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Thinking Out Loud About The Next Year

May 16th, 2008

As I wrap up this week’s anniversary posts, I figured I’d talk about how I see the next year unfolding. Some of this might be news to you, so consider it an announcement :p

I should mention, Monday is the last day to get the Buy-1-get-1-year special. This makes the monthly price for JibberJobber less than $5 … just login and click on the upgrade link at the top of the screen!

In a comment on Monday Darlene from Interview Chatter said “Have a great 3rd year!” It may sound dumb to you but I was so wrapped up in the first two years that I didn’t quite think about us being in our 3rd year. That means so many things to me.

We’re not a startup anymore (are we?). As the CEO, we *should* be at certain places with our metrics (revenue, profit, subscribers, conversions, visitors, blog posts, etc.)… I’m mentally thinking about where we *should* be and where we are, and what we need to do to get there.

In my original business plan I had goals to realize in the first 2 – 5 years… and now we are at the first part of that! Man, that went fast. Mark from Hirevue commented “I remembered when you first launched, it seems like only yesterday.” Yes indeed, I feel like that too… it’s really been two years?

Here are some things I see happening in the next year:

Increase in rate of JibberJobber signup and user growth.

I would like to pretend that all signups are “users,” like I’ve seen other websites report (“we have xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx users!”), but really, it would be a disservice to those of us who really watch the metrics to mix the two. Not everyone who signs up for a web service uses the service.

Over the next year I see the rate of signups and users increasing significantly. We’ve been on a good rate of increase, but I’m talking about a big increase, for various reasons. Contributing factors include the formalization of JibberJobberUSA, as well as a few strategic partnerships not yet announceable.

I should note that this is one of two key focuses for me this year – growing the signups and user base of JibberJobber. The other things below are fun, exciting and good, but this is the core of my business and my focus.

Make more valuable information available to my “audience.”

I have to put audience in quotes because my audience does not consist entirely of JibberJobber users. It includes blog readers, newsletter subscribers, and those who participate with me in social environments (Twitter, Yahoo! Groups, LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning networks, etc.).

The valuable information I’m talking about is found at the CEO Training series. I’m not sure if my favorite training is “Blog Marketing 201 – 501,” which turned out to be a two hour webinar full of what I’ve learned (and what I do to increase blog readership, etc.), or “Write Your Book,” which is a seventy minute webinar sharing ideas and knowledge to help you get your book going (we talk about publishing options, marketing, etc.).

These are things I had no clue about two years ago, but have played huge roles for my personal/corporate brand as well as my networking. You can get on any training live, or buy the recording.

I have partners who are developing their material to contribute to the CEO Training, which I’m excited about. One of my partners correctly requested that I focus on the technology and leave the career advice to them, since my advice was, um, not adequate :p So really, do you want to get job search advice from me, the guy who couldn’t get a job, or from my career expert partners, who know this game/industry from the inside-out??

Promote career, networking and job search services more.

I have 30ish official partners. These are career experts who are paying for an annual license. I’ve been asked by other firms if there is a simple (free) affiliate program, but I think there’s a lot to be said for a service provider who forks over money for the license fee…

I am regularly asked who I would recommend for resume writing, or job coaching, or something like that. I’m going to formalize this part of JibberJobber this year, so that people don’t feel like they need to ask me (rather, they see it clearly when they come to JibberJobber). One thing we did was put up a Career Experts page that has much more information about each of my partners (this is not done yet, but you get the idea here).

Increase strategic partnerships.

There are various entities with whom I’d like to partner. I have been investigating the outplacement world for almost two years, and have been in talks with various groups. There are exciting possibilities here.

I’m also interested in partnering with the right websites, companies or organizations where they can see JibberJobber would provide value to them and their users/viewers. I’m in talks right now with about half a dozen groups, and it’s pretty exciting. Again, hopefully there will be a few announcements coming soon.

Allow for job postings.

When I started I specifically stated that I didn’t every want to enter the job board space. It’s a muddy, noisy space (as far as I could tell). Monster “owned” it (that’s what I thought), and there were over 40,000 boards out there. What a frustration, from a job seeker’s perspective!

And then of course there are all of the problems with job postings. Nothing was more frustrating than getting a call during dinner from an “employer” who found me on Monster, only to find it was so I could join a MLM, or become one of his insurance sales agents (commission only). Seriously, what a let-down.

But guess what… I’ve been getting inquiries over the last few months about posting jobs. And it just seems to make sense. JibberJobber subscribers and users are… dare I say, smarter than Monster users. That might be crass to say, and if Monster ever wants to acquire JibberJobber they will probably make me take that statement down, but think about it. Monster is the default place to go, which means everyone goes there.

JibberJobber users are more sophisticated… they have a better understanding of career management, networking, using a CRM-like tool, understand technology (the Internet, websites, etc.), and more. These are people who are more career conscience. So yeah, I think you are smarter than the average Monster user.

And recruiters and hiring managers are, and will, notice this. This is a good reason to put job posting dollars into JibberJobber… right?

Who knows, maybe job posts on JibberJobber will be a total bust… we’ll see. And if it takes away from the overall value of JibberJobber for individuals, I’ll take it down.

Speaking.

I entered the world of professional speaking, and it’s a blast! I enjoy speaking, and I think I have fun and interesting stuff to say. I would love to be on the road every single week, speaking about the stuff I speak about (social networking, social tools for revenue generation, personal branding, corporate branding online, and all-things-career). Aside from actually getting paid to do this (!!), it gives me an excellent opportunity to travel the globe, get face-to-face time with JibberJobber users, and present at job search and networking clubs, as well as meet with potential strategic partners.

Yep, weekly, is what I’d like to do. I doubt that’ll happen this year, but I’ll work towards it. I’ll speak at association conferences, company conferences, chamber of commerce meetings, etc. Hopefully I’ll come to a town near you, and we can meet in person!

So that’s kinds of a brain dump of JibberJobber in it’s third year! Shoot me any ideas or suggestions you have, if this seems off-base, or if there are opportunities I’m missing!

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5 Responses to “Thinking Out Loud About The Next Year”

  1. Just curious… are you open to the possiblity of investment capital?

    Robert Stanke
    http://www.robertstanke.com

  2. Jason Alba says:

    Robert, interesting question at an interesting time. The answer is, I’m “open to the possibility,” although not actively seeking additional funding right now.

  3. I love your focus on the military — thanks for revisiting!

    Here’s some specific feedback:

    http://goyodeo.com/GoYoDeoChannel.aspx?un=carterfsmith&cn=PYB32MDNHW

  4. Darlene says:

    Jason, I am going to jump off the edge of the cliff and share an idea that has been rolling around my head for about a year. And after reading the post, seems like the right time to suggest it. Have you thought about putting together a conference – for jobseekers, career niche people, etc. Bringing people together, showcase JibberJobber, provide resources, speakers, career fair, etc. I know it may sound like a lot – and it is, but I have been thinking about it for a while. There are lots people out there that need to be using JibberJobber.

    I was on the phone today with a new client and he needs to be using JibberJobber. Of course I told him so, and gave him a homework assignment to get signed up.

    More later, but think about it!

    Darlene
    Interview Guru
    http://www.interviewchatter.com

  5. Tony Lowe says:

    Have you thought about putting together a conference – for jobseekers, career niche people, etc. Bringing people together, showcase JibberJobber, provide resources, speakers, career fair, etc. I know it may sound like a lot – and it is, but I have been thinking about it for a while.

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