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As passionate marketers, we’re consistently astounded by how little oomph people’s personal marketing carries. Professionals, workers, entrepreneurs everywhere are guilty of underleveraging their resumes, bios, LinkedIn profiles, underselling their achievements, and getting less than what they deserve.
Let’s take resumes. Everyone knows how to write one…just list what you do/did. Right? Uh...not exactly.
As resume copywriters, we know. The work involves framing each task with crisp context, so that even a ten-year-old can understand your impact. There’s a fair bit of translation involved: you need to think about the value delivered—to your boss, to fellow employees, and to customers. Then you need to tell that story in an objective way: using metrics (percentages, dollar amounts), well-chosen adjectives, and relentless consideration for the reader, the reader, the reader.
For example, one MarketSmiths client created an access platform for a global investment bank. Impressive stuff! Yet the corresponding resume bullet failed to showcase the platform’s true value. We played this out, calculating the increase to trading revenues (30%) and to client retention (a near-perfect 98%). Does this wield heft? You bet.
Another client had an early start as an intern for a respected music label. We contrasted his achievements with his meager job title, and helped him land the job he wanted.
There’s a lot of blog-lit out there about resume rules: what length to shoot for, what formatting to use, what’s a dealbreaker. However, standing out isn’t about following convention. It’s about doing the hard work of contextualizing.
Take a moment to dwell in the pleasure of your past achievements, then start typing. Or simply call us.
Stay tuned next week for Part II: how to turn your bio and LinkedIn profile into marketing gold.
In working on a client website page this week, we suggested starting with client scenarios. We call them "snapshots," and they demonstrate—vividly and evocatively—what our clients do.
But won't I lose people who don't meet that category? Won't they think this doesn't pertain to them? said our client.
Everyone makes the same mistake in marketing. They try to appeal to everyone else, and they end up losing their edge. You don't stand out, and you dilute your value to the point of being ignored and forgotten.
The fact is people don’t like being lumped together. Vague descriptions suggest that your services—and by extension your clients—are one-size fits all. OK, so maybe you have three different service pages, each with a general description: small, medium and large. That’s a little better, but still implies you do the same work for multiple clients, potentially ignoring their individual needs.
What your clients need isn’t one size fits all. It’s not small, medium, or large. If you want to attract leads and build quality business relationships, you need to offer a tailor-made experience.
Which is where snapshots come in. Vivid client scenarios work two-fold. First, there's nothing like a lively example as a near guarantee of absorption and memorability. Second, they show your reader than you are capable of adapting. Each snapshot is well handled, successful, but not quite like the last—just like the clients you serve.
Give your client the benefit of the doubt. Chances are, they don’t want what “everyone else” is having.
So you’ve launched your new website. You’re live; you’re public; you’re exhausted. Congratulations! What now? We hear this question often from our clients, along with: I sell virtual whitewater rafting, canine chapeaus, or flying squirrel advertising. Why on earth would I need a blog?
Here are some persuasive stats: Companies that publish 15 or more blog posts per month generate five times more Web traffic than companies that don't blog at all. Even those who blog 9-15 times per month generate three times more traffic, according to a recent study by the good folks at Hubspot.
A company blog is a misunderstood yet essential tool for driving customers to your site. That’s because search engines like Google and Yahoo! are constantly crawling website copy looking for depth and consistency of content to recommend sites to their human searchers. If you launch a website but never add to it, it’s like opening a fish taco stand in the Himalayas. They may be the tastiest fish tacos this side of Tibet, but if no one knows about them, you’re stuck with rotting Wahoo.
But let’s say your taco chef writes a semiweekly blog about his happy hour specials, the best mountain ponds to fish in, his mouthwatering pico de gallo, and his weekend efforts training the first-ever panda Calypso band. The engines catalog those entries and his site — and star — start to rise.
Our taco chef can’t just start his blog and then abandon it, like so many do. On average, companies generate a 45% lift in traffic when they increase their blog posts from 11-20 to 21-50 articles/month. And B2C companies see a 59% increase in traffic after growing total published blog articles from 100 to 200, Hubspot reports.
The trick is stay the course, nurture your blog, keep it entertaining (consider hiring a blog ghostwriter), and use relevant keywords. And don’t forget the pico de gallo.