Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tweets from the 2013 NRWA Conference: Miriam Salpeter and Laura Labovich

Want to see what I was up to at the 2013 NRWA Conference in Chicago? My tweets use the hashtag #NRWA13.

Some key points from the final session, with Miriam Salpeter and Laura Labovich:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How to Turn Resume Prospects Into Resume Clients

Yesterday, I published a brand-new short report, "Turn Browsers Into Buyers: How to Get Resume Clients to Buy Now."

As I was waking up this morning, I thought of a 25th strategy, which I have added as a second bonus in the report. (The report includes 23 strategies + 2 bonus strategies.)

Why is client conversion important? Because increasing your client conversion rate can have a dramatic impact on your income. If your average resume sale is $511 (the current average from the 2012 Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey), and your current conversion rate is 20% (that is, of every 10 prospects you talk to, 2 become clients = 20%) ... and you can double your conversion rate to 40% (that is, getting 4 clients out of 10 prospects to buy = 40%), that adds an additional $1000+ to your revenue.

Even if your average resume sale is $250, doubling your conversion rate from 20% to 40% generates $500 in additional sales!

Because of the wide variety of strategies in this short report, you'll find one (or several!) that will work for your specific situation. Most of these are no-cost or very inexpensive, and many of them are more powerful when they are combined with the other strategies in the report.

Here's an excerpt of the report -- it's the strategy I added today, but it will give you an example of how each strategy is presented — along with real-life examples that you can implement in your resume writing business -- whether it's to close more resume clients, sell more information products, generate memberships, increase attendance to live programs and events (online and offline), and even secure career coaching clients. 

25. Scarcity as a Reason to Book Today (BONUS)

If you’re busy (and close to — or fully booked), scarcity can be a client conversion technique. The scarcity can either be related to a limited number of client appointments you have available overall, or a limited number of appointments in order to meet a specific document delivery date (i.e., the client is seeking an internal promotion, and needs to turn in their resume by the end of the month).

Scarcity is also an excellent conversion strategy because busy resume writers are perceived to be more competent. If you say, “When do you want to start? I’m wide open,” that can actually be a deterrent to buying. But if you limit the choices, the scarcity may actually reassure the client of your competence while providing an incentive to book now, so as not to “miss out.”

·       “If there are any jobs that you want to apply for in the next few weeks, I’d encourage you to set up your appointment today so that we can get your new resume completed by the end of next week.”
·       “If you’re ready to get started, I can process your payment today and get you your customized worksheet by the end of the day tomorrow. I’ve only got one more opening this week, and I’m almost booked up for next week too. How would you like to pay — Mastercard or Visa?”
·       (As a career coach), “I only work with six clients at a time, and I currently have one opening. If you’d like to get started on reaching your career goals, we can start now. If you’re not ready to start yet, I may have to put you on a waiting list if I don’t have an opening when you’re ready to go.”
·       With information products, you can also implement the scarcity principal — even with things like ebooks. You can say, “Only 100 copies of this ebook will be sold, so act quickly.”
·       Scarcity also works for programs. You can limit attendance for your teleseminars, webinars, and in-person workshops and classes.

The 15-page short report is just $27. You can purchase it directly here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't Pretend Everything Is All Right If It's Not

Last night, a summer storm rolled through Omaha. With it came some strong lightning.

I was watching our local 10 p.m. news, and noticed something was off. Here's what I posted on Facebook Tuesday night:

Literally two minutes after I posted on Facebook, they came back from a commercial, and one of the anchors apologized because the station building had been struck by lightning just before they went on air. (They were running a few minutes late anyway because the live show of America's Got Talent had run long.)

I don't understand why they didn't say that from the beginning of the newscast! Instead, they fumbled through the show, reading from an iPad on the anchor desk because the teleprompters were down. The result was a confusing, disjointed mess.

Today's lesson: Don't pretend everything is all right if it's not!

If your computer is acting up and it's affecting your delivery of the client's resume, reach out to them and tell them! If you need surgery and you're going to be out of the office for a week, don't hide that fact!

Update: I am now watching that station's 4 p.m. newscast today, and they've learned their lesson: The afternoon newscast anchor mentioned that today's newscast would look a little different because the station took a direct hit from a lightning strike last night.

Honesty is always the best policy.

I'm a Government Employee, And My Training Budget Has Been Cut

In the weeks leading up to this year's NRWA conference, the government sequester led numerous government agencies — including several that provide career services — to cut their budgets, including funds available for employees to attend conferences and online trainings.

On the NRWA E-List, a government employee expressed her regrets that she would not be in Chicago next week because her agency did not have the funds to send her. A self-employed resume writer replied that she should consider paying to attend the conference herself.

I've thought about this for a few weeks now, and wanted to address this topic in a blog post.

As a self-employed resume writer myself, I've never had the luxury of applying for training funds to cover my professional association dues, online training program registration fees, or conference expenses (including airfare, hotel rental, conference registration, and meals/entertainment).

When I choose to participate in these activities, I am making an investment in myself, my business … and, most important, my clients. When times are tight, I might only invest a small amount — buying a new reference book or two, registering for a NRWA teleseminar (only $19.99 as a member), or one of Wendy and Louise's E-Summits (for $69).

But every couple of years at least, I invest more. Next week, I'll be in Chicago for the NRWA conference. The investment will be significant. Usually, I estimate that conference attendance for one person averages $1200 (including transportation, hotel, meals, and conference registration fees). The Chicago conference will be substantially more for me, not only because I'm bringing along my husband (it will be his fourth conference, but the first one he's actually registered to attend the sessions), we're exhibiting (to promote Resume Writers' Digest and, and the discounted rate at the Courtyard by Marriott Magnificent Mile Downtown Chicago is $184/night plus tax.

I wrote a blog post earlier this year about "If You Want to Keep Earning, You Need to Keep Learning."

The same is true for government employees. If your agency has cut its training budget, consider making a personal investment in your skill development. For one thing, your clients will benefit. Second, YOU will benefit. Not only will you improve your knowledge, but you'll also be gaining networking connections and marketing skills that can benefit you should your job be in jeopardy from further government cuts. You can write resumes and see clients as a part-time job, and if you are furloughed, you can make up lost income through private work.

It's probably too late for you to sign up for Chicago, but the Career Directors International conference is coming up in October, and Career Thought Leaders is returning to an in-person format in Baltimore (plus an online component) next March.

If you're a government employee, an employee of a college or university, or a self-employed resume writer … invest in yourself!