therapist) 5. Build a strong network of partners 6. Expand my marketing personas From my Meetup community: 1. some of my research is dated e.g. 2016 and audience would like to see post pandemic stats (working on this). 2. My audience prefers live online events where they can interact directly with me. 3 worksheets/guidance - some way to carry on with the lessons delivered in my meetups 4. They value walking and meditative experiences; option to have audio only too.
What supporting material – if any - would you like to add to your proposal?:
Canvas and Persona

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17 comments to “Life Skills App: Education To Empower”

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  1. Saumya Seth - August 17, 2022 at 4:25 am

    This sounds like a great idea! I haven’t heard of anything similar either, so I feel this would attract a good number of people. Moreover, I believe working on the community development would be very effective for promotion and building a permanent audience. Such a community would be of great help to the kind of ideal customer you defined.

    • Janet Martin - August 17, 2022 at 7:09 am

      Thanks very much for the feedback. I like how you picked up on the community element – I’ll finely tune my online & offline community engagement – especially building pre-launch awareness. I’m exploring the idea of creating a “waiting list” landing page where I can capture email address for the app launch.

  2. Peter Illes - August 17, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Hi Janet!

    Good job on the persona. Although I feel you tried to force many needs and pain points into a single persona. Don’t be afraid to create more user personas. It’ll be easier to target them if they’re better outlined.

    As for the app, I don’t understand how it will work. Will it be audio content? If so, how is it different to a podcast or audio guide app? What does it offer on top of being a place to get topic-centred content. I’m thinking sort of like a mind health journal which you can fill out and have an AI look for discrepancies or ways to improve.

    • Janet Martin - August 17, 2022 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Peter – thanks so much for this feedback – it’s extremely helpful. Good point regarding the persona – I’ll create a few so that I have a target group. The app will be formed mainly of video content – like an online course you’d find on Udemy. I am also thinking worksheets, exercises, audio & even announcements for live events (which my community really like) etc. And yes – your AI idea is totally feasible. Thanks again

  3. Mario L Castellanos - August 17, 2022 at 10:48 am

    I don’t know enough about this area, but then that’s my point. I believe to generate interest from potential users, you should have a cabal of professionals involved in this sort of thing on a platform (website?) as team members or advisors, etc. Your details section indicates you are on this track. At this juncture though, I would emphasize education or psychology professionals. If you get a buy-in from them, that means they see the merit in this as well, and they in turn can help you fine tune the idea to make it into a viable product.

    • Janet Martin - August 17, 2022 at 8:46 pm

      Absolutely Mario – you’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m hoping to soon have a board in place with at least one member with expertise in the areas you mention. I could additionally list my academics and reach out to others that are a give fit and will bring credibility with them. Very helpful feedback. Thank you

  4. Dr. Grace Olugbodi - August 21, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Janet, this idea sounds like an incredible idea. A needed solution for your target market. It would be great if you are able to get some therapists on board too. I think it would also be great to hone in deeper on your value proposition and how you are different from others for clarity. I am happy to connect you to a psychotherapist or two I know if you like. I will look forward to having a call with you to share more in-depth feedback.

  5. Aquayemi-Claude Akinsanya - August 24, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Would you be interested in reaching out to NGOs Youth lead projects, “Global Changemakers, United Voices and some to be named. “

  6. Aquayemi-Claude Akinsanya - August 24, 2022 at 11:56 am

    Would you be interested in reaching out to NGOs Youth lead projects, “Global Changemakers, United Voices and some to be named?”

  7. ron clark - August 25, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    interesting idea -I have a background in commercializing education/personal dev/applied psyc
    might be worth a chat ronclarkbizdev.com ronclarkconsulting@gmail.com

  8. Jake Shaw - December 1, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Love this! I have been on this journey myself for sometime. Late diagnosis of Dyslexia and ADD.
    The big whole in trad education is financial education – fully supportive if that if people know how to create, preserve and grow wealth then they will be happy – happiness is security and control after all.
    I would like to see this applied to all NEETS that have been completely let diwn by mainstream education. Is there a gamification element in the app?

  9. Neslisah Koc - July 26, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Hi Janet, it is very exciting to read about your idea! I am working on the exact same topic here in Berlin. The education programs I am planning in the early stages are to be in-person with a vision to have an app in the future as well. I am also working in capabilities world (education in corporate world) and finance. I would love to connect with you to exchange ideas/experience as well as support each other. Here is my e-mail: neslisahkoc@gmail.com