How Do You Stand Out In A Job Search?

By Lida Citroen, principal, LIDA360
Author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011)

Without a doubt, your most critical asset when in a job search is your personal brand. In a market as competitive as today’s, your skills and knowledge are most likely replaceable and hard to differentiate.  On a daily basis, recruiters and hiring managers meet candidates who look and sound just like you. Unless, of course, you stand out from your competition by designing your personal brand and marketing yourself to get their attention!

In my career as a corporate and personal brand strategist and counsel for executives of Fortune 500 companies, I have had the honor and pleasure of helping all kinds of people: Leaders in innovative education technology; venture capitalists with a passion for sustainability and impact investing; outspoken advocates for the advancement and empowerment of American adolescents; cancer survivors; disabled U.S. war veterans; coaches; consultants; moms, dads and their college-age kids. My clients aren’t celebrities, but they are well known in their respective industries.

What they all have in common is the realization that to be successful and compete in today’s environment, it is critical to manage your reputation and build your relevancy in the marketplace.

Here are some ways a clearly defined personal brand can help you:

Separate yourself from the crowd. Keywords may help get your resume in front of human eyes, and your experience might get you to the interview, but it’s your personal brand – those qualities, values and reputation that make you unique – that separates you from the other candidates in order to get you hired. Focus on what makes you different, compelling and interesting. Your resume represents your past. What does your future look like?  How will that benefit the company you are interviewing with? What is your unique selling proposition – what makes you, you.

Move out of the resume rut. Your resume is one tool for communicating your skills and expertise – and every other candidate will have one. When you put intention into building a personal brand, you branch out to other outlets (i.e. portfolios, profiles, websites, social networking, in person events) to communicate your value and expertise. Build your reputation across multiple touch points.  For instance, building a strong online presence helps recruiters learn more about you – as they Google your name, they will gain insight about your personality, interests, hobbies and maybe volunteer interests. Now you become a real person, not a list of skills and experiences on paper.

Target your efforts. The process of personal branding is all about strategy, being intentional, genuine and focused.  If you were a company marketing a product, you would not leave it to chance that your customers would find you and appreciate your value. You would be focused and strategic about targeting the right audience, in the right way, to get the right result. It’s not about fate or chance or luck, but rather about the work and creativity you put into your search and communicating how you can add specific value to target employers.

Make it easier for others to help you. When you’re clear about who you are, what you offer and what you want, you can clearly articulate that to others who may be in a position to connect you.  If you’re not clear about what you want, your networking efforts get watered down and others don’t know how to help you, even if they want to.

The ability to articulate your personal brand is critical to a job search in a market like this one.  Throughout my new book, “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding,” I walk you through the process of developing and marketing your personal brand – from targeting audiences to creating elevator pitches and style/image advice. I also share case studies of successful people to illustrate how people come to the realization that they need to create a reputation that allows them to stand apart from the competition in order to achieve their goals. As a job seeker, this could be mean the difference between sending random resumes and landing a great job! 

Based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Lida is the author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011).  An accomplished speaker, author and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, executives and businesses, Lida captivates audiences with her empowering message about intentionally managing your brand and reputation to attract opportunities. For more than 20 years, Lida has brought her unique, engaging and actionable techniques to clients, earning her acclaim internationally as an expert in reputation management and personal branding. Learn more at http://www.LIDA360.com and www.Reputation360Book.com .

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information above along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

   

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Don’t Just Like It… Love It! Leveraging Facebook

by Sabrina Risley

With the aid of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to reach a larger audience and attract people.  Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a small business start up, social media is an integral part of most successful marketing plans and can have a remarkable impact to your bottom line.  Facebook can become a playground where we squander precious time, a commodity of which we don’t have much.  If you keep these 5 factors in mind, you can leverage your Facebook time for greater impact.

VALUABLE CONTENT – Post useful information in your area of expertise, establishing yourself as a subject matter expert.   This can include helpful tips, a link to an article, blog post, or newsletter that your audience would find interesting and appreciate knowing about.  This touches on what is known as content marketing… attracting connections and establishing credibility by providing information of value. 

JOIN GROUPS & FAN PAGES – Search for and join Facebook groups and fan pages that interest you and complement your business.  For example, a realtor might join real estate investing or home improvement Groups.  Review profiles of group/fan page members and extend friend requests to those you would want to meet if you were at a live networking event.  Take it a step further and don’t just “like” a fan page, show you love it by posting comments and sharing links on the wall (if allowed).  You might also consider starting your own Group or Fan Page.  Whether your own or someone else’s, make the best use of groups and fan pages by getting involved and sharing valuable content.

LIMIT YOUR TIME – Limit your time to 30 minutes per day.  Some don’t feel they can even afford to give up 30 minutes to spend online.  Frankly, you can’t afford not to.  When you think about your Facebook time as marketing, networking and building relationships, you will want to spend more time online.  Break your 30 minutes into two 15 minutes sessions if you feel it would help you.  Logout of Facebook when you are done to limit distractions or notification alerts.  Lastly, change your Facebook email settings so that notifications, messages and invitations are not coming to your email Inbox. 

BE AUTHENTIC – People want to know who you really are so let them in on the personal side of you.  Share your goals, passions, hobbies, weekend adventures and what you enjoy doing in your spare time.  Keep in mind that people buy from people, and sharing a bit of your personal side deepens connections as people get to know the person behind the business. 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – One of the greatest benefits to Facebook is the ability to form relationships with online connections.  Support your connections by “liking” their posts, leaving a comment under their post, or actually endorse their post by “sharing” it with your friends.  If you identify a potential power partner, send them a message to start a dialogue.  Let them know why you are interested in their background.  For example, a realtor might be interested in connections that work for a home cleaning service, plumbing, flooring, and mortgage companies.  Invite them to meet in person to see if you can form a working relationship or referral partnership.

It’s never too late to get online.  With more than 500 million users, Facebook cannot be ignored.  If you are strategic and intentional about your time online, Facebook could become one of your favorite and most impactful networking and marketing tools.  

(c) 2011 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Is your business showing these 5 symptoms?

Reality: According to the SBA, 63% of all small businesses fail in the first 5 years.

OUCH! It sounds harsh, but it’s true. And having been in business for over 6 years, I can tell you I’ve seen many colleagues go the way of “have to get a job” in order to put food on the table and take care of their families.

And the sad part, many of those businesses could have succeeded. It’s generally not a lack of ideas, technology is rarely the issue and with the low cost of doing business online, it’s often not money.

The top reasons most small businesses fail are:

1. Lack of vision and systematic strategy — what’s the long-term (you decide what this means) vision for your business and how are you going to get there?

2. Lack of marketing system many business owners spend so much time reinventing the wheel around trying to get new clients that they either burn out or focus too much time on the “getting new ones” and not enough on the “serving existing ones”. Do you have a marketing system in place?

3. Lack of a client follow-up system — once clients are in the door, do you take care of them? Do you practice Extreme Client Care(tm)? Do you listen to them and create the products and programs they’re asking for? Our brains can’t multitask, they “task switch”. . .from this to that and back to this. And, as a result, neither task gets done as quickly, or as well, as if we’d simply focused on one at a time.

5. Doing everything ad-hoc without any systems — while it’s so easy for us to say “I don’t have time to create a system, I just need to get it done now”, truth is, without systems, you’re the one “doing it” all the time — unable to hand anything over to a support team. And this creates something far worse than a 9-to-5 job.

And I’d add the following. . .

* Not having a big enough reason “why” — that “thing” which pulls you forward when you’re otherwise tempted to quit. Hint. . .it’s rarely “money” by itself, it’s usually what that money can do for you/your family.

Make It Real: My Request To You

Review the 5 bullets above and ask yourself — is your business set up for success? Remembering that this is the basis of a successful business, systems and planning will only take you so far, strategic implementation is key!

And for those days when you just “don’t feel like it”, is your “why” big enough, strong enough to pull you forward to accomplishment?

I’m known for a simple statement: “Ordinary things, done consistently, bring extraordinary AND consistent results!”

What ordinary things are you doing consistently?

If you’re unsure or if you feel you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions, wondering what to focus on when for the most sustainable results, go check out my new “From Your Vision Board to Reality: Create Your Best Fall Ever” program now. . . you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

A Strategic Marketing & Profitability Mentor, Sandra Martini (www.SandraMartini.com), creator of Escalator Marketing™, shows creative heart-based entrepreneurs how to build sustainable businesses without losing their integrity or their minds.  You can catch up with Sandra on her blog at www.FromTheDeskOfSandraMartini.com or Twitter at www.Twitter.com/SandraMartini

B.L.O.G. – 4 Benefits to Blogging

By Sabrina Risley

With the aid of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to reach a larger audience, whether for business or personal reasons.  A blog is just one of the tools leveraged on the Internet. But what is a blog and how can a blog benefit your business?

The term Blog is a derivative of the words Web Log and it’s literally that… a log on the web. A blog can be best described as a diary-style website maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary or information that its author wants to share with site visitors.

There are countless advantages to blogging and I wanted to share 4 of the benefits with you.

B: Brand Recognition – Marketing is important but more important is having a brand people recognize. Brand recognition is established based on how you interact with your community, contacts, customers, vendors and anyone with whom you come in contact or have an impression. A blog aids in communicating with your audience, thus better establishing a recognizable brand.

L: Link to YOU – I’ve always reinforced that people buy from people. Maintaining a blog gives people some insight into you, the person behind the company. The topics you share and the personality you reveal in your writings add a personal touch and builds trust with your audience.

O: Optimization – As in search engine optimization or SEO. Maintaining a blog increases traffic from search engines, keeping you in front of your target market. It can also improve your ranking with the major search engines, allowing you to reach a wider base.

G: Guru Factor – Depending on the topics you write about, your blog can establish you as a subject matter expert or authority in your field. For this reason, it is recommended your blog entries be on topics related to the audience you want to attract. Since I have a networking and referral group organization, my audience most likely appreciates entries about related business growth topics.

Aside from paying for your domain and hosting and taking the time to do it, blogging is free. While it can be a great tool for business, blogging is not right for everyone. To be effective, it requires a small commitment of regular entries, such as once weekly or twice monthly, and on relevant topics your followers expect. Is blogging right for you? I encourage you to consider your overall marketing strategy to determine if blogging can assist you with brand recognition, connecting with you audience, increasing web traffic and establishing yourself as a subject matter expert.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Integrate Online & Offline Marketing to Build Quality Relationships That Mean Business

By Andrea Costantine

A great way to market your business is to integrate both online and offline marketing strategies.  Let’s explore taking “offline” relationships, online. As we network, we meet many people. Many we “hope” to bump into again, leaving fate to take its course. But this is no way to manage new contacts.

The first key question to ask yourself is whether you have a solid, easy follow-up system in place to follow up with the people you meet in person? Most people do not, but one simple way to stay connected to your “offline contacts” is to invite them into your “online world.”
For example, after attending a networking meeting, search for the people you have just met and invite them to connect with you Facebook or LinkedIn.  You may notice for yourself that those you respond to online are people you have met in person. It’s the same for others… once they have met you and then connect with you online, they have a greater tendency to follow your postings and updates than the people who have never had the opportunity to meet you personally.
Using social media as a way to “stay in touch” can be instrumental in helping you build and continue relationships you have started in person. Let’s look at this in greater detail – connect in person, invite to online network, notice what they are doing, make comments, share their postings, and deepen the relationship. The more you pay attention to people online and respond to what they are doing, the more the person will pay attention to you.
Relationships take time. Don’t force it but rather let it flow naturally. More than anything, be genuine in your responses online.
Let’s take a look at the reverse… connecting online first, then in person.
First of all, be sure to strategically follow people you would like to get to know better.  When searching for new friends and followers online, don’t allow just anyone into your network. If you are a realtor, search for people in complimentary industries. It’s not a race for popularity, it’s about building quality relationships that really mean business and have significance.
Once you have targeted people into your network, focus on them.  People love attention! If you are on Twitter, re-tweet their postings, comment on their updates on Facebook, “share” what they are doing, and offer support.  Even a simple reply like “I think you are doing great things, I’d love to connect further” can easily get you a face-to-face meeting or phone conversation with someone.
Social media is the easiest way to meet even the most elusive person.  If you are looking to meet someone whom you personally admire, there is no better way than to make that connection online.  The majority of people do respond to people who reach out to them. So don’t be afraid to reach out and connect.
Here’s one last thing that should be mentioned. Relationship-building does not happen overnight. Sometimes it can take months or even years before your efforts pay off.  Just realize that what you are doing is not in vain, you are being noticed, you are being seen, be patient with the process and, as stated – be real.  Transparency is highly valued in the online world.  Show a little of yourself in both situations (online and offline) and you’ll soon see your efforts blossom.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

Using Social Media for Job Searching

By Sabrina Risley

Social media sites can be a great resource for finding a new position. Twitter, You Tube, Linked In and Facebook has its place in the job market. Here are a few things to try when utilizing social media for finding a new job. 

Linked In: Connect with powerful connections through your contacts, ask for introductions, and initiate a conversation. Utilize the groups and search with keywords for your industry. Ask or answer questions in the Answers section to showcase your expertise, or even propose a job.

You Tube: This one may be a little out of the box, but perhaps make a video as a video applicant for your industry or maybe even find your new employer on here by searching what’s going on in your field.

Twitter: Search the advanced twitter feature for job postings, tips, and strategies. Connect with key players in your industry and join in on the conversation. You never know a simple @ reply could literally get you an interview.

Facebook: Join Facebook groups related to your market, participate, and get connected with other job seekers. You never know what job they may have heard about that is not a fit for them, but just might be the job for you.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing!

By Andrea Costantine
Internet marketing is an effective way to grow your business. However, many business owners get intimidated and overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start. Here are a few ways that you can begin to integrate Internet marketing into your business.  It’s best to pick a few, do them well, and grow from there. You do not need to do all of these strategies at once.
 
Websites: A website is a great Internet marketing tools, however, most websites are set up as an online brochure. While having information about your products or services is a great way for people to find out more about you, the main purpose of a website when using Internet marketing is to capture email addresses of your visitors. Statistics show that most visitors last only a minute or two on a website before they leave. If you begin to use your website as a way to capture email addresses, you will then have an opportunity to continually stay in touch with potential clients and build the know, like, and trust factor.
 
Ezines: Electronic newsletters are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletters that are sent to your subscriber list. Be sure to note that it is important to follow the SPAM laws and verify that everyone on your email list has given you permission to be marketed to. Email laws can be strict so never add anyone on to your list that has not given you permission. Example, don’t take business cards from networking and add them to your database. Use your ezine to provide value, share about your products and services, and to stay in touch with your database. This is a great way to develop a relationship over time and through the net.
 
Blogs: Some people don’t like receiving information in their email inbox but they may still like what you have to say and want to hear from you.  Having a blog gives people a chance to read your postings without receiving it in their inbox. Be sure to include an RSS reader option on your blog so people can subscribe and get notified when you update it. Blog postings can be short, between 250-500 words and should be done two to three times a week to be the most effective.  Additionally, subscribe to the blogs of people who compliment what you do and who touch your target market.  Be sure to comment on their posts and drive traffic back to your own blog.
 
Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube are the most commonly used social media sites today. When used effectively they can produce great results.  Be sure to put a picture on your profile, stay active, and build community. Comment on other people’s posts, share what you are doing and working on, and have a little fun too!
 
Forums: Many communities and forums exist online.  When you are clear about your target market, it’s easy to find them online. For example, a realtor might search for their market and look for “insurance broker forums” or “realtor forums.”  Be sure the communities are active before you start participating by checking when the most recent postings happened and the response rates. Don’t go in and try to sell yourself.  Instead provide value and mention what you do. You’ll be able to attract clients just by sharing your expertise.
These are all easy ways to begin Internet marketing, all of which are free!  There are some more advanced Internet marketing strategies like Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization and Ads but I advise you to seek professional assistance when utilizing these methods.  If not done correctly, you could easily find yourself paying way too much for an ineffective campaign.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Andrea Costantine is a writer, speaker, and wanna-be artist, focusing on the good things in life.  She is a perpetual optimist, lover of nature, yoga, travel, and new experiences.  Learn more about Andrea at www.andreacostantine.com.

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