I’ve been reflecting lately about the economy and the many folks still out of work these days. While the economy has recently shown signs of slight improvement it hasn’t been enough to stop the unemployment hemorrhaging.
Now, I don’t claim to have the answer, but personally I’ve found that my own pursuits, at least in my field of marketing, have benefited from my continuous personal marketing efforts.
As a marketing professional I am constantly branding myself, reading up on my industry and exploring ways that I can experiment on my own with marketing initiatives that I think are useful--to myself and potentially other businesses (or potential employers).
I’m definitely fortunate that I’m not currently looking for new employment, but when I was in that boat I kept churning away at my own blog and entrepreneurial web presences trying out things that I may not otherwise have had a chance to experiment with in any previous employment. My thought was that I’m marketing myself and my capabilities, and I’m building my own brand (and essentially a portfolio of what I can do), all the while continuing to network with trusted contacts (that’s extremely important). As I got potential employment nibbles I made sure to make known my personal efforts and demonstrate how those efforts could help the potential employer at hand.
My point is, the fact that I never gave up, and never will give up, on improving myself to consistently be marketable to others and grow my skills has landed me more than one role in my career.
My best advice for anyone out of work (and I’m not trying to be insulting if you’re already doing these things with what currently feels like little luck) is to continue to be proactive, think entrepreneurially, take action as opportunities arise, network like crazy and never give up.
According to HubSpot.com, as posted in a recent Mashable/Business blog, small businesses with corporate blogs receive 55% more traffic than small businesses that don’t blog. That’s over half!
Considering the monetary upfront cost of blogging (nearly $0), I don’t understand why more businesses aren’t benefiting from building online relationships by publishing value-added content (blogs) for their target audience. Especially if it means generating more business in cost effectively.
The Mashable post mentioned offers 10 Tips for Corporate Blogging. Below are my five reasons why you can’t afford not to blog:
1. Your customers are seeking information to questions they have about your industry and services…if you’re not blogging about it your competition is and your potential customers are finding them and buying from them.
2. If your potential customers are finding info and answers to their questions from your competitions’ blogs then it’s safe to say that they’re also thinking of your competition as the expert in your industry--that’s top-of-mind brand association that is hard to shake.
3. Blogging can increase your organic search engine results…if your company website or blog posts are not coming up high on Google searches for keywords related to your business and industry then your potential customers are navigating toward your competition who is ranking high on search engine results because of their blogs.
4. Have you ever done an internet search for a topic of interest and come across a “how-to” blog post from a few months ago that still comes up in searches and is still relevant? ...Blogs have a long SEO shelf-life, which can help your traffic now, in a couple months and even a couple years.
5. Have you ever opted-in to an email list to receive a valuable whitepaper or ebook of info filled with useful take-a-aways...over time your blog posts could be compiled to create an opt-in ebook to offer valuable, useful info for your potential customers...when they opt-in, those are potential leads, nurture them and convert them to valued happy customers...that’s how the competition is winning customers over you.
If you’re like me you probably still use email a lot. I know there are a lot of electronic communication alternatives these days with the abundance of social media available, and yes, I do use all of that too, but I also use email in conjunction with social media. As it turns out, so do many others.
Your email signature can be another tool used to grow your social media presences in an exponential way.
I’m talking about adding your social media links to your email signature. If you think about how many folks you engage in email correspondence each day, week, month, year, etc. the amount of direct exposure you can give to your social media presences through your email signature is huge.
I recently issued a standard email signature complete with social media links at a company I work with, and I made all of the social media links bit.ly links to track the click-thrus of the social media links added to the email signatures. In less than 2 months the collective click-thrus for 4 social media links in their email signatures was 12,617. That means that 12,617 opportunities were created for individuals to learn more about that company through their social media efforts. That’s 12,617 opportunities for additional brand awareness, potential referrals and lead generation that didn’t previously exist--just by adding social media links to an email signature.