by 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.