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Network Better: Have Something To Talk About

March 28th, 2013

I regularly consult with small business owners (aka solopreneurs) about how to network and market.

Those two are almost one-in-the-same, aren’t they?

On a recent call I was talking to a solopreneur about doing webinars or teleseminars.

You can get a lot accomplished with a teleseminar, but what if no one comes?

Same question with a book… what if you write a book and no one buys it?

My answer: IT IS OKAY.

Perhaps the purpose of the teleseminar, webinar or book is NOT to get it in front of people, have people buy it, or even come (to the webinar or teleseminar) or read it (the book).

Let me give you an example: When I go somewhere to speak I might speak in front of 100 people.

That isn’t very many people!  I don’t want to get on a plane, take about a week from my schedule (a trip can take a week… 2 travel days, the day of the presentation, the prep before and the catchup after) to get in front of 100 people – especially if I do that for FREE! (I usually waive my fee to job clubs)

No money (or, the opportunity to make a sale, but I’m usually not even going to break even), all that time, for only 100 people?

That’s not entirely why I do it.

Would I do it if it were 10 people?  I did that before (even though I was told there would be 100 people there).

Where is the value?

Here’s the value… and this is important for you as a solopreneur to know, and it is important for you as a job seeker to know:

The value is in the pre- and post- marketing.

The group who has 100 people coming… they might have an email list of about 4,000 – 10,000 people.

I want (them) to TALK ABOUT me, my message, and my trip.  I want them to email their group twice before I come, and twice after I’ve left.

In each email message I want a link to JibberJobber (the best and most important career management and job search organizer out there) and my LinkedIn book (linking to Amazon and/or my LinkedIn blog).

I know have given this job club organizer something to say, about me, to his/her audience.

And in addition to the 100 people who actually come, I’ll get four touch-points to the 4,000 people on the list.  That will result in:

  • book sales,
  • JibberJobber signups,
  • more evangelists talking about me,
  • curiosity and branding.

Is THAT worth it?

Shooting an email out to 4,000 people randomly is not a big deal. It would likely have a negative impact.

But for the TRUSTED organizer to shoot the email out, and have them say something like “ JibberJobber is the best and most important career management and job search organizer out there,” is really, really, really valuable.

My point is, I’ve given them something to talk about.

What can YOU give your network to talk about?

What I’ve learned is it can’t be one single thing or event.

Think of something you can do monthly, or every other month, that they can say “oh, that sounds cool.  And I’ll tell my friends about it…”

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Help: How can this job seeker get results from his phone calls and emails?

March 22nd, 2013

I recently got an email from Wayne, who is doing a lot of right things, but perplexed that his outbound communication attempts aren’t getting the results he wants.

What would you recommend?  Leave your advice in the comments below.  I’ll answer with my ideas on Monday’s blog post:

I have a question about not getting a return phone call from a potential  networking contact after 5 or 6 tries. The following is my approach:

1.  I make a call during off hours (to ensure voicemail) letting the individual know about my purpose (evaluating some career options) and I wish to expand my network with other experienced professionals through a brief meeting. I also mention that they should expect a follow-up letter in the mail.

2.  The letter (see below) goes out 2 days before the call via normal mail, with the intent that it arrive not more than 2 days after my initial voicemail call.

3.  I then begin following up the letter and initial call with other calls (almost always getting voicemails) asking them if they have received the letter and would it be possible to spend a few minutes with them. If it is a VM, I leave my name and number and ask them to call back.

4.  A couple of times when I have received a call back, people pay no attention to the networking aspect and probe me on what I am looking for re employment

5.  After 5 or 6 tries using this method, I switch to something else (e-mail if possible)

I can only assume that something is either wrong in this process or I am missing something because activity (meetings) have been painfully slow to come my way.

Here’s the letter he sends (see #2, above).  This is with a nice letterhead with all the contact info:

Dear

My name is Wayne ———- and I left you a telephone message recently with respect to connecting with you on a professional level. I am an executive in the ————— business, formerly with —————-, and I am evaluating career opportunities.

I am seeking to expand my network and I would like an opportunity to meet with you in order for you to get to know me.

I am not expecting you to know of a job available for me although that would be nice. Rather, it is to ask you, professional to professional, if you would be willing to look over a list of target companies when we meet and perhaps share some of your knowledge base on a few of them.

My tactic is to connect with professionals in the industry with the goal of becoming “top of mind”, partly in the event you may require industry information from me , but also to seek out the right ————- professionals to network with. As a result of these, and other initiatives, should a career opportunity open up in the future within our industry, my expectation is that I will be thought of first.

I would very much prefer to meet with you in person for 20 or 30 minutes within the next few weeks. May I suggest the following dates and times for a face to face meeting but please suggest alternate dates if they are not suitable to your schedule: ….. ( dates and times)

Sincerely,

Alright smart people, what do you think?  What would you tell Wayne?

And Wayne, thank you for letting me share this with the world. I hope the answers in the comments will be helpful to you and many others!

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How To: Finding New Contacts After Using Email2Log

March 20th, 2013

Lately I’ve been adding new Contacts to JibberJobber via email.  It’s one of the coolest features we have.  I simply find someone I want to put in my system, send them an email, bcc my ultra-secretive email address, and if the person isn’t in my database it will be added (along with the email contents, as the first Log Entry).

If you don’t know what I’m talking about (a) you are missing out and (b) you need to watch the video on this post (Email2Log – here is Part 3 where I talk about how to do this).

Anyway, back to how I find that person.  I’ll email them but I keep their LinkedIn Profile up so I can grab their picture, title, location, etc.  When I create the Contact record using Email2Log I am only adding the first name, last name and email address.

Normally my Contacts List Panel is ordered so I see the most recent Contacts I’ve entered at the top of the list.  But sometimes it is not ordered like that… and sometimes I feel it takes to long to come up and then reorder, or clear a filtered search or something like that (yes, I’m that impatient).

I have found a better place to find the new Contact.

Instead of going to the Contact List Panel I mouse over Reports and then click on the Log Entries and Action Items Report.

Anytime you use Email2Log you are creating a Log Entry, so it will show up in that report (which is a List Panel).

I have this report ordered so that I see the latest Log Entries or Action Items at the top.  I simply come to this report and look to see if the email is on the top.  I am showing the Contacts column (if you don’t see it, click on the manage columns icon and add it), and I simply click on the person’s name and it takes me to their Detail Page.

The Email2Log is on a 5 minute cycle, so it might take a few minutes before it shows up, but this is my fastest way to getting to that newly created Contact record so I can put more details on the record. For some reason I like doing it this way rather than going through the Contact List Panel.

Cool, huh?

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Can I TRUST You? (I am your interviewer, new contact, old friend, etc.)

March 18th, 2013

I think LinkedIn has made the phrase “know and trust” more popular than it already was.

I want to talk about TRUST.

I was reading an article titled Google Keep’s Already Shaky Ground because I like to learn from (a) what Google is doing, and (b) what people think about it.

I was struck by this line:

And yet, Google thinks users will now trust our notes to its cloud, after previous shutdowns of similar services like Google Notebook or Google Bookmarks Lists?

The message the author is saying is: why would trust Google with my valuable thoughts and notes and clips in their new service, supposedly like Evernote, when I’ve trusted them before and THEY FAILED ME?

In other words people are saying: I TRUSTED Google before, but when they announced they were shutting down services I used I lost some trust.  And now they want me to trust them with other stuff?  How long will it last?

Let’s bring this to YOU.  As a job seeker, business owner, networker… do you have integrity?

If you say something, do people trust you?

If you promise something, or endorse something, or introduce me to someone, can I TRUST you?

If you are having problems networking, and you are doing the mechanics the right way, and your heart is in it (so, I’m assuming you are doing all the right things), maybe your problem is TRUST.

EITHER you haven’t established a relationship of trust with your connections, OR you’ve done something (or someone has said something) to chip away at that trust.

If I can trust you I’ll help you.

If I can’t trust you then I won’t help you.

BUILD TRUST.

How do you do this?

By having genuine, authentic relationships.  But don’t go and say you are genuine and authentic… that makes a skeptic like me tend to not believe you.

Build trust by being a good person.

Do what you say you will.

Go the extra mile.

All those cliche things.  But if you do them, and it becomes you, it’s not cliche.  It is integrity.

And I LOVE working with people who have integrity.  I’ll help them as much as I can.

And you will too.

Do people trust you?

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Reed Hastings (Netflix) on Company Culture

February 14th, 2013

When I was in the MBA program “culture” was the big buzzword.  Companies that create a strong positive culture are companies where people want to work, and give 1,000%.

Companies with a weak culture have high turnover.

My wife and I were talking about “family culture” a few weeks ago.  Applying “culture” to something like family, neighborhood, etc. is kind of hard if you haven’t been indoctrinated with the concept of culture.

I want to share an amazing 126 slide presentation from Reed.  I know it’s long but this is an amazing slide on culture.  Consider this a “sharpening your saw” exercise, take the time to go through this.  Best presentation on culture that I’ve ever seen. It almost makes me want to go work at Netflix right now.

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LinkedIn Proactive Strategies Webinar: March 1

February 6th, 2013

After doing the two hour and twenty minute webinar on the New LinkedIn Profile, I realized there has to be a Part II.  Not because I want to string this on all year but because I am NOT a believer in “if you build it they will come.”

I am a firm believer in “if you want it, go after it.”  And that’s what this webinar is all about.

On March 1 at 9am MOUNTAIN TIME I will spend at least 90 minutes (that’s what I said last time, but there were so many good questions we went much longer) talking about the PROACTIVE side of your LinkedIn strategy.

Having a killer Profile is, in my opinion, passive and reactive.  It is important… even critical.  But if no one knows about you, and if no one hears from you, and if you are too chicken to actually reach out and start the conversation… what good will the Profile do you?

It might be awesome, but let’s not sit around and wait for awesome.

Let’s proactively be awesome!

I haven’t figured out what the bonus options will be yet for non-career professionals.  Career professionals have different bonuses (ask and I’ll tell you, but I don’t want to blog about it).

Here’s the information page with more information.  Here’s the signup page.

Same as January 17th:

  1. This will be start-to-finish full of meat and content.  No frills, no wasting time.
  2. This will be recorded and you can access it streaming, as often as you want, through your JibberJobber account. (not downloadable)  As long as I don’t have emergency surgery the next day, the recording should be available within 24 hours.
  3. I will not use this as a time to try and upsell you on something else.  This is a content presentation, not a vehicle for me to sell more stuff to you.  No “and if you buy NOW you’ll get a free pony!”

Want to get in on this?  Here’s the link.

Note: this webinar is optimized for anyone serious about getting value out of LinkedIn.  That includes job seekers, recruiters, entrepreneurs, business owners, career professionals, etc.

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LinkedIn New Profile Webinar: Now Available

January 25th, 2013

A week ago I did the a 2 hour 20 minute webinar on the new LinkedIn Profile.

It was awesome.

I planned to do 90 minutes but there were lots of questions submitted before, and lots coming in during the webinar. I think I answered all of them.

In this webinar we talked about everything we could think of on the Profile.  The cost is $97, and the feedback I got from participants is that it was awesome and well-worth the money.  I’ll be putting up testimonials as time permits (the surgery has taken a toll on my work hours).

If you are interested in improving your Profile please check out this webinar.  Details on this page, purchase on this page.

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Ask The Expert: Jason Alba – Kicking of 2013 with Career Management (embedded video)

January 10th, 2013

Here’s my recording of Tuesday’s Ask The Expert call. I thought it went very well… it was fun, and there are 13 things for you to think about with your career management for 2013.

Some of them should surprise you.  On the video I invited you to email me what you will do after listening… and I extend that to YOU.  Leave a comment on this post OR email me (as instructed in the video).

You can sign up for future Ask The Expert calls here.

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Controversy Alert: Unions Close Hostess (who is the Ding Dong?)

November 16th, 2012

In school I read The Jungle.  This was an awesome, eye-opening book.  If you haven’t read it I suggest you get it and read it over the holidays.

This book showed me why unions exist.  To battle the atrocities of what a big, abusive company did to employees.  From wages to working condition, unions swoop in to solve problems.

Unions had a very important purpose.  But many have questioned whether that purpose is now in the past, and ask if unions have grown too abusive?

I know a guy who didn’t join the union at the U.S. Post Office.  He left work and the union boss drove after him, harassing and threatening him like a crazy man.

What the heck is that??

I went to school with a guy who was a prison guard in Denver.  He said the union would protect other guards who came to work drunk or high.  They would not ever fear losing their jobs, because the union was there to save them.

That the heck is that??

And today we read that Hostess is saying, because of failed negotiations with multiple unions, they will pull the plug, and 18,500 people will lose their jobs.

My guess: Another company will buy all of the assets of Hostess (patents, trademarks, factories, etc.) and continue production, and hire a lot of people back… but there will be people hurt because two groups (Hostess management and the multiple unions involved) could not come to an agreement.

It sounds like Hostess is saying “Look, we’re hurt.  We’re wounded.  We’re not as financially healthy as you think we are.  We just can’t pay the wages you are demanding.”

And the union is likely saying “Get over yourself.  We know you are rich and wealthy.  We want “fair” pay!  Our union members work really hard for this stuff!”

And Hostess probably says “Competition has taken market share and eaten into our profits.  The cost of goods has gone up.  We simply don’t have the money to cover what you are demanding.

And the union says “We don’t care what you say, and we aren’t willing to work things out.  It’s all or nothing.

And Hostess must have to say “Well, there is nothing there to take from.  We’re done.  We have no choice.

Who loses?  The people.  What about the people who *had* pensions.  If Hostess closes, will anyone who acquires them continue or honor those pensions?  If not, did the unions just make a whole lot of retired people lose everything?

We don’t need another 18,500 people on the streets looking for work.

Unions have got to figure out how to stop bullying companies (and members and non-members).  It seems like right now they act like the spoiled kid who demands more than his parents can give him.  Maybe instead of playing the entitled kid role, the union should play a partner role with the company.

But then again, is it the obligation of the company to share equal footing with unions, who don’t seem to have the long-term, sustainable health of the company in their interest?

A sick company that pays higher-than-fair wages is not sustainable.

This is a lose-lose-lose situation, and I think you can tell where I place the blame.

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Have you felt inspired to “do something” in your job search?

November 12th, 2012

This last weekend I’ve been reflecting on feeling inspired to do things.  Specifically there are two things I’ve been inspired to do that I will act on, but haven’t yet:

  • Writing in a journal. In my church we’ve been taught to keep a journal, but as I get older I am learning all the reasons why this is an amazing exercise. I thought it was because we could leave a rich history to our kids and posterity, but there is additional benefit.  I have learned from a therapist that the exercise of journaling could have profound impacts on your brain, specifically your ability to recall, remember and concentrate.  Those are three things I would love to improve on, and if all it takes is some concentrated journaling, count me in!
  • Practicing my oral Spanish. I practice Spanish a bit, but I really have felt inspired to read outloud for 30 minutes a day, in Spanish.  I know I’ve lost a lot of my speaking ability, even though I do okay… I want to get back to fluent, and back to sounding fluent :)

I bet you have felt inspired to do something… I have no idea what that something is. It could be something like calling someone on your chicken list.  It could be getting your finances in order and going through them to find a hole somewhere.  It could be getting a new shirt… I don’t know… but I am guessing you’ve felt inspired to do something and have put it of.

So here’s my challenge/invitation to you. Today, write down what you’ve felt inspired to do.  This is simply a brain dump.

Then, this week, start to work on that list.  Get it out of your head, then get it off the paper, and be done with it.

You might benefit more than you could imagine by just doing it!

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