How are you marketing your skills?
Marketing your Skills is simple as long as you know what your skills are.
For those of you that know me, you know that LinkedIn is my favorite social media platform. You may have even heard me speak about the importance of marketing yourself when you are in job search mode as if you were marketing your business. You need to know what skills you have in order to know how to market them effectively.
When teaching one of my LinkedIn workshops, I share that it takes 5-7 times for someone to see your name or face to remember that they have even seen it. It can take as many as 21 times for a person to take action. That means that you have to have your skills prominently displayed wherever and whenever you can.
Let’s define skills – they are the things that you can perform and possess that you use on a job. They can be digital, technical, or workplace related. Illinois workNet has a wonderful guide to help you discover the job skills that you need. Check here. Now we need to translate that to how you can market them. For marketing purposes, skills equals keywords.
So how do you find out what your keywords are? Read this article. Briefly, look for 5 jobs to which you qualify to apply, copy the job description into a word cloud tool. Make the word cloud. The bigger and darker the word, the more important it is. Those are your keywords.
Next use those keywords everywhere:
- Resume – make sure that you use them in a skills summary list, in a functional resume – use them as section headers, in a chronological resume – use them within the description of that job. Make sure that an ATS reader will pick them out!
- Cover letter – be sure to include at least one paragraph that includes a bullet list of the keywords that apply to the job that the cover letter addresses.
- Business card – it has two sides. Use one side for contact information and the other for a list of your keywords.
- Leave Behind brochure – include a visual representation of yourself in a brochure format. Resume’s have too many words and aren’t easy to scan. Make something pretty that you can carry with you and ‘leave behind’ with a potential employer or business connection.
- Social media profiles – when you describe yourself in the profile on any social media platform, include at least two career related keywords.
- LinkedIn – the three areas that need keywords the most are the headline, about section, and skills & endorsements. Adding them to any other job listing is a bonus.
- Posting – whatever blog or social media post you do consider frequently interspersing a post about a skill that you have and how you are using it at the time. (Like right now I am talking about marketing with social media)
Without being overly pushy casually bring up an example of how you solved someone’s problem with a skill you possess. Marketing your skills is very similar to selling a product or service. As much as I hate doing it, always be selling. Just don’t make it sound like you are selling all the time!
Are you employing email marketing in your tools?
I was very diligent about sending out my email marketing, twice a month. Then, I got a gig with a customer that is a majority of my billable hours. I fell off sending out my email newsletters for about a year and a half.
It came time to renew the annual subscription and I was thinking hard about whether I needed to pay out that money when I wasn’t using the service. I decided it is better to have it and not use it, because when I do need it, it will be there.
When I went back in to the system there were a number of challenges that I faced. Couldn’t pay on-line because my password had expired, had too many contacts for the subscription that I had, and the people in my list were probably not going to want to receive my emails.
When I went into my connections, I had 500+ that were bots that had signed up for my emails. I cleaned out as many as I could find of those 500+ email addresses before I could send an email out to my real subscribers to see who still wanted communication from me.
In the process, I spoke with my Email Marketing Services provider and discovered how to add the “I’m not a robot” confirmation and to add a approve my subscription by email option – or opt-in.
This should cut down on the unwanted subscribers. Sending the email also allowed me to check the bad email addresses and allow people to unsubscribe. That way when someone sees my email, I know that they want to see it!!
Another tip you might try is using the automated options for sending emails to new customers or those who sign up for your email marketing newsletters. Need more information about using this? Drop me a line.
How can Google Alerts help your marketing?
How do you keep track of what people are saying about you on the web? Other than combing the web hour after hour, I have found Google Alerts to be one of the best things since, toast, (not so sure it is better than sliced bread, but, you get my point right?)
You can set up an Alert for just about anything:
- Press release – Include the words in the title to see where it was published.
- Your name – enclose it in quotes
- Your company name –
- Your product or service
- Key words that apply to your product or service
- Your competition
- Job Search – Read this article from Careerealism about How To Use Google Alerts for your search.
To create an alert, it is as simple as typing Google Alerts into your browser window. Or you can go to http://google.com/alerts When you type in the word for which you want to create an alert, suggested articles and links will appear. You can establish criteria for your alert like:
- Frequency – can be as it happens, once a day, or once a week.
- Sources – automatic (all of these), news, blogs, web, video, books, discussion, or finance.
- Language – practically anyone you can think of
- Region – any, or a specific county. It doesn’t allow more specific than that.
- How many – only the best results or all of the results, and
- Where to deliver the alert – I would suggest a gmail address.
Once you pick what you want to track, you can establish how frequently you get the updates. If you would like to use the information in the Google Alerts to help you with content for your social posts, set your delivery time for early in the day. If you choose the digest option, all of your alerts will come to you in one email. I have alerts set for some of my clients, so I personally prefer to have my alerts come as individual emails. Hopefully, you have picked great keywords to help you find information that you can share.
Use Google Alerts to help you stay up to date on new information in your industry and to help you fill out your content marketing.
Do you know what the best social media tools are for your business?
At a networking event recently, I had my 60 second commercial to give. I asked two questions –
- What is the best social media tools for your business?
- If you have time to do only one social media thing what would it be?
One person said it depends on your business. I countered with “for your business”.
The answer to the first question is dependent upon what type of business you have. Each of us have a different audience and a different product. Some of us market to other businesses, hence, B2B. Others market to consumers or B2C. Depending upon which type of customer you have depends upon which are the best social media tools for you to use. You can discover more in my series of articles on B2B vs. B2C social media marketing. Once you have determined which one(s) is right for your business, include them in your overall marketing plan.
The second question is a bit of a trick question. Where should you invest your time if you could only spend it on one social platform? My answer is write a blog article. The caveat is that it must be attached to your website like this one is attached to mine. I use WordPress as my platform. My blog is considered self-hosted. This helps your website work because it adds new content on a regular basis to your website. If you are regularly writing posts (regular is different for everyone, but my definition is at least twice a month), the search engines return to your site, find new information, and index your site higher in the search results for your related search terms. Writing a blog also helps demonstrate your subject matter expertise and shows visitors to your website that you are staying current on your industry.
If you have the time to expand into other social media tools, you have automatic items to share from your blog. It becomes a win-win!!
Give me a call, send an email, or reach out on social media, if I can help you establish the best social media tools for your social marketing efforts.
Word Cloud and Keywords
We have figured out by now that keywords are the way to find things on the internet. Use a web browser and “Search” for what you need and that browser will render results based upon:
- Ads that people pay for to increase their visibility. They use a process called pay-per-click or PPC to drive traffic to their website. Most businesses opt for this paid search system, as it means they only have to pay for their ad every time someone clicks on it.
- Organic results based upon how the website has set-up their back-end data, in-bound links and how people have searched in the past.
A great article that I just read includes 60 tools to help you find keywords for your website. If you have a website, I encourage you to check out the list and try a few of the tools.
Using a PPC approach could become costly. Unless you can track your lead source, you may be spending money without results.
Organic results can be improved by social media engagement. We can talk more about this option if you would like to improve your presence.
Both of these opportunities are fine for people with business website. What I would like to discuss now is how do you find the keywords to represent you, especially if you are in job search mode. When I teach LinkedIn sessions either in a class or one-on-one, I recommend using keywords in your personal profile.
My suggestion would be to use a word cloud tool. A word cloud as shown to the right is a grouping of words into a shape or a random shape that highlight the most important words. I used this particular one in an article on Thankfulness I wrote around Thanksgiving a few years ago. This tool could be very useful for a job seeker to find the keywords that they need to include in their resume or in their LinkedIn profile. Take a look at this article to see a few of the options that you can use to create a word cloud. I have used a couple of them, but I think Wordle.net might be the most versatile.
Watch the video below to see how you can combine several job descriptions into one word cloud to find the keywords you should be using in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile.