Monday, January 21, 2013

Want Referrals From Recruiters?

Developing an informal referral relationship with one or more recruiters can be a way to generate a handful of new clients each year. However, if you are serious about creating a steady stream of new clients sent your way by recruiters, you need to approach the recruiting firm with a proposal to create a strategic partnership.

This model positions you as a resource and income stream for the recruiting firm, whereas referral relationships (even when the recruiter is compensated for the referral), can seem like more of a one-way street.

Numerous resume writers have been approached by recruiting firms looking to add resume writing to their service offerings. The "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters" special report is invaluable for resume writers who have been contacted about this type of opportunity. Not only will it give you a specific list of questions to ask the recruiting firm to help gauge whether this will be a good fit, but it also outlines issues to consider, systems and procedures to put in place to ensure the relationship works, and identifies the key considerations that should be put into a written agreement or contract.

Some of these include:

  • Tracking referrals. How will you know when the client came from the recruiting firm?
  • Compensation. Commissions for referrals range from $0 to 75%. How much should you offer?
  • Scope of commissionable work. Most referral fees are based on the initial project scope only (usually a resume and cover letter) -- but it's wise to outline this specifically. What if the client comes back for a LinkedIn profile development, or resume retarget? Is a referral fee paid on these services? It depends on your agreement.
  • Reporting requirements. Figuring out how and when referral fees are paid is critical.
  • Contact information. Are you representing yourself as an agent of the recruiting firm? If so, how will this be handled? Will you have an email address that is tied to the recruiting firm's site, so it's easier to track where referrals come from? A special phone number? 

Also, systems and procedures are important. If you are going to be handling a high volume of referrals from a recruiting firm, you need internal processes that can support prospecting, handling leads, pricing projects, and converting them into clients. You'll also need systems for information-gathering, service delivery, billing, and project finalization. These systems must be scalable to support the increase in projects you want to handle. (And what if you get overwhelmed? Do you have methods for subcontracting projects or making referrals to other resume writers?)

"Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships with Recruiters" outlines five case studies of resume writers who have either been approached by a recruiting firm about a referral relationship, or who have initiated this contact.

For example, you can read about Angie, who has developed a referral partnership with a recruiting firm that targets the financial services industry. She pays the firm a small fee that is based on a percentage of each sale. Leads come from all over the country, and she receives 5-6 contacts per month, and converts approximately half of those to become clients. Angie estimates this arrangement contributes around 15 percent of her total revenue.

You can also check out these related blog posts:

The "Developing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships With Recruiters" special report is just $27 and is available for immediate download. The information-packed 22-page report includes questions to ask to make sure the relationship will be a good fit, issues to address with the firm, systems and procedures you should have in place to support the referrals, how to increase the number of referrals you receive, what to put in your written agreement (contract), and frequently-asked questions.

Tuesday, January 27 at 1 p.m. Eastern
Details HERE.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Using Content To Convert Prospects Into Resume Clients

I look at a lot of resume writing business websites in the course of my work with careers industry professionals, and -- like any industry -- there are good websites, and there are a lot of bad ones. One of the biggest problems with the websites of most resume writers is that they are completely focused on selling, and not on helping the prospective client understand what they're buying.

Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself about your website:

* When someone visits my website, what would be their reason for doing so?

* Who is my target audience?

* How do I want my audience to react after viewing my website and reading my content? 

* What kind of content can I provide for my audience to read? Is it content that is useful and informative? Will it lead them to want to work with me?

One of the best ways to improve your website is to develop content for your website that will drive traffic, draw in prospects, and help you sell the services (resume writing, cover letters, LinkedIn profile development) and products (information products, teleseminars/webinars) and training (individual and/or group coaching) you offer.

In order to write great content, you need to at least have an idea of what your potential customers want. It is also important to take time to do an analysis of what your purpose and goals are when it comes to content creation.

The written word can be one of the most persuasive tools when it comes to turning prospects into customers. Be prepared to tell your audience why your career services can help them get a new job, change jobs effectively, or find a job faster. This doesn’t mean you have to make a huge sales pitch. It simply means that you introduce your business to your audience by giving them facts. Don’t provide them with a bunch of hype.

Planning and implementation are two key factors in putting your content together. Start by making a plan as to what type of content you will be offering and where you will offer it (blogs? articles?). Once that is determined, you will need to implement your strategy and put your plan into action. Planning ahead is very important and will also help you reach the goals you have set for your business.

If the content you display on your resume writing business website isn’t useful and informative for your readers, you will lose potential customers and most likely will not have the targeted traffic you need in order to make your resume writing business successful.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"I Manage What I Measure"

I was reading an article in the January 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping by happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (author of "The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.") In the article, she said one of her "Secrets of Adulthood" is "I manage what I measure."

Wow. Isn't that so true?

We keep track of numbers that are important to us. Our age. Our weight. Our checkbook balance. How much we made last year. These are the numbers we focus on. So if we want to make something important to us, we need to assess a metric we can use to judge progress, and then measure it.

Even when I'm not consciously aware that I'm doing this, this principle has power. For example, in September 2011, I started a membership site for resume writers to help them be more effective in their work (their business), and their work with clients. I use a free email-based "journaling" program called "OhLife" to keep a diary of important happenings. The neat thing about OhLife is that it will remind you of your postings from the past — sometimes that's a week ago, but many times it's a year ago.

It will say:

And then, below that, it will include my journal entry. It's really neat to see what was going on at certain periods, and because it's random, it often brings to mind things I wouldn't have thought to look up. It's also a great way to assess your metrics.

For example, periodically, I'll include the number of Bronze members I have on in my OhLife entries. Then, as I get these "past" prompts, I can see the progress I've made in recruiting (and retaining) new Bronze members.

I also keep track of the number of attendees I have for my teleseminars. I create a promotional calendar for marketing each teleseminar, and I keep a running count (in parentheses) on each day of the month leading up to the program. That way, not only can I see how effective certain marketing tactics are (if it jumps from one day to the next), but it keeps me motivated to keep growing that number. (So far, the highest registration for a teleseminar was 162 for "Start, Operate, Profit: Strategies for Building a Six-Figure Resume Writing Business" with Teena Rose in November 2012.) And, as of today, I'm up to 72 registrants for the free "Resume Writer's Affiliate Income Blueprint" program I'm giving on Jan. 9.

My husband was contacted by one of his website clients yesterday, wondering how many visitors they had to their website last month, and in 2012 total. If he didn't have a way to measure that, the client wouldn't know how much traffic they were getting to their site. Instead, he was able to pull up (free website traffic analytics) reports from both (the web host) and Google Analytics.

What can you measure in your resume writing business and life?

Like this post? I also believe that what get's written down get done. Check out my "Ready, Set, Goal!: Business Planning and Goal Setting For Resume Writers" special report for how to set business goals and create an action plan to achieve them in your resume writing business.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet

I'm using the theme of "Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet" for my work with careers industry professionals — particularly Bronze members of It's my personal mission to support resume writers in the work they do in their business and with their clients — providing the tools, guidance, and inspiration to create new revenue streams, provide resources that will help their clients be more effective in their job search, and become recognized for their career expertise.

Because yesterday was New Year's Day, there's been a big focus on resolutions. I like resolutions, and I set some of them for this year ... but I prefer goal setting. I'm also a huge believer in the idea of writing down your goals as a way of focusing your intentions on making them come true. I'm constantly amazed when I come across old notes of mine that have goals on them — and quite often, I've achieved those goals, even if I haven't been consciously working towards them!

For a long time now, resume writers have been asking me for a business plan template. So, I put together a new special report that not only includes a business plan template, but a dozen other worksheets and checklists as well!

"Ready, Set, Goal! Business Planning & Goal Setting For Resume Writers" is a 43-page workbook that will be an invaluable resource for new and veteran resume writers alike! It contains dozens of worksheets designed to help you find your focus, maximize your strengths (while minimizing your weaknesses), and create a plan to reach your personal AND professional goals. In short, working your way through this guide, you can create your plan to make 2013 your best year yet!

Some of the checklists and worksheets included are:

  • Technology Checklist
  • My Dream Business Visioning Statement Worksheet
  • Password Manager
  • Expense Worksheet
  • Three Goal Setting Worksheets (Short-Term, Long-Term, and Immediate)
  • Business Plan Template
  • Marketing Plan Template
  • Action Plan Profitability Analysis

The workbook is just $14 and is available for immediate download. For more information, check it out here: "Ready, Set, Goal! Business Planning and Goal Setting For Resume Writers"

FREE BONUS! Check out these two worksheets from the workbook:
Business Planning Brainstorming
Short-Term Goal-Setting Worksheet