I used to have a small contracting business. We did mostly exterior painting and I divided my time between operating the business of about 20 employees and marketing to generate new business. My team and I didn't use complicated tactics, at the time we didn't have to worry about SEO or buying ads on facebook. We did however run a successful marketing campaign. It dawned on me as I was listening to an interview with Lisa Earle McCloud, marketing expert, that somehow I had utilized the very principles that she suggests. She cites the analogy of marketers being similar to deer hunters. Avid hunters will learn everything they can about the deer they intend to hunt. They will go to the place where the deer will most likely be, wearing gear that will be most likely to bag a buck.
In her example great marketers will do the exact same thing. They will very specifically determine the target customer and then go where they are, do what they do, see how they live, and serve them completely by speaking their language. In the business that I was in, this was pretty easy. I looked at certain zip codes, determined where there were groupings of residential neighborhoods with average incomes over certain levels, and focused on making those people aware of my services and my business.
This same concept can be applied to marketing yourself during a job search or job transition. Think about it as creating a marketing plan and strategy for yourself. For today's post let’s look at 3 of these concepts:
- Defining your target market
- Go to where they are
- Have an offer ready
Defining your target market:
What areas are you interested in living or commuting to? If you are only interested in San Francisco there is no use at looking companies that require you to live in West Palm Beach, Florida
What types of roles are you interested in? If your answer is anything then you probably won't like this blog. It's all about how to use
What companies are likely to have these jobs? Google probably doesn't hire that many welders
Go to where they are at:
Are there professional associations, groups, or meetings that take place in the area for the industry, job or career you are interested in? It's likely there are, whether you know about them or not.
Are there local LinkedIn groups, online groups or other digital local avenues where you can get introduced to people in these roles or people who can make or influence hiring decisions? If your answer is no, then you haven't looked hard enough. Get creative. Between all of the avenues available on the internet you can easily gather enough information to understand what these people are involved in and what they participate in.
Call them at their work. When will they be available? This one seems obvious, but I guarantee you will be unlikely to get most professionals in traditional jobs on the phone at 10am. This is prime time for meetings, activities, and general work flow time. You would have a much better shot closer to 8am or between 4pm and 5:30pm.
Have an offer at the ready:
Who are you? Why are you calling? What do you want? These questions need to be answered in a 2 minute phone call time period. It's great if you talk with.
4 years ago when I decided I was going to make job transition I knew that I wanted to be in the Human Resources field. I became involved with the local Society for Human Resources Management chapter, where I began to meet HR folks from all around the area. I began volunteering for events and in short order ended up on the board of directors for that chapter. At the same time I was contacting several HR VPs and Directors at local area companies each week. I had previously done research on all of the organizations that I was interested in and had limited it down to a list of 20. I asked to meet with many of the people that I contacted and was able to arrange phone calls, interviews or other in person meetings with well over half of them.
This targeted set of activities led to over 20 interviews and 5 job offers over a 6 month period of time. More than that it led to some fantastic long term relationships. I still have people calling me regularly and saying, I know of a job or an opportunity that you might be interested in.
Remember most people get jobs through relationships. I hear many people say take an inventory of who you know. I simply reversed this and said how I build relationships with those people who can expose me to opportunities.
One important note on all of this, you should never set out to join a group or build relationships just because it will benefit you. The groups that I participated in often required time and energy from me to contribute to the cause. I got involved with numerous groups along the way and did not join any one of them because of the things it would get me. Instead each of these groups lined up with my values and what I wanted to contribute to both personally and professionally. In the case of contacting employers and meeting with people each time it was something that was mutually beneficial. For them it was a potential addition to someone they could add to their talent pipeline should they have a need later on down the road.
You can do this too. It doesn't take a scientist or even a marketing expert to use each of these concepts in your career.
Go and Happen to Your Career!