Monday, December 28, 2020

The “Persistence Effect” and How It Can Help You Fill Your Appointment Book in 2021

 Have you heard of the “Persistence Effect”?

There is a direct connection between the level of effort you put into marketing and the results you get, even when it seems the results are completely unrelated to your efforts.

But it can be hard to figure out what marketing you SHOULD be doing. Should you advertise? Post on social media? Write articles or a blog? Work on networking? Cultivate new referral sources? Start a podcast? Do videos on YouTube?

I have the answer for you:

The secret to marketing

Yep, sounds simple. It doesn’t matter so much WHAT you do as THAT you do.

But it works. 

It’s like that saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
How do you fill your appointment book? One action at a time.


Do one or two simple things each day … consistently.
(The consistency part is important.)


You may look at your resume writing colleagues and wonder: Why does that person seem to have all the business they can handle, and I’m struggling with “feast and famine”? The Persistence Effect is one answer. Even if the things you’re doing aren’t DIRECTLY bringing you new business, the fact that you’re doing SOMETHING can bring you results.

I asked my Bronze members what they’d like to learn more about and the answer was how to get more clients. So I put together a mini course to help: 5 Simple Strategies for Securing More Sales.

In the course, you’ll discover three things you may be doing now that might actually be preventing you from getting clients, you’ll learn how the Persistence Effect can dramatically transform your marketing, and one simple habit that you can begin TODAY that may bring you all the clients you ever need.

Because it’s a mini-course, you can get through it quickly. It’s also designed to help you get results right away. There’s one 25-minute video and two homework assignments. It’s something you can start before the new year. (Although you can save the homework until Jan. 4 if you want.) 

The mini-course is regularly $27 but because I just launched it, you can enroll for just $18 through Dec. 31.

It’s a gift to give yourself to get 2021 started on the right foot. It’s partly about mindset, but there are also practical, actionable strategies you can implement to start filling your appointment book for next year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

My Favorite Tools for Resume Writers

I was talking about one of my favorite tools for with some of my resume writing colleagues, 
and I thought I’d share them in a blog post.

Focus/Productivity: NOISLI

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a harder time focusing these days. My attention span isn’t what it once was, and there are so many distractions!

When I need to write — whether that’s a client resume, Pass-Along Materials for BeAResumeWriter.com, or even this blog post, I pull up Noisli on my computer. (They also have an app.) There is a free level of the service that gets you 90 minutes of free listening a day. I’m seriously considering upgrading to the paid service (unlimited) for $10/month (billed annually).

You can customize your sounds — whether for productivity (like I use it) or for relaxation. You can select the sounds you want to include, mixing and matching them according to your personal taste. I usually start with the default “Productivity” mix and then add in some thunder (because I *love* the sound of thunder). Today, I added in some “campfire” to get a little crackling in there too.

Cost: Free for up to 90 minutes a day; $10/month (billed annually)

Learn more here.



Client Management/Document Management: Evernote

I’ve talked before about how I use Evernote with my client files. When I talk with a prospect by phone or by email or LinkedIn message, I start a note with their name. That way, I'm able to keep all of my notes about them together in one place. As I start to collect their documents (old resumes, questionnaires, exercises), I attach them to the note. That way, everything is accessible to me, no matter where I am. (These days, that’s usually at home, but you never know!) And, once I create their new documents, I attach the files to the note. I also include a copy of their invoice, so I can see what work I’ve done for them, and what I charged them. The next time they come back for service, I can pull up the note and see exactly what I’ve done and when. You can also set reminders in Evernote for a specific date/time. This allows me to do follow-up with clients a month down the road and then a year later too (for updates). 

If you’re on a paid plan for Evernote, you can also scan in notes or upload copies of handwritten notes and the text will be searchable. I still like to take handwritten notes when attending webinars and this keeps me from having to re-type my notes. (Although sometimes I do that just to help me remember stuff!)

With the Premium plan, you can even search inside Microsoft Word docs. This has saved me a number of times when I can't remember a client's name, but I remember their job title or company name. It pulls up the matching options and that’s enough to help me find what I’m looking for.

The Evernote app icon is an elephant — because “an elephant never forgets” — and that’s exactly what Evernote does for me. I use it for my daily to-do list, ongoing projects, I have a note with my affiliate links (so I can just copy-and-paste), my shopping list, and even the list of TV shows Jon and I are currently watching (including what season/episode we’re on) and shows and movies we want to watch next.

You can get a free month of Evernote premium using my affiliate link: http://bit.ly/RWDLovesEvernote

Cost: Free level provides basic functionality, but the Premium level ($7.99/month) allows you to sync across multiple devices (I have it on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop), upload all the types of client information I mentioned earlier, and search within notes.

Learn more here.




Accounting/Finances — QuickBooks Online

Okay, just to be upfront about it — I *hate* accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. It’s ironic, I know, since my parents met when they both worked for the Internal Revenue Service, and because I was runner-up Ms. Future Business Leader for the state of Nebraska my senior year in high school. 

One of the things I hate(d* - past tense!) most about tax time was putting together my files for my accountant. We had been using QuickBooks (the Mac desktop version) since we started the business in 1996, but I always had to manually bring in my PayPal data at the end of the year, and spend days tagging and reconciling the transactions.

So when my accountant said I had to switch to QuickBooks online this year, I was more than reluctant. 

But you know what? I actually *enjoy* doing my bookkeeping now — and, more important, I’ve actually kept up with it. So 2021 might be the first year I get my accountant our data in January. (And actually, I don’t have to send him anything related to the business — he has access to my QuickBooks information from an accountant portal built into my subscription.) 

Here’s my favorite part: It brings in my business checking account data and PayPal data automatically once a day. Then, I go in and categorize the transactions. It has built-in “rules,” so some transactions it automatically categorizes (and I just click “Add” to approve it). That’s great for my recurring monthly payments (like Evernote, above). Honestly, it’s like a little game every time I log into categorize them (which I do 3-4 times a week). It takes me like 5 minutes. It’s almost fun!

I also do all my client invoicing through it (although I don’t have it set up with the built-in merchant account, since I use Affinipay for processing credit/debit cards). But you could do that if you wanted. I can email invoices through QuickBooks, and the reports it creates are interesting. But honestly, I just use the “Dashboard” feature more than anything. That shows me a quick P&L (profit & loss) graphic for the past 12 months, a widget with my expenses over the last 30 days, my annual sales for the last 12 months, and a daily accounting of my bank balances for all linked accounts. I may be more aware of the financial health of my business than I have ever been in the last 24 years we’ve been in business!

I‘m not sure if we’re on the Essentials or Plus plan, because I pay my accounting firm directly ($30/month – so it’s either the Essentials plan with some built-in support from the accounting firm, or I’m getting a discount on the Plus plan). Who knows. It’s totally worth it.



Email List Management — Constant Contact

This one is a little tougher, because there are SO many email management programs out there, and the one I’m recommending isn’t the cheapest, nor does it have the most features. But it’s the easiest one to get started using, and therefore, it’s the one that I recommend for career industry colleagues to start with.

Constant Contact offers more than just email though. You can actually create a website through them, and even host an online store that you can sell digital downloads through. You can also use Constant Contact to offer coupons and promotions, run surveys, and even host and promote events. (All of these are additional, add-on services.)

But for basic email functionality, Constant Contact is perfect for the solopreneur. You can offer an email signup form on your website, using a QR code, “text to join,” and more. Once you get people in, you can segment them to different email lists, and even set up an onboarding campaign of welcome emails. They offer tons of cute templates you can customize, including a built-in library of free (and, optionally, paid) graphics to include.

Cost: $20/month+ (cost depends on list size).

You can get a free trial using this link.



Online Courses/Coaching Platform — Teachable

Online learning is exploding. And jobseekers sometimes want to learn about the job search but not pay your $100-$150/hour one-to-one fees. The solution: Online courses. You can provide transformative content that educates and informs your clients on their own time. Or offer live training on specific topics at specific times. Or offer coaching services using their integrated platform.

The basic plan, at $29/month, includes unlimited students for courses and coaching (but paid courses and coaching will have a small transaction fee for each purchase). You can set up live courses, courses that clients get access to all at once, or even drip courses (where content is released on a pre-determined schedule – or “dripped” to users). 

The possibilities are endless: LinkedIn training for the job search, job search strategies, how to use your resume, how to create your personal brand, and more. I’m looking at offering my jobseeker challenges on Teachable too.

Cost: $29/month for the Basic Plan (annual billing) or $99/month for the Pro plan (this is the plan I use)

Learn more here.



Membership Platform — Wild Apricot

I am a HUGE proponent of membership systems for creating recurring revenue from your clients. And I’ve said that the resume writer who comes up with a system for turning their one-off clients into members will transform the industry. But it hasn’t happened yet.

What has happened is resume writers creating private libraries of content for their clients to access and using membership systems to do that. And resume writers using Wild Apricot to create private client portals where clients can access their files indefinitely. And resume writers offering fixed-term membership programs to provide client training. (Although since I’ve started using Teachable, I’d recommend going that route for a FTM instead of a landing-page-plus-autoresponder membership program). 

If I were starting my resume business today, I’d use Wild Apricot as my website and client platform. You can create a responsive, mobile-friendly website (using WYSIWYG website building tools – What You See Is What You Get). There’s an online “store” that you can use to promote package bundles (resume+cover letter, resume+cover letter+LinkedIn, resume+LinkedIn, resume+coaching, etc.). You can create membership levels, so you could create membership levels where clients could get access to a library of content (using Pass-Along Materials to create custom, branded job search information and tools) and maybe even an annual resume update (at a higher membership fee, obviously). 

And, as previously mentioned, you can create individual client portals with password-protected download pages for client documents. And, because it includes a built-in email management system, you can use it to deliver a monthly client newsletter. And, you can get set up with Affinipay as your merchant service processor, which allows you to bill clients for a monthly or annual membership.

Cost: $40/month for up to 100 contacts; $50/month for up to 250 contacts. 

Learn more here.


The tools included are just a few of my favorites. I’d love to hear what you’re using (and loving). Post your favorites in the comments below.


Friday, December 4, 2020

10 Questions With Laura Slawson


Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!

Today’s profile is Laura Slawson, MRW, CCM, CPRW of The Creative Advantage, LLC.

Laura has been writing resumes since 2009. She has been featured on CNBC, Stewart, Cooper & Coon, and WTBQ radio. She is a Credentialed Career Manager (CCM) and Master Resume Writer (MRW) with Career Thought Leaders, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, and an “Ask the Experts” contributor with the National Resume Writer’s Association (NRWA).

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
I love to write and always had a knack for it. I worked in corporate America for more than 20 years, and did technical writing, corporate policy and procedure writing, and composed documents for the c-suite. I started my career as a working Word Processing Supervisor and learned about word processing when no one even knew what it was! When friends and family asked me to do their resumes and I saw they were successful using the documents I created, I knew I could do this as a business.

I had a very successful virtual administrative services business when my children were young, and I had always dreamed of starting another business. My nature is to help others, and I knew I could do this through my writing.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
I was a Corporate Executive Assistant for several Fortune 100 companies and supported c-suite executives my entire career.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
Sneakers, leggings, a comfortable top and make-up. I’m always ready to meet clients virtually.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
My best habit is that I am extremely organized.

My worst habit is that I tend to spend too much time on the nitty-gritty!

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?
My favorite object is a beautiful painting my Grandmother painted of a waterfall and trees. It’s turquoise, white, and lavender and is so serene. My Grandmother lived to be 103. She had her own business in NY when when women didn’t even work! I also have her picture on my desk to inspire me. Her name is Laura and I was born on her birthday!



6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
I sit on my deck in the sun with a cup of tea. My yard has so many trees, I love to just sit and listen to the birds.

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
When I was in my 20s, I worked for Panasonic and my boss told me, “Never come into my office with a problem unless you have a solution!” This stuck with me all these years.

8. How do you unplug?
I call my 90-year-old mother and my daughter every day. They are both strong, capable women who inspire me and give me great advice!
I also like to sit on the deck and chat with my husband. I read and love to walk.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
I truly love what I do. 
I don’t think I’d change anything. I love helping others, working at my own pace, setting my own schedule and I’m never bored.

10. What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?
LinkedIn, PARW, NRWA, and CTL forums.

Connect with Laura on Linkedin here: 


Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Evelyn Salvador? 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (Advice from 2014?)

 I came across some notes in a notebook today. Even though the advice is probably 6-7 years old (it references MySpace, for goodness sake), I thought it was still pretty relevant. What do you think?

  • Update your status often
  • Keep your information fresh and current
  • Connect to others
  • Comment on what you see
  • Use the medium – post photos, videos, music — whatever is appropriate to the site/your situation
  • Be respectful of others’ time
  • Be prepared to offer more than you ask for
Ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve?”

Google yourself.

Make sure your profile is 100% complete.

Photo – bright, well lit, positive

Write unsolicited recommendations for former co-workers and colleagues.


Also on the page — “10 Best Jobs To Get Through Social Media Sites”
  1. PR Manager
  2. Social Media Strategist
  3. Musician
  4. Blogger
  5. Copywriter
  6. Consultant/Freelancer
  7. IT Worker
  8. Comedian
  9. Web Designer
  10. Marketing Manager

It’s kind of interesting to see old advice like this — because honestly, I think those seven bullet points are still pretty relevant in 2020!




Friday, November 6, 2020

10 Questions With Evelyn Salvador

Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!


Today’s profile is Evelyn Salvador of Creative Image Builders.
 

Evelyn is a certified resume writer and career coach, a personal branding pioneer, and author. She has been a professional resume writer for 28 years. She describes herself as the “World’s leading resume product innovator,” and looking at her portfolio of products for resume writers, it’s hard to argue with that description.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
Ad agency bred, when I first started my business in 1990, I developed branding materials for businesses (such as logos, brochures, fliers, content writing, websites, and the like). In 1992, when asked by my friends to do their resume, I figured I’d give it a shot. When they got interview calls immediately, I thought it was luck or they were in the right place at the right time.

But when that happened time and again, I realized I was onto something … Most resumes were written like job descriptions, but because I was accustomed to branding my business clients, I automatically capitalized on my personal clients’ brands, benefits, competitive edge, value proposition, and return on investment, along with their matching achievements — both visually and verbally — in their resumes. Not knowing it then, I became a Personal Branding Pioneer (the phrase wasn’t coined until 1998); and this became the start of my resume writing practice.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
Previously, I was an Operations Analyst for two banks, and was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Policies and Procedures where I was in charge of documenting the procedures for three merged banks.

After that (in 1990), I decided to engage in my passion of graphic design and worked first for a printing firm and then for an advertising agency, both as a Graphic Designer. In 1992, while freelancing at the ad agency, I started my own business branding firm, Desktop Publishing Plus, and later changed its name to Creative Image Builders when I was branding for both businesses and individuals.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
Nice clothes.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
Best and worst (LOL): Obsessive compulsive when I am working on any writing, design, or photography project. It’s not done until I feel it is the absolute best I could make it. Sometimes I get a little too carried away and spend way too much time.

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?
Awards.


6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
I use some of my own resume writing products, specifically the Career Worksheets and Resume ClipBullets. When I get brain-drain, I come back to and finish it the next day.

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
When the founder of NRWA and CDI were astounded by the
 Designer Resumes I created for my clients and requested I share them with other resume writers, this became my first resume product, followed by many others, and I am so grateful for that.

8. How do you unplug?
I take time to myself either taking and viewing photos, reading and posting on Facebook, conducting research, watching my favorite TV shows in the evening, and playing games on my phone.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
I really want to get into my dream profession of art and photography, but first have to finish everything I am in the throes of! I have 10 niche websites (for resume writing, business branding, art, and photography) — all of which are in an old format and not locatable on Google. I just did launch my ResumeProducts.com site and am in the midst of consolidating all of my other sites into my new business site. (It is not done yet, but the staging link is https://creativeimagebuilders-staging.b12sites.com/index).

Then I have to go into the next stage of making everything downloadable. I also have to finish writing and publishing my 26 resume and career books (7 are published, 7 more are with the publisher, and the remainder are all in process). I so wish everything was done because I’m not getting any younger!

10. What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?
Art and Photography and Resume Writer group forums.

You can follow Creative Image Builders on Facebook here: Facebook.com/CreativeImageBuilders
. Connect with Evelyn on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evelynsalvador

Her resume products are available here: ResumeProducts.com

Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Annette Richmond? 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Why Resume Writers Always Need New Referral Sources

 


Many veteran resume writers say they get a large percentage — maybe even a majority — of their clients through referrals. If that's the case for you, it's important to remember that even though you have a strong referral base, you need to constantly be looking for new referral partners.

Why?

Referral sources are constantly changing. Referral sources may stop sending you clients for a variety of reasons: people leave the industry, or retire, or die, or get mad at you.

Referral sources forget fast. If referral sources do not see you or hear from you on a regular basis, they tend to forget you. Remember, they are bombarded with information all the time. You may not be on their mind all the time. (In fact, it's highly likely that you are not!)

Referral sources will not know you exist if you don't let them know you are out there. Marketing strengthens your business. Continual communication enhances your reputation, your reliability, and the confidence people have in you.

Marketing enables you to maintain your independence. An abundant supply of clients allows you flexibility in choosing who you work with, and which referral sources to continue to nurture.

When economic conditions deteriorate, resume writers who consistently market new referral sources will have a better chance of staying busy and surviving.

Marketing is an anti-depressant. Marketing is empowering. Resume writers who wait for clients to call them are more likely to go through periods of depression and self-doubt. Depression is caused by a sense of powerlessness and helplessness. Taking action by cultivating new referral sources helps psychologically as well as financially.

It’s not enough to be a good resume writer. It’s not good enough to provide your clients with great service. The people with the busiest businesses are the best marketers, not necessarily the best resume writers. 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

10 Questions With Annette Richmond


Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!


Today’s profile is Annette Richmond of career intelligence Resume Writing and Career Services.



Annette has been a professional resume writer for six years. She is a former magazine journalist who “fell into the career field” after earning an MA in Psych. She is a former contingency recruiter, a 5x certified resume writer and is one of fewer than 50 Certified Master Resume Writers (CMRWs) worldwide.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
After almost two decades in the career field, I decided to combine my experience as a writer and perspective as a former recruiter to help my clients move forward in their careers.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
After earning a BA in English, I landed my dream job as a writer for a national 4-color magazine. My interest in people led me to return to school to complete a MA in Psych. The first job I found was as a vocational counselor in a nonprofit training and placement facility. Twenty-plus years later, here I am.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
T-shirts and leggings, primarily black.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
Best: Riding my Peloton.
Worst: Trying to multitask.

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?
Photos of our 4-legged kids, Emma and Katie.


6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
When I’m at a standstill writing the content, I switch to something fun like design. If that doesn’t work, I walk away for a couple of hours.

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
Ask for help when you need it. I’m not exactly sure where that came from, but it’s true. I’ve changed careers a few times, and the only way I succeeded in any of them was because people helped me along the way. I try to pay that forward wherever I can.

8. How do you unplug?
As a business owner, I work a lot. In my downtime, I turn to movies (lots of classics), fiction (mysteries, classics), sports (primarily football), and relaxing with my husband and our 4-legged kids.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
There’s a lot of misinformation out there, some of it from well-known career professionals. I wish there was some type of regulation to help the public understand the difference between solid advice and noise.

You can follow career intelligence on Facebook here: Facebook.com/careerintell or on Twitter @careerintell. Connect with Annette on Linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annetterichmond/

Smarter Career Moves podcast – available on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and wherever else you access your podcasts: https://careerintelligenceresumes.buzzsprout.com

 

Career Intelligence Resume Writing – YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw7L2jtuuwEULjoYDNy4mDA


Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Holly Genser? You can read it here!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

10 Questions With Holly Genser

 

Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!

Today’s profile is Holly Genser of HollyGenser.com.


Holly Genser helps frustrated professionals and leaders with integrity who want to find meaningful work that fits their values. She is a Certified Career Transitions Coach (CCTC), Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), and Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE).

As an introvert herself, Holly also specializes in helping introverts develop gentle job search and interviewing strategies.

She is a member of the National Resume Writers Association (NRWA), is an NRWA Ask An Expert Blog Contributor, and a member of Career Directors International (CDI).

Prior to becoming a career coach and resume writer, Holly earned a MA in Training and Development from The Ohio State University. She also held several roles in Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and higher education, including project manager, consultant, instructor, instructional designer, success coach, and learning center director.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
I became a career coach because, as a child, I felt sad and frustrated as I saw the pain of my mother’s career mismatch and my father’s discouraging job search during a recession. Then, I also felt drained in my job as a training consultant after graduate school, even though I liked it.

When I taught Career Coaching for Supervisors and Career Development for Employees at AT&T, I felt I’d come home to my career interest. I learned about being an introvert and what I needed in my work environment and applied my knowledge and skills to my own difficult planned and unexpected job and career changes. 

It took me several years to fulfill my desire to ease the way for others — first, part-time, and then full-time.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What did you do before?
I learned about career development when I was a training consultant at AT&T and I was asked to get certified to teach their Career Coaching for Managers and Career Development for Employees workshops.

Then I developed the Selection Interviewing for Supervisors and Interview Skills for Employees workshops at Sprint.

I used the skills for my own job and career changes, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I became a Certified Career Transitions Coach (CCTC) and resume writer.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
A colorful, cotton knit shirt, silver jewelry, and black or navy pants.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
My best habit is focusing for long periods of time. I get into the flow and get a lot done.

My worst habit is also this deep focusing. I don't get up often enough for good health.

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?I love the big Georgia O’Keeffe print I see when I enter my office. I love the colors. A bit of it shows behind me in my photo.

6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
What works for me when I get stuck writing is to leave my desk — or, at least the project — and come back a few hours to a few days later. 

I get new ideas when I’m doing something else and a fresh perspective when I return to the project after a hiatus. Even working on a different project helps to gain perspective. 

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
Learn about yourself and find work that fits your personality type, interests, and values.

8. How do you unplug?
I mediate, listen to music, exercise, watch good shows or movies, and draw freely with colored markers and artist’s crayons.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
Have industry regulation to eliminate the unqualified resume providers who provide cheap services based on generic job descriptions without any client differentiation.

For resources and information, visit Holly's website at HollyGenser.com. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/HollyGenser/

Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Lori Jazvac? You can read it here!

Monday, August 24, 2020

How to Create Your First Client-Attracting Course

This month, I launched my newest course, “Ask Better Questions, Write Better Resumes.” This experience — of launching my fourth course under the Resume Writer’s University school — has given me a solid understanding of what’s needed to create a course.


Whether you’re talking about a text-based course or a video course, jobseekers can benefit from learning strategies to help them with their job search. And you’ll love selling a course, since the high perceived value means you can charge more for a course versus other infoproduct formats (such as ebooks).

So, with that in mind, check out these three steps for creating courses your customers will love…

Step 1: Do Your Market Research

The first thing you need to do is figure out what your audience wants. A good way to do this is to find out what they’re already buying. You can check:
  • Udemy.com to see what sort of video courses they are buying.
  • Marketplaces like Amazon and ClickBank to see what sort of infoproducts they are buying in your niche.
  • Websites in your niche to see what they are selling.
  • Paid advertisements (such as sponsored ads) to see what they are promoting.
Popular topics are: preparing for a job interview, job search using LinkedIn, and salary negotiation/getting a raise. But there are other opportunities too: customizing the professionally written resume to target specific job opportunities, identifying your personal brand, conducting a successful job search, applying for positions online, and more.

Select a topic that looks like it will sell well, and then move to the next step…

Step 2: Decide What to Include

Next, you need to decide what to include in your course and start creating your outline. To do this, take two steps:

1.   Brainstorm. Think up all the sub-topics, steps, tips, examples, mistakes, etc. you’d like to include in your course.

2.   Research. Find out what similar infoproducts. Use this information for inspiration – do NOT copy.

NOTE: While you may choose a topic that others have done before, and you may even look to similar products for inspiration, your goal is to create something fresh. This means:

  • Sharing unique strategies and tips.
  • Including unique information — such as case studies, personal stories, and personal examples.
  • Delivering information in a new way, such as turning a step-by-step formula into an acronym/formula.
Next step…

Step 3: Develop Your Course

Once you know what all information you want to include, then organize it into a step-by-step format. If you’re delivering the course in parts, then create equal-sized modules. (e.g., you might create a 12-module course and deliver one lesson/module per week for three months.)

Keep these tips in mind:
  • Use a light, conversational tone.
  • Add relevant stories to keep people engaged. For example, what problems do most jobseekers have when they are starting out with this topic? What mistakes do they typically make?
  • Add value to your course. Offer worksheets, checklists, templates, swipes, planners, and cheat sheets to help people take action on what they just learned. 
  • Proof and polish. If you have errors in your course, people will judge the information as a whole to be low-quality. If needed, hire someone to proof and fact-check your course.
  • Insert backend offers. Promote related products and services inside your course.


As always, you can outsource this entire task to a freelance writer (or video editor) to produce a polished end result.

We didn't talk about the technology, but I use the Teachable platform for Resume Writer’s University because it makes it easy to set up, market, and sell courses. It also includes an affiliate program, so you can let other people promote your course and share a referral commission with them.

Conclusion
Create a course once and it can provide residual income. 
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

10 Questions With Lori Jazvac


Get to know the other resume writers in our community with our “10 Questions” series!

Today’s profile is Lori Jazvac of Creative Horizons Communications – Resumes in Burlington, Ontario Canada.


Lori is an award-winning Master Resume Writer (MRW), Master Certified Resume Strategist (MCRS), Certified Hidden Job Market Coach, and Certified Transition Coach. She is a multi-credentialed NLP Practitioner and NLP Coach. She specializes in supporting jobseekers of all fields and levels globally to navigate complex career transitions within a competitive labour market via a holistic, intuitive, and results-driven approach.

1. Why did you decide to become a professional resume writer?
I decided to become a professional resume writer in 2013 because I wanted to leverage my passion for creative writing and help jobseekers to navigate challenging career transitions.

2. How did you get into the career industry? What  did you do before?
I got into the career industry after undergoing my own career transition to working remotely as an entrepreneur. At that time, I identified a gap in the labour market as well as critical need by jobseekers (especially entry- and mid-level) for high-quality brand marketing collateral, job search planning, and strategic career services. I realized that jobseekers needed strategic and high-level career support as well as goal-focused and results-driven coaching.

Previously, I worked in the administrative field in various roles and industries, where I honed skills in business administration, accounting, customer service, and sales/marketing.

3. What do you typically wear when you’re working?
When I am working, I wear professional, but casual and comfortable clothing. I like to wear clothing that reflects the colour I need for that day to bring me energy or calm and inspiration.

4. What is your best habit, and what is your worst?
My best habit is maintaining a to-do checklist while ensuring the highest-quality standards are met with all my clients.

My worst habit is sometimes staying up too late — I am a “night owl” so I get my best creative work with resume writing done at night.

5. What’s your favorite object in your office? Why?
My favourite object in my office is a beautiful picture that hangs on my wall reflecting a bridge and horizon.

The way the warm colours are portrayed, along with the bright lights and scenic background inspire me to drive my vision and mission to continue helping diverse jobseekers “cross their own bridge” and courageously embrace new opportunities and embark on a new transition. I am also reminded of my own transition that I made seven years ago.

It reflects my motto: “Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon.”

6. What is your “go to” technique or secret when you get stuck when you’re writing a resume? How do you get unstuck?
My “go to” technique when I get stuck when writing a resume is taking a short pause, then doing a brand map or brainstorming the attributes or key elements that make the client stand out. I get unstuck by reviewing and capturing the client’s most relevant information, including focus/target, audience, special value, and milestones while “connecting the dots” for the employer or recruiter. I also like to utilize the strategies offered by Bridget Brooks on writing resumes more efficiently. 

7. What’s the best career advice you ever got?
The best career advice I ever received from another professional when I was unsure of how to take that next entrepreneurial step was: “So just start!” And that is when my passion for wanting to help people grow and succeed led me to starting my career development journey through CPC (Career Professionals of Canada).

Also, the old saying by Robert H. Schuller: “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do” has always inspired me.

These sayings have reminded me to be spontaneous, take action, and believe in my own strengths to navigate among trying times.

These days, our careers are anything but linear. We each have our own unique vision and mission/purpose to fulfill, and we need to leverage that vision and mission to make a true difference. We each have our own career journey with lessons to be learned, gains to be made, and challenges to be overcome, that embodies an enriching experience.

While we may never know where our career path will take us, we need to go with the flow, believe in and channel our unique value, embrace change, and keep on learning. These are the fundamental pillars of success.

8. How do you unplug?
I unplug with exercise, yoga, dance, meditation, or taking long walks in nature. I also love listening to upbeat music.

9. What ONE thing would you change about your business or the career industry, if you could?
What I would change about the career industry would be to raise greater awareness to jobseekers about the immense value of investing in a high-quality resume package or career service. This is absolutely an essential service that cannot be delayed. Everyone needs to have a customized resume package and updated LinkedIn profile at all times as opportunities can arise anytime and one needs to be prepared.

Many jobseekers fail to realize that career services represent a high-value investment for their personal and professional growth. Working with a professional resume writer/career coach greatly benefits jobseekers to help them understand their value, set meaningful goals, and gain clarity with their journey. The value is priceless!

10. What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?
@CareerProCanada (Twitter)
@WorkItDaily (Twitter)
Laura DeCarlo (LinkedIn)
Edwin Correa (LinkedIn)
Career Impressions (LinkedIn)
Deepti Pathak (LinkedIn)

You can find Lori on Facebook, on Twitter (@Lori_Jazvac), and on LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/LoriJazvac

Did you miss our last 10 Questions profile, featuring Gayle Howard? You can read it here!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Resume Customers Will Pay More If You Show Them the Value

I’m working on a new Resume Writer’s University course on pricing and wanted to share some thoughts on a topic that you may have struggled with — or are currently struggling with.

Many resume writers — especially new ones — make the mistake of thinking that every prospective client is money-conscious and looking for rock-bottom prices. This could not be further from the truth. Think of the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus and you will see there are a range of factors that influence a purchasing decision beyond just price.

Show Them the Value
Resume clients will pay more if you show them the value of the service you offer — that is, the reason why your resume services are priced higher those of other resume writers, but also how your services offer real value.

Price and value are not the same thing. They can be related to each other, but they are not the same. A Toyota is not perceived as having the same value as a Lexus, even though they are made by the same company.

Why would this be the case? Marketing helps create this perception. You can do it with your services as compared with other resume writers.

For example, imagine you and another colleague who provide resume services to the same audience — for example, IT professionals. However, how you collect information from prospects differs. You use detailed questionnaires to collect the information, allowing the client to gather the details of their experience on their own time. Your colleague conducts an information-gathering consultation call.

Your marketing might appeal to introverted IT professionals who don’t want to “dig through” their responsibilities and accomplishments verbally. Your colleague’s marketing might appeal to IT professionals who are more comfortable “talking through” their responsibilities and accomplishments than writing them out.

Your Unique Selling Point
In other cases, the difference will not be so clear-cut, but the whole point of your marketing will be to distinguish your brand and products from others. This is commonly referred to as your unique selling point, or USP. Your USP answers the question: Why should people do business with YOU?

Reasons might include awards, industry status, your educational background, experience, and so on.

For example, if you are a resume writer with an extensive background as a recruiter who can provide insider secrets on how to connect with recruiters in the IT industry, your services will be in more demand than someone without the same authority and “street cred.”

Add Value without Spending a Lot
You can also add value to your services without spending a lot of money or time. In this way you can create the impression they are getting an even better deal for the price, even if your price is higher.

For example, you can create a range of educational items to supplement your resume services. These can include checklists, FAQs, worksheets, a quick start guide and other valuable information which will help people make the most out of the product. (Bronze members of BeAResumeWriter.com, you have access to these tools as part of your membership.)

You might also create some training videos to help clients with specific aspects of the job search. You can use a platform like Teachable to do this. With online education booming, and video marketing as well, making quick how-to videos can be a great way to increase the perceived value of your offerings.

A free Facebook group, members only email lists with special offers, extra content, and so on, and a special customer support portal with FAQs can take a little time to set up, but add up to big bucks.

By branding yourself as a company that offers real value for money, it will be easier to make more sales and retain customer loyalty. Resume clients will pay more as long as you are clear about the value of what you were offering, so they will feel as if they are getting the best deal possible.

Stay tuned for more information on my new course!