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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

4 Steps To Your Dream Job.

Have you ever heard; "You have the coolest job!". I have too. Back when I was Marketing and Promotions Director of 102.1 the Edge, people used to always say "You have the coolest job!" Before that when I was part of the original team that launch FLOW 93.5, Canada's 1st Urban radio station, people used to say "You have the coolest job!" Well, I'm here to crush all that. The coolest job in the world may be what you are doing right now. If not, then what are you waiting for? It's out there, go get it. Here's some tips to point you in the right direction...

Step 1: What excites you? 

What are you in to? Do you love cars? Is it baked goods or toothpaste or clothing or technology? Think of some brands you are in to. Write them down somewhere... we'll get back to that later.  Think of some activities you love to do: is it shopping or eating or creating or planning or organizing? Write down some of the activities you like doing... we'll get back to that later. Consider an exercise that your high school guidance counselors may or may not have shared with you. If you could spend the rest of your life getting paid to do something, what would be? Maybe you have an answer right now or maybe your don't. Either way, it's cool.

Step 2: Who Do You Know?

Remember that list of places you think you may want to work? Brands that you're in to? So you have this list, now what? Very recently a friend told me his dream places to work. It was all related to the aerospace industry. He listed about 5 companies by name and said "It would be a dream come true to work for one them". I asked him if he had any friends or acquaintances that currently work there or have some connection to these companies. He did not have any.  

You need to build your network as wide as you can, or as focused as you can. If there are places you want to work and you don't know a single person there, then you're doing it wrong. Your network can help you. That's actually why you have said network. Use it. Do whatever you can to get a foot in the door at one of your target places. Cold call, email, try and connect, buy coffees, get meetings... rinse and repeat.

Step 3: Listen.

What are you good at? Be honest. Remember that list of 'things you like doing'? Take it out and try to assess if you are actually good at these things. You do not do this alone. You need input. Talk to the people closest to you. Friends, family, current managers & associates, along with past managers and colleagues. Sometimes the things you think you are great at may not be the things you are actually great at. Put on your big boy or girl pants and listen to what others have to say. Really listen.
Step 4: Get Ready. 

Hate to be the one who has to break this to you, but sometimes not everything is at is seems. A lot goes in to a workplace. Some of which you may not like. What you may think is your dream job, may be more like a nightmare. A work environment is a complicated ecosystem. The people, the space, the culture, the work, the politics, the hierarchy, the hours, the left-over cake in the kitchen. There are many things that may turn you off of your dream job. Just prepare yourself that anything can happen. Just because you thought this was the job for you, doesn't mean you have to stick to it. You can change your mind. It's ok. On the flip side, sometimes it does work out just fine. If so, congrats.

4 simple steps. Many of which you are probably doing already. For the record, I have not found my dream job yet. I love what I do and the people I do it with, but I'm convinced that my dream job has not been invented yet. Maybe one day I'll get around to inventing it. As always I'm Jon Sinden on Twitter if you' like to connect about this blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Content Marketing Tips

1) Everything is content.

Let's face it, you're so close to your brand that you may miss some amazing content opportunities... but relax... here's how you will never miss anything ever again. Just remember 'everything is content'. Whether you're a B2B or B2C, the stuff you do, the hallways you walk, the people you work with, the emotions you feel, the challenges you face are ALL RELATE-ABLE BY SOMEONE. Sorry for yelling. Tell those stories. Snap a photo, write a blog entry, take a video. I promise you, great content opportunities completely surround you at this very moment. The skill - which can be taught - is to recognize that everything is content and content is all around you.

As a life long Marketer I was always searching for that unique thing that would put my brand over the top. It hit me one day that I was surrounded by these things. In fact, the 'things' were endless and limitless, and through technology we can tell every single story we have. We just have to start.

2) Tools In Your Tool Belt

Are you part of a staff of hundreds whose sole purpose is to build content? Didn't think so! It's probably just you, am I right? Okay, maybe you and some others all chipping in to build up your social channels with relevant material. Marketing Mangers and Digital Marketers (like that's two different things now-a-days, right?) joining forces with Social Media Managers and Community Managers all for the greater good. Now, who does what? Core strengths I look for - beyond a person being awesome - are:

  • Social Channel Know How: I know that could mean many different things, but some brand experience is always best for me. Just because you have have a personal FB account does not qualify for anything. Well you may be qualified to be someones' friend, but that's about it. Add Me. lol.).
  • Skill in video creation, editing video, and Photoshop.  
  • The actual equipment to do each of the points in (b)
  • Ability to hold a conversation. I'm not joking.
  • Live the mantra that 'Everything Is Content' and have no fear to capture that content. 

3) Document What Your Competition Doesn't (Or just do it better)

Here's an experiment  Go to your competition's YouTube channel. Probably some cool stuff there. Most companies (if they even have a YouTube channel) put what they would consider the 'gold' up. Most stuff is highly produced, maybe even 'production house' produced. Don't be afraid of stripping it down. (Note: I am not saying you should strip) Customers, fans, clients, employees can live with a shaky video if the content is great. Show your stuff. Show what goes on in your world.  I always like to think of video as a show. Like TV shows, even if it's 30 seconds long. YouTube is just one place. There are many places where you content can live. Is your business in these places? What type of content are you putting there? What type of content is your competition putting there? Something you see everywhere now is "Behind The Scenes" content. Is yours better than theirs?

4) Swing Away!

Hit Homeruns! and Triples, and Doubles, and Singles, and Bunts, and Fouls, and just about everything else. Let's be real... If you try and hit a homerun every single time, you may strike out more than often. But that is totally okay. Not every piece of content is going to get those shares or likes or comments that you're hoping for.  Just be consistent and pay attention to what is getting traction, where it's getting traction, and when it's getting traction. Your content plan should be super easy to build next year. if you pay attention this year.

5) What's Your Plan?

I've always thought that "Awesome Stuff Gets Shared", but that just doesn't cut it in a boardroom. A plan is needed. A long term strategic plan with a tactical and itemized slant is my choice. Did that sound too corporate? Whatevs. But here's the good news: Building a plan should be super simple. Ideas are the easy part; proper execution of ideas is the hard part. Also the beauty of a Content Plan in this day and age is that it can change tomorrow. Technology changes and evolves everyday, so should you and your plan.

Hope that makes sense. As always, any thoughts or opinions on the post are greatly appreciated. I'm JonSinden on Twitter and I always enjoy feedback.