My true passion is lead generation. I love the thrill of overloading sales with leads and watching the pipeline go up as a result of my efforts. It’s thrilling to say the least and it allows me, as a marketer, to exercise all my passions into a common goal.
Now that I am not doing lead generation in its traditional marketing sense (as in generating leads for a sales force team to call upon) and have now transitioned to lead generation for my own selfish purposes (job search), I am finding that the rules are very much the same. In fact, I feel like I have an unfair advantage to some of the job seekers out there because of my marketing background.
If you consider for a moment how similar lead capture and job capture are, it makes perfect sense.
So what did I learn during those days of generating leads for sales that I can apply now to my job search?
Community building – When I was working within the brand, my idea of community building was twofold. I was building my own personal community but was primarily building a community for the brand. I am now applying those skills of networking online, participating in social networks and sharing (curating) content that is interesting to me. The need to grow and nurture a community doesn’t stop when there is no physical brand behind you; you become the brand yourself.
Market research – Where are the leads (jobs)? Are people still faxing resumes? Are we still writing cover letters? What does an employer want to see from someone like me and how do I capture all my skills on a piece of paper? I have taken the same approach as I do when I start to structure a lead generation initiative: I research! I have speak with recruiters and companies who are hiring. Have calls with people I know who had been in a similar situation. And using all these resources, I defined a profile for the job I want (buyer person in corporate lead gen speak) and devised a strategy to locate openings and what the best approach would be to introduce myself.
Inbound marketing – I must confess that the reason I had to do the research is because my last two employers had found me when I was not actively looking. So I am treading in new water! So I needed to think about this in a way that if I was an employer seeking to fill a role, how would I go about finding someone. Your most crucial ammo is your resume so I had this looked over by several people who were extremely close to me and knew firsthand what I was capable of both delivering upon and accomplishing. Another piece was LinkedIn. I set my sights to participate as much as I can afford to in the groups that are relevant. My profile is updated and clearly states that ‘I am for hire’ and it has all the keywords that a potential employer would search for to find someone for the role I envision myself in.
A/B Testing – I use A/B testing quite a lot as a marketer and I would be crazy not to. I did everything from trying different subject lines to optimize open and click-through rates to testing third-party audiences with offers – did the free trial work or the whitepaper? to tracking productivity of sales teams when things were changed in the CRM. I cannot think of one single place in marketing where A/B testing need not apply and same goes during your job search. I have tried different formats and versions of cover letters to apply for like jobs and have made modifications to my resume. I am tracking what is getting the best and fastest response and then taking that data to make myself look even better.
Content marketing – A lot of employers have asked for examples of my work so I am glad that I am ready to serve them some. One of my favorite things to do as an inbound marketer was to create content. Whether it was a whitepaper, blog post, video script or webinar materials, I loved doing it and I didn’t want my skills to get ‘rusty’. So one of the first things I did when I lost my job was to start my own blog and dedicate myself to writing something every day. It may not be the best content in the world but I am writing, consuming and sharing daily.
Influence marketing – Ok don’t cringe at this one because I don’t like the term influencer either but its true. You are who you know – right? At least my father always told me that and he tends to be more right than wrong at least when it comes to the ‘business stuff’. I am SO lucky to have had positions in marketing that afforded me with the opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds in marketing. Do the names Gini Dietrich, Marcus Sheridan, Mark Schaefer, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley, C.C. Chapman, Jay Baer, Mike Volpe, Joe Pulizzi, Robert Caruso, Mack Collier, Justin Brackett ring any bells? And that’s just a few. Its this group of fine people that I have had the privilege of connecting with that have supported me these last several weeks. And I know that if they hear of a job that becomes available in which I would be a good match, then they will let me know.
How about you? Have you applied your professional skills to your personal life? How and in what ways?