Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Do You Have a Kindle? Use It To Learn

If you have a Kindle, have you heard about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)?

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, one of the benefits of membership is that you can take advantage of the KOLL – allowing you to borrow one book a month from over 500,000 available titles.

Better than a public library because of the sheer volume of books available, you can use the KOLL to learn. Study resume writing techniques, borrow business books, read biographies of successful business owners.

Not an Amazon Prime member? Try the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for free as part of a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Use my affiliate link to give it a try:

Leave me a comment below and let me know what book you borrowed first through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Resume Writers: Get Ready for the Biggest Corporate Layoff in U.S. History

I've seen this reported over the last few days from numerous sources -- IBM is poised for the biggest layoffs in company history. In fact, some are saying this will be a record-setting layoff among all U.S. corporations. IBM is expected to lay off more than 110,000 employees (or about 1/4 of its workforce):

While many of these folks will be directed to company-paid outplacement firms, others will no doubt be seeking out the services of professional resume writers. (And, as the article surmises, even those who aren't laid off are likely to update their resumes and LinkedIn profiles in case this round isn't the last.) These aren't just IT professionals -- there will be folks in administration, marketing, operations, customer service, and finance too.

You may be contacted by media in your area looking to "localize" this issue, especially if there are IBM offices in nearby. (Google "IBM" and your city name and see if there is an office in your area. We have one in Omaha, for example.)

OR, if you are looking to generate media coverage for your resume writing services, today would be a great day to reach out to your nearby news media (especially TV) and offer yourself as a source to interview about what to do when you're laid off.

For example, you could call one of your local TV stations and ask for the assignment editor. Ask if they are planning on doing a local story on the impact of IBM's layoffs, expected to be the largest corporate layoff in U.S. history. Introduce yourself: "I'm (name), of (company name). I am reaching out to you to offer information and resources to help those among your (viewers/readers) who will be laid off, and their families. I can share information and advice that will help these folks, and it's applicable to any of your audience who have recently been laid off or fired."

If you are interested in reaching out to the media, I'm offering my teleseminar recording and transcript of "Feed the Media: How to Get Free Publicity for Your Resume Business" for free download until Feb. 1, 2015. It will help you prepare to be a media source. Click here to download it.

Want some resources to help clients if they are fired or laid off? Check out this Pass-Along Materials package: So You Got Fired! (Or You Think You're About to Get Fired)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Should I Discount My Resume Services?

There's been a lot of discussion recently about offering discounts for resume writers  -- especially for friends and family. But discounts might not be the best way to convert a prospect into a client.

Prospects who ask for discounts may be more likely to turn into PITA (Pain-in-the-A$$) clients. But even if they don't ask for discounts, sometimes resume writers may feel pressured to offer a discount to get the client to sign on.

I have a better idea.

Creating a sense of urgency — buy now! — is the single most important factor in turning résumé prospects into résumé clients. Ask any résumé writer: It’s critical to get a client to commit on the first call. The longer they wait, the slimmer your chance of getting them to open their wallet.

But you don't have to offer them for a discount to get them to sign on.

Here's a strategy I share in my special report, "Turning Browsers Into Buyers":

1. Offer Time-Sensitive Bonuses
How to use a low-cost, high-value bonus to clinch the sale.

Just offering a bonus is a great way to incentivize people to buy what you’re selling. But when you make the bonus time-sensitive, you increase the urgency. And that means increased sales!

Think about the infomercials you see on television. Many of them offer a “gift with purchase” — something extra when you make your purchase. Simply offering a special bonus — and it doesn’t have to be anything expensive — can increase your conversions. But when you combine that bonus with a deadline, you make this strategy even more powerful. That’s because a sense of urgency can help get people to commit.

This does not have to be a high-pressure sales tactic.

·       “I’m offering a special bonus for new clients who decide to take action today. If you order the Deluxe Résumé and Cover Letter package, I’ll also enroll you in our ‘30 Days to Your Next Job’ Challenge, which is a $49 value, for free.”
·       Order your Résumé Rewrite package in the next 48 hours, and you’ll get a free 8-day “Leveraging LinkedIn In Your Job Search” training — a $49 value.
·       Buy the “Six Steps to a $6,000 Raise” and you’ll get a free 15-minute salary negotiation strategy session — but hurry, this special offer ends tomorrow!

You can also use this tactic for products and services you sell on your website. For example, “If you purchase a one-hour job interview coaching session, you’ll receive a free ebook, ‘55 Questions You Should Be Prepared to Answer in an Interview,’ — if you reserve your coaching session by May 31.”

Low-cost bonuses can include:
Ebooks or digital special reports
Workbooks or tip sheets
Recordings and/or transcripts of teleseminars you’ve done
15-minute “strategy sessions” when the client makes a high dollar purchase. These can also be lead-ins to your coaching services or coaching packages, giving prospects a “try-before-you-buy” sample of what coaching can do for them.

Most of these are things that won’t take you a lot of time to create — but have a high perceived value for clients. Just offering a bonus can increase your sales — but putting a time limit on it makes it even more powerful.

So next time you're tempted to offer a discount, offer a bonus instead.

You can purchase the "Turning Browsers Into Buyers" special report for $27 here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some People Are Not Cut Out for Self-Employment

I was talking to an acquaintance last week. He's a "stylist" for J. Hilburn, an upscale clothing company that uses the "direct sales" model -- think Pampered Chef, Avon, Tastefully Simple, and Arbonne. His "real job" (he was the one who called it that -- I'd just call it his "day job") is as an insurance agent.

He had the opportunity to set up an exhibit booth at a conference for insurance agents, brokers, and agency managers. There would be 300-400 of these folks at the conference, and most of them wear suits (or anything the opposite of "Casual Friday") at least once a week, if not daily. They would be great prospects for his products.

But here is what he said when I talked to him about participating in the conference:

  • "I would have to take the day off of work to man the booth."
  • "I incur costs for marketing materials, and with that many people, that would be expensive."
  • "I can't afford a booth because I might not make any sales."

When I suggested he could partner up with another J. Hilburn agent to provide a personalized customer service experience -- with limited breaks and 300 people roaming the Exhibit Hall simultaneously, he might not get to talk to very many people, but if he paired up, they could talk to more people. Plus, they could split the cost of the booth, this was his response:
"No, I want them all myself."


This guy is not cut out to be self-employed. He'll have a day job for the rest of his life. (He actually told me that! He said he would never leave the agency he works for. He plans to keep working there until retirement.) 

Resume writers who start their business need to invest -- not just money, but TIME in meeting qualified prospects. When you get the opportunity to get in front of people who need your services, take it! If that means teaming up so that you can meet the needs of your customers, don't be selfish! 

And yes, you need to invest in marketing! Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. (This guy doesn't have to give everyone their own J. Hilburn catalog, but having 1-2 on display is critical, and he can provide catalogs only to people who agree to be measured -- so he can enter them as a customer in the  J. Hilburn app, or those who are otherwise identified as serious prospects.)

If you're so tied to your day job that you're not willing to make some sacrifices to be your own boss, you're probably not cut out for self-employment. And that's fine, but don't be confused about it. Owning your own resume writing business requires a leap of faith.

“Whenever you see a successful business, 
someone once made a courageous decision.”
– Peter F. Drucker

Friday, January 9, 2015

What I'm Doing Differently This Year

As I mentioned earlier this week, my word for 2015 is "FINISH."

I love starting projects ... I even enjoy the middle ... but sometimes, finishing is hard.

I was talking to a couple of resume writing colleagues about this today, and they suggested some ideas to help ... but I think the biggest thing for me is focus and mindfulness. Making it a priority to finish the projects is the first step. That includes actually putting tasks on my schedule so that I spend time on them each day.

I'm also using Evernote to help. Each day, I start two notes. One is a daily journal to help me keep track of my time. If I don't track my time (even loosely), it gets away from me. The second note is a daily to-do list, with no more than 10 items in bold that are my priority for the day. I try to at least get the bolded items checked off each day. (And I love checking off items!) I can copy-and-paste the items that are still on there to the next day's note.

The second thing I do is I write "FINISH" at the top of both of the Evernote notes. This reminds me of my overall goal for the year.

The third thing I'm doing is actively focusing on learning. I'm dedicating a minimum of 1 hour a week (my ideal goal is 2 hours a week) to continuing education and learning. That includes NRWA teleseminars, Career Thought Leaders Expert calls, and courses on Udemy. (I shared my affiliate link with my colleagues who want to learn on Udemy -- they're offering a $10 special on more than 9,000 courses, but it ends at midnight Pacific time tonight.)

I saw this statement on Facebook just before the end of the year:
If you want things to be different, do something different.

What are you doing differently?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Email Marketing Is Critical to Your Resume Writing Business

Yesterday's blog post hit a nerve, it seems. A mailing list can be a valuable tool for your resume writing business. Whether you're creating an opt-in incentive to build your list to help convert prospects into clients, or using your mailing list to stay in touch with clients after you've worked with them, I believe a mailing list is instrumental, and you should start one now.

You can take AWeber for a free test drive using the form below. Put in your name and email address and it will show you how easy it is.

Email marketing made easy.

Want to get an email marketing campaign up and
running in minutes? AWeber can help.
Powered by AWeber

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Create an Opt-In Incentive for Resume Prospects On Your Website in Under an Hour

Right now, I'm running a Challenge for Bronze members of -- and one of the projects (As outlined in my Dead Week post) is to create an opt-in incentive for visitors to your website.

It's a great idea to collect the email addresses of resume prospects, because it allows you to develop a relationship with them -- and the best way to get their email address is to provide them with an opt-in incentive (an immediate gift they receive for providing their email address).

Here's my step-by-step for it:

1. Pick one of the PAMs to use.

2. Re-name it. (Here's a free tool-- click on the FREE WIZARDS tab -- to help inspire you!)

3. Order a cover on (it's $5.50) (if you're new to Fiverr, your first Gig is free using my affiliate link: I use Vikiana for my cover designs, but there are others on there. She's currently working 5 days out, so you might pick one that delivers in 2-3 days if you want to get finished faster!

4. Edit and format the PAM content. Insert the cover design (flat image) on page 1. Create a title page with your contact information (you can copy the format in my Special Reports, or just open the nearest book and use that format). Change the font. Add footers. Add design elements, if you'd like. (I recommend graphics from Fotolia.)

5. Save as a PDF.

It takes me about 45 minutes to create one, start to finish (not including waiting time for the Fiverr cover ...)

Then, set up an email list contact form and autoresponder to deliver the report.
This is easy to do in Constant Contact or AWeber.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thinking of Buying -- or Selling -- a Resume Writing Business?

A couple of times a year, I hear from a resume writer who is thinking about retiring or selling his or her business. I recently interviewed a resume writer who successfully sold her business (and I'm thinking about interviewing the buyer too!), but the topic came up for me yesterday when I got a call from a business broker who wondered if I was interested in selling my resume writing business.

I told her I wasn't (My husband and I have created a business that fits our lifestyle, and that we love!), but I asked for more information about what she does, so that if you come across this post and you're interested in buying an established resume writing business -- or selling yours -- you'll have a resource to check out. (Note: I don't know much about this brokerage company other than what I read on their website, and from talking to my contact there.)

Linda, with Affiliated Business Consultants, says some of the main reasons why someone might be interested in buying a business include:

  • They've moving to a different state
  • They've lost a job and want the security of self-employment in an established business

I told her I sometimes hear from resume writers who want to sell. Their primary reasons for selling include:

  • Retirement (there is a substantial segment of the resume writing industry over age 55 -- this will open up the possibility for business sales over the next 5-10 years)
  • Health issues -- again, age is a factor in this one too. The resume writer might be interested in cutting back his or her business due to health concerns.
  • Returning to the corporate world. I talked with a couple of resume writers in the last few months alone who are taking corporate jobs and consequently, are shuttering their careers business.

If you're thinking of buying or selling, contact Linda at 719-540-2200 extension 243. Or visit the Affiliated Business Consultants website at

Monday, January 5, 2015

The "Then What?" Question Strategy for Collecting Client Accomplishments

Sometimes when you're trying to collect accomplishments from clients, they can't think of anything that they would consider an "accomplishment." This strategy works with people at all levels of employment and is best utilized to get accomplishments out of people who aren't used to quantifying what they do.

I call it the "Then What?" question strategy.

Let's say you're writing a resume for a preschool photographer. I chose that by going to and looking for the first non-sales job I found in Omaha, Nebraska, where I live. It's much easier to get accomplishments from sales people than from people in the "helping professions." I'm not sure if "preschool photographer" is a helping profession or not, but it's one where you might have a hard time getting accomplishments out of the client -- but also a job where asking the right questions can yield some good stuff.

So, I ask my preschool photographer client about her work, and she says that she takes photos of all the kids in a preschool class. I'll ask about how many kids are in the average class, and how long it usually takes to shoot a class. Then I might ask directly about an accomplishment — for example, "Tell me about what makes you good at your job." The client may say something like, "Well, sometimes the kids don't want their picture taken. They might be shy, or just not like photographers. I'm good at getting them to smile."

I'd say, "Okay, so let's say little Timmy is clinging to his teacher and doesn't want his picture taken. Then what?" She might respond, "Well, first I'd put him at ease. I keep a little box of puppets in my photography bag for that very reason. He might not want to hear from me, but he'll listen to Mr. Monkey."

"Okay, so you bring out Mr. Monkey. Then what?"

She replies, "Well, I put the camera down and put on Mr. Monkey — he's a hand puppet — and I have Mr. Monkey explain — in a funny voice, of course — that he wants to be able to remember what Timmy looks like, and could he get a picture of him? Sometimes that works directly, but sometimes I have to give Mr. Monkey to the child and have Mr. Monkey agree to get his picture taken with Timmy first."

"Great," I say. "So then what?"

"Well," my client says, "At that point, they're usually smiling … or sometimes laughing … because I'm still using my Mr. Monkey voice, and I can get a couple of shots off. And because we shoot all digital, I can see right away if I've got the picture. In three years of doing this, Mr. Monkey has never failed in getting me the shot I need. Sometimes it takes 5 or 10 minutes, but I always get the photo."

And from there, I'm able to write some strong, employer-oriented accomplishment bullets.

Want to learn more about the "Then What?" question strategy? Purchase my teleseminar, "Ask Better Questions, Write Better Resumes" or download the "Write Great Resumes Faster" book.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What's Your Word This Year?

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading my blog posts. (I know you are, because I had a sudden spike in sales of my "Write Great Resumes Faster" book after mentioning it in this blog post last week!)

I started a new tradition last year … choosing a theme for the year. I called 2014 "The Year of the Product" because I wanted to focus on developing a new passive income stream -- a training program for resume writers interested in earning passive income through affiliate marketing. My words were: Create / Share / Action.

I did meet that goal, launching the Resume Writer's Affiliate Income Blueprint program, fulfilling my dream of creating a program that would help resume writers meet their income goals while they also served the needs of jobseekers.

For 2015, I took inspiration from Kelly McCausey and narrowed my focus for 2015 down to a single word. I was trying to figure out what my word was going to be … and it was starting to worry me that nothing was really coming to mind … and then my subconscious mind kicked in when I looked at my to-do list. Suddenly, my focus for 2015 was clear.

Fotolia – © arybickii

You see, I have trouble finishing things. At any given time, my to-do list (the one I was just talking about), extends to more than a page. I have dozens of notes in Evernote with projects that I ended up dropping off my handwritten to-do lists.

I love writing resumes. I hate finalizing them. In an ideal world, I'd send the client the first drafts and someone else would handle all the minor changes and create the additional file formats.

I love coming up with ideas, outlining concepts, and even starting stuff. But I hate the middle and I really have a hard time with the end. (I'm only motivated by deadlines. And that's whether it's for a resume or each month's Bronze member resources on

So FINISH is my word for 2015. I've set a goal for one project that I've been working on for about 15 months now. I'm going to finish it by the end of this month. And then I'm going to choose something else to finish in February. And so on.

But before I *finish* this blog post, I want to ask you: What's YOUR word going to be this year? Post it in the Comments section below.

And I expect you to hold me accountable on my theme. Ask me how my projects are going!!!