Marketing

Interview for the Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy: Job Searching, LinkedIn and Best Practices

It was an honor to be interviewed by Christopher Waters for the Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy. We had a valuable discussion on job searching, networking, and LinkedIn best practices!

We covered:

  • The first thing to do when you begin your job search.
  • The importance of having an updated LinkedIn profile.
  • How to maximize the impact of your LinkedIn headline.
  • How to effectively use keywords on LinkedIn.
  • The value of building a network.
  • How to effectively conduct your job search.
  • What makes a candidate stand out.

…and so much more.

If the experience of job searching for you is one of frustration, disappointment, futility, and doubt, I share some things within the interview that I invite you to try as an experiment for 3 weeks.
Report back your results!

Click below to watch the entire replay.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

Leveraging LinkedIn for Co-Creation and Community Building

I didn’t create goals this year. (*imagined gasping)

They felt heavy – a reminder of all the goals I failed to achieve in 2020. As much grace as I gave myself, I also still carried that disappointment around with me without even realizing it until I sat down to make new goals.

An awareness I uncovered in 2020 was just how futile it is for me to trudge forward with goal-based activities while feeling so heavy and serious. The pressure of the goals and the obligations I was holding myself under gave everything I did a negative charge. I was spinning my wheels when I was able to set aside time. I felt like I wasted so much time doing things that got no results, and I attribute the lack of results not to the pandemic, but to my state of mind. I backed off for a while, eliminated some toxicity from my life, and worked on expanding and making things lighter.

I am working on taking work seriously and not letting myself off the hook while also taking myself lightly – to be more in the state of flow. In a flow state, the efforts that I make have exponentially better results.

So, when goals felt heavy, I needed to reframe them. I know that having an outcome in mind is critical to staying motivated, and if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. I also know that having an outcome you believe is possible is also critical for motivation. I still needed to have achievable outcomes in mind, so I called them possibilities.

I also chose a theme for 2021: Co-creation!

The most successful parts of 2020 were because I had the support of others and many highlights were supporting others in their 2020 successes. I have a partner in Lawrence Henderson as Co-manager and Co-administrator of the C3: Corporate Consciousness Co-op group on LinkedIn, as well as a co-creator and co-host of our monthly Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership events, which have been mind-blowingly chock full of conscious wisdom, and I’ve met (virtually) so many amazing leaders thanks to our work together.

I have a great partnership with my Virtual Assistant, Cynthia Harder. If not for her… I don’t even want to think about what 2020 would have been like!

I fully endorse the power of co-creation and community for support of your 2021 goals (or possibilities.)

Guess where I found them both? Well, the article title probably gives that away.

I’m going to introduce some methods and tools (no investment needed!) that I have used to source amazing people and potential partners, and grow our LinkedIn group to 100 members organically in 7 months.

I don’t have a LinkedIn Premium account (at the moment or for most of 2020), so all of my tips can be implemented by anyone with a free account.

I advise you, before you take action on this list, to have a complete, branded LinkedIn profile.

A branded LinkedIn profile starts with identifying your unique expression of your top qualities, skills, experiences, mindsets, approaches, and talents and the value that they tend to or can create for your target audience. Epic Careering has a proprietary process for developing branding points, which are the foundation upon which all of your content and copy is crafted. This process produces a powerful psychological effect on your ideal profile visitor.

  • It creates instant resonance, which can lead to rapport.
  • It produces an incremental build-up of excitement at the possible value you can offer.
  • It induces a sense of urgency to take action (inviting you to connect).
  • It inspires more of the right people to accept YOUR invitation.
Here are the areas of your profile that you need to optimize with branded content to produce this effect:
  • The first thing people will notice about your LinkedIn profile will most likely be your photo. That is why a profile picture is a must. I recommend using a professional profile picture and a custom banner to immediately introduce visitors to your brand.
  • Your Headline is the second most visible aspect of your LinkedIn profile. It defaults to your most recent experience title, but you have 120 characters to leverage. Definitely make your role known and put it first. I say role instead of title because sometimes companies give you titles that are only understood internally or don’t accurately reflect what you actually do. Use a title that is more universal and is likely what someone would search for if they were looking for the solution that you offer. Then use the other characters to convey who you help and the outcomes you produce. If there are characters left, consider including a fun fact or hobby that will spark curiosity and let people know who the person is behind the professional, e.g. Ferry Fest Founder.
  • The About section (formerly called Summary) allows for 2500 characters (formerly 2000). Only the first 300 or so show without someone having to click “read more,” so the key is writing something that makes people want to read more! Stories, especially when they include details that appeal to the senses, are great ways to hook a reader, so think of it much like the first line of a book – the book of you. What would the first line of your memoir say? You might also start with a bold statement, compelling question, or a pithy quote. If it’s more in alignment with your brand to just get right down to business, then tell people right off the bat who you help, what they might be experiencing, what you do to help them, and the outcomes you produce. Think about the keywords that people might search for when it comes to the solutions they’re looking for and incorporate them into more detailed summaries, explaining further about emerging themes of your professional journey. Allow your personality and passion to come through. The best practice to use the first person with pronouns is based on the fact that the more approachable and relatable you are, the more invitations you send will be accepted and the more invitations to connect you will receive. (There is no obligation to accept them, of course.)
  • Your Experience section is a great place to tell stories of your triumphs. Tell the stories that demonstrate and prove your branding points. This is an opportunity to tell more of the back story, describe the challenges you had to overcome, and flesh out the results and impacts that don’t fit on your résumé. In this way, your LinkedIn profile becomes supplementary and complementary collateral that promotes your brand consistently and continues to enhance your trustworthiness and authenticity.
  • Add sections to your profile to highlight awards, publications, organizational affiliations and leadership, volunteerism, and projects. When you add projects, you can associate them with your roles, if there is a role association, and even add/tag co-creators. This is a great way to boost your and your colleagues’ visibility and give credit where it’s due.

Once you have your LinkedIn profile branded and optimized, find people with whom you want to co-create, which could be a partner, a client, a vendor, an employee, or an employer. In my case, I was using LinkedIn to find leaders out there to transform and elevate corporate leadership to invite to the C3 community.

I did a few test keyword searches, finding terms in some profile headlines like “disruptor,” “servant leader,” and “leadership development.” Then, I searched for those terms and evaluated the first several results to see if “my people” were coming up. Once I got the search just right (and this was one of my best skills as a recruiter), I then drafted a template invitation that was warm, humble, and reflective of the times. This invitation explained that I was a coach and was looking to add value to my connections by making introductions, and what introductions would be the most impactful right now. I visited the profile of the people in the results and opted to connect when that option was available (most of the time). I entered my invitation message into the Note field so that it would be sent along with the invitation to connect. If the invitation was accepted, I sent a follow-up message requesting to ask questions to see how I could help.

Once I realized that I needed a higher volume of sent invitations to get the number of accepted connections that would actually lead to back and forth conversations, I did invest in a tool, Cleverly. So, technically, this is where my efforts were inorganic and required an investment, but no one was mass invited to the group (except my mailing list, which is still primarily comprised of people that I know personally). The growth of the group was still based on 1:1 conversations and selective invitations.

The investment in Cleverly is not required to make this work for co-creation and community building, however, for me, it did accelerate it.

I copied the search URL link into a Cleverly form, then entered my invitation message template into their form and selected the number of results I wanted that message sent to daily. Once the invitation is sent, it allows you to write a follow-up message and yet another follow up when that message is answered. I only wrote one follow-up so that I could actually visit the new connection’s profile and ask questions based on what I found to make it more of a personal conversation with greater rapport.

Not everyone understood what I was doing. Some people were downright skeptical and some were really annoyed.

They just aren’t my people right now. No problem. I’d sent them a note that I was currently only looking to connect with people who are on LinkedIn to network and co-create, so no hard feelings. I disconnected from those people.

Anyone who accepted my invitation but didn’t respond to my follow up message, which was a request to ask the contact some questions, I offered grace to. I know that in any year, let alone 2020, responding to LinkedIn messages might take a back seat, and reiterated my desire to connect and get to know each other. This was appreciated by some, and those were my people. If people still didn’t respond, I let them know that while I appreciated that they would accept my invitation, I really want my network to be full of people with whom I can make a genuine connection. No hard feelings. Don’t be offended – it’s nothing personal. If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll assume that’s not you and disconnect.

Many people don’t engage on LinkedIn regularly, so I give it a good month. Once a month, I go through and disconnect with people I have not heard back from.

While many messages go unanswered, there are still a great handful of ongoing messages that allow me to find out if they are up to something I can add value to and vice versa. While engaging with other conscious leaders on LinkedIn over the past few months, I aimed to find out what the most important thing was that they were working on and if they were open to co-creating with other conscious leaders, in which case I would invite them to the C3 community.

Our live events in C3 and the opportunity to give these leaders the spotlight were the value that we offered that had them accept the invitation to the C3 community, and inspired them to invite others into the community as well.

In addition, once a topic was chosen by the community for the event, I would source a new expert to bring into the community, and they would invite others to the community as well.

I hope 2021 offers you rich relationships with new co-creators. Creating is, after all, what we’re made for.

Join the C3 Community today! Tell us what your expertise is and we’ll add it to our member survey. If it’s picked, you’ll have the opportunity to take the spotlight as a guest panelist!

Connection

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupConnection · The Rolling StonesBetween The Buttons (UK Version)℗ 1967 ABKCO Music & Records Inc.Released on: 1967…

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.

LinkedIn is Hiding it’s Best Features

 

I’ve noticed over the 16 years as a LinkedIn user that, though LinkedIn has and offers some of the best practices, sometimes its interface doesn’t make following those best practices intuitive. In fact, some of its best features are hidden.

Cases in point:

1. Personalizing invitations

LinkedIn’s Quick Help resources advise and warn you: “To uphold LinkedIn’s trusted community, we encourage you to only connect with people you know. By sending fewer and more thoughtful invitations, you can help us keep LinkedIn a trusted space for everyone… We’ve found that most people ignore invitations from people they don’t know. A large number of rejected invitations could result in limitations on your LinkedIn account.”

Then, on another page, it tells you how to personalize your invitation, but doesn’t tell you that many people ignore boilerplate invitations. When I mean many, I mean that I personally know hiring managers, other LinkedIn experts, other career services professionals, executives, and speakers/authors who all intentionally ignore invitations without a personalized message.

(Here are 4 great reasons to ALWAYS personalize your invitation.)

Yet the easier thing to do is click connect. You have to click again on “Add a note” to personalize your message. On the phone apps, the ability to send a personalized invitation took a surprisingly long time to become a feature. It was hidden for a while, and now it’s more visible, but still just under “Connect,” which sends a boilerplate invitation.  Importing your other contact lists sends a generic invitation in bulk.

Every…single…expert will tell you to ALWAYS personalize your invitation, and here are four good reasons why. So why wouldn’t sending and personalizing your invitation be the default option?

2. Groups

Groups are one of the most powerful features of LinkedIn that help you increase your visibility, promote your expertise and brand, and engage directly with people who can be new network connections that help you expand your network. There are three ways to get directly to groups from your desktop homepage, but none of them are obvious. LinkedIn only points out one of them. The other is by using the search bar, but groups usually show up last among the search results (this is the only way I have found to get to groups from the iPhone app.) The third is the 9-dot “work” drop-down in the upper right corner.

 

3. Knowing your contacts

LinkedIn says, ”We recommend only inviting people you know and trust because 1st-degree connections are given access to any information you’ve displayed on your profile.” They have taken steps over the years to inhibit super-connectors from expanding their networks unchecked. The LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) subculture has their reasons for accepting all invitations, but once they hit or were imposed with limits, they have to then remove people they don’t know to add people they meet and for whom have genuine reasons to stay connected.  They then had to tell people, “Sorry – I’m at my limit.”

I have openly heard their side, however, I have found that by knowing my network, my efforts to connect with or connect other people are often successful and my network has grown into a healthy community of over 1400. I am “found” by many people (enough for my bandwidth) and my search results are rich with relevant people, even without an upgraded account.  Here are other reasons I have chosen to fill my network with people with whom I have personally interacted and what I do when I receive an invitation from someone I don’t know. As we’ll discuss in a bit, invitations like these are a good sign.

Some of the changes that LinkedIn has made have penalized people who have added too many people. However, they don’t leverage their navigation or user experience to prevent this. You used to have to adjust settings to only allow people you know a certain way to invite you, and when you sent an invitation you used to have to select how you know them. Certain selections would require you to put their e-mail address. However, people have multiple e-mail addresses and not all of them may be connected to your LinkedIn account. This might be why this is gone, or it could be because the super-connected LIONs are connected enough to be a threat and have successfully influenced interface design to make it easy to connect with anyone, whether you know them or not.

Sidebar: You’ll find Steven Burda and Jason Alba, both quoted in the article linked above on LIONs, in my network because I have had real-world interactions with both of them. In fact, Steven was my neighbor. Our daughters are in girl scouts together. Jason and I connected years ago about his job searching software. I was the 2nd guest on his podcast, Ask the Experts.

4. Stats

Whether you have a free or upgraded account, LinkedIn shows you how many people viewed your profile and posts. Views alone, however, are not a great way to measure the effectiveness of your profile content or activities on LinkedIn for what you probably want to achieve – professional opportunity. What is more relevant is how many invitations you receive in proportion to profile views. This will tell you if your profile brand and content is compelling. This is a quantitative measurement, but qualitatively, if you want to know if your brand is effective, evaluate how well the people who invite you align with your target audience(s) and profiles.

Something else LinkedIn will show you in notifications is when people interact with your dynamic content – status updates, posts and comments. It will show you, again, how many views, but with each interaction that takes a bit more effort, you can see how effective your posts are at increasing your visibility (because more engagement means more visibility as other people’s networks will see their activity in relation to your post and it may even show up on other people’s home feeds as a result), promoting your expertise, and engaging with people who have a high probability of adding value to your professional goals, as well as the goals of your other connections. Likes are the easiest to give. LinkedIn has now added other reactions (that sometimes don’t work for me) and takes just slightly more effort. Commenting, now that LinkedIn has autosuggestions, takes about as much effort, but obviously making a custom comment requires thoughtfulness – a large increase in effort. Tagging others doesn’t take as much effort, but is a great testament to the value of your content and does an even better job of increasing views of your content. Again, though, more views without engagement can be more of a sign of content that could use improvement, such as a call to action.

LinkedIn will count post and status update comments, but remember to evaluate your qualitatively as well.  Analyze your results so that you can continue to improve how your content and activity supports your professional objectives.

What are some great LinkedIn features that aren’t so obvious?

 

You’ve got to hide your love away – The Beatles (LYRICS/LETRA) [Original]

THE INSTRUMENTS IN THIS SONG ARE FROM THE MOST HONORABLE RIOHEY KANAYAMA PLEASE SUSCRIBE TO HIM: https://www.youtube.com/user/goldmine196909 If you liked this song, I invite you to listen the rest of Beatles songs subtitled into english and spanish, following the link below: ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qyPusDodDk&list=PL632iTavofD48JGlFY4VkYDKxoWfX17a1 TAGS: You’ve got to hide your love away, the beatles,, the beatles You’ve got to hide your love away, los beatles, os beatles, the beatles lyrics, los beatles letra, o beatles legendado, beatles, beatles john lennon, beatles paul mccartney, beatles ringo starr, beatles george harrison, yoko ono

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

5 Corporate Marketing Tricks You Can Use to Attract Better Career Opportunities

snakeoil salesman

Companies have employed many tactics and techniques to capture the attention of prospective customers and convert them into paying customers. While some of these may fall into a category you might consider sneaky or contrived, perhaps even manipulative, a lot of them represent ethical best practices that you can borrow to stand out in a crowded candidate market and position yourself as a top choice for a job.

  1. Unique Value Proposition(s)

One thing that every potential customer or employer needs to know is what makes you different. Hypothetically, out of hundreds of applicants 20 might have the right mix of required skills. The hiring manager may be able to allocate time to interview 5 of these. The 5 who get the invitation to interview have to promote something above and beyond the other 15. So, you have to be able to make obvious what value you offer that no other candidate can. This could be a rare skill, a unique professional experience that enables you to approach problems creatively, or even a life experience that gives you a unique perspective or an attractive quality, like resilience or strong people skills. The key is being able to translate your UVP into hard business terms and then to demonstrate, not just state, your UVP in your résumé, LinkedIn profile, networking conversations, and interviews.

  1. Storytelling

Though it may seem to be too succinct and formal to be considered a venue for a story, a great résumé will introduce the most enticing parts of your story, add dimension to who you are as a professional, and tell stories in a concise, reader-friendly format that entices the reader to want to know more. Your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to compliment the story, tell it in your own voice, let your personality and passion come through, and give people a little more of the back story. Now that LinkedIn only shows the first 200 characters or so of the summary forcing people to do manual labor and click “Read more” before they can see the full 2,000 character summary, those first 200 characters need a hook.

Seriously, I know clicking is easy enough, but we know from corporate user experience data that the people don’t like to do the work of clicking. They have to be enticed.

Then what follows should either entice the visitor to read more about your experience and background, or have a powerful, effective call to action that leads to a connection request.

You don’t necessarily need to entice everyone who visits to request a connection with you, only kindred people. Your story doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, only the people who are most likely to convert into customers or employers. Speak to their values, needs, pains, and culture.

  1. Appealing to Emotions

Even though companies have traditionally been considered cold, unemotional, profit-focused entities and executives seem to be these all-business, out of touch figureheads making decisions from an ivory tower, the human condition cannot be denied. Even the most logical, rational people are influenced by their emotions.

What might attract a company to a solution may be a business need, but it’s the pain of potential or present failure that drives a company to seek the solution and it’s the expectation that the pain will be relieved and/or the success will be sweet that makes them take action. A company is still comprised of people with emotions.

Data has shown that marketing materials promoting services are more effective when they convey attitudes, actions and emotions.

The key is finding ways to give your corporate audience the feels, while still enabling them to make evidence-based business cases to other stakeholders about why you’re a good hire.

4.Pattern Interruption

Companies try not to spend money on advertising that doesn’t get seen. The best ads don’t show up among competitor’s ads but in the flow of the customer’s day where their competitors are not even a thought. Instead of trying to drown out the competition in a noisy marketplace, it’s better to be one of the few voices in a quiet marketplace.

E-mail is one of the most excessive media. It can be a very useful venue to send and receive information and documents, but it’s not a great place to get attention. Your future employer may frequently check e-mail throughout the day, and yet if they receive a high volume of e-mails, the chance that your e-mail will get attention AND a response is slim, though a great subject line can help.

The better bet is to find out what else your prospective employer does with his or her days and to show up where other candidates aren’t.

Then the key is to know what to say that will make them stop what they are doing and pay attention. Appealing to what’s important to them is a great way to do this. So, you need to understand what’s important to them.

  1. Analytics

You can’t measure what you don’t track. You need to measure something to know if and how something needs improvement. Many smart job seekers record their activities. However, not many do so in a way that enables them to see which activities are the least and most successful so that they can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. When you do, however, you invest less time making more of the right things happen over time. Job searching can even become FUN.

The thing is, you need to do this in order to maintain and continue building momentum. Otherwise, you spend time making things happen, then spend time on what’s happening, then if what was happening doesn’t move forward, you have to start over from scratch making things happen. It’s a discouraging cycle, but it doesn’t have to be like that. If you figure out a few key result-producing activities that don’t require a lot of time, you could keep the momentum up while you invest time moving opportunities forward and keep the pipeline full.

Instead of rising and dipping from a 3 out of 10 on the momentum scale to an 8 and then back down to 4, you can keep your momentum high, which leads to not just 1 or 2 viable opportunities in play, but 4 or 5. That’s when you really feel empowered to choose an opportunity that is best for you.

Remember that as you grow or shift in your career, what works best will also shift. I know many tech professionals who aren’t able to use the same resources to reach the next level and they start to believe opportunities are limited, or that there’s something wrong with them.

The good news is that Epic Careering leverages all of these best practices when we design our clients’ brands and campaigns. It’s why our clients are able to land jobs others may find hard land, even with challenges like changing roles or industries, re-entering the workforce, or overcoming a string of mismatched, short-term opportunities. Add that to coaching clients on managing the emotions of job search, forming good habits, and optimizing mindset for top performance and they can see the light at the end of the tunnel within 3 months of starting their campaign. We are now booking free consultations for December if you’d like to see yourself in a better place by spring.

 

The Kinks – I’m Not Like Everybody Else

I do not own the rights to this song. Artist: The Kinks Album: A-Side of Sunny Afternoon Song: I’m Not Like Everybody Else

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Playing Chess With a Bow and Arrows: Meaningful No-competition Marketing Campaigns

Final part of the MindValley Reunion = Mind Blown series

It has taken until November to cover all of the mind blowing teachings imparted to me in August at the MindValley Reunion in San Diego. While it’s hard to say that they saved the best for last, because I had many favorites throughout the weekend, the last outside speaker was rated highest among their speakers, and it was very easy to see why.

I had known Eric Edmeades as the “WildFit” guy. Wildfit is a nutritional program published by MindValley that has produced very impressive results. He wasn’t there to speak about WildFit, however, and it appears that is just one of many programs, businesses, and successes from which he could provide us with valuable lessons. He went through a list of possible topics, all of which appealed to me. What he chose was inception marketing.

What is inception marketing? If you consider yourself part of a tribe, than you have been incepted. If you are on any mailing lists, you have been incepted.

First let’s talk about what inception marketing isn’t: it isn’t tactical or transactional. It isn’t competing for people who are searching for what you sell. It isn’t guessing what will make your prospect buy. It’s not about modeling your competition.

If you are a job seeker reading this, you might be wondering how this applies to you. Firstly, I ALWAYS assume when learning something about marketing that there is an application for job seekers. That being said, not all methods are appropriate for all job seekers. Branding is the exception, in the 11 years that I have been advising and interviewing job seekers, all have or would have benefited from branding.

In this particular case, inception marketing is applicable to those actively or passively seeking an opportunity to increase their influence and impact, the byproduct of which is faster career growth and greater income.

Back to what inception marketing is: It is defining your target, understanding deeply what is important to them, identifying what they are thinking about, strategizing ahead of time the steps and stories that are going to create attraction, and providing them with engaging content that subtly moves them to realize and decide that they want and need your product.

This is about asking (a la Ryan Levesque’s ASK method) and listening. It’s about nudging and nurturing.

It is about appealing to your audience’s emotional reasons for wanting, and their logical reasons for feeling good about that (because sometimes we feel better justifying that in which we invest.) Then, they naturally sell for you.

If traditional marketing is darts, where you try to hit one little target, this is chess.

Before I share with you the steps, let me share with you the example that he gave, which demonstrated why he is such an in-demand speaker. Eric has had some enviable adventures, which give him a wide variety of intriguing experience from which he can compose compelling stories. The adventure he shared was hunting with an indigenous African tribe. This particular story took place during a second stay he had in their village, and it seemed the tribesmen were even more accepting of Eric as one of their own because he was able to hit the target on the first try with one of their bow and arrows. The pressure of these bow and arrows is much higher than one you might find at a sporting goods store here in the US. He showed us pictures of their more senior tribesmen, who you could definitely not identity as more senior based on their fitness, because they were ripped!

After hitting the target they invited Eric to go hunting with them, which he did a couple times. The second time it was an all-day event. Eric had been an avid runner until some time in his thirties when he had a knee injury. But these men were running…long distances…bow and arrow in hand…without making any sounds. This was something he noticed as he was struggling to keep up, his knee giving him pain. They were not running the same way as him. While he was putting his whole foot down, making a ruckus and probably scaring game away, he noticed the tribesmen were only using the front pads of their feet, and they seemed to spring off of them rather than stride. So, he started mimicking them, and he found that, not only was he now running without noise, he was running without knee pain. He was better able to keep up. He went home and considered taking up running again, but this time he was also considering something he never thought he would – buying a pair of those feet shoes. You know the ones – they look like feet.

Prior to starting this story, Eric demonstrated how at any given time, 3% of the population is actively seeking and shopping for something. He asked us to raise our hand if we were currently looking to buy a new phone, renovate our kitchen, looking to book a cruise, and buy running shoes. Time after time the number of hands raised represented roughly 3% of the room.

After that story, however, he asked how much of the room was now considering buying the feet shoes. Much more of us raised our hand – me included, and I totally made fun of my husband for buying those shoes. He even got a few bucks from the class action suit against the company for false advertising the health benefits.

At first, from a time and money perspective, it sounds very appealing to think that marketing doesn’t have to look like guessing about SEO, bidding on keywords, worrying about rankings, etc.

What you have to realize, however, is that the steps involved in a successful inception marketing campaign require quite a bit of legwork, and then, once you have incepted prospects, you have to continually keep them incepted by providing value and advice. This is not the easier way, so to speak, but it is a more meaningful way to build a customer base, and over time you will have less selling to do in order to increase your reach and continually grow your customer base.

It is a long-term strategy. This is where job seekers who seek to increase their influence and impact for greater career growth and income can apply this method: Start to notice where there are events in your life and at your job where a need for you is created. Tell the stories using the platforms available to you – LinkedIn posts/status updates, corporate wikis, industry publications, on stage at conferences, in a book, etc.

In the career management course that I teach at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, we share various kinds of stories with our students and introduce how they can frame a story in a compelling way wherein the story actually becomes their proof of unique value.

Here are some of them:

  • Romance
  • Drama
  • Fable
  • Mystery
  • Adventure

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which kind of story appealed most to your audience, which would be the employer if you are a job seeker. But NOTE: one of the first steps is to really be intimately familiar with what drives your audience to take action.

Here are the steps of inception marketing:

  1. Identify an overall target market – This defies what most marketing gurus preach. They usually tell you to identify a niche, and qualify the demographics and buying behaviors. He used the example of being a wedding photographer and targeting anyone getting married or involved in the wedding.
  2. Then, he suggested that you ideal multiple target markets and pick one that your competition might not. Most wedding vendors focus on the bride, but what if you focused on grooms.
  3. Dig down to what drives them. What does a groom want? To make the bride happy, and give her the perfect day.
  4. Engage your audience with a promise. For example, 10 ways your wedding photographs can go horribly wrong and how you can make sure they are perfect.
  5. Then you incept them by telling them a story that allows them to conclude that they want your help. This made me remember my wedding, which was perfect except…we were supposed to get all family photos done in between the wedding and reception, but the damp conditions were causing some of the cameras to malfunction. We had an indoor alternative to use, but the photographer needed time to get that set up and let the cameras dry out. This meant that we were now using precious reception time to take photos, and we never did get around to visiting our 280 guests at their table, including the cousins who flew in from Amsterdam. I know he had a different example, but this was one that struck me as a personal experience that served as a better example for me.
  6. Advise them, and in advising them, establish that YOUR experience, expertise and skill will save them from such a fate, or move them toward a desired fate, and in turn, keep your promise.

Eric certainly offered us some very pragmatic content, and he did so with humor and humility. Considering that since language existed, storytelling has been how human beings teach, it seems logical to expect that it will never go out of vogue. The media we used to tell these stories will evolve, certainly.

If you need help understanding your audience and telling your story, well that is our specialty. We LOVE to help corporate influencers influence, because that is how meaningful change occurs.

 

What kind of action would you like your audience to take?

Survivor – The Search Is Over

Survivor’s official music video for ‘The Search Is Over’. Click to listen to Survivor on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/SurvSpot?IQid=SurvTSIO As featured on Ultimate Survivor.