Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lessons From the 7-Step Product Creation Challenge Q&A Call

Yesterday, I hosted a Q&A call for participants in the "7-Step Product Creation Challenge" -- a self-guided program to help career industry professionals develop their first -- or NEXT -- information product.

Here are five tips that I shared on the Q&A call that may help you create your information product -- whether that's an ebook, tip sheet, membership program, webinar/teleseminar, live program, or self-study program for jobseekers.

The first tip is START WITH YOUR WHY. What is your motivation for creating an information product? The two biggest "whys" for resume writers and career coaches is usually one -- or both -- of two things. The first reason to create an information product is to generate passive income (and/or recurring revenue) in your business. For most resume writers, they are only making money when they are directly serving clients (1-to-1 work). An information product allows you to make money even while you're sleeping, while you're doing "family things" or even when you're serving clients!

Speaking of serving clients, that's the second reason you may be motivated to create an information product: A well-designed information product solves a problem for a jobseeker. Many resume writers who have developed their products did so because their clients had a need. Here are just a few examples:

The second tip is START EASY AND CREATE OFTEN! Many career services professionals I talk to want to create something big, like a home study training program or a hardcopy book. Instead, if you're creating your first information product, start with something small -- a tip sheet, an ebook, or a teleseminar. Once you've created one, you'll find it easier to do another one!

But DON'T REINVENT THE WHEEL. That's tip number three. Do you already have something done that you can re-use? Look through your email inbox and see what questions you answer over and over again for clients. Then take the content that you've already sent to clients (copy-and-paste from your emails!) and do something with it! And don't forget that Pass-Along Materials are ready-to-go content you can put to work right away!

The fourth tip is to DEVELOP ONCE AND PROMOTE OFTEN! Once you've created your first (or next!) information product, your work isn't done! The next step is to continue to promote it! You can't just "build it and they will come." Make it a point to promote your product -- post about it on social media. Do guest blog posts or be a guest on podcasts where your ideal client for that product hangs out! Excerpt it!

Finally, JUST GET STARTED! One thing I said over and over again on the call was: "Done is better than perfect!" You can always go back and add to the information product. But getting something done and out there is a huge motivator! If you want help creating an information product for your career services business, take the 7-Step Product Creation Challenge! It's just $37 for the self-guided program. It walks you through the process, step-by-step!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Someday" is Now (The importance of taking action)

"I'm too busy right now, but I'll get around to it."

Ugh. I find myself saying that (too often!). But the truth is, I'm not really "too busy," I just haven't made it a priority.

Since I first took Kelly McCausey's Little Monthly Payments program, I've registered three domain names (one with web hosting!) to launch my next micro-continuity membership site. But then the excuses got in the way. And two of those domains have come up for renewal (meaning I registered them more than a year ago), and the guilt just keeps piling on.

So when I saw that Kelly is offering a Little Monthly Payments masterclass, I signed up. I can't make all four of the live calls (I have an event one of the nights), but I know I can go back and listen to the recording of that call. (She records all the calls.) More important, though, is that by taking this action, I'm making the development of my next program a priority.

If you've been thinking about how to create passive income (and recurring revenue) in your career services business (while ALSO attracting prospective clients and serving jobseekers better), I wanted to remind you one more time about Kelly's masterclass option.

The masterclass includes the Little Monthly Payments self-study training plus four live calls AND access to two "open office hours" sessions with Kelly to get your specific questions answered. Or, you can sign up for just the Little Monthly Payments self-study training.

You can learn more about both options here:
Little Monthly Payments

And if you buy through my link, I'll also send you my "Little Monthly Payments" checklist that I developed that will help walk you step-by-step through the process. But if you're going to stop saying, "I'll get around to it" -- hey, that implied "someday" is now!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Definition of Insanity

I've been having an email conversation recently with a resume writer who has been plagued with a PITA (Pain-In-The-A$$) client who is leaving negative reviews on her Yelp page. (I've written before about how to combat negative reviews here.) 

She reached out to me because this past client has been disparaging her on Yelp because she denied him a refund (and he lost the dispute with his credit card company about it) and Yelp is now showing this negative review exclusively on her page (and hiding all of her "good" reviews). We talked through some strategies for handling that, but the bigger issue is that she has expressed continual frustration with the prices she can charge in her area and PITA clients.

My advice to her is: STOP FOCUSING ON REVIEWS. "Live by the reviews, die by the reviews."

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. One of her top sources of clients is people who find her online using sites like Thumbtack (or Angie's List) and Yelp. As I explained to her, clients who find you through Google these days are the equivalent of clients who would find you through the Yellow Pages 5-7 years ago. ("Good" clients could be found through the Yellow Pages at one time, but that hasn't really been the case for me for about the last 10 years.) They often don't understand the difference between a $75 resume and a $750 resume. They're more likely to be tire-kickers or try to talk you down on your prices.

My message to her is: The first step is recognizing the problem. The second step is admitting you have a problem. The third step is doing something about the problem!

Instead of worrying about negative reviews online, I advised her instead to spend her time and effort cultivating prospects and referral sources. I had previously recommended the Get Clients Now! book to her as a system to help her organize and implement her marketing efforts.
In her most recent email, she expressed frustration that clients in her area (including executives) weren't willing to even pay $265 for a resume and cover letter. (The national average for a resume and cover letter is around $500, according to the Resume Writers' Digest Annual Industry Survey.) I told her:
I can assure you that there are prospective clients in YOUR AREA who are going online and paying $500+ for a resume and cover letter from a resume writer in another state. You offer more personalized service (FOCUS ON THIS!!) and there's no reason why you can't attract them. You're not going to find them on sites like Thumbtack, and many of them aren't going to find that Yelp review. Clients who find you through a Google search (that's today's version of the Yellow Pages) are more price-sensitive and are more likely to be PITAs.

When you rely on hoping prospective clients find you -- rather than attracting your ideal clients -- you're likely to find yourself working with clients who see you as a commodity, rather than an expert resource.

From teaching six sessions of the Get Clients Now program (five of them specifically for resume writers), the top sources for GREAT clients are:
1) Referrals from past, satisfied clients
2) Relationships with hiring managers and recruiters who will refer clients (most without expectation of a referral fee)
3) Speaking engagements you do (not on resume writing, but on other aspects of the job search -- LinkedIn, for example)
4) Writing (blogging, writing articles, guest posting, publishing content on your own website)
5) People who you know in your day-to-day life (friends, family, neighbors, etc.) who know what you do and refer people they know who need job search help

So, in order to attract better (higher quality, higher paying) clients, you need to:
1) Identify your ideal client
2) FIgure out where they "hang out" (online and offline)
3) Provide information/resources that make you a valued resource (to increase your "know/like/trust" factor)
4) Make it clear how you can help

As a homework exercise before folks start the Get Clients Now group training with me, I ask them to track how they've gotten their clients in the last 30 days. I want you to do that, but I want you to take a step further. Look back at your five favorite clients to work with. Figure out how you got them. Are there any lessons in that for how you can attract more clients like them?

As you work to attract more of your ideal clients (at a higher pay rate than what you're getting now), you'll get out of the cycle of burnout and frustration. But it doesn't happen overnight, and from now on, you must dedicate yourself to 100% quality and meeting every deadline. I don't care if these clients review you on Yelp or not. If they're happy, they will tell others. (And you will TELL them to tell others!)

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Your resume writing business can get better, but you have to decide what you want, and then act on it.

Are you ready to do something different?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Five Things to Do With Tweetable Tips Content

As I've talked about on many occasions, jobseekers are hungry for information that will help them in their careers. One of the best ways to establish your credibility as an expert who can help them is to share information. 

I'm currently giving my tribe of resume writers "30 Days of Gifts," and today's gift was a mini version of the "Tweetable Tips" Pass-Along Materials from May 2015.

If you're a Free or Bronze member of and you're reading this in September 2015, you can log into your account and access today's gift (along with a new gift each day during the month)!

"Top Tips." "10 Ways to..." "3 Simple Strategies for..." These are some of the most popular type of content to publish. Here's five ways to make the most out of this content.

1. Bundle.
You can bundle up tips into an article or a tip sheet. Organize a certain number of tips in a logical order (i.e., 5 tips, 10 tips, etc.), write an intro paragraph, and put a bio paragraph at the bottom with your photo and a link to your website. Don't forget a call to action too! I turn my tips into PDFs instead of sharing them as Word documents.

2. Tweet Them Out.
You can load up your social media accounts with the tweets. You can use a social app like Hootsuite to pre-schedule posts. All of the tweets in the Pass-Along Materials content I gave you will fit in Twitter's 140-character limit. But you can also post them on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest (see tip #3!), or use them as a LinkedIn status update.

3. Make Them Shareable!
Tips are perfect for creating shareable content -- images and infographics. You can get images from a site like Fotolia (do NOT just get your images off of Google!). Add the shortened tip in a nice font and stick a border around the image. Be SURE to put your company name and URL on the graphic too! If you want to put the tips into an infographic, use a tool like

4. Create Slides or a Video.
It's easy to create a shareable, information-packed slide show or video. You can use PowerPoint and put one tip on each slide. Publish the slide deck to SlideShare. You can use one of PowerPoint's built-in themes. Pick a theme, type in the tip, and use Fotolia for an accompanying image. Don't forget to add a title slide and a slide at the end with your name/contact information and call to action. Once you have a slide show, you can record the slideshow with narrations and timing (under the Slide Show menu). Then to go "File" > "Make Movie." You now have a slide show AND a video!

5. Use Them as Inspiration!
Stuck for ideas for articles, blog posts, or emails? Use a few of the tips! You can base an article off just one tip, or use a few at a time. Even better, take a bunch of tips (there are several "themes" in the content I gave you) and divide them up into an autoresponder email series. (I use AWeber for this.) Again, don't forget to include a call to action!