The ECMG (business talent representation with personal publicity production/management) side of my business focuses on executives who are in opportunity search mode (passive or agressive). I still find it fascinating when I meet an executive who has been having a hard time finding a job, but who still thinks that his resume is going to open doors (like it used to maybe 10 years ago?). I know about the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However in this case, if “it is not doing what it used to do (i.e. if the old way is broken), you better fix it.” What I am trying to say here is that simply floating around (even a really good) resume in this market without a strong pitch, promotion, or even a third party rep/ pitch person to go along with it won’t do much (unless of course you have a super strong and extended network and the time and DESIRE to be your own pitch person and promoter) . This is especially true for those individuals who have a unique and highly successful career path. You have to really push the envelope these days and get out there and TELL your story. Whether you do that via a personal publicist (who will do all the story telling and pitching for you), a blog and/or a personal website (with really strong SEO) or through on-line social networking and media, the more channels you can put you message out through the better. Posting a resume or floating it around (marketing it) will not create personal publicity – your STORY will. A resume is an outline of your career and while it can outline your success (quickly), in today’s COMPETITIVE MARKET need to tell your story AND BE ON THE LEADING EDGE to be able to get the traction that is needed now and in the future (for opportunity growth).
I am VERY into social networking AND naturally, part of my business is to get clients into and produced on social networking (as well as manage and educate them on the process) or in some cases, build up clients who are already into it — if they are just beginning or just don’t have the time to do it (read on). As a publicist, I have to say the social networking is one of the best and cheapest ways to “get PR” – BUT it does not happen overnight or that quickly (even if you have the biggest network known to man). People are into their own thing and most (while they will not admit to this!) are just not into “helping friends get connected” so that their friend can find a job or business etc. in hopes that that friend will then help them get connections and connected to do the same. Do you know what I mean?
I just got invited to join a social networking site called: SALESCONX (www.salesconx.com). This is a social networking site that actually will PAY! INGENIOUS! This is a way to actually get people to refer more often – because hard cold cash is involved). I am not sure how it will work out – sounds very good – (pretty new deal), but Salesconx offers members three primary ways of earning referral fees:
- List a Connection for Sale. Know of a colleague, customer, partner or investor looking for a particular product or service that you don’t offer? Do you have a relationship with a sought after decision maker? Determine your own referral fee for this connection and add it to the Salesconx listings. Salesconx buyers request to purchase an introduction to this person from you – for the fee that you have already determined.
- Browse their Database for Connection Requests. Every day, Salesconx members are posting Requests for a Connection, or a request for a lead. They have members offering superior referral fees for sellers who are willing to put them in touch with that right person.
- Refer another experienced, qualified professional. Salesconx members earn $20 for each approved, experienced professional that they refer to our community.
Okay that is all really great to know and well; I can’t say how long it will take for every person known to man looking for leads and referrals to jump into Salesconx. I wish them well and I think (I know) I will try it out. Now I can say this:
- Social networking takes a ton of time (I, for one, spend at least a few hours a day on my own stuff – and well, I COULD spend the whole DAY and days on end if I could, but I have clients that need this more than I do so there you go) – and so who has that much time in a day (extra that is) -to work a network unless they make social networking a full time job in the beginning (after a year or so you are pretty free and sailing along, but even then you still have to “work it” and maintain everything and keep it your information fresh and updated.
- Social Networking it is a now very a useful tool for personal publicity, branding and marketing and will soon to be an overly necessary tool when it comes to doing and making business (happen) and getting publicity. NOTE THE PHRASE: “soon to be”? Yep – “soon to be” is a key point here.
- NOT EVERYONE is a writer or even wants to write (about their own greatness – it’s bad enough to have to write a resume for most people) and if you want your social networking to be viable (and buzz worthy in the social networking communities: YOU BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY AND YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO SAY IT WELL – or you will go unnoticed – no matter how many “friends” you have in “your networks!”
- Again – social networking (and media) is TIME CONSUMING, but most of all
- NOT EVERYONE IS INTO OR EVEN THINKS ABOUT SOCIAL NETWORKING AND NETWORKS (AT LEAST JUST YET) and not everyone thinks social networking is necessary or an end all when it comes to finding talent, opportunities, new business deals etc. So working your publicity and marketing in more than just one (social networking channel) is still SO NECESSARY. I am thinking social networking will probably be the mainstay when my kids are in the business world (they are 2 and 8 right now – LOL).
Those of us working (or playing around) in the social networking bubble have a hard time REALIZING that MOST of the business world and society in general is still really far behind in this area (this social networking as well as social media era that is). Heck I am currently trying to educate my brother (43 yrs old, high school teacher and coach and MBA) on the whole thing – he is on Facebook and still thinks it’s a place to post pictures.
All kidding aside, Social Networking = 1 PART of Personal PR. I am just saying that when you want visibility (PR, marketing, whatever) – to create opportunity, sales (whatever), you need to work a plan that is involved in more than just ONE channel – right? Companies selling products and services, after all, still rely on a blend of stuff like print ads, television advertising (and the like to include: www.spotrunner.com or www.rippletv.com), event marketing, press/media covered news stories and events, traditional email and mail marketing pieces, tradeshows, etc. etc. So all I am saying is that Social Networkers should not rely on JUST social networking and traditionalists should not rely on what they have always known to work in days gone by!
A modern Personal PR plan of action (especially for those looking for new opportunity – as in JOBS and new business!) should equate to: 1/4 Social Networking + about 1/4 Social Media = 1/4 (blogs, online video/audio/etc.) + 1/2 DIRECT PUBLICITY and INTRODUCTION CAMPAIGNS (to include some PRESS/MEDIA PLACEMENT (IF applicable) and some good old fashioned “door knocking” to and belly-to-belly talking (even if it’s over the phone or email). REMEMBER: NOT EVERYONE IS AS INVOLVED IN SOCIAL NETWORKING OR MEDIA AS WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO THINK! Those who are ONLY in the traditionalist mode will miss out on a lot if they do not social network or try to get some social media built up and those who are ONLY into doing every bit of networking, self publicizing, branding and the like ONLINE via social networks and media could also be missing out on a ton of opportunity by refusing to work in a more traditional channel as well.
Got PR? Well if you think you don’t need it and you are in business or looking for a job you need it. Executive and Business Opportunities do not simply occur and when they do they happen and go away quite quickly. To stay on top of what is going on (in any market) at all times, you (YOURSELF) have to be READY to be in the “in the right place, at the right time” –as the old saying goes. Getting a totally different kind of professional endorsement and representation is one of the key ways to be able to do this (right place, right time thing). DON’T DO IT by yourself if you want press, opportunity or people wanting to “know more” (about you). You need spin and you need PR people to do that for you. There is now such a thing as “personal publicists” and business talent agents (yes, just like how it works in Hollywood) and yes, these people have contacts, but they also know how to create and make contacts –for you. The bottom line is ARE YOU WORTHY of their time and effort (think about that for a minute!). Of course you want to know that your personal publicist CAN DO the job for you and the right publicist will work terms with you to be able to allow the “let me prove to you” thing to happen (and if they don’t provide, you need to fire them!). The best personal publicists will create collaterals and branding that you can take away and walk home with (something for the price/retainer you pay at the top of your campaign/project). Yet again, you do need to make sure that they do take you from point A to point B. References are a good thing to ask for, but don’t expect the same EXACT thing to happen for you that has happened for the other guy because very campaign or project is different only because EVERY PERSON IS DIFFERENT. References should be used for character and ethical ratings only. Just have patience – PR is a PROCESS and the more consistently you can work at it (or have other people work it out for you), the more publicity you will gain. Keep it building and keep your name out in lights (or computer lights?).