Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Different Kind of PITA Client

In response to yesterday's blog post about "8 Warning Signs of Difficult Clients," I got this question from a fellow resume writer:

I have one more type of resume client that is a PITA: the one that seemingly responds to your questions but, upon careful reading, has actually provided only the most general information –- no data, no quantifiable results. I am working with a nightmare like that right now where everything is “exceeded expectations” and he “helps a lot” or “enjoys helping others.” 

Due to this lack of information and vagueness, I have procrastinated ridiculously on this project. This is not the first client I have run into with this issue, and I’ve talked with others who have encountered exactly the same thing. I just spoke with someone who had a client who left all kinds of things out -- and, when pressed, she kept saying “Well, that was contract work, so it doesn’t count” or “I didn’t think that was important.” (I had another client recently who left off really outstanding information, for the same reason.)

I would love to know more about either:
* How to structure a questionnaire so this won't happen, or
* How to conduct an intake consult so this won't happen (so I will have all of the information I need)

Is a phone intake best? I have avoided it because I do not take notes well any more –- used to, but not now. 

Ideas, Bridget?

MY RESPONSE:

Hi!

You're absolutely correct! And sometimes these turn into the "traditional" PITA clients because you press them for details (which they can't give) and then when they get the resume, they say: "You didn't put any new information into it." (Which you respond in your head with: "What am I, a miracle worker? Mind-reader?).

In this case, I go back to the client (usually via email) and tell them that I need more specific information in terms of ##, %%, or $$. I usually give them 5-7 REALLY specific questions to answer (my full questionnaire can be 15-20 pages, so I understand how that can be overwhelming, so I tell them these are the things I really need help with).

(I usually pull from my "Ask Better Questions, Write Better Resumes" questions) And if not, that idea of open/closed questions that I talk about on the "How to Talk When They Balk" call can help. Sometimes it's asking the question a different way.
If they come back to what without good answers, I just go ahead and write from what I had. (Remembering what Phil Graves of 1-Day Resumes once told me (paraphrasing) -- they come in with a 2 or a 3, and even a resume that is a 7 or 8 is better than that! We can't always give them a 10, especially when they don't give us good information to work with!)

I never (never!) offer to get on the phone with them. They know when they choose to work with me that they're going to be working with me virtually. (I would charge more if I did phone consultations.) In fact, when prospects come to me and want to give their information by phone, I refer them to writers who work that way. (It's one of the ways I avoid what might become one of my PITAs!) My clients know up front that I collect the information via questionnaire and their existing documents.

Hope that helps!

Bridget


Having trouble with challenging, difficult, or controlling clients? Check out my "Dealing With Difficult Clients" bundle -- just $11 through Monday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

8 Warning Signs of Difficult Clients

They're the worst kind of client. The kind that no resume writer wants to work with.



The PITA client. (Pain-In-The-A$$.)

He or she isn't just annoying. He's a menace. He's the type of client who receives the resume and then demands his money back, saying it wasn't what he expected, or that it's not getting results. Or worse, he doesn't even contact you to get his money back -- he just institutes a chargeback, saying he never got the resume, or you didn't deliver what was promised. Most of the time, the credit card company sides with him, leaving your blood boiling.

But how do you recognize a PITA client when they contact you? There are some red flags to watch out for.

Kelly Donovan, CPRW shared a list of "PITA Warning Signs":

  • Asking for a discount or questioning whether the investment is worth it.
  • Saying their project will be "simple"
  • Saying anything that reveals doubt/skepticism about your qualifications
  • Calling/emailing with unusually high frequency
  • Calling before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (unless for a scheduled call)
  • Mentioning they had a problem with another resume writer
  • Asking for a watered-down version of your services with a lower price tag
  • Complaining about any aspect of their experience with you (i.e., your voice mail, how long you took to get back to them, etc.)

Now, not every client who exhibits one or more of these warning signs will turn out to be a PITA client, but it's worth paying attention to if a prospective client does one of these things (or more)! (And note: What may be a PITA client for you might be a lovely client for someone else ... so sometimes it's having the courage and confidence to send them elsewhere!)

One of my most popular bundles helps resume writers deal with PITA clients. The "Dealing With Difficult Clients" bundle includes:

  • "Working with Challenging, Controlling, or Pain-in-the-A$$ clients" -- a special report that tells you what the REAL issue is with PITA clients, case studies of how to resolve issues with PITA clients (if you want to preserve the relationship, and if you don't want to continue working with them), how to recognize "game-playing" clients, and how to protect yourself from PITA clients (including advice from veteran resume writer Louise Kursmark).
  • The recording and transcript from one of my most popular teleseminars -- "How to Talk When They Balk: Communicating With 'Challenging' Clients" -- what to do to make sure unhappy clients don't ruin your reputation, how to turn an unhappy client into a loyal customer, and how to handle problem situations with clients -- no matter how large or small. Also: The THREE questions you must ask clients.
  • Client management forms you can use in your resume writing business, including a Client Agreement Form (long and short version), Client Release Form (when you fire and/or refund a client), Hold Harmless Agreement (if the client wants you to make a change to the resume you don't agree with), Website Privacy Policy, Client Termination Letter (when you need to fire a client), Failed Payment Method (credit card didn't go through? Send this), and Referral Request (send to happy clients to stimulate referrals)

Bill Gates once said, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."

But you have to know what to do when you are faced with one. This bundle will help.

For four days only, you can get the "Dealing With Difficult Clients" bundle for just $11 (more than 70% off -- regularly $39).

You'll receive the Special Report, recording and transcript (including handouts), and the client management forms (Word document) via immediate download. Order here:
Dealing With Difficult Clients Bundle


I hate it when I come across a PITA client -- but these resources have helped me, and I know they'll help you too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why Subcontract?

I've been a professional resume writer since 1996, but in the early 2000s, I decided to supplement my own business marketing with subcontract resume writing. I no longer work as a subcontract resume writer (my own business took off too much for me to continue writing for others), but this is a topic that continues to interest me.

In 2007, my colleague Diana LeGere collaborated with me to write a report on subcontracting, "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor." We just published the fifth edition of the report, and I wanted to address the second biggest question I'm asked by folks considering subcontracting. (I'll do a blog post later about the BIGGEST question, which relates to subcontract writing compensation.)


The second-biggest question 
I get is 
“Why should I subcontract?”

There are a couple of reasons that I give resume writers considering subcontracting.
  • You want to supplement the income you're earning from your own resume writing business. Resume writing can be a "feast-and-famine" business. Subcontracting can help fill in the peaks and valleys, giving you the opportunity to stay busy -- and earn some extra money -- when your phone isn't ringing (or your email isn't pinging).
  • You're getting started in the business and you want additional experience. Especially when you are new in the business, you need to write more to improve your skills -- and to learn which kinds of clients/projects you don't want to work on! (After 20 years in the business, I specialize in sales, marketing, PR and advertising clients primarily and I do not write technology resumes or military-to-civilian or federal resumes. Live and learn!)
  • You are tired of client management hassles. An emerging area of subcontracting is individuals and firms that ONLY subcontract write. Don't like marketing? Just like writing? Subcontracting may be for you! (I can't promise you won't work with any PITA clients, but at least you'll have your contracting writer to help intervene.)
  • You can learn how to manage your own resume writing business better. Individuals who employ subcontract writers have figured out many of the systems and processes involved with client management and business operations. You can get a peek into how they work and adopt these practices in your own business.

If you have questions about subcontracting, I'd like to help answer them! I'm offering a free webinar next week as part of the launch of the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" membership site. You can register for the webinar here or check out the MMRS membership site here.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

3 Key Ways Mindset Affects Your Customer Service

Although you may not realize it, your mindset plays a crucial role in your customer service. It can make the difference between repeat sales and clients that never want to do business with you again. 

Here are three key ways your customer service is affected by your mindset:

1. How you approach customers.
Have you ever checked out a big chain store with a cashier that didn’t talk to you? As a customer, you sensed the cashier was only serving you to make money. It probably didn’t make you feel great.

Contrast that experience with a cashier that pauses to look you in the eye and greet you. She may ask about your day or offer to help you if you didn’t find everything you were looking for. That’s good customer service and it starts with a willingness to serve the customer.

How do you respond to emails? How do you answer the phone? These first interactions with a prospective resume client are important.

2. How you handle conflict.
Customers that feel wronged will talk about their experience to anyone who will listen. Since profits can come down to word-of-mouth referrals, this can seriously damage your business.

If you have a negative mindset, you might be tempted to ignore the customer and hope they go away. But with a positive mindset in place, you’ll listen to what your customer is saying, validate their feelings, then offer a solution that works for both of you. (Yes, I know there are PITA clients in our industry. But many of them want to be heard -- they are anxious about their job search, and that can affect their interactions with us.)

3. How you follow up.
A sale isn't the end of the customer service experience. It's only the beginning. Smart resume writing business owners follow up with their customers after they finish the career documents. They ask if there were any problems with the transaction and double-check that their customers have everything they need. (This can lead to follow-up sales too -- like LinkedIn profile writing services!)

Mindset plays a huge role in how you handle customer service. If you have a positive mindset, your customers are more likely to enjoy their experience with your resume writing services.

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.

STRATEGY ONE: OFFER TIME-SENSITIVE BONUSES
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?

http://bearesumewriter.com/MMRS
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.


Friday, October 21, 2016

When I Read Headlines Like This, It Makes Me Mad

This kind of article makes me MAD. And it got over 78,000 views.

"Move Over Resume, You've Been Replaced."

What makes me SAD is that it's written by a well-respected individual in the careers industry. He's not a resume writer, though -- and, consequently, he has his own agenda.

And that's the problem with a lot of information that jobseekers are reading. It's written by people with an agenda. THAT in itself isn't an issue (EVERYONE has an agenda) ... but the problem is, the people being quoted most often about the job search are NOT resume writers. They're recruiters, they're professors, they work for the big career sites (CareerBuilder, for example), or they're selling something.

And that's fine. But OUR VOICE -- as resume writers -- is not being heard. There are only a handful of people in the careers industry who are speaking up for all of us, as resume writers. They're being quoted in the media about the resume as a tool to land interviews, as a guide for interviewers to uncover the value of the candidate, as a way for jobseekers to discover their worth prior to starting the job search process.

But we're being drowned out by louder voices -- many of them sharing misinformation (about one-page resume limits, the death of the resume, and wacky job search tactics) that are not only WRONG, but they're anecdotes of a job search without a resume. ("I don't need a resume -- I can put a QR code on a cupcake.") The truth is, the vast majority of successful job searches start with a well-written resume. But that story isn't being told.

Our colleague Michelle Aikman brought up this problem a few months ago on the NRWA E-List. Our industry has a "perception problem." We put our heads down and do our work and think that writing great resumes will bring us clients. It does. But we CONSTANTLY have to fight battles with clients about resume length, putting pronouns in the resume, and even PRICING because the information they're getting in the media isn't what WE want them to know. And we're dismissed by university career center personnel, recruiters, and others who we should be able to work with collaboratively, because they don't know what we do, and how we help jobseekers (and can help THEM in the process!).

The "Feed the Media" webinar series I did with my brother Sean is important because it addresses a NEED in our industry. We NEED to do a better job about telling OUR STORY -- how putting together a resume isn't just typing up information. It's about helping clients find THEIR VOICE in their job search. (That's what William was saying in his article, but he threw the resume under the bus in the process.)

The webinar series will teach you how to help tell YOUR story -- and our industry story -- in very practical ways. Even if you don't want to be one of the 10 most-quoted resume writers in the industry, we need you to speak up when you get the chance. Even if it's on a very small scale. It doesn't mean you have to appear on the local morning news (although I'll teach you how to do that, if you want to!). It's about being intentional about shaping the perception of our industry. About sharing information about how the work we're doing is putting people back to work.

What IS public relations? It's defined as "the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person." No one is going to do this for us. We're not physicians, with the American Medical Association helping shape public perception. The vast majority of the professional associations in our industry are either volunteer-led or mostly run by volunteers. If we want to STOP the spread of misinformation, it has to START with us.

If you're tired of reading articles about "the resume is dead," and "you shouldn't pay someone to write your resume for you," check out my "Social Media Strategies" call.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Be a Servant Leader

One of the biggest mistakes new resume writers make is that they do a GREAT job with sharing content, information and resources when they start their business -- but as they get busier, that's the part of their to-do list that gets moved down to the bottom.

Content helps establish you as a thought leader and resource -- a "servant leader" in the careers space. If you don't establish yourself as an authority figure, no one is going to pay attention to you and you'll just be another resume writer that does what everyone else is doing. Originality is key to rising above others in the career services industry.

You have to keep some things in mind when figuring out how to serve your audience best. First, brand yourself in memorable ways. That means creating a name that will pop in your audience's head and stay there, including the headshot or logo that you use on all of your sites and products.

When visitors see that image, they will automatically know it's you. You have to be willing to put yourself out there -- no matter how critical you are of yourself -- your age, your teeth, your size -- no one cares. What they want is information.

Be original. Come up with unique angles to market your resume writing services. It doesn't have to be difficult.

It can be something as simple as sharing your day-to-day life with others so they can better relate to you. And it doesn't have to be extraordinary. I've mentioned this before, but one of the best things you can do as a resume writer is talk about the work you do with clients on Facebook -- WITHOUT using client names (or too much identifying information).

Be knowledgeable. Becoming an authority in the career services space is actually the best way to serve your audience. Make it a point to learn more than the average resume writer in your niche knows and solve problems and find solutions for your audience.

Get deep into your topic. Give yourself a thorough education in it. Read, take courses, pursue certification -- become the leader they need you to be.

Put yourself out there. Social media, blogs, forums and related sites are all good ways to make yourself known. And, make sure you don't just make an arbitrary comment like "me too."

Give advice, value, opinions and insights when you speak and people will listen and remember you. Don't be scared to stand out from the crowd. To blend in is what will make you mediocre.

Publish on Amazon. If you can put together an eBook for Kindle, it will boost your authority tenfold.

Avoid spamming at all cost, but make sure you release content or products on a regular basis. It takes time, planning and lots of research and forethought -- but if you really want to be the best, it will make a ton of difference because the smalltime players get paralyzed and lack consistency.

(Having a hard time coming up with content? Check out my Pass-Along Materials content.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What Does "EVERYTHING" Include?


As you may know, I run a membership site for professional resume writers that provides them with done-for-you content they can use with jobseekers. I offer an "EVERYTHING" membership for new members (or those who may not have been a member since the very beginning). It unlocks the Pass-Along Materials "vault" with more than 50 content packages -- everything your jobseeking clients need to know to help them in their job search. One amazing thing about the EVERYTHING access is that you also get the Pass-Along Materials that aren't available for sale. And, you get access to all the Special Reports too, dating back to 2012.

Here's the full line-up (as of October 2016):
Getting Started With LinkedIn In Your Job Search
Jobseeker's Guide to References
Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation
Jobseeker's Guide to Online Reputation Management
What To Do Next With Your Resume
LinkedIn Resources Bundle
Jobseeker's Guide to Leaving Your Job
How to Give and Get LinkedIn Recommendations
Position Yourself to Get the Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
Brag About It
Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Recruiters
Jobseeker's Guide to Networking Your Way to Your Next Job
Jobseeker's Guide to Virtual Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Understanding Employment Law
So, You Got Fired (Or You Think You're About To Get Fired)
Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Brag Book
LinkedIn Profile Update Delivery Document
Jobseeker's Guide to Getting the Job Offer
Frequently-Asked Questions About Job Offers
Your 2014 Career Roadmap
Jobseeker's Guide to Avoid Getting Ripped Off or Scammed In Your Job Search
How to Answer Six Common Questions Jobseekers Ask Resume Writers
Jobseeker's Guide to Informational Interviews
Jobseeker's Guide to Connecting With a Hiring Manager
Jobseeker's Guide to Creating a 30-60-90 Day Plan
Client Management Forms
Jobseeker's Guide to a Confidential Job Search
What To Do When Your Job Search Isn't Working
What Do Jobseekers Need?
When to Hire a Reference Checking Service
Tweetable Tips
Social Media Audit for Jobseekers
The Social Job Search: Jobseeker's Guide to Developing a Social Media Plan
The Jobseeker's Guide to What To Do After the Job Interview
Jobseeker's Guide to Applicant Tracking Systems
LinkedIn Client Resources Bundle
How to Know When It's Time to Make a Job or Career Change
Developing Your Personal/Professional Development Plan (PDP)
Jobseeker's Guide to a Modern Job Search
Job Search Letters (Letters of Acceptance, Refusal, and Resignation)
Jobseeker's Guide to Cover Letters
Jobseeker's Guide to Comparing Job Offers

PLUS, these Pass-Along Materials content packages that are not available for purchase:
• Job Search Advice: 365+ Ready-to-Go Tweets and Facebook Posts
• The Jobseeker's Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview
• Career Checklists: 100 Tips for Success In Your Job Search
• Resume Critique Form/LinkedIn Critique Form
• Jobseeker's Guide to Working With Your Resume Writer
• Job Search Jump-Start 30-Day Challenge
• Positive Encouragement for Jobseekers -- Tweetable Tips
• Finding a Job During the Holidays AND 7 Things To Get Ready For Your Job Search
• Client Management Forms -- Prospect and Client Communication
• Why You Need a Resume
• LinkedIn 30-Day Challenge
• Client Frequently-Asked Questions
• 2016 Career Planner
• Managing Your Career Brand Ready-To-Go Workshop
• Career Checklists 2: 100 More Tips for Success In Your Job Search

Special Reports:
Resume Writer's Online Marketing Guidebook
Making Money Writing Ebooks
Introduction to Social Media in Your Resume Writing Business
Resume Writer's Guide to Article Marketing
Resume Writer's Guide to Profiting From Speaking: How to Use Teleseminars, Webinars, Workshops, and Seminars to Attract New Clients and Generate Revenue
Feed the Media: How to Get Free Publicity For Your Resume Writing Business
Capture Clients with Content: Use Information to Attract Resume Clients
Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning and Goal Setting for Resume Writers
Securing Referrals: How to Get Other Resume Writers to Refer to You
Sell Your First Information Product in 72 Hours
Getting LinkedIn With New Resume Clients
There Is Only One of Me
Earning Six Figures as a Resume Writer
The Passive Income Project
Your Mindset Affects Your Money: How Attitude Can Amplify Your Income
Push Past Procrastination
15 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Resume Clients From Facebook
Do You Have a Book In You?
Brand Your Resume Business
Make Your Resume Business Better
Stand Out From The Crowd
Evernote for Everything: How Evernote Can Help You Manage Resume Client Projects, Remember Stuff, and Just Be More Efficient
Power Through Your Projects: Practical Strategies To Get Things Done
Attract Your Ideal Resume Client
Marketing Your Resume Clients With Stories
Writing Better Headlines for LinkedIn and Client Resumes
Membership Site Ideas for Resume Writers
Pricing Your Resume Services for Maximum Profit
Google Hangouts: Create Relationships, Cultivate Revenue, and Collect Referrals
Stepping Stones to Success: Taking Stock, Finding Your Focus, and Creating Your Action Plan
First Call Questions: Questions for Resume Writers to Ask Prospective Clients
What Should I Write About? Tips for Topics for Blog Posts, Articles, and Social Media Content for Resume Writers
Spring Clean Your Resume Business
Easy Ways to Boost Your Credibility As a Resume Writer
Three Systems for Six-Figure Success in Your Resume Writing Business
Follow Your Passion: Discover Your Purpose
Resume Writer's Guide to Selling Premium Packages
Best Year Ever
Telling The Story Of You
Connect With Clients Through Content
What To Write About On Your Website
So, You Want to Write a Book
Resume Writer's Guide to Getting Unstuck
Productivity Hacks for Resume Writers
Newsjack Your Way to New Clients

It's more than $1,000 in content that will help YOU and YOUR CLIENTS.

If you're interested in getting EVERYTHING, or have questions, email me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Does Success Look Like?

I'm getting ready to launch the next session of the Get Clients Now program.

If you are struggling to succeed and missing the mark, the answer may lay in your strategic planning. You may not be looking at the big picture enough to understand the small things that go into succeeding on a project. Maybe you don't really understand proper planning and organizing yet.

What Does Success Look Like?
Have you really thought about what success looks like? Take the time right now to write down exactly what success looks like to you. Does it mean more money, more freedom, or something else entirely? There are no wrong answers, but if you don't have an answer and you don't know what constitutes success, it will be hard to feel as if you're successful. If you think about it, this is true for any project you are working on. What should the deliverable look like? Answer that and you have your starting point.

What Are the Steps Needed to Get to Success?
Can you pinpoint exactly the steps needed to reach success? Do you know how long it will take, how many hours each day you will need to focus on the steps needed to reach success? It's important that you can look at what the end result is supposed to be and work your way backward to the beginning to design the steps necessary to reach success. The big vision at the end starts with what you're going to do Monday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Do the Steps That It Takes to Reach Success
Once you've defined what success is, and designed the steps that will get you to success, now it's time to act on these steps and do them. No one gets to success without taking action. Action is the forward movement that will help you wind up at your destination. If you're spinning your wheels, you may be stuck in one of the planning phases. Move out of that planning phase and start acting.

Are the Steps You're Taking Creating Momentum?
It's also important to build in a few stops along the way toward your goals to evaluate how everything is going. Is what you're doing leading you to success? Are you getting some results that indicate that you're on the right track? If so, keep going. If not, re-evaluate if your plan is sufficient to move you toward the success that you need.

Is something missing that is crucial to getting to success, such as a skill that you need to take time out to learn? If so, you may need to add in time for learning, but don't trick yourself into thinking learning is action. It's not.

Defining success, planning based on the definition, then acting on the plan and putting into motion the steps necessary to achieve success, are all important components of moving behind the struggle to achieve success and finally experiencing success.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Are You Wasting Time?

© gpointstudio - Fotolia.com

One thing that will ensure the failure of your business is wasted time. Don't confuse "wasted" time with the time it takes to renew your physical or mental power. That's important, too.

Exercise is good for both -- and you need it to keep yourself primed and ready for what's ahead. You know what you're doing to waste time -- it could be watching reruns on television for hours at a time, playing games with your friends online or on your smart phone -- or, as Jon says, wasting time on Facebook.

If you think your wasted minutes and hours are getting out of hand and causing a downturn in your business efforts (and it's time to be tough on yourself and honest about this), then it's time to rethink how you manage your time.

Good time management skills can set you on the right track for success. Without them, you can falter and all of your dreams for the future can wither and die. Here are some good time management tips to add to your daily routine, if you're ready to turn up the heat on your progress.

Put some pressure on yourself to get it in gear! Decide how much time you're going to spend on thoughts, conversations, and actions. You may want to monitor yourself for awhile by recording how much time you spend on the three categories of your day during working hours.

At the end of the week, you should know where (in which category) you're wasting the most amount of time. Don't fudge the numbers just so you can get away with more. You have to be tough on yourself to make progress.

Block distractions. Tricks like blocking email and Facebook alerts, turning off your phone and hanging a "do not disturbî"sign on your home office door can work wonders. Many resume writers use programs such as Facebook for business reasons, but when you're on the site, don't let yourself be distracted by anything other than business.

Set a time to begin work -- and stick to it. After you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (5 minutes or so) to surf the 'net and review your email.

Then, switch to work and don't look back until you're finished. Going back and forth between email, Facebook and work muddles your mind and makes it more difficult to focus.

End your work at a set time. We all have times when our backs are against the wall and we have to spend more time meeting deadlines. But on an ordinary day, set a time to stop work and renew your physical and mental health.

If you have to work longer than the stop time, take frequent breaks, get up and walk around and do something to get your mind off work. You can't be chained to your business 24/7 -- even if you think you want to be -- it's just not beneficial for your success.

Distinguish busy work from working toward goals. Busy work can be a waste of time. You may be procrastinating because you're not ready to meet the goal or you're scared of failure if you do complete it. The best way to beat procrastination is to take action.

Don't coddle yourself by wasting precious time. Set some hard-and-fast rules of time management and stick to it. Think of yourself as an employee. Would you tolerate your paid worker surfing the Internet or playing a game app on his or her phone?

Of course not -- so don't allow yourself to do it, either!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nine Takeaways From the NRWA Conference

There were a LOT of takeaways from the 2016 NRWA conference in Annapolis. You can read some of my tweets at the #theNRWAConf2016 hashtag, but I did a Facebook Live broadcast today with my top nine takeaways. You can watch them here.

Here's part one (takeaways #1-7):





And here's the second video (takeaways #8-9)






Takeaway #1: Jean Austin: Presenting Your Clients' Talents, or Answering the Big "So What" Question?


Sometimes we forget that accomplishments do not have to include numbers -- they can be things that can't easily be measured. Here are some questions you can ask:


  • Did they complete a project ahead of schedule?
  • Did they satisfy an unhappy customer?
  • Do they go above and beyond the scope of their job?
  • What would others who worked with them say they contributed?


Takeaway #2: Thomas Powner: Cover Letters: Adding the Human Touch to Ignite an Interview


Thomas got us thinking about the reder of the cover letter. What do they want to know about the jobseeker?


He sent a cover letter survey to 190 recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers. One-hundred sixty people participated. Some highlights of his findings:


  • 63% read the cover letter
  • 49% read the cover letter after the resume

Powner developed what he calls the "Human Voice Cover Letter," which includes four elements:
  • Opening statements that connect the jobseeker to the company
  • 3-5 "human voice" snapshots
  • Answer any questions asked in the ad
  • Closing statement/call to action

Takeaway #3: Colleen McKenna: "LinkedIn: It's Not Social, It's Business"
  • 5.4 people are now involved in most corporate decisions -- including hiring. That means more than one person is looking at your LinkedIn profile.
  • The number one activity on LinkedIn is looking at people's profiles -- everyone's sounds the same. The ones that stand out talk about the "why."
  • 60% of people look at LinkedIn profiles from a mobile device -- keep it short and sweet.
  • If you're using LinkedIn Publishing, experiment with Sunday morning posts. One thing McKenna said is that she thinks browsing social media has replaced the old habit of reading the newspaper on Sunday mornings.
  • If you want to increase your chances of getting your LinkedIn Publishing posts picked up on LinkedIn Pulse, have great content. Publish frequently. Use hashtags. Include 5-6 images on video. And produce long content -- 750 to 1000 words.

Takeaway #4: Kimberly Schneiderman: Recruiters: Answers to Everything

I think my favorite session at the conference was Kimberly's. She took the initiative to conduct a survey of 273 recruiters and hiring managers (plus 10 one-on-one interviews) using the RiseSmart database. 


She shared the results with NRWA conference attendees -- including dozens and dozens of relevant takeaways. Some of my favorites:
  • 40.7% cited LinkedIn as an online source of candidates.
  • "Oneline job boards might results in an interview, but they are LESS likely to result in a job offer." Very interesting.
  • 67% of recruiters actually use their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). So it's particularly important for resume writers to make a strong tie between the client's job requirements and the position.
  • Some recruiters said an unnecessarily long resume will date you.
  • 84% of companies use in-person or phone interviews. Only 4% use recorded video Q&As.

NOTE: If you use any of these statistics, please credit Kimberly Schneiderman/RiseSmart



Takeaway #5: Pricing Town Hall

One of the neatest things about conferences is the opportunity to interact with other participants before and after sessions, and learn from them in the sessions. Conference chair Dawn Rasmussen added four concurrent "Town Hall" sessions this year to allow this kind of interaction among participants. I attended the one on pricing.

The content in this session was generated by participants. Here's some of my takeaways:
  • Several resume writers said they have trouble quoting high prices over the phone -- so they tell clients they will email them a proposal.
  • Remember that not everyone who calls you is a customer.
  • Ask questions before you quote a price. (This will help you determine if you're a fit with the client's needs, and if they're a fit for your process.) You can use the "First Call Questions" special report to help identify questions to ask.
  • If you're not rejected everyone once in a while (told your prices are "too high"), your prices are too low.

NOTE: If you are a Free or Bronze level member of BeAResumeWriter.com, sign in and check out the Free Level Resources page for some additional pricing research and resources!


Takeaway #6: Robin Schlinger: Applicant Tracking Systems

I always love Robin's insight into Applicant Tracking Systems -- even if the information scares me a bit. ATS software is more pervasive than ever, and is probably the number one thing that will impact the resumes we write in the next 1-5 years.


Here's what she had to say:


  • Taleo ATS software is being used by 36.4% of companies -- or about 1/3 of jobs that are publicly advertised. How can you tell? The job posting may say "Powered by Taleo" or the URL of the job posting may include Taleo.
  • Robin likes to give clients ONE resume (not an ATS friendly one and a non-ATS-friendly one).
  • Font doesn't matter with the ATS. Standard bullets may not be read, but they don't mess up keywords if they're not read correctly, unlike text words. Robin pointed out that accented words will screw up keywords. This also applies to client names with an accent mark -- like José -- as one participant on the Facebook Live broadcast pointed out.
  • Tables, graphics, and columns CAN mess up fiends in the ATS -- "like big-time mess up" -- it can put data in the wrong fields entirely. Robin pointed out, however, that it won't "kick out" the resume -- that's a scam. But you won't know if a particular company's ATS software can overcome the formatting issues. So, better safe than sorry.

Robin also shared "Known ATS requirements":
  • Use standard header names to help the ATS categorize information (i.e., "Education," "Training," "Work Experience," etc.)
  • Do not put titles after the client's name -- i.e., MBA, CPRW, PE. These may cause problems with data field population too.
  • Here was an interesting one I'd never heard before: Did you know that Taleo has a setting that (if enabled), allows the hiring manager to reject all resumes without a physical address on it? So include the address, city, and state. Just in case.
  • Repetition is encouraged in ATS-friendly resumes, even if it duplicates information from work experience to work experience. Duplicate content can strengthen keyword density.

Takeaway #7: Modernize Your Resumes: Content, Format, and Design with Wendy Enelow

Following immediately after Robin Schlinger's session on ATS resumes, the logical question (one asked by audience member Thomas Powner and deftly answered by Wendy, was: How do these beautiful resumes fit into an ATS-friendly (ugly!) world? 

Wendy's answer: She would only do these types of resumes (with images, tables, charts, and other graphics) if the client's job search was focused primarily on networking and referrals. If you're not doing an ATS resume, graphics, tables, and images can communicate information effectively and succinctly.

One thing that hasn't changed with the "modern" resume format -- the importance of the top third of the first page of the resume. Wendy advocates "Start With the Wow" -- make every word count in this area. Consider including third-party endorsements and testimonials for additional impact.

Also, Wendy says to consider fonts and design choices on the modern resume -- they need to correlate with the client's desired industry and their personality.

Takeaway #8: So, Tell Me About Yourself … Translating Personal Branding Into Powerful Resumes and Interview Skills with Elaine Lien and Lucie Yeomans

There's no more powerful testimonial for the information that Elaine and Lucie shared than the fact that right before their presentation, Lucie swept the ROAR Awards (Recognizing Outstanding Achievements in Resumes) for Experienced Resume Writers. To me, that really communicated the value of assessments that they use in their branding work. Specifically, they focused on the Reach360, DISC, and StrengthsFinder assessments.

Lucie emphasized how having this assessment information helped her overcome writer's block -- the data gives her both concrete information and a point of view for her client, which makes the resume easier to write.

With the StrengthsFinder, she buys and sends the StrengthsFinder 2.0 book to clients. Each book contains a unique code for clients to go online and take the assessment. She then asks them to send the results to her. (Individual tests can also be purchased online here.)

Again, this strategy is obviously working for Lucie, as her award-winning resumes demonstrate. Assessments like these are things that more of us resume writers probably need to be using.

Takeaway #9: "5 Steps to Creating a Million Dollar Brand" with Dr. Brandi Baldwin-Rana

"Doctor Brandi" was hilarious, and I wish more of the attendees had been able to participate in her presentation. As is usually the case, though, attendees who departed the conference early to make a flight missed this fabulous closing session.

One of the things that resonated most strongly with me is her assertion that resume writers need to work on their own branding. "Perception matters," she noted. (I always say that resume writers/career professionals are like the proverbial "shoemaker's kids" -- they're always barefoot.)

Doctor Brandi suggests creating an Ideal Client profile and using that to attract your perfect clients. (I believe strongly in that too!) She also had attendees write down "3 words that describe your brand." This was a fun exercise.

Then, she encouraged resume writers to align their ideal client profile and personal brand and articulate it -- and COMMIT to it. She said "you never want to be off brand."  


There were a LOT more takeaways from the NRWA Conference, and I'll be sharing more of them, so stay tuned!




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Career Professionals: Are You Making These Mistakes With Your Social Media?

On our "Social Media Strategies" call last month, Sean asked me to come up with the "Biggest Mistakes Resume Writers Make On Social Media."

Here is an excerpt of four items from that list of mistakes.

Sean asked me to handle the part about the biggest mistakes that résumé writers make because, again, this is an area that I have not only a lot of interest in -- but I also analyze a lot of what those of us who are posting on social media have done.

Mistake #1: Not Posting EnoughThe first mistake that I have seen is that you’re not posting enough. That’s one of those things that’s a hard thing to handle -- especially when you’re getting started, or you have a small following. You think, “Gosh, is it worth my time and effort to put that content out there, if nobody is reading it?” But the neat thing about social media is it has a huge shelf life. So even things that you have posted months ago or weeks ago you can always resurface that content as your audience continues to grow. Not posting enough is probably the biggest mistake.

Aligned with that is not prescheduling content. I talked before we started the call recording, a lot of us obviously wear a lot of hats, and so I know when I get busy with working with my actual one-to-one resume clients, the stuff that suffers the most is my marketing -- my blogging, my social media posting -- so one of the things that you can do is if you’re finding yourself in a slow period, go ahead and preschedule content. I use Hootsuite -- as well as Facebook’s native ability to preschedule posts -- so that I have content that is out there on a more regular basis, otherwise I look up, and suddenly it has been a week and I haven’t put anything out there. Make sure that you are using your time and scheduling the content ahead of time when you’re not as busy, so that it is out there on a consistent basis.

Consistency in social media is probably one of those things that’s universally not done well. People tend to post a whole bunch of stuff and then they go silent -- and you just don’t want to do that, because Facebook in particular is going to penalize you, if that is the case. If you haven’t had a lot of engagement from your followers in a while, then they (Facebook) take your post out of the news feed -- and that’s what Sean is talking about in terms of organic reach -- the ability for you to reach folks who have raised their hand and said, “Hey, I want to get content from you, related to the job search.”

Mistake #2: Only Posting on Your Facebook Business PageAnother big mistake that I’ve seen — and I’ve seen it on both sides -- I’ve seen it as a mistake when people don’t do it and I’ve seen it be tremendously effective when people do it -- is when you only post on your (Facebook) business page. If one of your goals is to try and grow your Facebook following, one of the ways to do that is to get people who already know, like, and trust you as a human being, to follow your Facebook Business Page. So, cross posting some of that content — although not at the same time — that is also one of the mistakes — posting the same content, either on multiple pages that you manage or on your personal and business page at the same time, don’t do that.

But if you shared a resource over on your Facebook Business Page, then share that on that your personal Facebook page too: “Hey, I just wrote this blog post about the five biggest mistakes people make on their resumes” and put that on your personal profile, because for at least 99 percent of us, we are more likely to have more friends on Facebook than we have followers for our business page. 

One really effective way that you can grow your audience on your Facebook Business Page is to get some of those friends to follow you. I talked about this on the Get Clients Now program for the last couple years, the sources of new clients for established resume writers a lot of times are referrals, and it’s not just referrals from past clients-- it’s people that we interact with on a daily basis.

So, posting content on your Facebook business page and then sharing it on your personal Facebook page, or just sharing information about the work that you’re doing with clients on your personal page. 

I have seen several examples of resume writers who do this successfully — and it can be as simple as celebrating a win for one of your clients. Not naming them by name, not tagging them, but just saying, “just helped an accountant get her first job” if you’re working with someone who is new to the workforce, “helped this client land a $10,000 raise through interview coaching.”

Here's an example:


Celebrating and shouting out the work that your clients are getting in terms of results -- but putting that on your personal Facebook page so that folks know that you’re a resume writer. There are career industry colleagues that you would never know what they do for a living if you just looked at their personal page-- and maybe they are doing that intentionally -- but if it’s your goal to get more fans and followers and engagement and clients and all of those things, that’s a simple way that you can help increase your ability to get your message out.

Mistake #3: Talking AT Your Fans and Followers, and Not WITH Them
Another mistake -- and Sean mentioned this, too -- is the one-way conversation. A lot of times on social media, I’ve seen career industry colleagues who post a lot of stuff -- and then, when people comment on it, they don’t respond back. Just like with Facebook Live, you want to acknowledge when people send you stuff. Monitor your Facebook content to make sure that if people are asking you questions or are saying, “Wow, that’s a great resource” -- just acknowledge them, like their comment -- or, even better, comment back or say, “Hey, thanks for the feedback.”

All of those engagement strategies are going to help your content get organically boosted in people’s Facebook feeds going forward. Don’t look at it as just a one-way conversation; look at how you can encourage engagement. And, like Sean was talking about, with Facebook Live, we talked about having people submit questions. You can do that on your own Facebook page too. “Hey, I am working on a new resource on job interviews. What questions do you have about the job interview?” and then let people submit questions onto that post. It not only gives you better insight into what challenges and struggles people are having, but it also helps you identify particular clients that you might be in the position to help.

Mistake #4: Doing Too Much of One Kind of Content
The other thing is to mix up your content. Another mistake that people make -- and particularly when you’re talking about pre-scheduled content -- is that they focus primarily on text-based posts, because obviously those are the easiest, in terms of creating the content. But you really want to have a mix of text posts, videos, and picture posts. 

I know a lot of you guys use the BeAResumeWriter.com Pass-Along Materials and quote those directly. 

I just saw a perfect example today Sterling Career Concepts took one of the excerpts from a Pass-Along Materials content and made it into a picture post. So she took the text and just put it over a background and shared that content. Look at different ways that you can share the information in terms of not just doing static posts.



These are just FOUR of the mistakes I outlined for career services professionals.

If you're interested in learning what the OTHER mistakes are -- and the other information Sean and I shared in the training about growing your fans and followers, using analytics to get better engagement, and more, check out this special offer!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Is Self-Employment Right For You?

Choosing to be your own boss can be amazing. But if you're currently working a "regular job" -- and have never been self-employed before, I suggest you consider starting your own business ONLY if you know the pitfalls, and what to expect and how to deal with it.
  • You Must Be Self-Motivated. You need to be the type of person who can get work done when it needs to be done without anyone telling you to do it, including wearing the many "hats" of a sole proprietor, such as bookkeeper, paperwork coordinator, and marketer.
  • You Must Have Good Time Management Skills. No one is going to tell you when to work; you will be in charge of that. You will need to be able to estimate accurately how long any one job will take you, when you're going to do it -- and you must be able to do this with multiple clients simultaneously.
  • You Must Be Able to Work with Many Personalities. When you are self-employed, you don't work with just one client at a time. You typically will be working for several at once, all with different personalities. If youíre good with people and are able to take criticism, you will do great as a self-employed resume writer. Also: TRUST YOUR GUT when taking on new clients. Don't be desperate -- if you don't get a good feeling when you talk to someone initially, do NOT take them on as a client. You will end up regretting it.
  • You Need Your Own Equipment. When you're self-employed, you must supply your own tools such as computers, Internet connections, software, and so forth. As the business owner, you're responsible for all your own stuff.
  • You Must Pay Your Own Benefits. If you currently have health insurance in your job, you need to know that as a self-employed person, you pay for your own benefits -- including self-employment taxes, insurance, and more. Health insurance can be VERY expensive, so you need to know what this will cost you before you leave a job with insurance.
  • You Must Be Able to Ride the Wave. Payments don't always come on time like with a job.  (This is the thing my Mom had the hardest time with understanding. She keeps trying to get my self-employed brother to get a job so he has a "steady paycheck.") The reality: You won't get a paycheck every two weeks, so it will make it harder to budget your money. You will likely have times of feast and famine. If you can budget through the hard times and ride the wave, you'll make it as a business owner.
  • You Must Be Good with Money If you're not good at budgeting, being self-employed might be difficult for you. For example, you should set aside 15-25% of all revenue you receive for taxes, savings, and for the slower months.
Hopefully, this didn't discourage you. You have to remember that some of the security you think you have in a regular job is just an illusion. Getting paid every two weeks isn't as important as making enough money on a regular basis to pay your bills and save for your future. All you have to do is train yourself to mind your money and build your business without anyone telling you what to do and you'll be successful as a self-employed resume writer.

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