Guerilla Marketing & Technical Resume Writing? What?

Posted on May 23, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , , |

personal brandingby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

A few weeks ago, I started a bloglog of sorts as a way to detail the many twists and turns that our startup has gone through. One reason for doing so is that it is somewhat therapeutic, and another is that the main message of our company to job seekers is that they should “keep it real.” By that, we mean that they should think of personal branding as less about showcasing polish and shine and more about bringing real solutions to real companies.

I decided we should take our own advice.

Because, after all, that is who we are: real people with real lives offering real solutions to real professionals. It’s not a gimmick or a game. It’s our career.

To Sell Without Selling

Some career pros I know get a little itchy when you talk about “selling” either in regard to their job seekers looking for jobs (and “selling” themselves) or in regard to themselves “selling” their products and services. They prefer to act like they are providing some sort of community service that happens to generate income for them.

Although it is nice for all of us to think that we aren’t motivated by profit (or income), the truth is the primary reason for work is to earn a living. And if you want to stay in business or have a career, you can’t overlook that part. Sure, you can think on a higher plane, do what you love, and take pay cuts to pursue other things, but everyone needs money, at least some, and therefore, everyone is by necessity motivated by that fact.

So let’s just be real about it.

The question becomes, then, how do you sell without selling? Whether it is part of your job search or showcasing a small startup like ITtechExec, how do you position yourself in a way that makes you seem, well, real?

Guerilla Social Media Marketing 101

The answer, as I see it, comes down to solving problems. In today’s social media marketplace, people are attracted to people with answers. They want to know that the distinct background that you have can help them solve the problems that they have. They are looking for information, and they are looking for people that they can connect with to give them that information. Period.

Quite honestly, that is something you just can’t fake…at least not for long. You either can bring the goods, or you can’t.

As I spend my days racing from one social media outlet to another, trying to build “communities” and “spheres of influence,” I am struck by how many people think social media marketing is just a game of busy work (and popularity). Do this. Do that. Poof! The real work is in articulating your well-designed solution in such a way that is clear and simple and easy for others to pass on.

In our case, we want our customers to say, “ITtechExec, they’re more than just a technical resume writing firm. They articulate the ‘core talkable differences’ that are distinct to each of their clients. These differences are then communicated consistently across both traditional and social media. They do that by leveraging a job search management lifecycle approach.” Therefore, finding your core talkable difference is what makes up our core talkable difference: helping to position you as a unique problem solver. In other words, we believe in keeping it real.

And that has less to do with popularity and more to do with quality. Guerilla marketers, much like technical resume writers (and technical job seekers!), better be all about quality. Otherwise, we can build communities all day long, but in the end, we won’t have much to show for it.

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SEO, Social Media, Here We Come…Or Something Like That (Part 1)

Posted on April 2, 2012. Filed under: social media | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)SEO

Social Marketing 101

When we first started out in the career services arena in 2002, our biggest concern was about having a website. Period. Just having one. Just so that we could tell our clients, potential clients, and other contacts that we had one. Like most startups, we didn’t have much of a marketing budget (none really), and we weren’t sure what to do with our website once we had it set up. Essentially, it was just an online business card that we hoped someone (or several someones) would stumble across and fall instantly “in love” with us. So we spent the first 6 years marketing locally, offering the best in service, using our website as a business card (to make us look legit), and praying for referrals.

Twitter, Blogging, and Every Thing in Between

Then in 2008, Twitter happened for us. And before we knew it, we were gaining all these followers on Twitter, launching our first blog, and collecting e-mail addresses left and right. Sounds great, right? The problem: After a full year, we still really had no idea what to do with any of it (other than send out mailing after mailing). Thankfully, our local business had done well, and we were in over our heads trying to manage that volume. And although we did see some return, it didn’t really match up with the time output on our end. [Our office is made up of a whopping two people, after all. :-)]

Marketing sages advised us to hire low-level staff to handle social media for us (aka “tweet” as us or write blogs). It all sounded nice, but we felt our technical clientele deserved better content straight from us, not from someone we hired off the street with no experience and paid low wages.

So what did we do?

Well, in 2009, we went the way of millions of small startups before us, and we abandoned the notion that social marketing was right for us…

Social Media and SEO: It’s Here to Stay

Then in 2011,  we finally realized that we could avoid it no longer. And that is when the biggest education of our lives began to take place: social marketing 101. After almost two years away from it, we got back to what we had left behind. And what we found was yet a whole new ball game. If we thought that social media was time consuming in 2009, it was nothing compared with what we encountered in 2011! But what has come out of that journey has caused us to rethink everything we do as a business and to revamp our client solutions in such a way that causes our clients too to think about social media in a whole new way when it comes to a job search.

This series of posts is meant to be the first in what I hope is a diary of sorts, capturing some of the many twists and turns that our small company has experienced along the bumpy social media/SEO ride, all in an effort to tell the world that we are here, that we offer personal branding services to technical professionals, and that we are determined to do it better than anyone else.

I mean, really, how hard can that be, right?

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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