Inbound Marketing, SEO, Job Search

On Optimizing Your Job Search

Typically when one thinks of inbound marketing, social media or search engine optimization, it’s framed in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer sense. How will I establish my brand to grow my business? How will I market my product/service to reach the people who need it?

This same theory can be applied effectively in an employer-job-seeker model as well.  It can be used to market yourself to future employers, and it’s so effective that at the very least, you will grow your professional network.  At it’s best- these strategies can help you find your “dream job”.

I read an article this morning about how many people in the Rochester area are still searching for jobs.  Good people, educated people, people who have been using every possible method of searching for a job yet still come up dry. The article mentioned several people, by name, and detailed their education as well as respective careers. It mentioned how they had been on countless interviews. It also mentioned how it is important to focus your job search so you find the jobs specifically looking for a certain skill set that you possess. This would assure that employers were getting someone truly qualified for the job, and help employees find the best job for their skill strengths. A win-win that creates a unique well-oiled business machine.

It got me thinking. In this age of the internet and Google, wouldn’t it be great if I could go to Google and search for someone to hire? So I tried it. I googled “Rochester NY + I need an employee to write press releases” and like magic….. A ton of profiles on a popular professional social networking site (Linked-in) popped up. The second result was someone who was “self-employed” and had years of experience writing press releases. Amazing! This is not news, I’m sure. It was so perfect because I do need someone to write press releases. Not someone who had general marketing experience, or experience writing radio ad copy, or designing billboard graphics. Just press releases. A very specific skill set.

Google is so simple. There are a ton of job sites out there. But if every employer could just….Google it. That would be so easy for the employer and for the potential employee. One site. The end.

So, in that same vein, it would be remarkable for the driven, but out-of-work potential employees out there to be able to optimize themselves. Personal branding.

Anyone can do it! So I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips on how you (the potential awesome employee) can brand yourself so that your future dream job will find you!

1)Linked-In: get it. Do it right now if you don’t already have it, if you do have it, make sure you get involved ASAP. By getting involved I mean participate in group discussions. Show off your expertise! If you can’t find a group about what you are an expert at, start your own.  Search through Linked-In and invite people who are in your industry.  Engage in professional dialogue with others. Answer questions, and ask questions (professionally related of course) to other people in the area who are in your industry. All of this will showcase that you know your stuff and you are passionate about it!

2)Facebook: don’t roll your eyes at me just yet. This is not just a platform for playing FarmVille or catching up with your high school buddies. It is a unique and powerful marketing tool. Make sure your profile is clear of anything you wouldn’t want a future employer seeing. Personal stuff is fine! Employers want well rounded people who have a positive personal life as well as professional life. Discuss your professional passion, interact with like-minded people who have the same goals. You will find that there are others out there who are in the same position as yourself and in doing that you will find comfort AND show that you are driven to succeed.

3)Twitter: follow companies you have either worked for in the past or you would like to work for. Follow other companies that are related to your field. Post links to cool articles about the industry you are most knowledgeable about. If you aren’t informed, make strides to become the expert on the latest news in your profession. Re-tweet articles others in that field have posted.  I got a message a couple months ago on Twitter from a professional who worked in another industry but desired a career change.  This person asked me for advice on how to break into the market- more specifically about how to get involved in Radio Advertising (I used be an account exec for a well-known radio corporation).  I thought that was so cool!  There are lots of other people out there far more qualified than myself to give career advice, but I did what I could and tried to steer this person in the right direction.  That shows drive, and guts.  I’d definitely hire someone that motivated if he/she had the skills I were looking for.

4)Blog/website: this is my favorite. There is no better way to highlight your expertise and passion than writing about it. This not only keeps you sharp, but shows that you are the go-to guy/gal in your profession. This sets you apart from others as someone who cares about giving your fellow professionals remarkable and useful information they can use to better themselves. This is your soapbox. Stand on it and tell the world why you are the “world’s greatest” at whatever you do.

  • Don’t forget to use tags. This is helpful for Google.
  • These articles need to be re-posted on your Facebook (add a note to summarize your article, then post with a link to it), your Twitter, and your Linked-in accounts.
  • Provide links on your site to other company/industry related blogs. Ask those blog owners to link to your blog.  Start commenting on those blogs. One hand washes the other, and linking/participating equals flattery of the highest form.  It shows you are genuinely interested and they will usually return the favor.
  • Engage your readers in the comments.  Finish each article with a call to action or a thought provoking question and invite them to respond with their thoughts.
  • Respond to comments even if they question your expertise. It’s okay to engage in healthy and professional debates. It just shows how passionate and knowledgeable you are. Employers want passion.  And knowledge.  Make sure what you say is correct.
  • Make sure you do your research and cite sources if you are writing something technical.
  • Make sure your contact information is visible.
  • Don’t set your comments to be moderated. This prevents people from speaking their mind and prevents a real discussion from occurring.

5)Optimization: finally, you want to make sure all of your of your social media accounts are connected. Linked-in should link to your articles, Twitter, and Facebook. Tweets can be linked to your Facebook and be displayed on your blog as well. Buy a URL to personalize your blog further- in most cases, it’s dirt cheap. Make sure your URL is something that is simple, but describes what you do- I.e. http://xyzindustryexpert.com. Keep it as simple but descriptive if possible. Make sure all of your pages have titles and tags. Those are secondary as long as you create remarkable, original content consistently (once a week if possible).

Here’s a helpful little info-graphic for those of us who are visual learners:

Inbound Marketing, SEO, Job Search

There are lots of other ways you can brand and optimize yourself to help future employers find you, their ideal candidate, in a timely fashion. When this is applied to a B2B or business-to-consumer model, it provides the gold standard of customer service by showing the target audience “hey, I am right here, where you are already looking, waiting to provide you the best service/product that you need!”

And when these methods are applied in a job-seeker-to-potential-employer model, it provides the gold standard of hard work! It demonstrates that you are a skilled, driven professional who is the expert on whatever it is that you do. This makes for an excellent employee and raises knowledge base in the entire industry altogether. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that?

One last note: There is a school of thought that employers do not want to hire people who are out of work.

I find this to be utterly ridiculous on the behalf of whatever employer would think like that.  There are plenty of good people out there who are unemployed but searching desperately for a job.  People who were the unfortunate victims of lay-offs, budget cuts, and the economy hitting rock bottom in 2008.

As long as you’re still actively keeping up on what is going on in your field, there is absolutely no reason for an employer to assume that you’re a dud or that there is something wrong with you.

And if they do, to heck with them!  You don’t want to work for a company like that anyway, they will probably treat you like garbage and not the invaluable employee you are.

Make sure you volunteer or “intern”.  If a company is not hiring, ask to intern or shadow.  Network as much as possible.  Linked-in has some great features that you can utilize to become informed about local networking events.

Work with local charities, help organize events for them- there is no shortage of volunteer positions ever.  This shows your leadership abilities and your commitment to working in some form.  It also shows compassion.  All qualities that good employers want in a potential awesome employee.

Then write about your experiences and how they’ve helped you grow as a professional.  Put these volunteer opportunities in your resume to show that employer that although you are not employed, you are definitely employable!  What have you done thus far that has helped you get your  name out there?  What has worked and what hasn’t worked?  I am genuinely interested to know.  And if you’re an employer reading this, tell me, what do you look for in an ideal employee?

ReTweets: Followers, Semantics, Timing, and Virtual Snowballs

Who would have ever thought that such an innocuous little feature on Twitter could have turned into such a ground-breaking concept for SEO and viral marketing?  Certainly not myself.  I’ve had a Twitter account since I heard Barack Obama had one back in 2009.  I also heard on that same day that he was making tourney picks for the NCAA Championship.  This inspired me so I jumped on my computer and started tweeting about how cool I thought it was that THE PRESIDENT had a Twitter account and that HE ALSO PICKED HOOPS.  So obviously, being a very astute and like-minded constituent, I hoped he would see my Tweets.

No such luck.  I got frustrated and bored and ignored Twitter for a while.  THEN a little bird (how ironic) told me about the re-tweet feature.  So I decided to research the phenomena.  According to Dan Zarella, viral marketing scientist, and author of “The Science of ReTweets”- there are “four factors that make certain Tweets more viral than others.”  I’ll break it down for you along with my analytical drivel.  I’ll try to make this concise.

1) Followers do matter.  Zarrella states that although more followers might mean the likelihood of possible ReTweets increases, the correlation is weak and other factors may play a larger role.  He breaks it down using a mathematical formula:

Dan Zarellas ReTweetability Metric

Once looking at those numbers, Zarrella states that based on the trends he sees, he finds the content is actually more important.  The quality of the Tweet is much more important than the number of followers a user has.  This makes sense to me.  Quality matters.  Obvious.

2)Semantics and your Tweets: Zarrella suggests that while analyzing the semantic content of Tweets, several trends become obvious such as key language that gets the most ReTweets.

  • Include a call to action such as “please ReTweet“- although you think it sounds a bit elementary, it works.  Please refer to the K.I.S.S. theory.
  • Regular timely updates on Twitter get more ReTweets also.
  • Freebies are popular (I don’t necessarily think that I would strongly push advertising freebies for all types of business, typically retail does better in this aspect)
  • Self referencing (Tweeting about Twitter)
  • Lists are major
  • Blog posts are very popular among ReTweets

For further information on key words that are ReTweeted the most, please see Dan Zarrella’s article.  He also notes that polite calls to action (where the word “please” is used) have higher rates of being ReTweeted.

3) Timing is everything- Tweets posted during business hours – Eastern Time– are more likely to be ReTweeted.  The best time to Tweet would be hypothetically at the beginning of the work day.  According to Zarrella’s research, there is a marked increase in ReTweets during business hours and from then on throughout the day and into the night.  He suggests Tweeting at the beginning of the day to capture the most ReTweetability.  I agree with this.  Research that I have done on social media shows that the best time for new blog articles to be posted is also during EST business hours.  One could hypothesize this is because more people are surfing the web at work…. I believe this could be one of the factors as to why these hours are the best times to see ReTweets.

4)”ReTweet Cascading” is the theory that people will ReTweet content that they have already seen posted as a ReTweet.  I can say without any doubts, this is true.  At least for myself it is.  I cannot imagine my thinking is too far off from everyone else using Twitter- I am more likely to ReTweet something that I see my friends ReTweet.  For the same reason that people form friendships outside of Cyberland, they also form virtual friendships with like-minded people.  Chances are, if I like something enough to ReTweet it for my followers to see, it’s something I think they would like.  Ipso ergo, they are probably going to ReTweet it as well, thus causing a chain-reaction, a virtual snowball effect.  Zarrella also shows through his reasearch that the  more times content is ReTweeted, “the more likely it is to be further spread.”

Hopefully this information can lend some perspective when you are considering what your next Tweets will be.  For more information on Dan Zarrella’s research, you can see the link referenced above, and you should also take a look at another article he authored on some key words and phrases that will get you the  most ReTweets. 

Inbound Marketing Tip: White Papers Demonstrate Expertise

I like this term.  A white paper is jargon for “research paper.”  White papers are typically based on a topic in your industry that warrants further research or discussion.  Why would a white paper help you in a business sense?  In several ways, first, if you are on the receiving end of a white paper, it’s usually going to be something you are interested to know more about.  If you are on the giving end of a white paper, it shows your audience your “marketing muscle.”   How does this show marketing muscle?  It shows you know a LOT about your industry.  Who wouldn’t pay for a good/service from someone who is a true craftsman?  Hands down, when all things considered are equal, I’d much rather give my business to someone who cares to continually learn and educate people on important matters that they are passionate about.

Here is how I need your help.  What (in your opinion) is the more accepted standard for writing research papers?  There are two widely used formats: MLA Format (Modern Language Association) – I used this format throughout high school and college.  Then there is the APA Format (American Psychological Association).  I’ve personally never used APA, I can easily become acquainted with it, so there is no issue there.

My friend, Jill, said that “English uses MLA and science uses APA.”  So that’s why I’m stuck.  I can see that marketing is an art form, a very intricate art form.  I also see that in marketing, the use of quantifiable data and statistical analysis is prevalent to get your marketing to where it needs to be from a numbers standpoint.  My first thought is to write papers with less data using MLA and papers with more data using APA.  I do not want to come across as a research paper format basketcase.

What are your thoughts?  APA or MLA?  What is your reasoning behind this?  Here is a handy poll to help me figure out what is best.  I’ve included an “other” category for your thoughts as well.  Or feel free to comment.  Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

Effective Advertising and the White Noise of the Web…

There is a lot of noise out there, especially when it comes to the world wide web and advertising.  There are millions of people with important things to say.  How do you set yourself apart from your competitors in a meaningful way?  How do you get your very important message out there to the right people?  Social media is the answer, if its being implemented correctly.

So, let’s say you’ve decided to venture into the world of social media… you’ve set up a few accounts, perhaps even uploaded some pictures.  You’ve very astutely filled in all of the pertinent information fields, and probably have even found some “friends” or “fans” depending which network you’re on.  Then… you come to a screeching halt.  It’s ok.  It’s totally easy to do when you don’t really know what to say.

The best way out of this debacle is to become opinionated.  Drink lots of coffee and find a soapbox to stand on.  In order to throw you a nugget of wisdom in regards to your soapbox derbies- here are some things you should consider when it comes to being opinionated about your business:

1) DO NOT rant about the person who cut you off in traffic today.  DO rave about a product or service that has helped better your business in some way.

2)DO NOT take strong political positions on your social media, unless you are a politician, or unless legislation directly effects your business and you can back it up with factual information.  Although you may have many people who agree with you, your business facebook page is not the proper platform.  DO take strong positions on industry-relevant matters.

3)DO NOT post about anything on your blog other than work related content.  If it is not directly tied into your industry, find some way to make it relevant.

4)Get involved in other discussions surrounding your industry.  Join a forum, post on message boards, find out what people want to know about.  This helps your content to be relevant.

5)Resist the urge to “moderate” your comments on your company blog.  I mean- completely disable the “approve comment” feature on your blog.  If people see that their comments have to be “approved”, this will further discourage them from speaking their mind.  Even if a comment is negative to you or your business in any way- this is the platform to show your customers that you want to make it right.  This is the platform where you stand up for your product/service.  It shows you care about giving the gold standard of customer service without “censoring” what people write.

6)Avoid schlepping your product/service all over the place.  The point of social media is to increase web presence- however you don’t want to come across as being annoying with your product schtick.  You want your audience to feel that you care about bettering them in the process.  Offer networking opportunities, best practices, webinars, etc.

You will without a doubt be seen as a master of your craft if you provide useful information.  What are some of your social media strategies?  What do you like to avoid when populating content?  What are you more prone to read when looking for information on your industry?

Our Passion: Making Your Marketing Work for You and Seeing Your Business Succeed

The reason why we’re so passionate about effective marketing is because marketing dollars are precious.  The costs of keeping your marketing goals alive and updated can be daunting.  Having worked in advertising, I have a real working knowledge of the costs of most mediums to advertise- what it costs from all perspectives- from radio rates, to billboards.  It’s costly.  To any business owner with passion and a great idea- the gates of business ownership are guarded by fierce looking guards, which is why most would-be entrepeneurs never just go for it.

The cost of failure is high.  Luckily, we found a solution.

Here at Daly Marketing, we’re able to keep our rates so low because of our mutually beneficial professional relationships with other local businesses. We’ve built a network with other like-minded companies to help each other out, to help each other win.  I’ve always wanted to find a way to be able to magically be able to wave a wand over the business here in Rochester and manufacture a winning streak for them, too.  It seems we’ve finally found a vehicle to be able to to this.  Rochester, NY offers the resources that so many small start-up companies need to get past the tense initial incubation period.

At Daly Marketing, we have access to these resources: a myriad of professionals to help us with coding and site work, all the way to business networking opportunities that we can pass on to our clients.

Our passion is to foster such a positive entrepenurial atmosphere that business owners realize they can manufacture their own success.  Eventually, we want to spread the prosperity to other regions of the country to help other business owners build their dreams into a reality without feeling so overwhelmed at the costs of marketing.  Obviously we want to profit from this business venture, who wants to work for free?  But if we spread the seeds of success now, everyone benefits.  Everyone gets a shot at building their own American dream and the entire economy is better for it.

If you have any questions at all, or suggestions on how we can improve our content to best suit your needs, feel free to e-mail me personally at kristin@dalymktg.com

Social Media Tracking? Or Social Media Stalking?

I would say among all great things having to do with the Social Media Revolution, is the ability to track your viewers. Whether you are using an e-mail program, a newsletter design program, or are just moderating your blog, you can track visitors down to their e-mail address and street address. Creepy, right?

No. Not if you’re using it the right way. The reason why trackability is so important is so you can strike while the iron is hot. The moment someone opens your e-mail, you can follow up with a phone call. I’d advise against calling and saying “hey I just saw you opened your e-mail” because frankly, that sounds a bit stalkerish.  A better way to phrase your follow-up call is to wait an hour or so, then call and say something to the effect of “Hi! This is XYZ from ABC company.  I am just calling to see if I can answer any questions for you regarding (insert product or service here).”  This way, you’re reaching out to them while the content you’ve delivered is still fresh in their mind.

Another way tracking is beneficial is so you can populate content that is useful to people in different geographic regions.  What I like to read about here in Rochester, NY, may not be useful to someone- for example- in Niagara Falls, NY or Buffalo, NY.  Sometimes, when tracking your visitors/audience, you can even see their company name if they’re viewing your information from work.  Again, this gives great insight into what KIND of content you want to populate.  What a Marketing person would want to read, is usually a bit different from what a Lawyer or Doctor would want to read.

Thankfully, most e-mail newsletter programs give you the handy tool of being able to use merge tags and edit source code to make different pieces of content viewable to different groups of people on your e-mail list.  This way, you’re not creating fifteen different newsletters each month.

I am sure you know (as any business owner does) that there’s nothing more disheartening to follow up with “dead” leads that have gone cold since your initial contact.

The idea behind tracking your audience, is to give you the unique ability to foster your business relationships- to remain in contact with them for pertinent business reasons at all times.  It gives you insight into their thoughts so you can create relevant content that matters to them.  This sets you apart in the industry as a business with a social conscience who truly cares about bettering their clients, and industry as a whole.  Even if the prospect isn’t ready to purchase NOW, when they are ready, you will be the first person they call.

So… what’s your take on trackability?  How have you been successful by tracking your leads?  What tools have you found to be most helpful?

The Best Advice I Ever Got Regarding Marketing and Sales

I was going to change the title of this inaugural blog post to be catchy, sassy, marketable…. but I thought better of doing so.  Imagine that- a marketing person actively trying to NOT market something.  I just felt that I had to let everyone know that sometimes it’s just a better idea to keep things simple.  I would even go so far as to say that sometimes we become too pre-occupied with the nitty gritty- that we lose focus on our priorities.

We lose focus on what the goal really is.  Is our goal to make sure you have the prettiest and fanciest newsletters- OR is our goal to make sure the people you send newsletters to extract useful information and actually READ them?  While the former may be true to an extent- aesthetics are indeed important-the latter is the most important.  Not only do you want your target audience to read and find your newsletters useful, you want them to see you as a master of your craft- not solely concerned with the bottom line- but also with the health and vitality of your industry as well.

Long long ago, a wise former boss of mine (Al Casazza, CBS Radio) told me “Kristin- people buy from people they like” – ok so that’s a fairly simple concept, yes?  No.  Not in the way my brain works.  For once in my life-I was totally stumped.  The meaning of this profound tidbit totally escaped me.

Homeward bound I skulked, dejected and sad.  How would I find a way to get these people to LIKE me and not just see me as another person they had to pay?  How in the world would I ever do this?  I could bake my clients cookies.  I could bribe them like all of the other sales reps did with bottles of wine or platters of sandwiches.  I could do lots of nice things… if I were rich.  At this rate- I was doomed!

It took me years… but I finally found the answer.  People like people who care.  They want to do business with companies that have a social conscience.  Would you rather patronize a business that was solely concerned with profits- or a business that was passionate about what they did and passionate about bettering their customers in the process?

All things considered equal- I’d much rather get the product/service that I needed while also getting some useful information in the process.  Time is money and in this day and age you need to believe wholeheartedly in the power of two-fers.  Two-fer-one- marketing excellence AND a pearl of wisdom.  Genius.  Julie Cottineau does such a great job explaining what I am so poorly trying to say.  Read on…

In closing, I truly hope that Daly Marketing can fulfill all of your wildest marketing dreams. 🙂 I hope I can get everyone as excited about this as I am- and if I don’t- I’ll try to distract you with catchy slogans and sparkle-graphics. Totally kidding about the sparkle graphics!