Friday, September 28, 2012

Introducing LinkedIn Endorsements

If you work with your clients on creating or enhancing their LinkedIn profiles, you may have seen something new from LinkedIn in the past week or so. Called "LinkedIn Endorsements," the enhancement builds on the LinkedIn "Skills" categories by giving your LinkedIn connections the opportunity to "validate" your capabilities.

I first came across the "Endorsements" option when accepting a new connection request. Up popped this box:

LinkedIn displays the Skills your contact may exhibit, and allows you to either endorse all of them (simply click the yellow "Endorse" button), remove Skills (click on the "x" next to the skill), or add additional Skills (type in a Skill).

You may also encounter a pop-up box when interacting with a connection's profile. It will pull up the individual's name and a single Skill. If you click the blue "Endorse" link, it will add your Endorsement to the individual's profile.

Click on your own profile, and you can see which of your Skills have been endorsed.

Your Skills are listed, along with the number of people who have Endorsed you for each Skill, and their photos (if displayed with their profile).

You can also conduct blanket Endorsements:

You can choose the yellow button to "Endorse all 4" or you can click the individual blue "Endorse" buttons in each square to Endorse a specific skills. Or, you can remove an individual Skill Endorsement by clicking the "x" in the upper right-hand corner of the box.

At the NRWA Conference in Charleston last week, LinkedIn expert Joshua Waldman mentioned the increasing emphasis LinkedIn is adding for Skills. The use of Endorsements to validate Skills is the next step in this evolution. Skills (and validated Skills especially) are useful for recruiters, who are one of the largest audiences funding LinkedIn.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Using Trade Shows to Build Your Resume Writing Business

Because I'm preparing for this week's NRWA Conference in Charleston, I wanted to share with you a couple of tips for using trade shows to build your resume writing business. For most resume writers, you can work one of two kinds of "trade shows" -- job fairs and association meetings.

If you've written a book that other resume writers might purchase (or encourage their clients to buy), association meetings (especially those within the resume writing industry) can be a good way to gain visibility and sell books.

If you're looking to sell your career services (resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, membership programs, etc.) then you can participate in job fairs OR target association meetings or conferences where your "ideal client" hangs out (i.e., a technology conference if you work with IT professionals).

Whether working a job fair or a trade association meeting, attendees are looking for new ideas and connections. It's one of the few times when people are receptive to actually being sold to in person. If you can leverage this opportunity to put your brand out there and communicate what you have to offer, it can boost your resume writing business in unimaginable ways. You can walk away with powerful connections, immense goodwill, more credibility, more brand recognition and, often, actual orders.

Here are a few different ways you can leverage trade shows.

The most basic way to leverage trade shows is through networking. This is especially useful at job fairs. Build in some time to get around -- wander from booth to booth and introduce yourself. Let others know how you can help them and look for new strategic partnerships. I've made some great connections with recruiters during job fairs.

And, of course, if you are offering resume critique services at a job fair or association event, you want to connect with as many jobseekers as possible. Limit your time with each individual to five minutes (ideally, two minutes or less) -- be prepared with handouts to give them some additional information and your contact details.

Host a Side Event
A much more powerful way to leverage a job fair or association conference is to host a side event. Book a conference room in the same hotel or in an adjacent restaurant or large bar. Then market the event through the trade show's Twitter hashtag, through flyering, through Meetup and through your own email list.

You might offer a short workshop on "Getting the Job" or "LinkedIn for Jobseekers." If you're an author, do an event where you speak for 20-30 minutes on your topic and have books available for purchase.

By taking this kind of leadership position, you'll drastically increase your own brand and credibility. You'll also make important connections. Instead of seeking connections, people will come and connect with you.

Be a Speaker

Related to tip number two -- you can build a lot of credibility and brand awareness by getting on stage. Talk to the event organizer early on about the possibility of speaking at the event as early as possible. Make sure you have a good amount of credibility and speaking experience built up before approaching large conference organizers. I recommend the "Resume Writer's Guide to Profiting From Speaking: How to Use Teleseminars, Webinars, Workshops, and Seminars to Attract New Clients and Generate Revenue." Make sure your talk isn't too self-promotional though -- focus on delivering great value to your session attendees.

Should You Get Your Own Booth?
If you're serious about building your brand, you should absolutely get a booth. If you are critiquing resumes at a job fair, you may be offered a discounted or free booth. (You may be able to negotiate this if you are approaching an association event planner -- because a booth at a trade show can run anywhere from $250 to several thousand dollars.) The investment might be worthwhile because having a booth means literally two days of having business come up to you and listen to your sales pitch.

If you're attending the NRWA conference in Charleston, I hope to talk to you! Come and see me speak or check out my booth!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Job Search Help on Your Mobile Phone? There's an App For That!

Browsing through my Facebook news feed this morning, a post from Career Solvers caught my attention. Hmm...what is Barbara Safani up to now?

It seems she's created an app for job searchers -- available for Android, iPhone, and iPad users.

Here's the app description:
Career Solvers for iPhone. Our Career Solvers app is designed for those who are serious about growing their professional careers. Our app will be a guide book providing proven strategies that every professional should know. Career Solvers specializes in managing job search campaigns for six-figure professionals and executives who know where they want to go, but need assistance uncovering the most efficient path. Our career management programs help clients gain clarity around their professional identity and personal brand. We create targeted, compelling resumes, cover letters, and bios and supplement these marketing collateral with coaching programs that accelerate your job search, get your resume in front of the right people, improve your interviewing and salary negotiation skills, and promote your professional image online and offline. It is our mission to empower you with solutions that enable you to successfully navigate your career course.

I'm working on preparing for my "Write Great Resumes Faster" teleseminar today, so I haven't had a chance to check out the app yet. But I'll be interested in downloading it and giving it a try. Maybe I can get Barbara to answer a few questions about her new app for a future blog post.

Have you thought about creating an app for your resume business?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Firm Asks "Where Are All The 'Good' Subcontract Resume Writers?"

Well, actually, Matt Craven, of UK-based firm "The CV and Interview Advisors" asked on LinkedIn "Where are all the great CV / resume writers."

He wrote:
My problem is finding great CV / resume writers. Nearly everyone I speak to seems to think they are great but then proceed to produce sub-standard work with spelling errors, grammatical inconsistencies, a lack of knowledge of hot skills (therefore a CV which is ill-aligned with industry-needs), weak or clunky language and dodgy formatting. Does anyone have any advice for finding truly world-class CV / Resume Writers interested in earning industry-leading rates of pay?

Because I have some insight into the topic from my work on the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report -- as well as "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with Recruiters" (which talks about the pay-sharing component of contracting relationships), I gave this response yesterday:

As the editor of an ebook on resume writing subcontracting ("Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor") I may be able to offer some insight to you. In talking with other writers/firms looking for contracting writers, there are a couple common issues:

• Low rates for contracted writing. Because most contracting firms pay their writers between $100-$160 per project (which can be 15-35% of the fee charged), it's hard to find highly credentialed/talented writers who are willing to subcontract write. If you charge your clients 250 British pounds sterling = 400 US dollars, and you pay your writers 30% (a pretty standard subcontracting fee), that's $120. That might seem like a lot, but the Resume Writer's Digest Annual Industry Survey (2010) found that the  “average” resume sale was $509.36 for surveyed writers.

• Many folks who subcontract write fall into a couple of categories: They are looking to build their portfolio of work/get experience, they want to supplement their income while they grow their own resume writing business, they don't like the marketing/pricing side of the business (they just want to focus on the writing), or they want true flexibility in their schedules (with the freedom to accept/decline assignments as they wish).

• As a contracting firm, you want someone who can accept a reasonable volume of assignments, who turns in consistently good and timely work, who will put your clients first (and not flake out if this is a "moonlighting job" and they get busy with their "real job" -- or if they have their own clients) and who will work for a pay rate that still allows you to make money on the "client management" and marketing aspects of the sale. That can be a tough combination to find if you don't know where to look.

• Speaking of that, you might look at how you're getting the word out about your subcontracting opportunities -- some channels are more effective than others. As much as I love LinkedIn, putting a request for writers on here is akin to putting an ad in a newspaper ... and we all know how that goes! You need to "go where the people are" -- reaching out to folks who are already successful as subcontract writers for other firms ... and/or writers who have achieved a minimum proficiency (i.e., certification).

• Speaking of certification -- Lack of standardization of certification and training programs means it's hard to judge a contracting writer's work without wading through lots of samples from "unqualified" writers. While I don't think that all good writers are certified, most certified writers (especially certain types of certifications) are good. The most rigorous certification is the Academy Certified Resume Writer (offered by Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark's Resume Writing Academy) -- but it costs over $2000 .... so you're not going to find an ACRW who will write resumes for $100. Or even $200.

• In your case in particular, there are no "local" resume writing organizations -- so to "farm" for writers, you're looking at US-based associations. Most US-based writers aren't familiar with country-specific requirements for resumes and CVs, so there has to be a training component with most writers anyway. You're more likely to find competent writers from the U.S. (just because there are so many of us -- the US resume writing industry has been going strong for more than 15 years!)... but you'll have to teach them the cultural (and spelling) nuances.

What would you think about me creating a database of "vetted" subcontract writers? I've already got a pretty robust database of writers who are interested in the topic (by virtue of them having purchased the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Helping Clients With How to Write LinkedIn Recommendations

LinkedIn is increasingly important in our clients' job searches -- and the role of Recommendations is growing too. September's Pass-Along Materials content on focuses on how to give -- and get -- LinkedIn Recommendations.

You must either be connected to the individual you wish to Recommend or know his or her email address. Also, the individual must have a valid LinkedIn account. You may find it easiest to use the "select from your connections list" in the "Make a Recommendation" section.

You can also make a Recommendation from the individual's profile page directly:

(Note: In the Pass-Along Materials, the screen shots are of a fictionalized profile. You can also replace the screen shots with your own profile, like I did above with my own LinkedIn profile)

Some things to consider before writing a Recommendation are:

  • What are they good at?
  • What did they do better than anyone else?
  • What impact did they have on me? (How did they make my life better/easier?)
  • What surprised you about the individual?

Within the Recommendation, you want to include four things (this is an excerpt of the full "Formula for a LinkedIn Profile"):

  • How you know the person
  • Why you recommend them
  • A story that backs up your Recommendation (providing "social proof")
  • A call to action

Your finished Recommendation might look like this (this is an example of the type of notification email you'll receive when someone Recommends you):

Resume writers -- learn more about the "How to Give -- and Get -- LinkedIn Recommendations" Pass-Along Materials package. It's brandable content you can use in your own resume writing business.

Here's what you can do with this content (you can edit the report or use it "as is"):
  • Use it as a free giveaway to build your prospect mailing list or sell it.
  • Tweet excerpts or post updates to Facebook and/or LinkedIn using the tips in the content.
  • Break it into sections and use it as a series of blog posts or articles on your website. 
  • Turn it into a video and use it to drive traffic to your website.
  • Use it as a a script or an outline for a webinar.
  • Make it a handout for a LinkedIn training class.
  • Add it as a bonus for a LinkedIn membership program or training.
Because it's provided in Microsoft Word format, you can change out the screen shots to feature your own profile, and you can add to -- or edit -- any of the content.

If you are a Bronze member of (just $10/month), you can access this content in the Paid Member Resources section from now until Oct. 9, 2012. Or, you can purchase the package at this link: How to Give -- and Get -- LinkedIn Recommendations.

Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Use Blogger to Build Your Mailing List and Drive Traffic to Your Website

I love my blog. I hope you do too. I love sharing ideas and resources with resume writers (and the occasional jobseeker who wanders across this blog as the result of a search engine).

When you blog, you can connect with your target market and promote your resume writing services in a way that is difficult to do through other marketing tactics. Blogs allow you to share in-depth information with jobseekers -- you can post about frequently-asked questions and then simply direct clients and prospects to the blog when they need answers.

While Wordpress gets a lot of the attention nowadays for bloggers (and there are some cool tools -- like LinkedIn's integration with Wordpress -- that are exclusive to that platform), I like using Blogger.

Blogger is a free, easy-to-use blogging service offered by Google. Using this Blogger to host your blog can be a great way to market your business. You can write a blog post and, at the end of the post, you can add a line, "For more information, [link to your website.]" This can drive traffic to your website.

Once you start creating information products to support your career services business, you can promote the special reports, membership sites, and ebooks with your blog posts. People are more likely to read a blog post (which comes across like an article) than a sales letter.

Blogs serve as a great communication tool.  You can keep your readers up to date with any changes you have made to your site, provide information on new services you are going to be introducing (i.e., LinkedIn profile development), and receive feedback on the types of services your customers wish you would develop.

Another way to communicate with your target market and position yourself as an expert is to establish a "Question of the Week" feature to your blog.  Simply have your readers send in their questions, and then, one day each week, choose one of the questions to answer. Your readers will look forward to this interactivity and will take note to visit each week to see if their question was chosen. The archive of questions you build up on the blog also serves as a powerful reminder of your expertise as a professional resume writer.

You can also use Blogger to increase the size of your mailing list by adding a sign up form to your newsletter or other autoresponder list. (You'll note I have a signup form on the right-hand side of this blog page!) Once people are subscribed to your newsletter, you can continue to market to them.

As I mentioned earlier, you can also create links back to your website on your blog that will also help your website gain search engine traffic. The search engines crawl the Internet, and when a site has a lot of links coming into it, the search engines take notice.  This can help your website rise in the results pages when someone performs a search using one of the keywords on your page.

These are just a few of the reasons why it is important to have a blog and how you can use a service like Blogger for marketing purposes.  As you get more familiar with blogging, you can add an RSS feed to your blog, which will notify your readers that you have created a new post.  This will keep your readers coming back regularly, and further help your marketing efforts.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Career Thought Leaders Conference Goes "Virtual"

Big announcement from Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark today -- the Career Thought Leaders Conference and Symposium in 2013 will be a "virtual" event. Here is the email (with my thoughts below):


RE: 2013 CTL Conference & Symposium - March 18, 19 & 20, 2013

We heard you! In fact, we heard you 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and just months ago. Conference expenses have gotten out of hand. Between registration, travel, hotel, meals, and miscellaneous, you've spent $1000-$2000, and it's just too much anymore.

The question then becomes ... How can CTL create a new conference experience that lives up to the standards of the past? A conference with outstanding educational and professional development programs in an environment that fosters networking, opportunities, partnerships, and other collaborations.

Our solution ... Create precisely what we've been doing all along, but bring it to you so that you don't have to travel to us!

What does that mean to you:

1. There are no plane or train tickets to buy, no hotel rooms to book, no meals to pay for, no tips to bell captains, no extra expenses at all, and that is a wonderful thing!

2. You'll be part of the first-ever, full-fledged, full-video conference within our industry. It's so exciting! As the careers-industry thought leaders, we should also be the careers-industry conferencing thought leaders. We need to take the lead and move forward, and that's exactly what we're doing.

Wait until you see all that this technology can do, from the video presentations to the live Q&A after each presentation, to your briefcase that automatically downloads and saves handouts and slides, to the numerous chat and social media venues. It is an extraordinary user experience (and an EASY one at that)!

3. Attendee registration pricing will remain the same! That is also a wonderful thing!

4. Our international colleagues will be able to attend! How fortunate for our Brainstorming Day team in the UK, our RWA students in South Africa and Lebanon, and our vast network of associates around the world. We're no longer limited by geographic boundaries, and that is the true value of our new virtual conference. We can ALL congregate, learn, share, brainstorm, and create an extraordinary experience.

What does this mean for our sponsors and exhibitors?

Instead of the traditional, 3-day, live exhibitor experience you're accustomed to, your new CTL Conference Exhibitor Hall is open for 6 months! Six months to reach out, build relationships, promote your products and services, and so much more.

The Exhibitor Hall opens January 1, 2013, and remains open until June 30, 2013. As soon as people register for the conference, they'll have immediate access to your booth so you can start to reap the benefits long before the actual conference begins!

For those of you who are tech-savvy exhibitors, wait until you see all that you can do with videos, downloads, interactive tools, social media, and more. It's very cool! For those of you, like me, who are less tech-savvy, creating simple signs and uploading pdf files is a snap.

If you already know you want to sponsor and/or exhibit, get in touch with me and we'll put things in motion. Some of you may want to begin thinking about and building your exhibitor booth now, with plenty of time before the beginning of the year.

The conference website will be live in a few weeks, and we'll begin the registration process for those of you who want to extend your payments. In the meantime, here's a quick overview of our conference program:

Monday, March 18, 2013 - Entrepreneurial Day

  • Netweaving: Thought Leadership in Networking & Paying It Forward (Bob Littell, Netweaving International & The Enrichment Company)
  • Sales, Marketing & Business Development: The 3 Essentials for Entrepreneurial Success (Denise Hedges, Business Breakthrough Institute)
  • 4 P's of Profitability: Pricing, Packaging, Partnerships & Product Development (Wendy Enelow & Louise Kursmark of Career Thought Leaders & Resume Writing Academy; Amy Gubser of Careerlaunch USA)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - Resume Day (Resumes, Cover Letters, E-Notes, LI Profiles, Career Bios & More)

  • Writing Resumes for Senior Management & C-Level Executives (Cheryl Simpson, Executive Resume Rescue)
  • Writing Resumes for Graduating Students: Traditional & Not-So-Traditional (Chrystal McArthur, Senior Associate Director, Rutgers University)
  • Writing Resumes for the "Average Joe" (Cathy Alfandre, Catherine A. Alfandre, LLC)
  • Writing Resumes for Technology Professionals (Stephen Van Vreede, ITtechExec)
  • Writing Resumes for Military-to-Civilian Transitions & Federal Opportunities (Diane Burns, Career Marketing Techniques)
  • Writing Resumes for Career Changers (speaker pending)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - Coaching & Career Management Day

  • Thought Leadership in Social Media for Career Professionals (Joshua Waldman, Author of "Social Media for Dummies")
  • Career Planning, Development, Reinvention & Renewal (Carol Vecchio, Centerpoint Institute for Life & Career Renewal)
  • Thought Leadership in Personal Branding for Your Clients & Yourself (Susan Chritton, Pathways Career & Life Strategies)
  • Necessary Endings in Jobs, Careers, Industries, Professions & Life (Michelle Carroll, University of Maryland & Career Development Alliance)

As always, each day will be followed by Colleague-to-Colleague discussion groups on very specific topics centered on each day's theme. These are always popular programs, allowing you to share your knowledge and your voice with others in small, facilitated group discussions.

There is so much more to share about the conference, and I will do that over the coming months. Today's message was simply to let you know about the 2013 conference and all it has to offer.

Change can be difficult. I'm certain that some of you are reading this and questioning the whole virtual conference concept. Let me assure you, virtual or not, the conference will be filled with networking opportunities and the "touch and feel" that is so important to all of us. We need the time each year with our colleagues, to renew and re-energize, and we WILL make that happen!

Feel free to contact me ( or Louise ( with any questions you may have.
Wendy S. Enelow, CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW
Author, Trainer & Career Consultant


Here are my thoughts:

  • Conference attendance is expensive. Wendy and Louise say $1000-$2000 -- my research indicates an average of $1200 for a resume writer to attend an in-person conference. That's approximately $400 for conference registration; $300 for travel (airfare); $400 for a couple nights at the conference hotel; and $100 for meals and incidentals. Cutting your cost to get access to great information by 1/3 can be a significant incentive for more careers industry pros to attend. And, as Wendy and Louise point out, this has the potential to draw more attendees from outside the U.S.
  • In-person opportunities for resume writers and career industry practitioners to meet up are declining. One of the primary benefits of in-person attendance is the networking component. I'm not sure how the virtual format will facilitate this, although Wendy and Louise do reference the use of social media tools, Live Q&A feature, Colleague-to-Colleague discussions and other "networking opportunities." But there's no substitute for the time spent meeting new colleagues at breakfasts, lunches, dinners ... or in the hotel elevator! Many a subcontracting relationship has begun at a resume industry conference.
  • There's something to be said about exposing yourself to new places. One of my favorite parts of attending a conference is traveling to someplace. Many of my conference experiences have been to places that were completely new to me (Philadelphia, New Orleans, Toronto, Tampa, Savannah, Scottsdale ... and now Charleston.) I don't know that the CTL conference benefited from this, though, because it was always held in Baltimore. The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) conference was similar -- every three years, it was held in Tampa, because that's where the organization's headquarters are. It may be just a coincidence that neither of these organizations have in-person conferences anymore, but there is something to be said about going new places and how it can energize your work and your business. (Having a conference in a new place each year is a huge burden for the conference planner, however!!)
  • The decline in in-person conferences is a concern for the resume industry overall. While the loss of trade shows and conferences has been significant since 9/11, the resume industry is now down to two major conferences -- the National Resume Writers' Association conference (coming up Sept. 19-22 in Charleston, SC) and the Career Directors International (CDI) conference in San Diego in October. Both of these in-person conference are held in the Fall; it will be interesting if either of them change their dates in the future to fill this gap.
  • There are lots of online training opportunities. There is already a lot of "competition" in this space. One significant difference between conferences and other training programs used to be that they were held in person. There are certainly a lot more online training and certification programs than there were in the days when there were four industry conferences (NRWA, CDI, Career Masters Institute/Career Management Alliance, and PARW/CC). The advantage of keeping the conference in the three-day format (with single-day registration options available) is that it focuses the training, rather than having it held over multiple weeks, as is the case with many online certification training programs (including Wendy and Louise's flagship training program, the Resume Writing Academy.)
  • Technology is improving. Susan Whitcomb's organization, The Academies, is having it's second annual virtual bootcamp (in November of this year). By all accounts, it's a well attended event. And technology has improved to the point where you can get many of the five senses fulfilled with an online training. (Although the technological requirements for webinar/video can be quite steep -- cross-platform access can be a challenge. For example, you may need to install certain software or plug-ins to access some of these services, which some folks might not want to do. Not saying that's the case with the CTL program...) I'll be interested to learn what technology Wendy and Louise are using to fulfill the virtual conference. But the fact still remains that there is a lot of "clutter" when using technology -- and it's subject to unexpected glitches. I've conducted dozens of teleseminars, and the distractions of everyday life (barking dogs in the background, resume writers who are working on other things while they "participate" online) are definitely a challenge to deal with. That brings me to my next point...
  • For you to get the most out of the conference, you need to devote time to it. I've been in conferences where a few resume writers are on their computers writing resumes during the conference. This format may benefit those who find it difficult to be "out of the office" for days at a time. It sounds as if the programs may be recorded, which would be useful as well. You'll get more out of the virtual conference if you participate "live." Again, another value of in-person programs is the live feedback and participation. (I can tell you that, as a presenter, you get a lot more out of programs with active participants than when you feel like you're talking to yourself.)
  • Content is still king. There's no doubt that Wendy and Louise put on content-rich programs. And I can guarantee you, it's not much less work for the "dynamic duo" to have to put together a rich schedule of training online versus in-person. Looking at the program lineup, it's evident there is a ton of value in the 2013 program. What will be interesting is the lineup in future years -- there is a certain segment of the speaking community that prefers to do in-person trainings versus online. (Conversely, however, you might have access to even more speakers who are less expensive or more available for online trainings than in-person events.)
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Smart Ways to Create Passive Income in Your Resume Writing Business

In just two short weeks, I'll be speaking at the National Resume Writers' Association conference in Charleston on the topic of "How to Create Passive Income and Recurring Revenue For Your Career Services Business." 

What is passive income? It is a form of income that keeps paying you after the initial effort to establish it is done. Unlike writing resumes, where you customize each document for each client, with passive income, you can create one single document and sell it over and over again.

The goal of passive income is to capitalize on what work you have already done. It frees you up to spend time with family and friends. It also allows you to make money while you sleep. (See the cute graphic designed by my husband, Jon, for the presentation.)

Passive Income Strategies
Here are just a few of the passive income strategies I'll be talking about in my presentation.
  • Affiliate programs. You can have one -- or many -- affiliate programs that you promote. Many resume writers choose resume distribution services -- like ResumeSpider -- or reference checking services like Allison & Taylor. These are natural tie-ins with your existing services -- and you can market them to your existing clients!
  • Write content. Sites like Constant-Content allow you to write articles that buyers can then purchase rights to use. They can buy "usage," "unique," or "full" rights. You can sell the same article several times.
  • Advertising. This can be Google AdSense or another service where you promote other products and services through advertising on your site or blog and get paid per click or conversion. Choose a program that works best with your business. 
  • Create information products. Information products can include ebooks, special reports, tip sheets, manuals, home study courses, teleseminars and more. You create it once and sell it over and over again. (If you're interested in an easy way to create information products, check out Pass-Along Materials from

If you like the ideas in this blog post and want to know more -- and you're planning on attending the NRWA conference in Charleston in a few weeks, check out my breakout session on Friday afternoon on   "How to Create Passive Income and Recurring Revenue For Your Career Services Business." 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Secrets of Getting Free Coverage in Your Local Area

Buying a full-page ad in your local newspaper would cost more than most resume writing businesses could afford. However, if you got your local newspaper to cover you for free, that's exactly what you might get: an entire page (or at least a portion of a page!) dedicated to you.

Here's how to leverage the power of the press to get massive free publicity in your local area.

Pay Attention to Subsections
People often make the mistake of only trying to make "The Big News" (i.e., the front page of the paper or the front page of the Careers section). When you're trying to get attention locally, often it's better to focus on smaller sections.

For example, instead of trying to get an article in the Careers section, you might try to get a story in the "Money" or "Business" section. (Plus, you'd be attracting the attention of readers who aren't necessarily looking for a new job right at the moment.) Or how about trying to get a story in the "Living" section about a client who made a career transition in order to spend more time with his kids?

Each newspaper uses a different name for their various sections. Look through the various local papers and pick the sections you want to try to get stories in.

Don't Just Target Newspapers -- Think Magazines
Large cities often have magazines as well as newspapers. For example, San Francisco has the "7x7" magazine, dedicated just to San Francisco. New York, Chicago, Boston and many big cities also have similar circulations. My hometown -- Omaha, Nebraska -- has a couple of different city-oriented magazines, including Omaha magazine. The same company also publishes magazines called "Omaha Home" and "B2B Omaha."

Do a Google search of your city + magazine and see if you can find publications that are city-oriented in your area.

Reaching Out to Journalists
Remember that newspaper editors need to fill pages. Find the editor or journalist who's responsible for the specific section you're targeting. Try to pick people who've written about similar stories in the past. Then, send them an email pitching your story. Wait about 24 hours, then contact them by phone to follow up. Add them to your news release distribution list.

You might not land the story your very first try. Keep coming up with interesting angles and soon enough you'll get your first mention in the newspapers. Publicity begets publicity -- the more you're quoted, the more you'll be asked to be a part of future stories.

For more information on how to get free coverage for your careers industry business -- including sample news releases, dozens of story ideas to pitch, and more -- check out the Feed the Media Special Report (available to Bronze Level members during the month of September on

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pinterest Tip: How to Follow Other Pinterest Users

Last week, I shared a post on "Using Pinterest in Your Career Services Business." One of the most common questions I get from resume writers is: How do I follow other resume writers? 

As a social media site, one of the core features of Pinterest is the ability to follow other people’s pins. By following them, you cause their pins to appear in your feed. They’ll also see that you’re following them, making it more likely that they’ll follow you in return. Here’s how to find people and boards to follow.

Finding People You Know
If you have already connected your Facebook account to your Pinterest account, it’s easy to find people you know. To find and follow the pins of your existing connections, just hover your mouse over your name in the upper right corner. This causes the drop-down menu to appear. Click “Find Friends."

You’ll be taken to a page with all your friends’ names displayed. Just click “Follow” to follow them.

NOTE: When you choose to follow a specific person, this will have you follow all their boards and their pins. Alternatively, you can choose to follow specific boards only.

Follow Specific Boards Only

What if you only want to follow a specific board and not all of a person’s pins? You can do that and it’s a feature that’s useful if you only have some interests in common. Just click on their name, which will bring you to their profile page.

On their profile page, choose the specific board you want to follow and click “Follow” at the bottom of that board’s detail.

If, it at some later point, you want to follow all the boards of the individual, just go to their profile and click “Follow” from that page, instead of just on the board.

Finding Boards from People You Don’t Know
One rich source of images and ideas is boards by other people. People you don’t know. To find these boards, just click “Everything” along the top. A drop-down menu will appear with the topics of all the boards you might be interested in. Pick a topic.

A large feed of boards will appear. Click on a specific board to open the board. Click on a name to view that person’s profile. If you see a board or person you like, just follow them by clicking “follow” as shown above.

By selectively following people who pique your interest, you’ll be able to create a diverse, interesting and stimulating feed of pins on Pinterest.

That’s all it takes to start following people! You can find a short list of resume writers who are on Pinterest at the bottom of my post on "Using Pinterest in Your Career Services Business." And be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Two Smart Ways to Leverage Your Facebook Content

The Resume Writers' Digest Facebook page

Your Facebook presence can be a great way to get the attention of prospective resume clients -- and stimulate referrals.

Here are two tips to help you maximize your results on Facebook.

Don't forget to use your personal page on Facebook to drive your resume business.

I've seen a couple of career industry professionals recently who are working to transition their "followers" to their Facebook business pages. If you value your privacy but still want to spread the word about your services, it can be smart to keep your "friends" to people you've actually met and family members. Friend requests from people you don't know -- or prospective or current clients -- can be directed to your Facebook Business page.

Facebook actually made this more confusing in the past few months as they introduced the "Subscribe" feature, which allowed people to receive your public Facebook status updates in their News Feed if they "subscribed" to you. But outside of a couple hundred high profile individuals, the idea wasn't widely adopted. And it seemed to counteract some of Facebook's own standards. Why limit individuals to having 5,000 "friends" and encourage them to use a business page to promote their services (and create a  Terms of Service agreement that penalizes personal profiles set up as companies or organizations) and then later encourage adoption of subscriptions to personal profiles? I don't get it.

With that said -- even if you decide to limit your business promotion to your Facebook Business page, and keep your personal account's "friends" list to people you know well (or better, at least!), don't neglect sharing business-related information on your personal page. There is a lot of power in your personal account's Facebook contacts. If you have a particularly good piece of content, don't just post it to your Facebook Business page's wall. Post it on your own as well. Your friends might like it or share it, resulting in more of their network seeing the content, which leads to more views on your page.

An even BETTER tip is to link to your business page in the post. That way, when it's shared, you're also driving traffic to your Facebook Business page, which can result in referrals, new business -- or, at least, a new "Like."

The second tip has to do with post timing and frequency.

Post early (and late) and often.

There is a lot of research out there about when is the best time to post content on your Facebook page (early morning, before the employed go to work? Mid-morning, for the unemployed? Late nights for college students?)

Unless you have thousands of Facebook fans (I am actually a backup admin for a Facebook page with more than 54,000 fans), a more important guideline than "when" to post is "how often" to post.

Most people have their page settings set so that they "sometimes" see your status updates on their feeds. That means that the more often you update, the more likely it is that something you posted will show up on your followers' feeds.

Don't post more than once or twice a day; but try to post at least once every two or three days. If you can post good content once a day, so much the better -- but don't post shoddy content just to fill space. It's fine to be a "curator" of content as much as a content "creator." That means sharing interesting and relevant articles from other sources (even other resume writers!), but be sure to add your own commentary, or -- better yet, spark engagement by asking a question like, "What would you do if you were asked for your Facebook password in an interview?" on a link to an article about employers requesting access to applicant Facebook accounts. The more someone interacts with your posts (likes, comments, shares), the more likely that content is going to show up in their News Feed in the future.

If you find it difficult to remember to post (or if you prefer to "chunk" your marketing activities and do them all at once), use Facebook's "post scheduler" feature on your Facebook Business page or a third-party service like Hootsuite and write all your posts all at once, but schedule them to "drip" out over time.

These are a few smart ways of making Facebook more effective in your resume writing business.

P.S. -- If you haven't already, please "LIKE" our Resume Writers' Digest Facebook page! You'll get curated articles, links to our blog posts when they're posted, notifications about upcoming events (including free teleseminar traning), and more!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Using Pinterest in Your Career Services Business

Pinterest is the fastest website in history to hit more than 10 million unique monthly visitors. That's faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter and faster than Google. It went from 4.8 million unique in November 2011 to 11 million in January 2012, a mere three months.

Although Pinterest is growing rapidly -- and you may even have an account already that you are using to collect home decor ideas, or recipes -- most resume writers and career industry professionals don't understand how they can use it to get new clients.

(If you want to learn more about setting up a Pinterest account, you can access the free 27-page "Resume Writer's Guide to Pinterest" in the Free Level Resources section of You can apply for your free membership -- or sign in, if you're already a Free or Bronze Level member -- at

Bridget's Pinterest Profile:

Over 80% of Pinterest users are women. Pinterest is a powerful tool for interacting with female buyers and decision-makers online. 

Here are some creative ways to use Pinterest in your resume writing business.

Become an Authority on Pinterest

Ideas for Jobseekers
Much like on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere, one of the best ways to get attention is by providing high quality content.

As a resume writer, you can curate content that relates to the careers industry. I've got a couple – including the "Ideas for Jobseekers" board.

Create content-based boards that give other people ideas and help solve problems. You can create boards for things like interviewing (curate "dress for success" photos, for example) or for "Career Books You Should Read."

Keep doing this until people see you as an authority on Pinterest.

 Market Research

Use Pinterest as a market research tool.

What are prospective resume clients thinking? What do they want in their lives? What are their hopes and dreams?  Figuring out the answers to these questions has traditionally been quite tough. With Pinterest, however, you have a live feed of exactly what everyone in your target market is thinking about and cares about right now. 

Look at who is following your boards, and click through to their profiles. (On your personal profile page, you'll see your number of Followers and the number of people you follow -- "Following." Click on the one that says "Followers.") Check out boards with titles like "Things I Love."
Future Product Ideas

 Along with the idea of using Pinterest to conduct market research, you can use it to capture future product ideas. What kind of ideas is your company considering? One way to let your users participate in the decision making process is to just throw up all the possible ideas on a Pinterest board.

For example, if you're putting together a new special report on "Getting Started with Facebook In Your Job Search," you might commission a couple of inexpensive cover designs (I recommend using and then put up the choices and have your Pinterest followers "vote" on a design.

Throw the concepts up there and let your customers decide.

Affiliate Pinboard

Example of an Affiliate Board
An affiliate pinboard can help you give value to your customers by helping them find resources that are relevant for their needs while you earn affiliate income when they click-through from your Pinterest board.

Create a pinboard out of resources you can find in your industry. Slip a couple of your own in there as well. Customers will find your pin board and buy from both your recommendations and from your company. 

Showcase Your Work

Drive traffic to your blog
One of the best ways to use Pinterest in your resume writing business is to drive traffic to your website and your blog, and to show examples of your work and places you've been published. You can pin blog posts to your board, link to books you've been published in, and post fictionalized resumes.

Looking for an examples of resume writers who "get" Pinterest? Check out these profiles:

These are some creative ways you can use Pinterest in your resume writing business. Pinterest is an extremely fast growing website that’s only going to get more and more relevant as time passes. Are you ready to get involved?

Like this post? Check out my post on "Pinterest Tip: How to Follow Other Pinterest Users."