Your resume can be hundreds of pages long but weigh nothing. You can speak to several thousand people every day without ever opening your mouth. You can read hundreds of important news stories every day without searching for them. Dozens of people can make your acquaintance every day that you’ve never met.
How? Jon DiPietro’s “Personal Inbound Marketing” presentation showed professionals a five-step process for creating a strong online presence that can help expand your professional network, improve your ability to tell your professional story and attract new career opportunities. Nearly all companies now use social media to recruit employees and most either “always” or “sometimes” check the online profiles of potential candidates.
In order to take advantage of the incredible opportunities afforded us by Web 2.0, DiPietro suggests the following model:
The “Home Base” is a personal website on a domain that you own. Domain and web hosting services today cost about $50 per year and offer simple content management systems (e.g., WordPress) that make it quite easy to quickly create an effective website. After building the home base, you can use social media sites as outposts to actively promote your content and pull new opportunities back to you.
Inbound marketing relies on flipping the traditional marketing model around and instead of interrupting people with messages they didn’t ask to receive, attract people to you with interesting and compelling content. Luckily, the very same technological developments that have crippled the old marketing techniques are enabling the new approach. In fact, they are leveling the playing field like no other time in history.
- Create remarkable content means telling your professional story in a way that others will find valuable. Instead of focusing on your career as you would on a resume – a chronological employment history – think of it in terms of problems you’ve solved and present them in that manner. Describe projects you’ve worked on, the results you achieved, the challenges you faced and the ways in which you overcame them. But do it so that your content is readable, which DiPietro defines as “short words in short sentences in short paragraphs with catchy headings, bullets and lots of white space.”
- Optimize your content for search means making the content search engine friendly. This can be accomplished by following a few simple rules. First, create compelling content that people will want to share with others. This will lead to incoming links, which is the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Second, use a blogging platform like WordPress because they are structured to be search engine friendly right out of the box.
- Promote your content using social media channels. But remember that ideas spread not from person to person, but from group to group. Keep this in mind as you build your social media strategy.
- Convert visitors into opportunities by giving them some action to take. Don’t rely on them to take the initiative. Invite them to download your resume, connect with you on LinkedIn, send you an email, and so on.
- Measure the effectiveness of your efforts using free tools like Google Analytics. While it’s not critical to measure the same sorts of metrics a business would, keeping an eye on your analytics can give you valuable information such as which social media sites are referring the most traffic, which search keywords people are using to find you and which pages are most interesting on your website.