Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Eight Ways to Personalize Pass-Along Materials

One of the benefits of a Bronze membership in BeAResumeWriter.com is that each month, you get new, brandable careers content that you can use with your clients. But since each member gets the same content to start with, one of the biggest questions I get about Pass-Along Materials is how to make them unique.

A couple of resume writers have expressed concern about if a prospective client is looking for information to help them with their career, and they come across the same report on multiple resume writer websites. You can't control what anyone ELSE does with their content, but the easiest way to solve this for YOUR resume writing business is personalization.

Here are eight ways to personalize your Pass-Along Materials in just a few minutes.

1. Niche It!
The first way to personalize your content is to focus your content — if you can — on the specific audience you serve (or that you want to target with the guide). For example, "Jobseeker's Guide to Salary Negotiation" can become "The Graduate's Guide to Making The Most At Your First Job."

Identify the ideal client to read the content, and then target the content to that reader.

2. Name It!
The easiest way way to personalize your Pass-Along Materials is to come up with a unique name. I intentionally name the Pass-Along Content with very boring, pedestrian names, in hopes of forcing you to come up with something more exciting.

To come up with a unique, attention-getting title, use Jim Edwards' FREE "Profitable Title & Smokin' Hot Domain Name Wizard V2.1" Input four key items: topic, keyword phrase, main result/benefit, and target audience and it will generate dozens of ideas for you.

3. "Newspaper" It
Newspapers are written by different people but edited to sound like one "voice." Your Pass-Along Materials need to sound like they are written by you and are consistent with the other materials you share with clients. Read through the content and make sure it matches your voice and style (and that it agrees with advice you give your clients). Although I focus on "generally accepted" principles with the content, you may occasionally find something you don't necessarily agree with. Feel free to edit or remove that content, and add in your own advice! (And it's still easier than starting completely from scratch!)

And feel free to change the subheadings too. For example, something like "Conducting a Job Search While You're Still Employed" can be changed to "Four Tips for Looking For a Job When You've Already Got One."

You can often take the first sentence of the first paragraph of a section and make a subheading right from that by asking a question.

4. "Novel" It
One way to personalize the content to YOU specifically is to share a client story. You can also create a fictional story to lead into the purpose of the article. Sharing a personal example can also be a way to personalize the material. Stories help the reader relate to your content.

5. Give Readers "Navigation"
Consider adding a photo, graph, or chart to the Pass-Along Materials content to add visual interest,  personalize it, and make it easier to navigate the materials. You can find inexpensive photos on a site like Fotolia. (Make sure you purchase the correct rights for what you want to use your guide for. If you want to sell your content, choose a "Medium" size graphic or larger and that will give you the rights to use the graphic in a product you sell.)

6. Nationalize It.
If you're not in the U.S., adapt the advice to your country. Some resume advice is nation-specific, so make sure you've checked the content to make sure it applies to your readers.

7. Narrate it!
One of the most unique ways to change the Pass-Along Materials is to change the format to audio or video. Use the content as a script for a teleseminar or webinar, as the format for a live program, or an outline for a video or podcast.

8. Don't Neglect It!
The most important thing is to USE your Pass-Along Materials! They're not doing you any good on your computer hard drive — and, as you've seen in this article, it's so easy to personalize them!

Personalizing Pass-Along Materials takes only a couple minutes of your time — and it's also something a virtual assistant can do. It's a great way to receive maximum benefit from your Pass-Along Materials while also providing your readers with unique and valuable content. 

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