Friday, June 29, 2012

Content is the Key to Making More Affiliate Sales

Want to earn passive income with affiliate income? One of the keys to increasing your affiliate click-throughs (and purchases!) is through content. Content provides credibility. It gives your visitors the value and information they are looking for online. Some types of content also help put people in a buying mood. And, of course, content is the key to driving traffic to your website. If you have affiliate links on your resume website, more traffic brings with it the potential for more affiliate sales.

So what type of content works best?

Reviews
Some content puts people in a buying mood. And to be fair, when people seek product information and reviews online, they are already looking to make a purchase. Reviews are one of the most powerful ways to promote affiliate products or service -- simply because they help provide that potential buyer with the information, and the link, to make a purchase.

When writing a review be sure to present an unbiased opinion. A prospect won't trust a review that is all good. Be sure to point out any downsides to the product or service. You can then counter it with a positive statement. Consider reviewing features, prices, and any personal experience you have with the product or service.

Be sure to include a link or two to the product sales page so you can earn your commission.

Free Downloads
The most common type of free downloads are reports and ebooks. You can create these yourself or use Pass-Along Materials. Reports and ebooks offer a tremendous amount of value to the reader because they offer more information and benefit than a simple article.

When relevant, you can include affiliate links in your ebook or report. You can also include them again in an appendix dedicated to resources. However, make sure to not go overboard with the affiliate links. Use them only when relevant and appropriate.

In addition to reports and ebooks, consider giving away other downloads. For example, printable checklists or calendars, useful resource lists, blueprints and other easy to use and informative resources.

Email Marketing
Hopefully, you are collecting email addresses and building an opt-in mailing list. This list may be your single biggest commission-generating resource. Each person that signs up for your list is a qualified prospect. They are interested in the information you have and the products and services you represent.

If you don't have a growing opt-in list, spend some time creating your opt-in strategy. This often includes a giveaway with the sign-up. (Once again, you can use Pass-Along Materials for this purpose.) Once you're collecting email addresses, don't wait for a magic number -- even if you only have 15 or 20 people on your list. Start sending them informative messages right away. You can include an occasional affiliate link, or two, when relevant to the information you are presenting.

Test and track the methods that generate the most affiliate sales, and focus on building and growing those tactics. Affiliate marketing commissions will almost certainly increase as you provide more content.

If you want to learn more about how to earn passive income using affiliate marketing, check out the recording and transcript of "Building Affiliate Relationships to Grow Your Resume Business." (Just $5.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Teleseminar Basics for Resume Writers

As I mentioned in this month's call, "Teleseminars on Teleseminars: How Resume Writers Can Use Teleseminars for Promotion and Profit" these types of calls are a great way to build trust with an audience, make sales, and facilitate two-way communication.

Before launching your first teleseminar, you need to make sure you're prepared from both a presentation perspective and a technical perspective. Here's a brief checklist to help you do that.

Make Sure Your Line Can Handle the Volume

If you have over 100 guests, make sure you check your teleseminar provider to see if your line can handle the volume. The kinds of providers you need for a teleseminar with 100 people, 1,000 people and 10,000 people are very different services with different technical requirements.

Prepare the First 60 Seconds
The first 60 seconds of the teleseminar is the most important! This is when people will decide either to leave the teleseminar or to stay on. In the first 60 seconds, clearly spell out what's going to be covered and what they'll get by listening to the call. Practice your first 60 seconds several times before the call.

Invitation & Follow-Up Schedule
At a bare minimum, every teleseminar should have one invitation and one follow-up email before the actual call. You will want to carefully plan out your sales process around the call and you use several emails to "sell" prospective attendees on coming onto the teleseminar.

Make sure to plan out the whole process before you start promoting the teleseminar.

Get Familiar with the Technology
Whether you are doing a teleseminar or webinar, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the technology before you do a live call. This is especially important with webinar software, because it can be tricky. Try running a test seminar with just yourself and a test computer beforehand. Learn how to switch between screencasts and presentation tools. Learn how to mute and unmute visitors and how to take questions. You don't want to be trying to figure these things out while on a live call.

Test Your Recording Devices
If you want your call recorded, make sure you test that as well. Most teleseminar services offer recording as part of the service, but I also recommend a second recording as a backup. I use Audio Acrobat to record my teleseminars, because it allows me to provide the recording in numerous formats, including downloadable MP3s as well as streaming audio on my website.

Prep for Most Common Questions
Before the teleseminar begins, try to predict what kind of questions people will ask you. You can do this by going through past emails prospective or current clients have sent you or by browsing related forums on the Internet.

By having an idea of what to expect before going into the seminar, you'll be able to answer questions in a more informative, authoritative way. You'll also be able to research any questions that you might have trouble with.

These are some of the most important things to cover before you launch a teleseminar. Make sure your line can handle the volume, check your recording equipment, test the software, prepare your first 60 seconds, have a solid invitation and follow-up system, and prep your Q&A beforehand.

For more information on using teleseminars to get more clients for your career services business, purchase the "Teleseminar on Teleseminars: How Resume Writers Can Use Teleseminars for Promotion and Profit" -- just $5 for the MP3 and transcript.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Project Management for Resume Writers

Although most resume writers work individually on their work, every once in a while, you get a chance to work collaboratively with other careers industry professionals -- for example, on a book project.

Whenever you kick off a new project, you should do so starting with a "new project meeting." In this meeting you'll lay out the objectives, the methodologies you'll be using, the various roles in the team and last but not least, the ground rules. The ground rules are the operating agreements that keep the project on task as things move forward.

Here are some project management guidelines that can help you make sure you keep your team of careers industry professionals on track.

If Something's Off Course, Let the Group Know
It can be very tempting to try and hide things that aren't going well. It can be especially easy to do so if all the person has to do is not mention it. They're not "lying," they're just neglecting to share something.

This undermines the team. Instead, aim to create a culture where people honestly share mistakes without blame. People should feel comfortable bringing up problems and resolving them as a group.

One Person Per Task
Every task or project should be owned by one person. That person is ultimately responsible for that task being done on time.

This person is free to bring in outside help to help get things done on time. They can even "outsource" aspects of the task to other team members or people outside the team.

However, if mistakes happen or if the task doesn't meet a deadline, that person is still responsible for it.

Ask Before Going Off Course
You should have a game plan for the project as a whole. The game plan should include what IS and what ISN'T included in the project. If someone wants to do something that isn't included in the project, ask first.

This helps prevent time and money from being spent on things that aren't integral to success. Sure, having more things done is great, but make sure they should be done first before spending resources on it.

Have a Clear Chain of Communication
Who is keeping track of the communication? Who manages reporting? Who sets up the meetings? How are disputes handled? Whose permission is necessary to go above budget?

Lines of communication should be clarified before you begin any project.

Setting these ground rules for operating the project before you get started can help you save a lot of time and energy in the long run.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quick Ideas for Resume Writers to Maximize Your Online Profile

I'm a bit of a social media "junkie," and wanted to give you some ideas for maximizing your online presence.

First off, your personal Facebook profile is where you're likely to get most of your initial business. After all, these are your friends and family, and maybe former colleagues, neighbors, etc. (depending on your personal policy about accepting friend requests andyour privacy settings). But sharing job search-related tips on your personal profile (as well as talking about projects you're working on for clients) can be a good way to spark some referrals. (I average a couple referrals a month from my Facebook friends...from my personal profile!)

The next step is to set up your Facebook Business Page for your resume writing business. It can be tricky to get your business page Profile picture and Timeline cover graphic to look just right, but you can find someone to help you on a site like Fiverr.com (and it's just $5). You'll find that it takes time to build your "Likes" to your Business Page (most resume writers average around 75 "likes" for their page -- but there are many with as few as 5 "Likes" and a few with 100+). While "quantity" is your eventual goal, quality is a great way to start. Share tips and ideas, link to interesting articles (don't just post the link -- comment on it!), and share your client success stories (not by NAME specifically unless your client says it's ok -- more like: "Just got a call from Ann K. who received three calls for interviews within 2 days of sending out her new resume. Nice!"

On the subject of getting the most out of your social media presence, there's Twitter. As I remarked to a colleague today: You either love Twitter, or you don't understand it. A lot of people set up Twitter profiles and don't do anything with it. The key with Twitter is: The more you do on Twitter, the more you'll get out of it. I admit, it has kind of a steep learning curve to begin with. There's the whole follower thing (i.e., you can Tweet at anyone with an unprotected Twitter account, but you can only get Direct Messages from someone you're also following) ... there's "Twitter-etiquette" -- like acknowledging retweets (RTs) and mentions (MTs), the phenomenon of #FollowFriday (and the whole explanation of hashtags #) and how/when to use them ... and, of course, how to manage the Twitter stream (as it relates to time management).

The easiest thing to do with Twitter is to set up your Twitter account to interface with your Facebook Business Page (it's quite easy, actually) and have everything you post to your Facebook Business Page automatically post to Twitter. Also, check in for 10-15 minutes a week on Twitter to respond to Tweets and DMs, follow people who are following you, etc. You can also set it so that Twitter automatically posts to your LinkedIn account.

You can learn more about how to use social media for client acquisition in my "Introduction to Social Media for Your Resume Writing Business" special report, available to Bronze members on BeAResumeWriter.com this month (June 2012).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Using Article Marketing as a Client Acquisition Strategy

I was inspired to write today's blog post by a request for help in the LinkedIn "Resume Recipes for Success" forum for careers industry colleagues. Krista wanted to know:
"Has anyone published online? I am almost done with a blog that I think could be an article. Is there a website that anyone recommends?"


You can read my response to Krista's question here.

But I also wanted to share some ideas for other resume writers who are looking to use article marketing or article publishing as a client acquisition strategy.

Content is king! Jobseekers are looking for information to help them navigate a difficult job search. People looking for a job just can't get enough information on various subjects related to their search -- writing resumes and cover letters, salary negotiation, company resource, using social media -- the list goes on and on. Providing this kind of information -- through articles -- is a great way to drive visitors (traffic) to your website.

You can use a keyword suggestion tool like the Google Keyword Tool to see how many searches are done for certain keywords. WIth these keywords are typed into search boxes of search engines like Google and Bing, indexed websites containing those keywords are displayed. And these links can provide traffic to websites ... including your resume writing business website!

Here are some benefits that writing articles can give your resume writing business.

1. It's absolutely free.
All you need is your thoughts, your computer, and your hands. If you have those, nothing will stop you from typing words that will make you complete that article for your website. Sure, it takes your time, but if you're not currently working on a resume project, you should be spending some time on marketing!

2. Your website can be noticed in a short period of time.
Submit that article of yours to article directories that get the most web traffic and in no time your web site will be "crawled" or indexed, because you'll have included your link to your website in your "resource box," the 2-3 lines at the end of the article that tells a little bit about you and your resume writing business.

3. You can obtain backlinks automatically.
When you submit your articles to directories, they can be published by any other website or blog, as long as you are given attribution, including the link to your website (if you provided one -- and you should!). When the article is published on other websites, it exposes it to people who haven't heard about you, and they can click through your your website (these are backlinks, because they "link back" to your site).

4. Improve your reputation.
Sometimes, it can be a challenge to convert resume prospects into clients. You need to increase your "know, like, and trust" factor with jobseekers. And what better way to do that than by writing articles that will teach jobsearchers how you can help them, and how knowledgeable you are.

If you are looking for more information on how to use content marketing to acquire new resume clients, check out the "Using Content to Capture New Career Clients" -- teleseminar recording and transcript. Just $5 from Resume Writers' Digest.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Resume Writing in the Summer Months

© Subbotina Anna - Fotolia.com


Summer is right around the corner and that means summer vacation. Children are home from school. Vacation plans are pending, and resume clients begin to alter their schedules too. Some jobseekers take the summer off from looking for a job. Here are some thoughts on preparing your resume writing business for the summer months.

Step #1:  Take a Look at Your History
What happened last summer? Did sales go up? Did profits decline? Did you have trouble relying on subcontract writers? Did you have way too much free time on your hands? History often repeats itself. If you can document what occurred last year by looking at the data and your analytics, then you may be able to use that information to plan ahead.

Most resume writers report that the summer months are slow for them. After the push of Spring graduations, there's usually a lull until late August. Some of that is due to the resume writer taking some time off, but it's true that many jobseekers (especially those with children) cut back on their job searches during the summer.

Knowing this information, you can plan ahead. You might launch a special offer during the slow months, or use that downtime to take a vacation. You can also use slow periods to build your mailing list, update your website, or create an information product to generate passive income.

Step #2: Schedule Ahead and Automate
If you’re busy during the summer months, then scheduling ahead is extremely important. And there are many things you can do right now so your summer is relaxed and easy. For example, you can write your blog posts now and schedule them for the summer. You can do the same for your email messages and social media communications (using a service like Hootsuite). You don’t have to lift a finger.

Step #3: Get Help
You can also simply schedule downtime. Many solo resume writers simply take a hiatus or time away from their career service business. You can also bring on a subcontract resume writer to help with the workload while you take a break, instead of taking an extended vacation. You run the risk of losing clients if you’re gone too long.

Summer will be here before you know it. Taking steps now will help you enjoy the warmer months while still growing and managing your resume writing business. It’s smart business and it’ll save you future stress and anxiety.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Use Evernote In Your Resume Writing Business

I was inspired to write today's blog post by a thread on the Career Thought Leaders Consortium LinkedIn Group.

The more I use Evernote, the more I grow to love it. If you're not familiar with Evernote, it's a system that enables users to capture information and store it in one place. I use Evernote on my laptop and on my iPhone, and when I enter information in the app on one device, it syncs and is available on *all* my devices. (There is also an Evernote website that you can sign into, so you can access your information anywhere you have a web connection, too.)

According to the developers, “Our goal at Evernote is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find.”

You can capture web pages, photos, handwritten notes, old resumes – just about anything you can imagine, you can collect in Evernote. 

One thing I use Evernote for is content planning. When I'm putting together information for future blog posts, public speaking opportunities, teleseminars, special reports, and Pass-Along Materials, I start an Evernote "Note" for each project. 

You can also use Evernote to create a monthly content plan for marketing your resume writing business. A content plan is an organized list of the articles, blog posts, newsletters, emails and other business content you’re going to publish each month. It includes keywords, publication date, purpose/goal, and audience information.  You can do an Evernote "note" for each month.

Using Evernote
Evernote allows you to create Notebooks and to tag each note with searchable keywords. This makes content planning, creation, and research extremely efficient. With Evernote you can:

  • Store content ideas – blog posts and headlines that you read online can be stored. You can also take notes on each idea and store them with the link. For example, maybe you’re planning a series of blog posts on using LinkedIn in your job search. You might add various articles and tips to your notepad labeled “LinkedIn blog content” or “July 2012 blog post content.” You can also add your notes to each article.
  • Store keyword research – you can also add your keyword research to each month’s content plan. All your relevant ideas and keywords in one key location.
  • Content – have you ever been out and about and had an idea for a blog post or article? You sit right down, grab your notebook or smartphone, and start writing. Then what? With Evernote you can add it to your content file and you’re good to go. 
  • Content research – in addition to content ideas, you can store your content research, including sources and references in the same location you store your content. It makes it very easy to find everything you need. When I'm researching a new topic, I copy-and-paste links to articles I'm using as research, screen shots, PDFs, and my own notes and thoughts.

Evernote also lets you store images. If you’re collecting images for your blog posts, then you can keep them in the same folder with your content. (I recommend Fotolia for inexpensive graphics to illustrate your blog posts.)

Another unique use of Evernote (not business-related) is to store health notes for family members. I know I'm not the only resume writer who is part of the "sandwich generation" -- taking care of our parents and our kids. I use Evernote to keep track of my dad's doctor's visits, my mother-in-law's cancer treatment, and my aunt's health information. I can take notes on my laptop at doctor visits, and then reference the information anytime on my iPhone. (Note: Evernote does require a password for access, but it is not an encrypted site, so don't include sensitive information like social security numbers, passwords, or insurance information.)

Getting Started on Evernote
Evernote is free. They also offer a premium version that allows users to add others to their account. It also provides more storage space, the ability to use your info offline and many other beneficial features. It’s just $45 a year or $5/month. If you struggle to consistently plan your content or you haven’t found a good organization system, consider Evernote. It also works on mobile devices so you can always have it with you.

I'm just starting to use Evernote Hello ... I may blog about it later. If you're using Evernote, I'd love to know how you're using it in your resume writing business! Leave a comment below!

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