Marketing has changed. Companies are recognizing that cold calls, broadcast commercials, direct mail and other similar methods aren’t terribly effective. With the advent of the internet, the tables have turned. Instead of trying to find you, companies instead encourage you to find them when you are interested in a specific topic. Because you’re going to the company instead of them finding you, this is considered “inbound marketing.”
Top performers don’t use social media as consumers. High-performing professionals use social media tools to attract opportunity.
Inbound marketing techniques:
- Blogging: Having your own blog and performing search-engine optimization (SEO) on it.
- Content marketing: free content including blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc.
- Social media: Interact with people interested in your specialty and those you wish to meet.
- Offline marketing: Participating and leading organizations appropriate to your specialty.
These are all components of a personal marketing campaign. But you’ll need to choose your social media sites carefully and approach them with a unified message. In social media, you’ll need to consider both directory and broadcast sites (LinkedIn and Twitter, as the most obvious examples) and how they relate to each other.
Google Plus, finally winding its way into search engine results and into other important products like YouTube, is an honorable mention. For many, that’s enough.
Depending on your goals and the specific niche market you are attempting to be found by, you might want to consider Quora, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Chats, Klout, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare and potentially others. There are We’ll touch on how much of the same material you should cross-post, and how much should be unique.
Finally, think about how visible your personal brand is locally versus how well it ranks on the global internet. Your expertise is global, but typically your job search is local.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but the goal is quality, not quantity. Post just frequently enough to establish consistency, but ensure that your content supports your offline activities. There are advanced techniques that can further reduce the workload, such as scheduled posts.
Other advanced techniques can leverage your offline activities, like Twitter stalking before or after a conference.
It turns out that one of the secrets to attracting opportunity is simply ensuring that when people want to learn more about your topic, your online presence is there to provide that expertise and establish you as the expert. And if not present, someone that party knows has you top-of-mind to refer. That’s inbound marketing!
But Wait…there’s more!
Of course, there’s a lot more to personal branding than that. As this blog develops, I’ll be digging into the unique selling proposition (USP), positioning, competitive analysis, skill gaps, and the rest of the front-end work that goes into creating a compelling brand. But once you have that brand, and you have the skills to back it up, the second half of the equation is applying inbound marketing techniques for personal branding.
What’s in this for me?
By engaging in inbound marketing, you’re making yourself more visible in the field, which benefits your company. This is particularly true if you’re in a customer facing role like sales, lead generation, customer service, technical support, etc. (Naturally, if you’re talking at all about your job, you should consult your employer and be careful!)
You’re also more visible for potential employers looking for skills in your area of expertise. Brian Halligan, founder and CEO of HubSpot, explains his process for finding talent in this short but insightful video:
This is not limited to sales and marketing roles. If your knowledge is in timber management, you can be found by people looking for timber management expertise! Same goes for restaurant management, shipping, logistics, travel, and any other industry you can think of.
TL;DR Apply basic inbound marketing techniques to your career, and create your Job Lure today!
Image from Stock Xchng.