Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boost Your Credibility

Credibility is critical for resume writers. We need our clients to see us as an expert before they engage our services, and we need them to believe in us in order to trust our advice.

If you are credible, people will have faith in your resume services. They will buy from you, and they will recommend you to others.

Part of gaining credibility is building trust. Always give honest, accurate information and be able to back it up. Nothing will destroy credibility faster than not being able to back up what you say.

Follow through with promises. When you tell the client you'll deliver her draft in five business days, make sure you get it to her on day five (or, better, day four!). Do your best to honor the promises you make.

Show that you care and respect others. Listen to what your followers and customers say. Acknowledge their concerns and respect their opinions. While, you cannot please everyone and may not be able to meet every demand, if you show that you care about your people, your credibility will increase.

Customer and client testimonials can help you establish credibility. People want to see proof that something is good. As the business owner, they won't simply take your word for it. Displaying testimonials from satisfied customers goes a long way towards building credibility. Audio and video testimonials are much more effective than written ones.

Don't be a fence sitter. If you believe in something, let it be known and stand behind it. Being "on the fence" diminishes your credibility. If you tell clients they need to always send a cover letter any time they can't hand the resume to the decision-maker, and they question you on it and you reply, "Well, you don't always have to send a cover letter." This can make your client question your methods!

Have passion about what you're doing. If you are enthusiastic about your resume services, others will be too. Your friends and family, previous clients, and others will feed off of your enthusiasm and passion and in turn spread it to others. If you're shy, use the written word to share your passion.

Credibility translates to income. A credible resume writer is more attractive than a resume writer who isn't as credible.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Guest Post: The Best-Kept Traffic Secret For Attracting Visitors To Your Website

Guest Blog Post by Jim Edwards

Did you realize that thousands of website operators use a simple technique to generate targeted visitors to their websites without paying a dime in advertising? It's true.

In fact, the technique works so well that many of them don't want you to discover how they get those thousands of website visitors and make so many sales on virtual "auto-pilot."

Their method?

Creating tightly focused articles other people publish in their ezines (online magazines and email newsletters) and post on their websites. This method rates so powerful that some even call it "the web's best-kept traffic secret."

Now, you may ask, "Why would an ezine publisher or website owner publish my articles for their subscribers?"

The answer: Content!

Over a 100,000 ezines and newsletters operate on the web (along with millions of websites) covering everything from pets and cooking to investments and real estate. Many of them need tightly focused content and they simply can't produce all of it themselves.

Look at it this way... it's the same reason newspapers use the Associated Press. Individual newspapers often can't afford staff writers to cover every story, so they accept articles from outside their organization.

You can do the exact same thing for various ezines and websites catering to your niche audience!

You can get valuable publicity -- exposure you often couldn't even pay for if you wanted to -- by providing valuable, content-rich articles in exchange for a byline and a link to your website (called a "resource box")!

The following represent only a few of the enormous benefits of writing and distributing simple articles online:
  • Attain "Expert" Status. Let's face it! In the eyes of virtually everyone who reads your articles you rank as the "expert" on the subject. Just look at people who write newspaper columns. You may disagree with their viewpoints, but they still have an elevated status in your mind compared to the "average Joe" off the street.
  • Pre-sell Website Visitors. If your article appeals to a niche audience hungry for more information on a very focused subject, you actually pre-sell them better than any sales pitch. In their minds, you've already delivered content they really want so when they click over to your site you already have a "reputation" in their minds.
  • Traffic Lasts Longer. Even though the Internet changes very quickly, webmasters are usually very slow to remove content from their sites. Once you get an article posted on another person's website, you have an excellent chance of that article staying there for weeks, months, even years.
  • Increase Links To Your Site. In a recent search I found just a dozen of my articles posted on over 813 different websites! Not only do those postings bring me traffic, but they also help my search engine positioning because of my increased "Link Popularity." 
  • Builds Your Affiliate Base. Fact: Affiliates always take the path of least resistance. If you provide excellent articles they can easily post on their sites or copy and paste into their ezines, your affiliates will promote you more often and more effectively compared to those who don't give them tools. Plus, as you make more sales and publish articles, other people will see you providing excellent tools and will want to sign up as your affiliate so they can use them too!
  • Build a Huge "Opt-In" Email List. You can use articles to build up a huge list of subscribers by simply compiling several articles into a series and delivering them at preset intervals. Often called a "mini-course," this technique allows you not only to prove to your subscribers that you deliver great information, but enables you to capture their name and email adress so you can send them articles and special offers in the future (with their permission). 
  • Requires No Special Skills. People often think they need to be a "writer" in order to publish articles, but that's not true! FACT: If you have a passion for a subject and can talk and explain things like you would to a friend over a cup of coffee, you can write articles people will love to read. So if you operate a website selling virtually any type of product or service (whether your own or as an affiliate), publishing and promoting with articles should rank high on your list of traffic generation strategies. No other method of generating targeted traffic to your website provides the quality, quantity and steadiness of traffic in such a simple, straightforward, and cost- effective manner. 

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook, "Turn Words Into Traffic," that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate link!
Click here for more information-->

(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tax Deductions for the Self-Employed Resume Writer

As the end of the year approaches, it's time to start thinking about taxes. Yuck. I know.

When you own a resume writing business, there are a lot of things to consider. One of them is taxes. It will take you a little longer to get them done than someone who is a W2 employee, but there is one upside — tax deductions for the self-employed.

When it comes to taxes, there is a lot to know. As a self-employed professional, things can get a bit more complicated because you work for yourself. When you work for a company, your wages are subject to taxes. You fill out a W-2 form and the company does the rest. You can see on your check what has been deducted for state, federal, and social security tax. It's a no-brainer for the employee. I'm jealous for some of my jobseeking clients when I think about the ease of getting a W-2 form. I'd have my taxes done when there is still snow on the ground in Nebraska if I were an employee!

But alas, I've been self-employed since 1996.

Most self-employed people receive their full pay for their services. Taxes are not taken out. This gives you an advantage when it comes to utilizing as much of your money as you can. But, tax time comes and it's time to settle up with the IRS. This involves calculating all of the income you've earned from clients, and then figuring out your tax deductions. Deductions in the form of tax write-offs can reduce your taxable income. This can change your tax bill.

Tax Write-Offs 
Here are a few of the tax write-offs that you may be eligible to deduct as a self-employed individual. A full listing can be found on the IRS website. Turbotax also has a good list of possibilities for 2012. (Check with your tax professional for specific advice and guidance, of course.)
  • Home office — This deduction has tripped people up for years. Basically, you will need a dedicated office space in your home for your business. Conducting business occasionally from your computer in the family room doesn't qualify that space for a tax write-off. But, when you have an office set up, you are also eligible to deduct a portion of the utilities too. (You calculate the total square footage of your home, and the square footage of your "office" and then can deduct expenses as the percentage of your office compared to the total home.)
  • Travel expenses — Did you attend a resume writing conference this year? Time to pull together those records -- conference registration fees, airline tickets, meal receipts, gas receipts, and other incidentals. A percentage of these expenses are deductible because they were incurred in the transaction of your business.
  • Medical expenses — Because you are not employed by anyone, your medical bills are your responsibility. However, you can regain some of the insurance premiums you paid on your tax return. The exception to this rule is when your spouse is eligible for family insurance at their job and this could cover your medical needs. Again, check with your tax professional. Also: Look into a Health Savings Account as a way to increase your deductions for expenses you're already paying.
You work hard. Make sure that you claim all tax write-offs that are due for your resume writing business.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guest Post: Increase Sales By Flying Under Your Prospects' "Radar Defenses"

How do you persuade someone to do what you want them to do?

A whole world of marketing exists around us trying to do that every minute of the day. Do you even notice it anymore or, like your prospects, have you subconsciously set up a system of "radar defenses" against the daily bombardment of marketing messages?

Take a minute and count up the advertising methods which fight for your attention (and money) every day. Just the basic list includes:
  • Yellow page ads 
  • Newspaper and magazine ads 
  • Postcards, catalogs, and direct mail circulars in your "snail mail" box 
  • Radio pitches interrupting the flow of your favorite songs
  • TV ads - about 20 minutes worth per hour now
  • Hundreds of storefronts, "mega" malls, and strip malls 
  • Highway billboards by the thousands 
  • Circulars hung on your doorknob
  • Illegal signs on stop signs and telephone poles 
  • Legitimate email messages 
  • Spam email or UCE (without permission commercial email) 

Just these 11 sources can overwhelm your brain with marketing messages. Like trapped rats, people develop defenses against this never-ending onslaught. They throw up a wall or a "radar defense" that goes into action the minute they smell a "pitch" or a sales job. Don't blame them. We all do it!

So how can you get around this psychological wall against the constant sales and marketing messages? Well, the answer does NOT lie in hitting people with more frequent and obnoxious advertising or sly, sneaky tactics. You might get them to trust you for a minute, but it will backfire in the long run.

You must do two things instead:
  1. First, you must establish credibility for yourself and your business as an expert. 
  2. Second, you must reduce their fears about doing business with you. 

Doing these two things will get you past their defenses and allow you the opportunity to persuade them to buy your product.

So how do you accomplish these two "simple" things? What will win someone's attention, raise your credibility, and lower their fear factor all at the same time? The one-word answer really applies to most everyone.


If a seller can get behind your defenses with information which makes you trust them, then that credibility will carry over into a sale much of the time.

How can you get this credibility?

Well, take this next fact as online marketing "gospel," for many people have proven its effectiveness.

Fact: Publishing and promoting with free articles gives you one of the most powerful opportunities available to tip the buyer's credibility scale in your favor.

How can we prove this works? Quite easily actually. Take a break from reading this and go check out a newspaper or magazine for a minute.

Which do you trust more, the ads or the articles? Most people will choose the articles hands down. Why? Because the articles don't try to "sell" you anything. Instead, they hand out useful information for educational or other practical purposes.

Most of us grew up in a culture which says we can believe and "trust" what appears in the standard "news" or "information" format. In other words, if it appears in print, then we can believe and trust the author.

So go ahead! Use this lifetime of conditioning to your advantage in selling your products and services!

Very few things will create an atmosphere of trust and confidence in people as reading one of your articles on a subject that greatly interests them. It shows you know your business. It also demonstrates you will do more than just try to sell them something.

Publishing articles literally lets you fly under their advertising "radar defenses."

So remember these points when deciding whether or not to use articles to promote your business:
  1. Few things create as much trust and confidence in the minds of potential customers as reading an article you wrote on a subject which specifically and intensely interests them. 
  2. Articles establish credibility quickly because, right or wrong, we've all been trained to trust the "news." 
  3. An article, or series of articles, will differentiate you from the competition, who bombard people with nothing but sales messages. 
  4. Providing content-rich, non-sales-oriented articles will also help build and solidify your relationship with existing customers so they give you repeat business. 
(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links!

Need MORE TRAFFIC to your website or affiliate links?  "Turn Words Into Traffic" reveals the secrets for using FREE articles to drive Thousands of NEW visitors to your website or affiliate links... without spending a dime on advertising!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Burned Out?

There comes a point in time where almost every resume writer experiences a burnout feeling. Sometimes the mere thought of one more client project is enough to want to send you back to bed — and, at times, you may find yourself putting your work on the back burner. This can have a terribly negative impact on your business, your income, and your client experience.

What can you do when you feel you can no longer deal with your clients, and you can't stand the thought of one more project?

Here are some survival techniques that should help you get through this temporary burnout phase. Determine the underlying cause of your burnout. Here are some common ones:
  • Could it be that you are doing the wrong type of work? (If you hate the marketing and sales part of being a resume writer, have you considered being a subcontract writer? On the other hand, if you love selling the client but hate doing the actual writing, maybe it's time to bring on a subcontract writer.) 
  • Should you be focusing on another niche instead of what you are doing? If you like the work, but don't like the kinds of clients you're writing for, maybe specializing in a specific niche would be a good idea.
  • Too much work and not enough play — this certainly makes for a dull life. You need to be doing more than sitting at the computer 24/7. Give yourself frequent breaks and set hours for your business. Don't become a slave to your work. When you set a schedule for yourself, try to manage your time appropriately so you can take time off on weekends and/or holidays. You need this time to rejuvenate and regroup. Time off should be family time, fun time and be spent doing something you want to do. (Only you can decide how many clients is the right number of clients for you. For some resume writers, 1 client a day is enough. For others, 3-4 a day isn't too much.)
  • Being buried in projects can only add to this burnout phase you are going through. If necessary, you may consider outsourcing some of your work to a trusted colleague. This will definitely help you catch up and maintain your ability to meet client deadlines. You don't have to bring on a subcontract writer permanently! Just post a request for help on one of the E-Lists (NRWA, CDI) and get caught up.
  • Let your creative juices flow. If you are bored doing the same old thing day in and day out, then it's time to do something new. Put your creativity to use and find something fun to do that will help your business. This could be something as simple as learning a new skill, software program, or possibly making a video for your blog or website. Anything that will help break the monotony of a typical day can help you survive a burnout.
  • Take a well-deserved and much-needed vacation. That's pretty much self-explanatory. A vacation needs to be free from responsibilities of the job. But make sure you're not just escaping from your "issues" (because those will still be there when you come back!). A vacation can be a good idea to think about some longer-term strategies for yourself and your resume writing business. Speaking of which....
  • Take a good look at where you are and where you want to be. It might be that you need to make some changes to the type of work you are doing and what you are offering to clients. If every project is something you dread and dislike doing, it's certain you will be facing a burnout more often than necessary. Do you need to change your pricing, so you're making the same amount (or more) while working with fewer clients? 

Don't beat your head against a wall when you feel the burnout syndrome coming on. It is bound to happen to everyone at some point in their career. Once you find the source of your burnout, it's important to do something about it. Don't ignore it, or that feeling will certainly return. Find the source and take control. You'll be glad you did!

One way to feel more confidence and control in your business is to engage in business planning and goal setting. Check out this month's Special Report for Bronze members on "Ready, Set, Goal: Business Planning & Goal Setting For Resume Writers."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Guest Post: What's the Difference Between Salad and Garbage?

Today's guest post is by marketing expert Fabienne Frederickson.

A few years ago someone asked me, "Fabienne, what is the difference between salad and garbage?" I had never been asked that before. The only difference between salad and garbage is time. When you're looking at a fresh green salad and you don't eat it right away, in a few days it becomes garbage and unappetizing. You've also heard the idea of striking while the iron is hot--hot leads turn into cold leads if you don't take action on them right away.

In business, timing is everything. A client of mine always used to say to me, "Fabienne, it's really difficult for me as a real estate attorney to attract clients because I can never anticipate when they're going to need me. (This is also something that résumé writers face.) It's not something that they need very often, so how do I know when to market to them? I don't know how to market to them. I don't know when to market to them. It's just all so arbitrary."

Watch this week's video to find out my strategy on how to use stay in touch marketing vehicles to solve this problem. Being consistent in this way will ensure that you have always have clients.

Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System®, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients, in record time...guaranteed. To get your FREE Audio CD by mail and receive her weekly marketing & success mindset articles on attracting more high-paying clients and dramatically increasing your income, visit

Friday, December 7, 2012

Comparing Ebook Publishing Options

Continuing this week's theme on ebook publishing, check out this chart of popular ebook publishing platforms. Which platform you choose depends on a couple of different factors:
  • Ease of publishing. Platforms like Clickbank and E-Junkie allow you to use PDF formatted books. This saves you a lot of formatting hassles that you might encounter with ibooks or the Kindle platform.
  • Upfront fees. Some of the publishing platforms have initial fees. For example, Clickbank (which is an extremely popular platform for publishing information products) charges a $49.95 setup fee.
  • Payout thresholds. Always consider the payout threshold — you don't want to have to wait too long to get your money!
  • Do you need marketing help? Platforms that provide visibility for your ebooks — and/or an affiliate network — can help you sell more books. If you don't have an existing mailing list or "tribe" to sell your ebook to, consider a platform like Kindle that offers you additional exposure.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ideas to Increase Sales of Your Ebook

One of the key principles of the "Turn Your Content Into Cash" teleseminar I'm doing next week for Bronze members of is selling information products -- including ebooks.

Here are some ideas to market your ebook:

1. Get your book reviewed by review clubs. Each book store (E.g. Kindle store, Nook store, iBookstore,) has an active community of people who’re happy to review books for one another. 

2. Get bloggers to review your book. Pay them to review the book if necessary. (Note: This isn’t a bribe, as you’re only paying for the review, regardless of what the review actually says. However, they should disclose the fact that they’ve received a free copy of the book.)

3. Get on the radio. You can build your own media list, or buy an ad in the Radio Television Interview Report (RTIR) to promote yourself as an expert.

4. Contact career-related podcasts and offer to be interviewed. Send them a free copy of your ebook first so they can make sure they like what you have to say. You may be asked for a sample of you on audio so they know you sound good when recorded. Look at for some ideas.

5. Do a search for similar books. Look at who’s promoting them and contact those websites. Offer a generous affiliate payout if you’re selling on Clickbank, or try to find some other “in” with them.

6. Tap into a pre-existing community. For instance, if you’re selling an ebook for CIOs, get involved with online CIO associations and forums. Build a reputation for yourself, then promote your book.

7. Try to push your eBook to the top of your category, if you’re on an eReader platform. Have all your readers buy your book on one day and give them a bonus if they do so. This can send your book skyrocketing into the top charts, which gets you even more visibility.

8. Start your book cheap. Start your book at $0.99 cents, even if you eventually plan on selling it for $4.99. Starting it off cheap lets you get a bunch of reviews and initial traction right off the bat.

9. Buy ads on reader-oriented websites like Goodreads. This gets you in front of people active book lovers who’re already in the habit of buying books all the time.

10. Guest post on other blogs in the careers industry. Contact bloggers you know and ask if you can write a free article for them. If you don’t know many bloggers, write a brief line about yourself and what makes you credible and offer to do a free content piece for them. (For more posts about guest blogging, check out this page.)

11. Create a compelling affiliate program for your book. Be unusually generous. For example, offer a 100% payout for the first 3 books, or offer a $50 bonus to anyone who sells ten books. This can attract a lot of new affiliate talent towards your book.

12. Comb your LinkedIn and Facebook network. Look for people you know that have audiences, host events, or have a large online presence. See if they’d be willing to promote your book. Make sure to phrase it as a win for them as well by offering to help them in some way.

13. Send your first chapter to BookDaily ( This site gives avid readers one free chapter every day, on books topics they’re interested in. If you wrote a business book for instance, your first chapter can be sent out to everyone who’s interested in business.

14. Lookup conventions and conferences in your industry. Go to all of them. Meet other influencers in your niche and see if you can work together to promote one another. Who knows? You might also sell a few book copies.

15. Head to Twitter and search for questions that someone who needs your book might ask. For example, if you have a book about improving cover letters, you might type in “need a cover letter” or “do I need a cover letter” and so on in Twitter. Find people who recently asked relevant questions and shoot them a message.
16. Keep publishing! Publish lead-in books. If your main book is a $6.99 book, consider publishing a slew of $0.99 or free books just to get more traction and to build more of a brand. All of those sales will feed into the sales of your larger book.

17. If you’re publishing the book on Clickbank, try driving some traffic from Google AdWords and from other sources, like ads on Facebook. Paid traffic can convert extremely well. This works much better for Clickbank than Kindle, because Clickbank books tend to sell for a lot more money.

18. As a long term strategy, create a blog. Post high quality content to that blog every week. Get ranked in the search engines and build a loyal following. This is a great way to sell books on a recurring basis, as well as a great way to launch new books.

19. Create a competition. The competition should be related to content within your book. Prizes can include free consultations with you, two copies of your book (one for the winner and one for them to give to a friend), your help on their next project, a personalized plan for their project, etc.

20. Use Google Alerts to keep tabs on your topic. If someone writes a new blog post about something related to your book, be one of the very first people to respond to the post. Link to your Kindle book from your “name” and “website” field.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Five Tips to Prepare for 2013

I love end-of-year planning. Heck, I love planning in general. (The special report for December on is on planning and goal setting!)

Taking just a little bit of time at the end of the year to prepare for the next can make a tremendous difference. I'm one of those people who believes strongly in the idea of writing down your goals as a way of making them come true. In the next few weeks, I will be creating my plan for 2013, including the goals I hope to accomplish.

Don't just meander into the next year. Launch into it with gusto and purpose. These five ways of preparing will help you start your new year off with a bang.

#1: Extract Lessons from Last Year
Reflect on 2012. What were your biggest wins and your biggest losses? What made those wins or losses happen? Look for core lessons that you can take away. What can you learn from your mistakes? What changes do you need to make in your resume writing business to maximize your successes?

#2: Talk to Your Mentors
The end of one year — or the beginning of the next year — is a great time to talk to your mentors. Reach out to people who are more successful than you, or people who've done what you want to do. Talk to them about your greatest challenges, as well as what they'd do in your situation to grow your company. Incorporate their advice into your plan for the year. (I'm always happy to talk with resume writers who have specific questions or need advice!)

#3: Talk to Your Customers
Ask your resume customers for feedback on your service or your products. Talk about what they like and what they don't like. Also ask them about what they'd like to see from your company in the future. (Are they interested in learning more about LinkedIn? Do they want more support from you than the occasional resume update?) Your customers can be your best source of new ideas going into the new year. After all, the only real vote in business that counts is when your customers "vote with their wallets."

 #4: Identify Your Biggest Opportunity
Don't focus on your biggest challenges. There are always going to be fires that need to be put out and emergencies to be handled. Instead, focus on your biggest opportunity. Identify the biggest growth potential arena in your business, then focus the bulk of your time and energy on growing that arena. (For example, one of the biggest threats to a single self-employed resume writer is if something happens to you and you can't work. So putting in passive income/recurring revenue programs before you need them is a HUGE opportunity!)

#5: Set Measurable, Metric-Based Goals
Finally, set measurable, metric-based goals for yourself/your resume writing business. Ideally, you should set one BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). This can be a revenue number or a number of clients you want to stretch to reach!

If you perform these five steps, you'll plunge head first into 2013 well prepared and positioned for success!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Connect with Your Colleagues ... Even If You're an Introvert

At yesterday's Career Thought Leaders Career Brainstorming Day 2012 session, we talked about assessment tools resume writers and career coaches can use with their clients -- and one of the most-frequently used tools is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). (You can take a free online test to determine your four-letter personality type here.)

If your results indicate that you are an Introvert, you may find it difficult to connect with your colleagues — but this connection can be essential to your success as a resume writer.

You may think that being introverted means that a person is shy. That's not necessarily the case. Introverts do tend to prefer one-on-one conversation over group meetings. They also tend to require a significant amount of quiet time to think and reflect.

Introverts are motivated internally. They are thinkers and can become so locked inside their own head that they appear cut off from others. These tendencies can make it difficult to meet people, make connections, and network. Yet connections can help you build your business.

When you meet the right people you...

  • Can build a team of experts to support you to succeed
  • Can forge powerful partnerships and increase profits and success
  • Leverage relationships 
  • Lead people within an organization (for example, a team of subcontractors)
  • Build a community of followers, prospects, and customers

In short, relationships are essential for success. Yet introverts can struggle to meet people and forge these powerful and profitable relationships. Here are a few things you can do to meet more people if you're an introvert.

How to Meet People and Build Connections

#1 Set goals

Set a goal to meet one new person each day. This is easily done online — for example, on LinkedIn. (In most communities, you have to make a concerted effort to run into someone who will be a valuable connection for your resume writing business -- for example, another resume writer, a career coach, a therapist, a Realtor®, someone who works in a career services department.) But you can use LinkedIn's  "People You May Know" function to find at least one person to connect with on LinkedIn.

Remember, relationships build a business. The more people you know, the more opportunities you're exposed to.

#2 Build connections

As you begin meeting people, start asking those you connect with on a personal or professional level who they know. You can leverage 5 connections into 25 if each person you meet introduces you to 5 new people. Your network will begin to grow and you'll be meeting people who are like-minded. It's a wonderful way to build a support network.

#3 Set time aside 

Set time aside to recharge and refresh. This is particularly important if you're taking time to get out and meet new people. For example, if you spend an hour networking online, then make sure to schedule an hour of downtime that day too. It's too easy to become overwhelmed and burned out if you spend a lot of time networking and neglect the downtime an introvert requires.

Introverts have a spectacular ability to brainstorm, problem solve, innovate, and build a business. Yet the ability to meet new people and leverage relationships is a challenge. Appeal to your ability to connect with people on a one-on-one basis and start meeting more people in a relaxed and comfortable manner. There's no need to force yourself into a public speaking situation or into a large-scale networking group. Work to your strengths.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Things to Send To Clients

Yesterday, I shared 25 things you can send to clients in your email marketing. Here are 25 MORE ideas for you!

26. Answer the most frequently asked questions you get. This is a great email to add to an autoresponder sequence.

27. Announce a beta test. For example, say you’re promoting a new membership program. You can launch a “beta” version at a discount for a few weeks before launching the full priced version.

28. Tell your client's success stories. For example, “How This Woman Got Two Job Offers From Her LinkedIn Profile"

29. Critique a method you disagree with — or take a contrarian view. For example, “Why you shouldn't use informational interviewing as a job search strategy."

30. Ask your readers a question. Start a two-way dialogue to really build your connection with your community.

31. Offer a series of tips on a topic. For example, "10 Ways to Tweet Your Way To Your Next Job"

32. Give them a free MP3 download. This works a lot better than reading information for a lot of people.

33. Put the time constraint in the headline. For example “A Seat for You – Only Until Tomorrow.”

34. Go against something you said a while ago. For example, if you’ve been against using Facebook in the job search and came across new research that changed your mind, write a detailed post to your list.

35. Have a question panel. Post the same question to a panel of experts and email out their answers.

36. Poll your audience for their tips. Share the best ones with your list.

37. Teach them something that depends on them having your product. For example, teach people advanced strategies for LinkedIn (after they've purchased your introductory LinkedIn training program).

38. Do a motivational email. Instead of how-to content, have an email just dedicated to getting people fired up and motivated.

39. Let people pre-order an upcoming product at a discount. (For example, your new information product — like an ebook.)

40. Send an affiliate promotion for a product you genuinely believe in. Make sure you tell your personal story about why you like the product before promoting it.

41. Make something seem easy. For example, “How to Find a New Job in 15 Minutes a Day.”

42. Do something outside the ordinary. For example, write about a tangential industry. As a resume writer, you might write about working with a therapist when you get stuck in your career.

43. Give a personal share. Tell a story that’s mostly designed to let your readers get to know you more.

44. Apologize. If you think you’ve been making a mistake in your company, come clean and apologize. For example, if you’ve been over-promoting LinkedIn as a job search strategy, admit your mistake and tell people how you plan to change going forward.

45. Make a comparison. For example, how your method for job search is like how Michael Jackson trains for basketball.

46. Appeal to someone’s sense of security. Explain how an updated resume can help them live a more secure life.

47. Write an email designed to generate social proof. Talk about your clients’ past results — include testimonials and stories from current/past resume clients.

48. Pick up a copy of Joe Sugarman’s “Triggers” and find an emotional trigger you can use. Write an email designed specifically to hit that trigger. 

49.  Every once in a while, send a simple sales message. Just a few benefit statements and a link to buy a product. This is a perfect strategy for your membership site or information product (ebook, special report, teleseminar recording/transcript).

50. Every once in a while, do a massive sale or re-launch of an old product. This can help you milk a lot more money out of things you’ve done in the past. (Again, a great strategy if you sell information products as part of your resume writing business.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

50 Things to Send Clients

As you know, I'm a HUGE proponent of having a mailing list. However, a lot of resume writers wonder, "What should I send my clients?"

If you’ve ever struggled with coming up with ideas on what to send your email list, struggle no longer. Here are some ideas you can use just about any time…any place. Keep this list handy to plan your email marketing or grab it whenever you need a quick idea.

1. X tips to do something. For example, “15 Tips for A Better LinkedIn Profile.”

2. Warnings. For example, “Warning: The Most Common Job Search Mistakes to Avoid.”

3. Put a discount in the subject line. For example, “$20 Off Between Now and 7 p.m!”

4. Share a new theory. Ask people to give feedback and share their experiences.

5. Tell a story. Did one of your jobseeking clients fail or succeed? What did they learn? Try to make the story emotional, which is far more engaging.

6. Breaking news. If you know news is coming, try to be there for it. For example, if you see that new unemployment data is coming out, write about it immediately.

7. Something simple they can do right away. For example, an easy 10 minute update to their LinkedIn profile they can perform immediately.

8. A video. Give people high quality video content. Use a video metrics tool like Wistia to measure your dropoff rates and see what kinds of video content people like.

9. Share a victory. For example, “How Jane Jobseeker Got a New Job That Pays $9,839 More a Year.”

10. Do a time-limited sale. Give a reason for it. For example, do a 48-hour Christmas sale. (The week between Christmas and New Year's is often a slow one for resume writers!)

11. Challenge your audience. “I Challenge You to Make 25 New LinkedIn Connections by This Time Next Month.”

12. Give them something they can copy. For example, “My exact formula for getting an interview from every resume you send."

13. Address a common question or objection. For example, “How to Prepare for a Job Interview"

14. Give away a coupon. People love getting discounts.

15. Hint at future products. If you're thinking about adding information products to your resume writing business — ebooks, membership site, webinars — tease it! Building anticipation makes great content, as well as boosts your sales for when you do your launch.

16. Explain a problem. For example, “The 5 Reasons 90% of Jobseekers Fail to Find a Job in 30 Days.”

17. Rant. Just say what’s on your mind. This often turns out better than you think.

18. Promote your Facebook page or Twitter. Use email to build your social media audience.

19. Give a step-by-step guide. Walk people through how to do something complicated — like prepare their resume for use with an Applicant Tracking System.

20. Give proof for something. For example, film yourself doing something your target client wants to learn how to do — for example, changing your LinkedIn profile headline. This builds your credibility.

21. Interview an expert. Send it out to your list for free.

22. Ask other people to guest write for you. Make sure it’s super high quality before sending it out to your list.

23. Talk about someone you respect. For example, you could write a review of a new job search book. (Be sure to include an Amazon affiliate link!)

24. An opportunity to work with you. Give people the opportunity to get coaching or direct contact with you somehow.

25. Do a Q&A mailbag. Answer questions you get in the mail via your newsletter. Use your questions as content.

More Things to Send To Clients

Monday, November 26, 2012

Five Tips for Creating a Client-Attracting Website

Because so many resume writers get clients from their website, building traffic to your website — and being able to keep visitors on the site (and have them come back often) — can be vital to the success of your resume business.

What's clear is this: The longer someone spends on your website, the higher your chance of converting them from a visitor to a client.

Here are five easy ways to make your website more "sticky" — remember, sticky sites are client-attracting sites!

1. Stand Out
As a resume writer, sometimes it's hard to stand out from the crowd — but with hundreds of resume business websites to choose from, you have to be different. Nobody will visit a boring "me too" site — it's that simple.

To stand out, you need to know your unique selling proposition (USP). What sets you apart from all the other websites talking about resumes and the job search?

You also need to have interesting content that gets your visitors talking. Give them a reason to talk about your site. Offer them ways to interact with you. (Include articles, videos, and podcasts on your site. Offer an invitation to a monthly webinar.) The more interested they are, the more likely they will become a client.

2. Emphasize the Benefits 
It's important to focus on what you can do for your visitors. People don't buy resumes — they buy a tool that will help them get an interview. They are buying your expertise.

Before you can emphasize the benefits, you first need to know who your ideal customer is. Who needs your information, product or service? What is their age, gender, average income, interests, location, etc.? Knowing this will help you write specifically to them and will help you know which benefits to emphasize on your resume website.

© Fotolia
3. Stay Focused
The quickest way to lose visitor interest is to confuse and overwhelm them.

Your website should have a clear focus and stay centered on that focus. In addition, if you want visitors to do something, tell them what to do! Giving them too many options and no direct instruction can quickly cause confusion. You need a call to action (CTA) on every page — that can be your phone number, an email address (or email form), or a signup form to receive a gift (like a free resume analysis, or special report on a job search-related topic).

4. Work Your Email List 
If you don't have an email list, start one! With all of the low-cost options available these days, there is no reason you should be without a way to contact those who are interested in what you have to offer. (The idea of the signup form to receive a resume critique or special report or ebook is the best way to build your list.)

Studies show that it takes contacting the average customer five to seven times before they will buy from you. This time is spent getting to know you and building their trust in what you offer.

If you don't have them on a mailing list and they forget to return to your website, you lose out on a huge amount of business. They'll just pick another resume writer!

5. Update Regularly
Part of what keeps visitors coming back is updating your site regularly. This is especially important if you have a blog. A stagnant site will cause visitors to quickly lose interest and never return. In addition, search engines love fresh content. Making the search engines happy means more traffic for you.

Making your site sticky can boost sales exponentially and it isn't hard to do. With a little thought and time, you will have your visitors begging for more... and you'll land more resume clients as a result too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog Comments: Which Ones to Trash; Which Ones to Treasure

If you have a blog, you know that one of the tough decisions you have to make on a daily basis is which blog comments to keep (treasure!) and which ones to delete (trash!). Some comments are obviously spam and can be deleted without hesitation. But many blog comments I receive on this blog especially fall into a grey area. So how should you handle your blog comments?

The First Layer of Defense
First off, you should definitely have some sort of anti-spam mechanism installed on your blog. Askimet is a good anti-spam plug-in for WordPress blogs. You can also require folks to "log in" to comment on your blog posts. (This is the system I use.) This will help you get rid of 90% of the spam that you'll encounter.

Handwritten Spam
On the other hand, you'll get a fair amount of self-promotional messages that are actually handwritten. These won't get caught by your spam filter. The easiest way to recognize these is that it will be a general comment, followed by a link.

For example, here is a recent comment I received on a recent post, "Buying a Domain Name for Your Career Services Business."

If you see a message with a link in the body text that really doesn't add any value to your site, delete it.

Subtle Self-Promotions
You'll often get messages with the backlink embedded in the person's name and website. Whether or not you keep these comments depends mostly on the content of their comments.

If they're reading your posts and adding value to your site, then of course you should keep their comments. But if they're just commenting on your site generically to get a backlink to their site, then use your discretion.

A lot of comments fall into this grey area. They might not add a lot of value, but they are clearly not automated spammers. Some bloggers err on the side of deleting, while others err on the side of approving. It's up to you; there's no clear answer in this grey zone.

Here's an example of one of these comments:

The main reason why you'll get a lot of spam comments is to increase traffic to the commenter's website. This is a perfect example of one of these comments. It's important to remember that a lot of your commenters are going to be posting comments because they want a backlink to their site. That's not a bad thing.

It's only when they're detracting value from your site that you need to worry about it. Don't blame people for wanting to promote their websites.

Don't Delete Disagreeing Comments
Deleting dissenting comments is a big mistake. People who take the time to read everything you wrote and then share a dissenting opinion should be rewarded rather than silenced.

Someone might disagree with something you post this time, but could be a big fan of something you write next week. If you delete their comment, you'll lose them forever. Furthermore, the people who take the time to write a dissenting opinion are probably people who really care about your topic — Which means they are buyers and networkers.

In short, approve comments that add value, insights, or opinions to your blog. Delete comments that detract value, are self-promotional or are from people who clearly didn't read your post.

I would love to hear from YOU on this topic. Comment below!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scheduling Social Media Into Your Resume Writing Business

One question I get from resume writers quite frequently is: "How do I use social media to promote my resume writing services, without having it become a time suck?"

Social media is an activity that can require a large time investment. As a busy resume writer and career services business owner, you may not have an abundance of free time available for social networking. But being effective on social media doesn't have to take hours out of your day.One of the best strategies to maximize social media involves scheduling your interactions.

Step #1 Establish Social Media Goals
What do you want to accomplish with your social media interactions and efforts? What's your goal? The goal needs to be measurable and timely. For example, instead of saying, "I want to increase my followers or fans on my Facebook business page" you might say, "I want to increase my page 'Likes" by 300 fans in three months" or, "I want to increase my Twitter followers by 10% by the end of the first quarter 2013." Knowing the specific goal you want to accomplish will help you direct the time -- and resources -- you spend on social media so you maximize your efforts.

Step #2 Create a Plan to Achieve Your Specific Goals
The next step involves some planning. You want to outline a step-by-step procedure to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to reach 300 new fans in three months, you can approach it several different ways. One way might be to launch a "Like My Facebook Fan Page" promotion where you hold a sweepstakes and award the winner a free resume or LinkedIn profile update. This promotion will undoubtedly require some work on your part. Outline the steps you need to take to make it happen.

On Twitter, you can spend 10 minutes each day following new people — one of the best ways to get followers yourself is to follow more people, and engage with them so they follow you back!

You can also "spend your way" to new fans. You can set up a Facebook ad campaign and invest a couple of dollars each day towards growing your fan base.

Step #3 Pull Out the Calendar
Assuming you know how much free time you have in the day, the next step is to grab a calendar and start scheduling your social networking activities. If you don't know how much free time you have in a day, consider tracking your time for a week or two. If you are unable to complete your task list each day, you may need to prioritize and restructure some of your plans.

Taking a look at your calendar, break your social networking tasks down into small, manageable steps. Ideally, nothing will take longer than 30 minutes. It can be anything from accepting friendships on Facebook and sending each person a personal message (and inviting them to "Like" your business page) to scheduling your tweets for the week (I recommend Hootsuite for this!). Identify the task, put it on your calendar, and attack your plan in bite-sized pieces.

Step #4 Follow Through and Assess
Try to stick to your plan for a few weeks. Then step back and assess. What's working? What isn't? Are you still trying to do too much? Are you procrastinating on your social media goals? Are you getting distracted from your goal once you log on? (Block off 30 minutes on your calendar. Tell yourself you will spend the first 10 minutes doing "work" and the other 20 minutes doing "fun" social media activities.) If necessary, rework your plan so that it fits your needs and goals better.

Step #5 Celebrate Success
Evaluate your progress -- did you achieve your goal? (Put the goal deadline on your calendar to remind yourself!) Once you've reached your goals, take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. Then set a new goal and repeat the process. Scheduling your social media efforts gives them a purpose. It helps you grow your business without wasting your valuable time.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do's and Don'ts of Content Curation

The final post in this weeklong series on content curation is the "do's and don'ts."

  • No matter where you publish, always remember to add something of your own to the curated content. Just sharing a link on Twitter isn't content curation; neither is copying and pasting sections of someone else's article to your blog, even if you give them attribution. 
  • Try using your curated content as the basis for explaining your opinions, giving insights on a new topic, or exploring the opinions of others.

Did you miss any of this week's blog posts on content curation? Check them out here:
Curating Content to Attract New Clients
Best Practices in Content Curation
Where to Find Careers Content to Curate
Five Great Tools for Content Curation

Friday, November 16, 2012

Working With Challenging, Controlling, or Just Plain Pain-in-the-A$$ Clients

There has been a great discussion going on about "controlling" clients on the NRWA E-List as of late. My favorite tip list was shared by colleague Kelly Donovan, CPRW.

Here, with her permission, is Kelly's list of "PITA Warning Signs":
  • Asking for a discount or questioning whether the investment is worth it.
  • Saying their project will be "simple" (the "simple" ones are always PITAs!)
  • Saying anything that reveals doubt/skepticism about your qualifications
  • Mentioning they had a problem with another resume writer (ask for details!) 
  • Asking for a watered-down version of your services with a lower price tag (is it really something you can scale down?)
  • Calling/emailing with unusually high frequency (sign of being high-maintenance or disorganized)
  • Calling before 8:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.-ish (unless for a scheduled call)
  • Complaining about any aspect of their experience with you (your voice mail, how long you took to get back to them, etc.) 
I wrote a previous blog post on the subject of challenging and pain-in-the-a$$ (PITA) clients in 2008 that also contains some warning signs to be wary of: "We Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists."

Kelly says when you encounter one of these warning signs, "trust your instincts and just say no. If they end up being a PITA, it won't be a profitable project regardless of whether you get paid (and keep it) or not."

Do you have other warning signs to share? Please add a comment!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Five Great Tools for Content Curation

As we've talked about in the previous posts in this week's blog series on content curation, as a content curator, your first and primary job is searching out valuable content that is relevant to your readers. The time you save creating original careers industry content will be spent hunting for it. While seeking the best content can be time-consuming, here are five tools that can help make the search easier.

Google Alerts
Google Alerts –
Enter specific keywords and Google will send latest published content from everything it searches. Receive information via email or your Google Reader.

Google Alerts is a free service that lets you choose keywords and then tells you whenever new content has been posted using those keywords. You can find articles, blogs, stories, videos, and other content to share as soon as it has been indexed by Google. All you need to do is enter keywords and Google Alerts will either send you results via email or send them to your Google Reader account.

If you refine your Google Alerts keywords, you'll get more relevant results. One way to do this is to use quotation marks. When you search for 'interview preparation' rather than the terms interview and preparation separately, it will only bring up results where the exact phrase 'interview preparation' is used (and not every mention of the words 'interview' or 'preparation'). You can also use Boolean search terms such as AND, NOT, and so on to refine searches. (You'll find it takes some time to refine your Google Alerts to get the types of results you're looking for.)

Google Reader
Google Reader –
Organize your feed subscriptions so you can keep track of the latest content from your favorite sources.

Google Reader is a tool that lets you subscribe to certain blogs and websites. If you use Google Alerts, you'll start to see the same sites popping up again and again with content you can use. You can use Reader to follow these sites directly. Just like Google Alerts, Google Reader offers advanced search features that help you refine your search and cut down on sifting time.

There are a number of free and paid mobile apps that help you use Google Reader on your smart phone, such as Feedr and Reeder. These are great if you're searching for content on-the-go using your mobile device. You can quickly review your feeds and even share directly from within the app.

Facebook Lists
Facebook originally launched its Lists feature to protect users' privacy, but its Subscribe tool has made it a great way to search for content through this social media site. It works in much the same way as Google Reader, but everything is done through Facebook.

Journalists, bloggers, celebrities, organizations and others whose content your readers like may have a Subscribe button on their profiles. When you subscribe to their page it adds their news to your feed. You can then customize those settings to make sure you're getting the content you want.

Twitter makes it easy to find content by searching for keywords using its hashtags. Hashtags are simply keywords with a hash (#) in front of them. A few examples would be #interviewquestions, #resumetips, #careerchange and #jobsearch. When you enter one of these terms, you get the latest posts that include them.

Twitter Lists are similar to Google Reader. They filter tweets and help you organize them. Anyone can make a list and you can follow them. What you then see is all of the sources where they're pulling their content from. So, if you find a Twitter user such as a famous marketer or a careers industry expert who shares great content, you can subscribe to them and to any of their lists. This gives you their top picks, which you can then share with your followers.

SmartBrief on Your Career
If you're just getting started with content curation, one good (FREE) email newsletter to sign up for is SmartBrief on Your Career. It's a content curation site itself, but it can lead you to resources that you can then curate for use with your own clients. The editors of SmartBrief on Your Career choose articles from "thousands of news sites, blogs, and other sources." You can start your content curation with SmartBrief, but be sure to provide your own insight and analysis to the articles you share.

Remember: Curation, Not Collection
These are all easy ways to get content to share with jobseekers, but remember that curation isn't the same as collection. Be selective about what you share, making sure it is relevant to your readers. Give them only what you think will be helpful or interesting to them, and then add your own comments or insights. With content curation, less is more. Don't share 25 links — instead, share 2, or 5.

Other ideas:

Social Mention -
Search social networks for content based on keywords and receive results via email. Also has a widget for tracking realtime news.

Monitter -
For Twitter search – Get real time and trending search results based on keywords

Social bookmarking sites
Most social bookmarking sites make it easy to keep track of content you find interesting so that you can go back to it later – Delicious, Diigo, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.

Tool for saving content to read later. Great for when you come across something interesting but just don’t have even a few minutes to look at it.

Alltop -
Organize your favorite content sources so you can access them easily. You can also share your collections.

Flipboard -
App for iPhone, iPad and Android that organizes your content sources into a magazine format in which you can “flip” the pages with your finger. You can also share from within the app.

Next Up (Last Post in the Series): Do's and Don'ts of Content Curation

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where To Find Careers Content to Curate

This is the third post in a weeklong series on content curation. I've talked about what content curation is, and shared some best practices for content curation. But I'll bet you're wondering, "Where do I find the stuff to share?"

Where To Find Content to Curate 
The idea of content curation sounds simple enough. You find content your readers would like and share it with them, either summarizing it or just adding your opinions somewhere in the post. But where do you start? There's obviously a LOT of great content out there (and lots of NOT-SO-GREAT content too!). Once you start curating content, you'll realize that it takes a bit of focus and creativity to find really good content — content that is worth sharing.

Scheduling Your Content Search
The best way to find content is to work it into your regular routine. It's much better than spending a whole day tracking down content all at once. It's better because when you spend a little time each day, you find fresh content that's up to date. You also keep yourself from burning out searching the Internet for things to share. While you're curating content, you're also learning new things yourself — so the time you spend on content curation each day can be like a little mini "learning break" for you.

Choose a time to set aside each day. Try to find a time when you're most likely to enjoy the search. For example, first thing in the morning before you start your day, it might be fun to scan the Web looking for news. Or, you might prefer to do it at night while you're catching up on some TV.

Searching for content is also a great activity to do when you're killing time waiting for something. You might have 10 spare minutes before the kids come home, 20 minutes while waiting for a ballet lesson to finish, or a half hour while waiting on hold with tech support. These little nooks and crannies of time aren't great for serious, focused work, but you can use them to find content. You might not take the time to do the commenting at this point, but simply locating the content is going to give you a leg up when it comes time to actually curating. I recommend using Evernote to store your un-curated clips. You can start an Evernote Note for specific subjects and then copy-and-paste links into the Note for later use. (Have I mentioned how much I love Evernote?)

Resisting Shiny Object Syndrome
The Internet is full of shiny objects that can distract you and lead you astray. When you're looking for content, it's easier than ever to get distracted. You'll find something of interest to you and start reading, even though you have no intention of sharing it.

First of all, set aside your content search time and designate it for only searching. During that time, say to yourself, "I'm only looking for content to share." Every time you stop on a site and begin reading, ask yourself if it's something you might share. If it's not, save the link so that you can read it later in your spare time. (Again, this is a great use for an Evernote note called "To Read." Simply copy the link and paste it into the note, and move on!)

Search with an Open Mind
You need to stick to the task at hand, but don't get stuck in a rut. When you ask yourself whether the content in question is sharable, be open-minded. Try to see if there's a way you can tie it into your niche. Look for creative ideas from other industries. If you can do this successfully, you'll come up with unique content other resume writers wouldn't find.

For example, if you have a blog on executive career search, you may share an article on the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. You might reference how 007 works with a team to achieve outrageous objectives. If you work with students, you might share content about zombies. Why? Because this will attract their attention AND it's important to teach them about not "following the pack" when it comes to job search.

Think outside the box and don't forget that you can also share content you disagree with. This often gets the best reaction from readers.

Watch your audience's response to your content and judge whether or not it was a good find based on that response. Don't make the mistake of choosing content you like; always choose content that your readers will engage with.

Next up: Five Great Tools for Content Curation

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Best Practices in Content Curation

Building on yesterday's post on content curation, today I want to share with you some "best practices" for curating content in your career services business.

As I talked about yesterday, content curation is all about providing jobseekers with the information they're looking for — and adding value to that content at the same time. It isn't difficult to do successfully, as long as you use these guidelines.

Know What Jobseekers Want
Successful content curation requires that you choose content that your readers (jobseekers) will find useful or intriguing. Start by understanding your readers and what they're looking for online, information-wise. The better you know their interests and needs, the better you'll be able to deliver the most relevant content. Some jobseekers are interested in the resume (they may have one that's not working, or they may be looking to create one for the first time); others want to know how social media can help in their job search (LinkedIn strategies especially); while others may be in the interviewing stage and be looking for ideas on questions to ask or salary negotiation techniques. Understanding what topics you can curate is the first step.

Follow Other Curators
The best way to learn any skill is to imitate those that came before. Follow other content curators and see not only what kind of information they share — but how they go about doing it. You can learn a great deal about sharing content and engaging readers by simply paying attention to the methods of the experts. Wendy Enelow does an excellent job of this for career services professionals in the Career Thought Leaders E-Bridge newsletter.

Here's a snippet from the Nov. 1 E-Bridge (Issue #20):

Choose the Right Tool
There are many good tools to help you deliver content to your readers. In fact, there are too many. Resist the temptation to bounce around among different tools. Instead, choose one that you like and that does what you need it to do, and stick with that one. You can deliver your content via email newsletter (I recommend AWeber), blog posts, via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (simply sharing links to content you come across), or using specific content curation tools. Pinterest can also be a great tool for curating content — especially those with strong visuals. (One great tip I heard last week was to curate videos in a YouTube channel using Pinterest. I did this a few weeks ago with "Call Me Maybe" videos on YouTube on a Pinterest board.)

Add Value
Don't just present the content "as is." Always add some extra value to it by commenting on it, giving it your own spin or opinion, or even contradicting it and creating some controversy. A blog post that starts off with, "I found this article online and I totally disagree with it," can get others commenting and giving their two cents. This is especially important when curating content and sharing it via Twitter and Facebook. Even a sentence or two can increase engagement and discussion.

Quote Articles
One important note about content curation: when you refer to an article in a blog post, don't just put a link to it. This makes your readers follow the link, which is extra work for them and also leads them off your site. Instead, include a snippet or quote so that your reader doesn't have to go anywhere to get the gist of what the article says. Then they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to read further. (Note: When using Twitter to share content, you obviously can't do this -- but it does work when using Facebook, LinkedIn, blog posts, and content curation tools.)

Mix It Up
Don't present the same type of content in your content curation efforts. Mix it up. Rather than just curating articles and blog posts, share videos, infographics, resource sites, and podcasts as well. By curating content from as many different sources as possible, you'll make the learning and reading experience more interesting both for your audience and for yourself.

Always double-check your content curation from the reader's point of view to see if it's truly providing value. Is it better to read your posts or just go straight to the source? Put yourself in their shoes and you'll understand what you need to do to add value to the content you're curating.

Next up: Where To Find Careers Content To Curate

Monday, November 12, 2012

Curating Content to Attract New Clients

I'm a content junkie, I guess. If you've been following me for any length of time, you've probably figured out that I'm a huge fan of using content to build your career services business. Whether that's using content to attract media attention ("Feed the Media" special report and teleseminar), or blogging ("Resume Writer's Guide to Blogging for Profit and Promotion" special report), or using content in many other ways ("Using Content to Capture New Career Clients" teleseminar, "Resume Writer's Guide to Article Marketing" special report, "Resume Writer's Guide to Profiting From Speaking: How to Use Teleseminars, Webinars, Workshops and Seminars To Attract New Clients and Generate Revenue" special report, and "Capture Clients With Content: Use Information to Attract Resume Clients" special report), one of the most powerful tools we have as resume writers is the knowledge we possess about the job search process and how to help jobseekers be more successful in their job search efforts.

But what if you don't want to generate original content? What if you want to instead focus on sharing best practices and targeted information? Then content curation might be exactly what you should focus on.

Content curation means pulling together content from various sources and presenting it to the reader in your own unique way. It may be easier to understand content curation by defining what it is not. Content curation doesn't mean presenting a list of stories or a weekly roundup of links. It's definitely not a simple cut-and-paste job where you just point to content that's out there.

Instead, the idea is to take the information available and make sense of it for your readers. It starts with carefully sifting through all that's out there and selecting the best items that would interest your readers. You then put this content together into an easy-to-digest format that tells a story, making it relevant, valuable and memorable.

Why Curate Content?
The content is already out there for your readers to enjoy, so why put it together for them? This is the key to good content curation — it's not just a pile of information. We're inundated by a deluge of information every minute of every day. The Internet is wonderful because of this, but it also can be overwhelming. Everyone has to sift through all that's out there to find what they're truly interested in reading. A good content curator does this for you, and builds a following of loyal readers as a result.

How Content Curation Helps You
Like the content you write yourself, the content you curate can help you establish authority and create a connection with your readers.

Think of it from the reader's point of view. Your blog or website is a source of the exact information they want on a regular basis. It saves them from having to do their own sifting online. Over time, they come to see you as a go-to source for their information. They see you as a knowledgeable expert in the career services field.

If your content is relevant and helpful to your readers, they'll keep coming back for more. It doesn't matter to them whether you're the actual content creator or not.

Curating content should be taken just as seriously as creating your own content from scratch, but one of the advantages of this approach is that it is easier and more cost effective than writing your own content or hiring a writer. It's just a matter of understanding your readers well and choosing the right content.

Check out: Best Practices for Content Curation