Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What's Wrong With Your Business? It Could Be Your Mindset

Every entrepreneur needs the right kind of mindset to grow their business. From how much you earn -- to how great your customer service is -- your mindset supports and guides almost every part of your business.


This is especially true for resume writers, since we're working with jobseekers who often have "mindset issues" of their own.

To check into how your business may be influenced by your mindset right now, ask yourself these questions.

Does Your Mindset Lead From Confidence?
When you’re about to take on a new resume client or start a LinkedIn project, what do you normally think? Are you already planning for worst case scenario with thoughts like, “Her job history has some real issues. I don't know that I can write this resume in such a way to get a hiring manager to call her in for interviews."

If that sounds like your normal thought process, you have a mindset lacking in confidence. What if you could change your thoughts? Flip it around, decide to be positive, “This client has a story that hasn't yet been told. I'm going to create an interview-winning resume for her that is going to surprise hiring managers."

It’s easy to say "be positive," isn’t it? It’s much more complex to start doing it.

Does Your Mindset Support Pushing The Limits?
A big part of growing your resume writing business is regularly stretching. When the opportunity to challenge your limits and do something outside of your comfort zone comes, do you say things like, “I can’t do live video streaming. I don’t have the personality for it." Or "I’d love to host a webinar on this topic, but I’m not techy enough.”

It’s true that you don’t have to participate in every new business trend that pops up. But if you let your doubts keep you from doing anything challenging, you’re going to miss out on the fun of discovering something new.

What if instead of listing all the reasons you can’t do something new, you said things like, “I’ll try video streaming three times. After the third video, I’ll evaluate my interest." Or "I’d love to host a webinar -- and since I don’t have enough technical expertise, I’ll hire a virtual assistant to support me.”

Does Your Mindset Demand Work You Love?
You may not realize it but your mindset plays a big role in the projects you accept and the clients you work with. When you see projects from your clients, what are your first thoughts? Do you feel disappointed and think, "Ugh. I wish I had quoted this client a higher price. This project is going to be a pain. I'll end up making minimum wage with the amount of time I'm going to spend on this sucker."

It’s true that sometimes, service providers take on projects and clients because they need the money. But if you dread seeing certain clients’ names in your inbox, this is no way to make a living.

Deep down, your heart longs to do work in support of projects you’re excited about. Imagine seeing a new project come in from a client and thinking, “Oh, wow. I can’t wait to get started on this! I love this type of project. It really lets me show off my skills.”

Does Your Mindset Overcome Obstacles?
An obstacle can either be the worst thing that ever happened to your business -- or it can be the best thing that ever happened to your business. It depends on your mindset. When you encounter an obstacle, you may think, “Well, this is it. I’ve gone as far as I can go. I’ll never be able to overcome this problem. I guess, it wasn’t meant to be.”

But that kind of thinking comes from a "I’m a victim to circumstances" mindset that obstacles cannot be defeated. The mindset to cultivate instead is "I’m an overcomer!" It allows you to acknowledge obstacles while knowing that they can be beaten. You might think, “This setback may slow me down, but I’ll find a way around it and come back stronger than ever.”

What Successful Business Owners Know About Mindset
Successful resume business owners know that mindset is the key to unlocking their potential and earning more than they ever thought possible. Most importantly, they know they can mold and shape their mindset.

As you improve your way of thinking, you’ll make subtle adjustments in your life and business. You’ll have the confidence to say “no” to clients and projects that aren’t a good fit -- and embrace the ones that are. You’ll make decisions that are in line with who you want to be and what you want your brand to represent. You’ll become the best version of yourself.

Watch for more blog posts about improving your mindset.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Why Should a Client Book With You TODAY?

Every year, I conduct a survey about career industry professionals — the Resume Writers’ Digest Annual Industry Survey — and the results are pretty consistent year after year that the average resume writer works on anywhere between three and five resumes per week and at an average fee of about $500 for a resume and cover letter package together.

So if you’re able to serve one more client each week and you’re in that average range for resume writers who respond to the survey, you’re looking at an extra $2,000 a month or almost $25,000 a year if you can bring in at least one more new client each week.

Over the next couple of days, I'm going to share with you some strategies to help you do exactly that. Most of the strategies that I'll share aren’t going to cost you anything, so you can get a tremendous bang for your buck if you implement one or more of these in your resume writing or coaching business.

The takeaway for this one is how to use a low-cost, high-value bonus to clinch the sale. 

Think about the infomercials that you see on TV. A lot of them offer a gift with purchase — something that you get extra when you make that purchase. So simply offering a special bonus — and it doesn’t have to be anything expensive that you’re giving them — but simply offering something in addition to what you’re selling them — can increase your conversions.

And when you combine that bonus with a deadline, you’re making the strategy even more powerful, and that’s because, like I said, a sense of urgency can help get people to make that commitment. I mentioned infomercials, but this does not have to be a high-pressure sales tactic. I don’t want you to sound like that guy on the infomercials that says, “Call right now. If you’re one of the first 10 callers you’re going to get a second slice/dice/blender sort of thing.” So it doesn’t have to be a high-pressure sales tactic.

Instead, you could say something to your prospect like, “I’m offering a special bonus for new clients who decide to take action today. So if you order my deluxe resume and cover letter package, I’ll also enroll you in our eight-day ‘Leveraging LinkedIn In Your Job Search’ online training program, which normally sells for $49 itself, but I’m going to offer it to you for free if you take action and book with me today.”

It engages the prospect's sense of FOMO -- "FEAR OF MISSING OUT." Let them know that this is a fast-action taker bonus -- it's only available if they book their appointment today.

You can also use this tactic for products and services that you sell on your website. This can be a box or a blurb or maybe even a pop-up that you put on your actual website.

For example, it could say, “If you purchase a one-hour job interview coaching session, you’re going to receive a free e-book: '55 Ways To Answer Job Interview Questions,'” for example. “If you reserve your coaching session by,” — again, a specific date. So it might be, “If you reserve your first coaching date by Nov. 30, then you’ll get this free e-book.”

So, some examples of these types of low-cost bonuses might include an e-book or a digital special report, or a checklist; it could be a workbook, or maybe a tip sheet that you prepare for them; it can be recordings and/or transcripts of teleseminars that you’ve done — and those are tremendous, high-value, low-cost bonuses for you to offer; or it might be a strategy session. So if a client makes a high-dollar purchase — like a resume and cover letter package — you might offer them, let’s say, a 15-minute strategy session for coaching services or a LinkedIn consultation. And this helps not only give that bonus that we talked about, but it can also give prospects that “try before you buy” sample of what it would be like to work with you on, for example, your coaching services or to write their LinkedIn profile.

Many of these things are tools that are definitely easy for us to put together as resume writers -- and won't take a lot of time to create -- but they have high perceived value for jobseekers because they don’t have that information at their fingertips. We sometimes undervalue what we have to offer when it comes to information.

And again, it’s one of those things that you can create once and then use over and over again, not just with those prospective clients but with your existing clients too. Like I said, just offering a bonus of some sort can help increase your sales. But again, that extra kicker for it is putting a time limit on it, so it makes it even more powerful. So that’s strategy number one. 

Interested in this strategy? Want to learn more? Check this out. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Is Subcontracting Right For You?

One of the biggest issues for new resume writers is the "feast or famine" nature of the work. As you're working to get your own clients, you may consider working as a subcontract writer for another resume writer or a resume writing service (often referred to as the "contracting writer" or "contracting firm."

How do you know whether subcontracting is right for you? Here's some things to consider:

  • Are you self-motivated? You need to be the type of person who can get work done when it needs to be done. If you've been assigned a project and a deadline, it's up to you to decide when, where, and how to get it done.
  • How are you at managing your time? You'll need to estimate accurately how long any one resume will take you to write you -- and be able to do this with multiple clients. How will you handle things if you get your OWN resume client while you have three subcontract projects to write? Deadline management is critical as a subcontractor.
  • Can you work with different personalities? Whether you're a subcontract resume writer or not, you're not working with just one individual at a time. However, it's important that you get along well with your contracting writer (or your contact at the contracting firm). 
  • Do you have your own tools? I'm not talking about hammers and nails. You'll need a computer, Internet connection, and software (Microsoft Word). As a subcontract writer, you're responsible for supplying your own tools.
  • Can you pay your own benefits? Speaking of providing your own stuff, unless you're subcontracting on the side while you're still employed, you'll have to furnish your own benefits -- including health insurance. Of course, if you're already a self-employed resume writer, you knew this. (And you've been setting aside money for your quarterly estimated taxes too, I hope!)
  • Are you good with money? If you're not good at budgeting, being a subcontract writer might be difficult. For example, you may write 8 resumes this month for one contracting writer and receive a $1200 check. Should you spend all $1200 this month because you earned it this month? No. You should save some for taxes, savings, and for the slower months.
  • There's still feast or famine moments. Payment doesn't always come on time, like it does with a job. Even your contract writer may have slow times, so that makes it harder to budetyour money. If you can budget through the hard times and ride the wave, you'll make it as a subcontract resume writer.

Hopefully, this has given you some things to think about when it comes to becoming a subcontract writer. There's lots of other things to consider too, of course, like how to find a contracting writer or contract firm to work with.

I've got a resource that will help you with that too. Check out the"Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report and directory of contracting writers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Newsjacking the Presidential Election

In our "Feed the Media" series, Sean and I talked about newsjacking:

The term was coined by author David Meerman Scott.

Today, Adam Zajac of Vocamotive Inc., published a great example of how to newsjack the presidential election coverage -- tying his resume writing services into a current event.

He published "What To Do When Your Resume Needs a Little Work" on Buzzfeed. It features fictionalized resumes for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Here's the one he wrote for Donald Trump:

© Copyright 2016, Adam Zajac, Vocamotive, Inc.

Here's the one he wrote for Hillary Clinton:

© Copyright 2016, Adam Zajac, Vocamotive, Inc.

He presented both samples as "WHAT NOT TO DO" -- which I think is smart, although I would have gone a step beyond the content and provided some editorial guidance that relates to WHY those are "don'ts" on the resumes -- for example, the dates on the education section, the lack of strong accomplishments, and the presence of the candidate's photos on the resumes.

What makes this article work:

  • He doesn't pick a side. He's equally hard on both candidates in the content of the resumes. This wouldn't work if he did it only to satirize Donald Trump, or if he only did Hillary Clinton's resume. In that case, you're only appealing to half your audience, AND you run the risk of alienating potential customers.
  • He picked the right time. The right time to newsjack is when the topic is at the top of everyone's mind. You don't float a story about lying on resumes unless there's a story in the news already about someone who lied on their resume. In the same vein, this close to the election is the perfect time to satirize the candidates' qualification.
  • It's funny. If you read the resumes, they're pretty spot-on in terms of their parody. He did his research and has the facts right (educational credentials) while making fun of some of their more controversial "qualifications."

The version of the article that is currently up on Buzzfeed is Adam's second attempt. Buzzfeed has a "user-submitted" section, and he originally published a version that included a flier that gave soon-to-be unemployed politicians a discount on their resume services. I thought this was brilliant (and could be the subject of its own article after the election), but you have to remember that the first part of "newsjacking" is news. It's self-promotional without being overly self-focused. You can still promote yourself as a resume writer (and draw attention to yourself/your resume writing business) but without directly selling your services. He had to remove the flier promoting his services in order for the article to be re-published.

Take note: This same concept could be used to create a parody resume for fictional characters, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

Or, remember, you can newsjack almost any employment-related topic. For more information about David Meerman Scott, check out the fifth edition of his book, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly."

David Meerman Scott also teaches a course on Newsjacking.


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