Thursday, March 5, 2015

Here It Is At Last: The Secret to Marketing

C.J. Hayden
Guest Post by C.J. Hayden, MCC
Well, that got your attention! Isn't that what every independent professional is really looking for -- that one magic formula that will take the effort out of marketing and bring you all the clients you need, forever?

Searching for this marketing silver bullet, they read articles and books, take seminars and home-study courses, and hire consultants and coaches. And in the process they learn about many, many so-called marketing secrets.

These "secrets" to marketing consist of supposedly surefire approaches like search engine optimization for your website, publishing articles online, social networking, joining a leads group, sending postcards, and running pay-per-click ads. There are of course many more, and each of them is being touted by someone as the ultimate solution for marketing your business.

Trying to sort out the truth in these conflicting claims leaves you with three basic possibilities:
  • All of this is nonsense; there is no secret to marketing.
  • One of these approaches probably really is the secret, but since you have no way of knowing which one, you'd have to try them all.
  • All of these probably are secrets for some people at some times, but none of them may be right for you.

No matter which of these points of view you take, the result is that none of these secrets are ultimately very helpful.

For many years, I've said that the real secret to marketing for independent professionals is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently.

That word "effective" can make this a bit tricky. You have to know what is effective in order for this secret to work for you. If you were to choose a set of completely ineffective things to do, this approach would fail.

But by "completely ineffective," I mean ideas like running a Yellow Pages ad to market a management consulting business, or networking on Facebook in order to make more contacts with doctors, or sending out direct mail letters to attract psychotherapy patients. When the marketing tactics you pick are that far off base, no amount of consistency will make them work.

If you choose a set of activities that have any level of effectiveness, they will work if you do them consistently. Cold calling will work if you make enough calls. In-person networking will work if you attend events regularly and follow up with the people you meet. Public speaking will work if you speak to audiences of a decent size on a regular basis.

With consistency and persistence, you can make even the most mildly effective marketing approaches pay off in the long run. But that qualifier "in the long run" is the catch. You don't want to wait that long. No one does.

Is there another layer to this secret that will make it all happen faster? Yes. Choose a target market that needs your services and can afford to pay for them, craft a message that market will respond to, choose a set of simple, effective approaches to reach that market, follow through on each approach, and spend enough time on your marketing to produce results.

Notice your emotional reaction to reading those words. They're not very exciting, are they? It sounds like work.

It would be much easier if the secret was something like search engine optimization, where you could pay someone else to do all the work and the clients would simply appear. Or joining a leads group, where you could show up at a weekly meeting and the other members would hand you business. Or running pay-per-click ads, where you would never have to talk to people before they became your clients. But of course none of these approaches really work that way.

Don't blame yourself for wanting to avoid hard work. It's human nature to look for the easy way out. But if you spend all your time searching for the effort-free way to market, you will end up making your job much harder. Every time you try another new way to market but then don't follow through on it, or give up too soon to see results, you waste time and money, and lose momentum. By trying to avoid work, you actually create even more.

So instead of looking for a magic formula to avoid the work of marketing altogether, find ways to make it easier on yourself. Here are four suggestions that will help.
  • Choose a target market you enjoy spending time with, and whose issues and goals you care about.
  • Get help with crafting marketing messages if messaging isn't your strong point.
  • Use role models, recommended advisors, or a trusted system to identify only the best marketing approaches, then do what they advise.
  • Use the support of a buddy, coach, or success team to help you follow through on your plans, market consistently, and break through fear and procrastination.

Note that if the above are ways to make marketing easier, doing the opposite of any of these will make it harder. Refusing to choose a target market, for example. Or spending time and money marketing with an off-target message. Or trying flavor-of-the-week marketing tactics no successful person in your field uses. Or not doing enough marketing because it's scary. Or trying to do everything on your own. Or continuing to chase after silver bullet solutions.

The secret to successful marketing for independent professionals is choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently. The secret behind this secret is finding ways to make the process easier. And the secret behind that secret is to stop looking for another secret and get to work on implementing the first one.

Copyright © 2010, C.J. Hayden

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. You can take the Get Clients Now! program from Bridget (Weide) Brooks. Learn more here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Write a Feature Article to Attract More Resume Clients

One of the best ways to increase your visibility and credibility as a resume writer is to write. It's no surprise that most resume writers don't see writing articles as a chore. But sometimes, you can get stuck when you sit down to write an article. So here's a blog post with a 4-step process to help you get started.

Here’s how it works…

Step 1: Choose a Topic
Try to solve a question the jobseekers you want to work with have. If you're looking for ideas, check out "What Should I Write About?" It has lots of article prompts.

What Should I Write About?

Step 2: Write an Article on the Topic
Once you’ve chosen your topic, then your next step is to write a 400 to 600 word article on this topic. Your goal is to provide "useful yet incomplete information." That’s because you want your readers to solve their problems by choosing to work with you.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Title 
Next, you need to craft a title that gets readers to click through to your article. To do this, offer a benefit to those who click through, such as the quick and easy to solution to their job search problems.

Step 4: Submit Your Articles… and Sell! 
Now you’re ready to use your article to drive traffic to your site! You can:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Career Thought Leaders Under New Management

I received this email from Wendy Enelow today. Wendy and Louise have sold Career Thought Leaders and the Resume Writing Academy (RWA) to Marie Zimenoff!

We are delighted to introduce you to the new owner of Career Thought Leaders (CTL) and Resume Writing Academy (RWA): MARIE ZIMENOFF.

Marie is the former President and Board Member of The National Resume Writers’ Association and the Colorado Career Development Association, and owner of A Strategic Advantage resume and coaching business in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Her credentials include: a Master of Education in Human Resource Studies with a focus in Counseling and Career Development; Nationally Certified Counselor; Certified Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Executive and Leadership Development Coach; and Nationally Certified Resume Writer. She has trained workforce development, college career services, and independent career professionals and presented at national conferences for The NRWA, NCDA, and NAWDP.

Many of you already know Marie, but for those of who you don't, wait until you meet her! She is one of the brightest and most forward-thinking career thought leaders ...  someone we trust will nurture CTL and RWA ... someone we know will take these wonderful organizations and lead them to a higher level of excellence. We couldn't be more thrilled.

Here are a few words that Marie wanted to share with everyone:
It is my honor to join the Career Thought Leaders executive team and continue the dedicated efforts of Wendy, Louise, and the current/former advisory council members to advance the careers industry. Providing opportunities, resources, and training for my colleagues in the industry to stay abreast of rapid-changing trends and better serve their clients is my passion. I am excited to expand this joint mission of CTL and RWA.

So, what does this change mean to you and to the programs already underway?

Executive Resume E-Summit: New Formats, New Strategies, New Ideas
 – March 20, 2015
I'll be teaching this program with Marie and am already working on the teaching guide. As always, Louise is preparing an exquisite portfolio of 30+ pages of executive resume samples and resources for all attendees. Click here to read program description and register.

CTL Conference – April 17, 2015
Marie, Louise, and I are hard at work planning the CTL Conference – both the live (University of MD) and video-streaming events. We shared some conference details in an email last Thursday (February 19, 2015), so take a few minutes to read about our presenter, Gerry Crispin, and his program: "The Candidate’s Experience in 21st Century Recruiting: Data, Influencers & Experiences from 95,000 Job Seekers Worldwide."

All program details and registration information will be posted on the website shortly.

CTL Associates
You'll continue to enjoy all of the benefits of your CTL affiliation! Watch for an email from Marie in a few days with details for your upcoming quarterly call with CTL Board Members Michelle Carroll and Ruth Winden. They'll be leading a discussion about the latest trends in career coaching. Great people, great information, and great colleague-to-colleague interaction!

If you're ready to become a CTL Associate and take advantage of the brainstorming calls, program discounts, special opportunities, and more, watch for an email from Marie later this week with a special incentive as she welcomes each and every one of you into the CTL community! Click here to read about all of the benefits that CTL Associates receive.

Current RWA Certification Students
Louise and I will continue to work with all students currently enrolled in RWA. All new students will have the pleasure of working with Marie and her team as they make the RWA certification program even stronger. Click here to read about the certification program and what a tremendously positive difference it will make in your writing skills!

Louise and I put a great deal of thought into our decision to sell CTL and RWA and finding the "right" person to assume leadership. The ideas, energy, and expertise that Marie has made her the perfect candidate, and we couldn't be more excited. Plus, we still get to be involved with great programs and events, without having to manage day-to-day operations. Perfect for everyone involved!

Be sure to add (Marie's email addresses) to your address book so you'll be certain to receive her messages and opportunities. We'll be sharing a lot with you this week as we work through the transition to make CTL and RWA even better than before!

We'd like to close this message by sending our deepest thanks to every one of you who reads our messages, participates in CTL and RWA training programs and opportunities, contributes your knowledge and expertise as a CTL Associate or blogger, and all of the other ways we've interacted over many years. 

We're forever indebted that you've allowed us to be a part of your professional lives and hope that we can continue to be colleagues for years and years to come! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tired of the "Feast or Famine" Cycle in Your Resume Writing Business?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from resume writing colleagues is has to do with the "feast or famine" cycle that is common in many businesses -- but especially for career services professionals.

In my annual survey of resume writers, there is definitely a cyclical nature to when jobseekers seem to naturally seek us out (January and September are usually the two busiest months -- which is no surprise, given New Year's Resolutions and kids returning to school after the summer break). But what do you do in June … or October … or December … to keep the phone ringing?

The answer is to do a simple series of marketing activities every day -- incorporating up to 10 simple tasks into your day each day (or at least several days each week) will keep an endless stream of prospective clients coming your way. Some of these tasks may only take 5 minutes, and many of them won't cost you anything. But it's being mindful about your marketing -- instead of waiting until you have a lull -- that will keep your appointment book full.

I wrote a blog post back in December 2013 about the "feast or famine" cycle, and I talked about the GET CLIENTS NOW! book in that post. I've been using C.J. Hayden's GET CLIENTS NOW! system in my own business since I first heard her speak at a resume writing conference back in 2003. But last month, I decided to become a licensed facilitator for the course because I've seen the positive impact that it can have if you learn and implement the system. Although I've been in business for 19 years now, there are still times when I need to reactivate my referral sources or fill a couple of empty spots in my appointment book. (Although I use the program most often now to fill group programs and attract new members to my membership sites, since I'm a strong believer in the power of passive income!)

Earlier this week, I taught a teleseminar that shares some of the principles behind the program. You can listen to the recording of the "5 Secrets to Attracting All The Clients You Will Ever Need" teleseminar here:

I'm offering three upcoming sessions of the GET CLIENTS NOW! program for resume writers. The first, which starts Feb. 23, has already sold out. There are two more sessions with a limited number of spaces available. One session is on Tuesday evenings, starting March 10. The other is on Wednesday mornings, starting March 25. If you take the time to listen to the call recording (it's only 38 minutes), you'll get a special promo code to register for 50% off the regular program price. But that offer expires Feb. 19, so take the time to listen soon!

If you want to learn more about the program, check out this page:
Get Clients Now

Get Clients Now!™ is a trademark of Wings BusinessCoaching LLC and is used under license.