If you want to work with independent news publishers to help them bridge the gap between big-picture planning and daily execution as it relates to growing revenue, we want to hear from you.
LION Program Coach
Status: Independent Contractor
Point of Contact: Senior Manager of Coaching
Location: Remote within USA
Engagement Type: Short-term contract, with variable working hours, from August 21 until November 3, 2023.
LION is launching a program in September to help independent news organizations bridge the gap between big-picture planning and daily execution. During the eight-week program, participants will identify what’s standing in the way of meeting their revenue goals and articulate and test creative solutions for overcoming those blockers.
With the support of asynchronous training, one-on-one coaching, peer learning and up to $9,000 in direct funding, each of the 36 participants will develop a custom curriculum and tailored deliverables that will help clear the way for revenue growth and make progress toward sustainability.
During the eight weeks of the program, participants will:
- Identify revenue pain points and what’s standing in the way of meeting revenue goals
- Understand how to create a problem statement to articulate challenges
- Analyze ideas and potential solutions using creative problem-solving frameworks
- Apply problem-solving frameworks to the most urgent blockers and iterate based on feedback
- Synthesize financial and operational data to make informed decisions about budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning and/or attracting and retaining members of their team in a revenue role, and/or identify opportunities to expand or optimize current revenue streams
- Understand how to apply problem-solving frameworks to other painpoints and blockers
We recognize that blockers or challenges will vary for each organization, which is why we’re focusing our efforts on three tracks that we know have a proven impact on increasing sustainability.
We’re looking for independent contractors who have deep expertise in one of the following tracks and a breadth of expertise in others, as well as an understanding of how they all intersect:
- Understanding finances to strategically plan
- Hiring, supporting, managing and retaining team members in a revenue role
- Growing or leveling up an existing revenue stream
Skills and qualifications for this role
- Have experience with financial management and analysis, including budgeting, forecasting, and aligning organizational finances and operations. This includes the ability to guide participants in analyzing financial health, revenue, expenses, and cash flow data.
- Is knowledgeable about best practices to identify, attract and retain talent specifically for revenue roles within the news industry, including understanding the skills and experience needed for success in these roles.
- Can provide guidance on how to improve performance management systems and set clear expectations and key performance indicators for revenue roles in an existing organization.
- Have an understanding of how to evaluate and analyze current revenue streams within independent news organizations, which includes identifying opportunities for expansion and optimization.
- Is familiar with various revenue models, such as reader revenue, ads and sponsorships, major donors, etc. This includes knowledge of best practices, pricing strategies, and value proposition development.
Other skills and expectations
- Have experience working with news entrepreneurs operating lean teams
- Have a breadth of expertise with journalism entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities
- Are comfortable coaching around both big picture strategy and specific tactical approaches, but know they don’t need to be an expert in everything
- Share our vision that holistic sustainability lies at the nexus of journalistic impact, operational resilience and financial health
- Can curate the LION community, industry knowledge and their networks to help publications prioritize their most urgent needs
- Can balance the delivery of empathetic encouragement and reality checks to resource-constrained publishers
The coaching contractor will have two primary responsibilities:
- Through weekly coaching sessions, support and guide four participating news businesses as they implement training and produce the relevant program deliverables.
- Document coaching sessions to inform programming and to help LION gain a deeper understanding of what news businesses need at different stages. These insights will be shared at regular coaching team meetings and through light-lift weekly coaching reports.
- Participating news businesses report that they felt supported throughout the program and as they produced their program deliverables
- Weekly coaching reports for each participant
- Share feedback on the program and your coaching experience through our offboarding survey
- Candidates selected to advance to the next round will be invited to complete a written exercise in which they will be asked to apply their experience to a closer real-life situation. This should take up to 45 minutes to complete.
- Finalists will be invited to a 30-minute Zoom interview with members of LION team.
About LION Publishers
Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional journalism association for independent news publishers. While most of our 450+ members across the U.S. and Canada run local news businesses, we also have members who serve larger regions and specific identity-based communities across geographies. LION provides teaching, resources and community to independent news entrepreneurs as they build and develop sustainable businesses.
LION is an Equal Opportunity Employer
LION believes that a team with diversity of backgrounds and experiences will generate the most innovative ideas and ultimately do the best work in support of our mission. This is why we welcome contractors, vendors, staff and board members who contribute to a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. We understand diversity as multi-dimensional and intersectional, encompassing aspects of our identities including race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, class, geography, lived experiences and more. We welcome and encourage all qualified candidates to apply to opportunities at LION so that we build a team that reflects the diversity of independent news entrepreneurs we wish to serve.
We know there are great candidates who might not check all the boxes listed below or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.
Time commitment and important dates
The program runs the week of September 4 through the week of October 30, 2023. The onboarding process for the coaches will begin during the week of August 21.
Coaches will be paid a flat fee of $9,400 for the project, which consists of roughly 50 hours of coaching and administrative work. Half will be paid upon signing the contract and the other half will be paid upon completion of the final deliverable.
Submit your materials using this form by 11 p.m. Eastern time on June 30. You will be asked to provide:
- Your resume
- Any online links that show your work (a Twitter profile, a portfolio page, a LinkedIn profile, etc.)
- Answers to the following questions:
- Based on your experience, what do you think are the biggest challenges for independent news businesses related to revenue growth?
- How would you describe your coaching style? Can you tell us about a time when you put your coaching style into practice? What was the specific situation and what was the outcome?
- Please rank your comfort level coaching around the following tracks, from most comfortable to least comfortable:
- Understanding your finances to plan strategically
- Hiring, supporting, managing and retaining members of your team in a revenue role
- Growing or leveling up an existing revenue stream
- Can you describe your experience coaching in the area with the highest rank? Include specific examples highlighting how you have helped organizations or individuals overcome challenges related to that area.
- Please share anything else you’d like us to know about your background, experience or skills that speaks to your ability to do this role.
If you have questions about this role, reach out to LION Senior Manager of Coaching Elaine Diaz ([email protected]) to learn more.
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