Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Do You Have a Kindle? Use It To Learn

If you have a Kindle, have you heard about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)?

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, one of the benefits of membership is that you can take advantage of the KOLL – allowing you to borrow one book a month from over 500,000 available titles.

Better than a public library because of the sheer volume of books available, you can use the KOLL to learn. Study resume writing techniques, borrow business books, read biographies of successful business owners.

Not an Amazon Prime member? Try the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for free as part of a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Use my affiliate link to give it a try:

Leave me a comment below and let me know what book you borrowed first through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Resume Writers: Get Ready for the Biggest Corporate Layoff in U.S. History

I've seen this reported over the last few days from numerous sources -- IBM is poised for the biggest layoffs in company history. In fact, some are saying this will be a record-setting layoff among all U.S. corporations. IBM is expected to lay off more than 110,000 employees (or about 1/4 of its workforce):

While many of these folks will be directed to company-paid outplacement firms, others will no doubt be seeking out the services of professional resume writers. (And, as the article surmises, even those who aren't laid off are likely to update their resumes and LinkedIn profiles in case this round isn't the last.) These aren't just IT professionals -- there will be folks in administration, marketing, operations, customer service, and finance too.

You may be contacted by media in your area looking to "localize" this issue, especially if there are IBM offices in nearby. (Google "IBM" and your city name and see if there is an office in your area. We have one in Omaha, for example.)

OR, if you are looking to generate media coverage for your resume writing services, today would be a great day to reach out to your nearby news media (especially TV) and offer yourself as a source to interview about what to do when you're laid off.

For example, you could call one of your local TV stations and ask for the assignment editor. Ask if they are planning on doing a local story on the impact of IBM's layoffs, expected to be the largest corporate layoff in U.S. history. Introduce yourself: "I'm (name), of (company name). I am reaching out to you to offer information and resources to help those among your (viewers/readers) who will be laid off, and their families. I can share information and advice that will help these folks, and it's applicable to any of your audience who have recently been laid off or fired."

If you are interested in reaching out to the media, I'm offering my teleseminar recording and transcript of "Feed the Media: How to Get Free Publicity for Your Resume Business" for free download until Feb. 1, 2015. It will help you prepare to be a media source. Click here to download it.

Want some resources to help clients if they are fired or laid off? Check out this Pass-Along Materials package: So You Got Fired! (Or You Think You're About to Get Fired)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Should I Discount My Resume Services?

There's been a lot of discussion recently about offering discounts for resume writers  -- especially for friends and family. But discounts might not be the best way to convert a prospect into a client.

Prospects who ask for discounts may be more likely to turn into PITA (Pain-in-the-A$$) clients. But even if they don't ask for discounts, sometimes resume writers may feel pressured to offer a discount to get the client to sign on.

I have a better idea.

Creating a sense of urgency — buy now! — is the single most important factor in turning résumé prospects into résumé clients. Ask any résumé writer: It’s critical to get a client to commit on the first call. The longer they wait, the slimmer your chance of getting them to open their wallet.

But you don't have to offer them for a discount to get them to sign on.

Here's a strategy I share in my special report, "Turning Browsers Into Buyers":

1. Offer Time-Sensitive Bonuses
How to use a low-cost, high-value bonus to clinch the sale.

Just offering a bonus is a great way to incentivize people to buy what you’re selling. But when you make the bonus time-sensitive, you increase the urgency. And that means increased sales!

Think about the infomercials you see on television. Many of them offer a “gift with purchase” — something extra when you make your purchase. Simply offering a special bonus — and it doesn’t have to be anything expensive — can increase your conversions. But when you combine that bonus with a deadline, you make this strategy even more powerful. That’s because a sense of urgency can help get people to commit.

This does not have to be a high-pressure sales tactic.

·       “I’m offering a special bonus for new clients who decide to take action today. If you order the Deluxe Résumé and Cover Letter package, I’ll also enroll you in our ‘30 Days to Your Next Job’ Challenge, which is a $49 value, for free.”
·       Order your Résumé Rewrite package in the next 48 hours, and you’ll get a free 8-day “Leveraging LinkedIn In Your Job Search” training — a $49 value.
·       Buy the “Six Steps to a $6,000 Raise” and you’ll get a free 15-minute salary negotiation strategy session — but hurry, this special offer ends tomorrow!

You can also use this tactic for products and services you sell on your website. For example, “If you purchase a one-hour job interview coaching session, you’ll receive a free ebook, ‘55 Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer in an Interview,’ — if you reserve your coaching session by May 31.”

Low-cost bonuses can include:
Ebooks or digital special reports
Workbooks or tip sheets
Recordings and/or transcripts of teleseminars you’ve done
15-minute “strategy sessions” when the client makes a high dollar purchase. These can also be lead-ins to your coaching services or coaching packages, giving prospects a “try-before-you-buy” sample of what coaching can do for them.

Most of these are things that won’t take you a lot of time to create — but have a high perceived value for clients. Just offering a bonus can increase your sales — but putting a time limit on it makes it even more powerful.

So next time you're tempted to offer a discount, offer a bonus instead.

You can purchase the "Turning Browsers Into Buyers" special report for $27 here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some People Are Not Cut Out for Self-Employment

I was talking to an acquaintance last week. He's a "stylist" for J. Hilburn, an upscale clothing company that uses the "direct sales" model -- think Pampered Chef, Avon, Tastefully Simple, and Arbonne. His "real job" (he was the one who called it that -- I'd just call it his "day job") is as an insurance agent.

He had the opportunity to set up an exhibit booth at a conference for insurance agents, brokers, and agency managers. There would be 300-400 of these folks at the conference, and most of them wear suits (or anything the opposite of "Casual Friday") at least once a week, if not daily. They would be great prospects for his products.

But here is what he said when I talked to him about participating in the conference:

  • "I would have to take the day off of work to man the booth."
  • "I incur costs for marketing materials, and with that many people, that would be expensive."
  • "I can't afford a booth because I might not make any sales."

When I suggested he could partner up with another J. Hilburn agent to provide a personalized customer service experience -- with limited breaks and 300 people roaming the Exhibit Hall simultaneously, he might not get to talk to very many people, but if he paired up, they could talk to more people. Plus, they could split the cost of the booth, this was his response:
"No, I want them all myself."


This guy is not cut out to be self-employed. He'll have a day job for the rest of his life. (He actually told me that! He said he would never leave the agency he works for. He plans to keep working there until retirement.) 

Resume writers who start their business need to invest -- not just money, but TIME in meeting qualified prospects. When you get the opportunity to get in front of people who need your services, take it! If that means teaming up so that you can meet the needs of your customers, don't be selfish! 

And yes, you need to invest in marketing! Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. (This guy doesn't have to give everyone their own J. Hilburn catalog, but having 1-2 on display is critical, and he can provide catalogs only to people who agree to be measured -- so he can enter them as a customer in the  J. Hilburn app, or those who are otherwise identified as serious prospects.)

If you're so tied to your day job that you're not willing to make some sacrifices to be your own boss, you're probably not cut out for self-employment. And that's fine, but don't be confused about it. Owning your own resume writing business requires a leap of faith.

“Whenever you see a successful business, 
someone once made a courageous decision.”
– Peter F. Drucker


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