Ed Johnson, CEO & Co-Founder of PushFar, tells us about the world’s largest mentoring platform and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Ed Johnson: We’re all doing well, thanks. The pandemic has been a rollercoaster for every one of highs and lows. The highs, admittedly few, have been seeing a rise in demand for what we’re doing at PushFar and seeing the impact of mentoring. I think we’re all rather excited to see the end of the pandemic and the opportunities that are now ahead for us.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded PushFar.
Ed Johnson: I dropped out of school at 17 when I tweeted the CEO of a digital marketing agency, asking for a job. To my surprise and delight, he offered it to me. Since then, I’ve worked in a wide variety of roles, primarily in the tech sector and digital marketing. I’ve worked for the likes of Oracle and Zoopla and then most recently for ValueMyStuff as their head of digital, which led me to the founding of PushFar. I was looking for a mentor to guide me in my own career, and that’s when I discovered a whole world of mentoring and people keen to get involved but with little in the way of structure to help in mentoring relationships, so I decided to team up with my co-founder, Gabriel, and build out our platform.
How does PushFar market its product/services online?
Ed Johnson: Primarily now through word-of-mouth, organic search, and content creation. There are tens of thousands of people every month looking to start getting involved in mentoring, and it is our job to make sure that they find PushFar’s platform. At the same time, we know that more organizations are looking to start mentoring programs for their employees. Again, we do what we can, creating exciting and engaging content that helps them do so alongside our platform. One thing we also started recently was our free mentoring training workshops. These have proven really popular and can engage everyone, everywhere, with an opportunity to find a mentor, mentor others, or do both!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Ed Johnson: It’s been extremely positive for us as an organization in that through uncertainty, demand has skyrocketed for mentoring. For us, that was a total blessing and a silver lining to all the horrible other things going on during the pandemic. It gave me and all of our team at PushFar a real sense of purpose and kept us busy, focused, and distracted, fortunately. As we come out of the pandemic, demand for mentoring will remain and continue to grow too. Many organizations are looking at retaining their employees, and many individuals are questioning whether they want to spend their time doing it. All of this plays strongly in need of mentoring for guidance.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Ed Johnson: For our marketing, we primarily focus on search engine optimization with tools like SEMRush and SERanking, combined with Google Analytics. We also utilize paid search through Google Ads, which helps us monitor traffic for both our B2B and B2C offerings. This is fed back to the team and used to help drive decisions around the content created, articles written, and resources published.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ed Johnson: Our main competitors seem to be MentorCliq and Chronus. They are heavily focused on the US markets, while we’re the leader in mentoring in Europe, which is a clear differentiator between us. They also go, almost exclusively, after large enterprise-level contracts with high entry-level costs, whereas we are focused on ensuring every individual and organization, regardless of size or budget, can access mentoring, so we offer a more competitive contract from that perspective. We’re also the only mentoring platform with both a B2B and B2C offering, which ties in nicely in that we can offer our corporate clients access to external mentoring through our ever-growing network of 75,000+ mentors and mentees.
Your final thoughts?
Ed Johnson: Everyone, everywhere, really can benefit from mentoring. If you haven’t yet found a mentor or considered being a mentor to others, then you can do so today. So, sign up to PushFar and get involved in mentoring.