Sell Yourself Using Amazon
Sun, 12/09/2012 - 15:33 — Tracie Hitz
If you don't have anything to say, find something. This is what I tell people who say they aren't on Twitter because "no one cares about what I have to say." After walking them through the amazing world of Twitter, see the value in using this avenue as a way to promote their personal brand. As with every sale, people need to hear your message multiple times before they buy it. I often use national brands to get inspiration to build my brand, especially Amazon and Apple, so I was intrigued by this article about why companies should model themselves after Amazon instead of Apple. Let's take a look at how some of Amazon's success could translate to developing a personal brand.
"The real inspiration for marketing today should instead be a site that most of us visit on a daily basis."
When you're selling a product, you need fresh, relevant content to drive traffic to your site that will help build a relationship with the customer to then generate revenue. So one way to sell yourself is to pick an online platform that provides the opportunity for to share insight about current topics. You ca do this with an online resume like Dave Cutler used that got him national attention and eventually a job.
Putting your resume online allows you to update it with fresh content to show real-time growth, including videos of recent projects you've been working on. It gives you more space to tell your story beyond a cover letter and a one-page resume. People want to work with people they like, so being able to show your personality to them could make a difference. Plus, if you just applied for a job, you can change up the online resume to reflect the position you are trying to land. Or even create a personalized URL for that position so everything on that page catches the eye of the potential employer.
"Rather than creating a superficial relationship with customers, Amazon has created an online marketing experience built on a deep intelligence."
A great way to create relationships is through a blog. When you share consistently and honestly, people will trust you. In sales, people buy things from people they trust. They hire people they trust. Tell your story. You never know who will read it. You don't have to write everyday, but it should be consistent. People need to know when to expect something new from you. Become part of their routine so you have a chance to tell them who you are.
Similar to an online resume, If you just applied for a game production position, post blogs about some of your most successful gameday ideas. Like Amazon, people stay on the page when the content pertains to them. Keep them clicking in an effort to show them how you would fit in with their organization. Include photos and video when you can. Kurt Esser, Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of New Mexico, created a 25-week video series called "Over The Hump" with a new video blog posted every Wednesday. Find your voice.
"Amazon used content from the start to build communities that increased site traffic."
You can join the blogging community even if you don't start your own blog just by making a few comments on articles/blogs whenever you have something to contribute. Be an active part of the sports community to get your name into the conversation. You can also do this by using Twitter effectively. In addition to tweeting about what you're working on and what you've accomplished, provide insight during the Twitter chats that happen every week (e.g. #SBchat, #social4tixsales, #PDBookClub, #SportJC, #SMSportsChat, #SportsPRChat).
On Amazon, customers rely on the reviews of other customers who have purchased the same item, so with your career development, effectively using your LinkedIn profile can build this same kind of community. Building up your network in an effort to stay in touch with them consistently rather than just when you need something from them. Reaching out to former bosses and co-workers to post recommendations gives you increased credibility, which takes some of the risk out of the hiring process. That's the core of sales, convincing the buyer that they will be happy with their decision. You can only do this if you take advantage of the avenues you have to sell yourself even when you're not officially for sale.
"Lost sales can become customers down the line."
Instead of scrambling to prepare whenever you are looking for a job, do something everyday/week/month that increases your value to an organization. Promoting your brand should be constant because you don't know what opportunities you will create in the process. Rather than chasing after a job, maybe the jobs will start coming to you. And maybe those positions weren't the right fit for you or for the organization, but like Amazon when customers delete the items in their carts, there is still a chance that a sale will be made another day. Make yourself top of mind when that time comes.
For the last few years, potential employers used Facebook to get a glimpse into the personalities of the candidates. Then, Twitter and LinkedIn made researching candidates much easier, but the information they found could've had a stronger sales pitch. Take control of the content that is out there about you. Presently, people's first instinct is to Google it. What will they find when they Google you? What do you want them to know? Tell them that. Today and everyday after.