Friday, October 4, 2019

Resume Writers: 7 Reasons to Feed the Media



I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The media is hungry for career-related content to share with their readers, viewers, and listeners. Feed them!

The benefits of public relations can be immense. My bachelor’s degree is in public relations, and I know how powerful PR can be for you individually and for the careers industry as a whole.

Here’s seven reasons why you should feed the media:

1. Credibility

Getting a favorable mention of your business in the media holds far more value than a paid advertisement, because it has more credibility with the public.

Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising poll showed that “earned” media sources — including word of mouth, customer testimonials or editorial content such as newspaper editorials and articles, are more trusted than “branded/owned” vehicles such as ads.

Press releases, media appearances, and other publicity-generating PR events help fuel editorial coverage and shape public opinion.

2. Control

Providing your story to the media means you have more control over the message. Ideally, a media outlet will run your press release verbatim, but even if you can’t control a reporter’s final version of the story, you have more influence when their starting point is your press release. Choosing the right outlet for your message is important — choose media outlets that reach your target client. There are so many possible venues: newspapers, radio programs, podcasts, magazines, newsletters, blogs, etc. — pick the ones that your ideal client is paying attention to.

3. Crisis Management

A good PR plan isn’t just about generating positive news coverage involving your company. It’s also about avoiding and being prepared to handle bad publicity.

Being ready with a plan before disaster strikes can save valuable time and face in the event of a crisis.

Whether it’s a credit card breach leaking customers’ sensitive information or a scandal affecting the careers industry (bad actors in the recruiting world, resume writing firms falsely claiming “Top 10” status to the detriment of the rest of us, etc.), your public relations strategy can help position a small business for the best possible outcome in a bad situation. While rare, preparation is the best defense.

4. Exposure

People have many sources competing for their attention these days. Public relations offer another way to reach them — another channel to build awareness and create a positive image. It can be leveraged and also supplement your other marketing efforts. Again, media mentions can significantly improve your “know, like, and trust” ratio with prospects, making your website and other marketing efforts much more effective.

5. Staying Power

In the digital age, news stories no longer have a shelf life. Their visibility on search engines doesn’t decline as time passes; instead, articles continue to gain exposure over time as they are linked by other sources, whether in a newer article, a blog post, a Yelp review, or elsewhere.

There’s an article out there from the early 2000s that I’m quoted in that I still see surface occasionally. It’s almost 15 years old and it’s still getting traction!


And here’s a magazine profile of me from 2017 (see page 27) that’s still generating client prospects!

6. SEO Benefits

Making sure positive stories are told (both in earned and owned media, and across social media networks) and that your messaging is consistent, and your content timely and relevant, will keep your organization higher up in search engine rankings, bringing more customers to you and driving more growth for your resume writing business.

7. Value

Because small businesses might not have access to the financial resources and large advertising budgets that big companies do, PR offers more bang for your buck. Establishing the right public image and communicating it via the news media is a cost-effective route to raising awareness and improving the perception of your business.

Editorial coverage in particular can come at no cost to you, and it can greatly enhance and supplement the marketing you’re doing elsewhere.

Bill Gates famously said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” Gates understood the value of a good PR strategy, which is that it offers a cost-effective means to increase your long-term profit.

Want to learn more about HOW to feed the media?


or check out our 4-part training on the topic: Feed the Media: Webinar Series for Resume Writers and Career Coaches









Wednesday, October 2, 2019

One Resume Writer’s Journey: Retiring One Day at a Time (Guest Post)




This guest post was submitted by an anonymous career industry colleague who is retiring on her own terms. It is part of a new occasional series about how resume writers can successfully transition out of their businesses. 

I started retiring three years ago when I turned 62. I decided to retire “a little at a time” because I watched the difficult transition experienced by several friends and family members who retired suddenly. However, I know others who set a retirement date and followed through happily. One friend said he knew the day he would retire on his first day of work. He despised his job for 30 years, retired early, and never looked back.

I have had jobs I felt that way about, but writing resumes and coaching clients isn’t one of them. I still love what I do. I still help my clients succeed, so I am not in a big hurry to leave. In fact, loving my work is one piece prompting this slow-motion retirement. I need time to let go.

The second piece is energy. I realize I have less than I used to. Before this year, I have rarely needed to plan activities around energy reserves. That is starting now, and that means I need to pay closer attention to priorities. My husband and I want to travel more, and I’ve worked on the road enough to know it’s not that much fun.

Another is focus. Although I have always relied on a calendar to organize my time, I find myself leaning more heavily on it to remember important information. My notes are becoming more detailed because I need more help remembering them. I don't want that change to ever affect a client’s project.

Finally, there is motivation. I am getting ready to be done with work. I feel less like taking on big projects. I feel less like doing sales calls. I still enjoy writing, but I feel like doing it less often. These are marked changes, and I need to attend to them.

I took Social Security at 62, mainly because my husband is 10 years older than I am, and we anticipate that I will receive his larger benefit upon his death, which, for the sake of planning, we assume will be earlier than mine.

Receiving Social Security allowed me to make less each month, which ironically didn’t happen until this year. I had two of my best years and then a really sparse one. It did give me was more time right away. I quit all marketing efforts except reposting articles by colleagues on LinkedIn. My rationale was that if I stopped marketing, business would gradually decline, and that was my goal.

As a result, I gained about a day a week. Instead of sliding client work into that space, I added other things to my life. I got a puppy who needs daily walking, training, and playtime. My husband and I are traveling to visit our children, grandchildren, and friends more often.

This year, I will receive Medicare, which will take much of the health insurance expenditure out of the picture. When this happens, I plan to work even less. I am not sure yet what that looks like. It may mean I no longer coach clients, so that my projects are shorter in duration. It may mean that I keep coaching but take on fewer clients. It may mean that I work the same amount of time I do now during “regular” weeks and take longer stretches of time off for travel. In any of those scenarios, it will likely mean that I refer out more prospects who aren’t an ideal fit.

In this stage, I am letting the process guide me. I am paying more attention to what I want to do or what I want to avoid. I no longer have to power through to pay the bills. But that is a new experience for me, and I don't know how I will feel about it. So, instead of following my usual path of planning the heck out of anything I need to do, I am letting it be, watching the volume and schedule of work, trying one thing and then another and seeing what happens.

I think the best approach will become clear, and if it doesn’t, I can always set that retirement date.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Resume Writers: Five Ways to Avoid Burnout


Burnout is a very real thing. I’ve talked to several resume writers over the past few weeks who are struggling with being overwhelmed. 

It can happen slowly.

You procrastinate about starting projects. You suffer from writer’s block when it’s time to write the resume or LinkedIn profile. You don’t look forward to following up with prospects who have inquired about your services.

There are easy-to-miss signs that start slowly and snowball until you question if you still want to continue to be a resume writer.

No one is immune to this dilemma, but there are ways you can prevent it from happening.
Interview prospects carefully. The interview process is crucial for weeding out high-maintenance clients and to eliminate those who don’t want to do the work. I like to call them vampire clients: they suck the energy right out of you with their constant complaints, excuses, and questions. One particular type of client who can burn you out is one who won’t follow through. Or they can’t provide you with any tangible information to use to actually write the resume. 

Trying to get a handle on this type of client in an interview process allows you to reject their business up front or to express your boundaries and expectations right away, allowing them to decide if working with you is the right decision for them. One source for helping you ask the right questions whien interviewing prospects is “First Call Questions: Questions for Resume Writers to Ask Prospective Clients."

Another source of burnout is trying to wear too many hats.

Automate, delegate, or eliminate time-consuming tasks. Running your own business alone is time consuming and stressful. Not only are you writing resumes, but you’re in charge of your billing, your social media marketing, your real life networking events, and (hopefully) creating information products that can provide you with passive income. This isn’t even a full list of all the background tasks you probably do! 

Taking some of these tasks off your daily to do list will free up time and eliminate some stress. For example, allow your clients to schedule their calls online with an online scheduling program. If you have the budget to do so, hire a virtual assistant and/or a bookkeeper. A virtual assistant can also help you streamline your processes so you might be able to combine or eliminate some tasks that are unnecessary.  

Another area to automate is your interactions with prospects and clients. Check out “Three Systems for Six-Figure Success in Your Resume Writing Business" for ideas on this.

Plan your days. Use time blocking or the Pomodoro method to focus on your projects during each day. At the end of each day, create a list for the following day. Write in a journal about any negative events that happened and how you can handle these situations better in the future. Knowing exactly what you have to do the following day allows you to leave work in the office (even if it’s just closing the door of your home office) and enjoy the evening with your family and friends.

One of the biggest sources of burnout is feeling like you’re not being appropriately compensated for your work. Calculate your prices carefully. When you pull random numbers out of thin air because they “sound good to you,” chances are you’re underpricing your time and devaluing your services. And if you happen to let one of those energy vampires slip through onto your client calendar, you’ll quickly start to resent them because they underpaid and you’ll feel like you’re losing money every time you talk to them.  Check out the Pricing Bundle for resources to make sure you’re charging the right prices for your business.

Take care of yourself. Self-care is very important when running a business because if you’re out sick, there’s no one else to take over. A simple thing like going to bed an hour earlier can help you wake up feeling refreshed. Unplug from electronics two hours before bed to allow your brain to slow down. Daily exercise and water intake is also important to flush out any germs and to keep your body healthy and flexible.

Burnout doesn’t have to be inevitable. Get proactive by following these steps and learn how to relax and enjoy the special moments in life.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Get Clients Bootcamp: Where Are You Now?



Next week, I’m offering a Get Clients Bootcamp for Bronze members of BeAResumeWriter.com. One of the exercises I’m giving as homework is to figure out “Where Are You Now?”

One of the best ways to get more clients is to figure out what’s working and do more of that. You have to figure out where you are on the map before you can plot a route to where you want to go.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? The problem is that you first have to know exactly what’s working and what isn’t. The best way to do that is track! From there you look at your data and make a plan for what you should and shouldn’t be doing going forward.

Your first step will be to decide what you want to track. A good place to start is to look at how you currently are attracting clients, your income and expenses, what services (and products, if you have them) that are contributing revenue, and of course where you spend most of your time. 

Exercise One:
How do you get your clients currently? Go back and review your records from the last month. (You should be asking clients how they found you. If you’re not doing that, start now!) Make a list or chart of how those clients found you. If you have the time, go back and look at the last 6-12 months of clients and collect that data.

Exercise Two:
How much money are you making currently? Look at your current year financial data. Here’s the metrics we want to know:
• How much do you make per client (on average)
• How much revenue are you bringing in each month (on average, and a total for each month)
• How much income have you brought in so far this year?

Exercise Three:
Which of your services or products are selling? Are you primarily selling resumes and cover letters? Resumes and LinkedIn profiles? Interview coaching? Salary negotiation coaching? How about products — do you sell ebooks? Online training? Do you receive affiliate commission payments?

Exercise Four:
Next you want to look at expenses. What “fixed” expenses do you have per month or per year (for example, website hosting or email list software)? Do you pay for your own health insurance? 

What “variable” expenses do you have? For example, your estimated quarterly taxes vary with the income you earn. You may work with a resume proofreader/editor who charges you based on the number of projects you send her way. 

Exercise Five:
Last but not least, look at the amount of time you’re spending to generate your income. If you’re not already tracking your time, you should be. In particular, you want to track the amount of time you‘re spending on each client project, in order to make sure you’re pricing your services appropriately.

With this information, it will be easier to decide what you should be doing more off, what you should be doing less off, and what you should stop doing. Focus most of your time and energy on the most profitable products and income sources. 

We want to do more of what’s working, and less of what isn’t!