The employment market is changing rapidly. The future of knowledge workers' professions is uncertain as technology and alternative solution providers are encroaching on traditional hiring practices.
What should you do as marketers to make sure you're advancing your career and are appreciated for the value you provide?
Let’s start with the basics.
Who’s your customer?
For the inbound marketers out there, create a persona for your potential employer (or client if you’re freelancing). Articulate in writing who you want to talk to, what they do, where there are, what are their daily routines, challenges, wishes and aspirations. Once you have defined your customer, there won’t be a need for a shot-gun approach. It’s also good to articulate who isn’t your target customer — i.e. the types of companies and people you don’t want to work with. If you make that decision early enough, you’ll save a lot of disappointment and heartache down the track.
What do you offer your future employer?
Have you defined your USP or UVP? What do you do better than anyone else in the world? What separates your offer from all other candidates out there? Why would anyone talk to you, and consider hiring you?
Consider this from the point of view of the hiring company, rather than your own. Speak to your market's need for your USP.
Demonstrate Ability and Credibility
Can you demonstrate and substantiate your claims? Do you collect your own case studies (on projects you’ve worked on)? Do you have written recommendations from clients, peers, superiors? How many? Are they in line with your own ability claims?
Let’s dive a little deeper now.
Thinking about your unique abilities and experience, how would you package your offering? Are you the creative type, the data analytics nerd, the corporate strategist, or the next CEO? Do you look the part?
I’m sure you’ve been told: “don’t judge a book by its cover”. But guess what — people do form an opinion about you from the minute they lay eyes on you (in person or from what they find online). Think about how you dress, and appear to people who may want to interview you? Make sure you make a stand for who you are and what you stand for. And if it’s the right opportunity for you, it will be a good match!
Let’s say that you’ve made a good impression — most hiring managers, recruiters and clients will Google you. They’ll look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. What will they find? Will your online persona match your professional aspirations? On that note, think long and hard about your privacy settings! I would highly recommend that you own your own domain and website, where you can share your [whatever it is you want to share].
For example, I have my own domain www.razchorev.com where I’ve been blogging. I also have some services and client/peer testimonials. So when people look me up, they find exactly what I want them to. Trust me on this — it does help!
How much do you think you’re worth? No, seriously?! Ok, be realistic. As you know, there are market rates for most professions, based on supply and demand. However, if you package yourself properly, you can determine your own price.
That’s not as easy as it may sound, so I recommend you research using one of the many salary estimating tools. You can base your price on what the market is willing to pay, or based on the type of engagement you want to take on, the industry, the market and the available competition. Do your due diligence so you won’t leave money on the table.
Here comes the fun part. Here’s your opportunity to promote yourself via networking, blogs and online forums, join groups (online and offline), create unique online profiles (about.me for example), create an online portfolio of your work, a unique app you’ve built, or any creative way you can imagine, which will make you stand out, but also demonstrate your abilities.
Keep a consistent message, look and feel, and make sure your promotional materials have a call to action, and you can convert visitors to enquiries, and enquiries to sales.
Analytics — I’ll leave that one with you. If you’re into optimisation, A/B testing, segmentation of target markets and collecting data from clicks, visits, likes and shares — go nuts! But don’t forget to use the right data visualisation tools to showcase your data analytics skills.
Now go and get yourself hired!