Health Career Agents Multiple Placement Service Internet Recruiting Group

Annual National Conference
Atlanta, GA Sunday, May 1, 2005 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Writer’s Workshop Writing for Results
Presenters: Duncan Shaw Lucia Apollo Shaw

Writing doesn’t have to make you feel like this!

It can be fun... It should be profitable.

MarketingWorks, a Division of HireWorks, Inc. 1818 Airport Road, Suite 283 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 960-3411

Writer’s Workshop Writing for Results
Presenters: Duncan Shaw Lucia Apollo Shaw

LEGAL NOTICES: While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this workbook, the authors do not assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning marketing practices, human resources, employment law or related matters is needed, the services of a qualified professional should be sought. This workbook is not intended for use as a source of legal advice.

MarketingWorks, a Division of HireWorks, Inc. 1818 Airport Road, Suite 283 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 960-3411

Preface

Can you relate to any of the following?
“How can I learn writing skills that consistently get results?” “I’ve never been able to write. How can writing help my business?” “Can writing leverage my time, find paying clients, and put checks in my mailbox?” If so, you’re not alone. Many recruiters feel they don’t have time to write, aren’t confident in their writing skills, or just plain hate writing! Here’s a big reason why: Most writing courses, articles and books focus on “proper English usage”. “Use active voice, not passive voice.” “Avoid run-on sentences and fragments.” “Write for clarity and avoid excessive adjectives.” Proper language use certainly is important to avoid making a poor first impression of your services. But it won't take you forward to the next level of the sales cycle with potential clients and candidates. And let’s be blunt: For busy recruiters, time is money. This workshop will be a nut-and-bolts session on how to use effective writing strategies, using new tools and techniques, to grow your business immediately. You will learn how to write for maximum results in the shortest amount of time. What do we mean when we say results?

 Getting calls from companies who are ready to pay you for your services.  Hearing from highly talented candidates who want you to represent them.  Attracting resources and profitable joint ventures to your business.
The good news is that anyone can learn (or improve) their writing. Better writing will make us better recruiters, and increase the interest people have in our businesses. Let’s get to it!

Duncan Shaw

Lucia Apollo Shaw

Overview

Pre-class assignment:
To get the most out of this workshop, please arrive with the following hardcopy drafts:

 Write a draft 75-word company description of your business.  Write a draft of your own professional biography.  Write out 24 content ideas for articles (yes, you can come up with 24!)

Objectives of the workshop:
1) You will create:

Your own Company Description to post in directories (on-line and offline), search engine listing submission forms, and other occasions where having a pre-written summary of your services will make you stand out against the competition. Your own Tagline and Bio for use on your website, for article publishing, speaking engagements, email signatures, ezines, and collateral materials (business cards, brochures, etc.).

2) You will learn how to write one Article per month…In less than 3 hours. 3) You will learn how to turn your article into a feature story for your Monthly Ezine. Your ezine will increase your client and candidate base.

Post-workshop intentions:
You will immediately be able to implement THREE writing-based tools that will measurably impact your business.

Table of Contents

Preface Overview Why is writing important to your business?......................................1 Marketing Writing Commandments Thou shalt keep it simple.................................................................2 Thou shalt make it different.............................................................2 Thou shalt keep it engaging.............................................................3 Thou shalt test, test, and test.......................................................... 3 Thou shalt make it emotional............................................................4 Thou shalt practice thy writing..........................................................4 Thou shalt make it compelling...........................................................5 Thou shalt make it reflect who you are...............................................5 Thou shalt remember that it’s not about you.......................................6 Thou shall see things from the eyes of thy reader................................6 (Addendum: Thou shalt not skip ahead of the presenters) How to Write a Company Description................................................7 Company description makeover.........................................................8 HireWorks sample description............................................................9 How to Write a Company Tag Line....................................................10 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly......................................................10 Create Your Tagline in 5 Steps.........................................................11 Where to use Tag Lines...................................................................11 How to Write a Professional Biography............................................12 How to Write an Industry Article (in three hours or less)................13 Words that sizzle...........................................................................13 Sample headlines to build an article around.......................................14 The formula to remember for any article...........................................14 Sample article...............................................................................15 Create an Ezine based on an Industry Article.....................................18 Always Check Your Writing with these 3 Steps................................19 Recommended Reading & Additional Resources...............................21 Workshop CD Contents....................................................................22

MarketingWorks, a Division of HireWorks, Inc. 1818 Airport Road, Suite 283 Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (919) 960-3411

Why is writing important to your business?
It’s true that results from face-to-face interactions are usually long-lasting and powerful. Everything else being equal, this form of communication is unbeatable. Likewise, the telephone skills we recruiters possess may make a lasting impression with a hiring manager or candidate [presumably good]. But since we can only be in one place at one time—or make one telephone call at a time—the success or failure of our business largely depends on how we represent ourselves in writing. Make no mistake: Decisions about whether or not to do business with you will be made on how you appear in print. Impressions will be made based on the quality, effectiveness, and style of your written communication. Many recruiters feel they don’t have time to write, or aren’t confident in their writing skills, or just plain hate to write! This is good news for you. Why? Because those recruiters who are willing to learn or improve their writing skills, using today’s marketing tools, will have outrageously profitable businesses tomorrow. Writing is a skill that can be learned and mastered by anyone who practices it. The secret is consistently doing a little bit over a long period of time.

10 Reasons Why Your Business Depends on Your Writing! 1) People will judge you based on your writing strength and effectiveness. 2) You will become regarded as a guru, and not merely a salesperson, in recruiting circles. 3) The very exercise of writing will clarify, demystify, and crystallize your strengths, your background, and what you have to offer as a business solution provider. 4) Information in written form can be recycled into different marketing vehicles over and over again. 5) Information in written form can be leveraged across time zones 24/7/365. 6) Your business will have stronger exposure because there are so many different text mediums (web sites, email, newsletters, off-line collateral materials, industry articles, press releases, business cards, white papers, special reports, books) 7) How effective are your fee proposals? Good writing will communicate your sales message in less time with less effort. 8) You can communicate with your target audience more clearly and quickly. 9) You can use technology (such as auto-responders, web page redirects, file downloads of articles, forward-to-a-friend) to leverage your selling efforts. 10) Life is entirely different when people call YOU instead of you calling THEM. This happens with good, compelling writing and publicity.

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Marketing Writing Commandments
Thou shalt keep it simple
Always be as concise as possible. The typical American consumer is hit with some 3,000 marketing messages a day! Our attention spans are always on the verge of short-circuiting. Keeping your writing simple, however, doesn’t mean keeping your writing necessarily short. Just use the fewest number of words, whether you’re writing a 20-page sales letter or a one-sided postcard. Examples: The point I am trying to make is that sometimes candidates suggest that their previous salaries were higher than they actually were. The point I am trying to make is that someSometimes candidates suggest that their previous salaries were higher than they actually were. In the final analysis, the client would have been better off hiring the more experienced physician despite her relocation requirements. In the final analysis, the The client would have been better off hiring the more experienced physician despite her relocation requirements.

Thou shalt make it different
Use writing styles and techniques that are proven to work, but that still differentiate you. Make your writing different and fresh. Think about advertising, news headlines, or other events that stick in your memory. What is it about these things that make us remember them? Examples:

(Typical, hum-drum service description)

Résumé Writing and Career Support Services
Career support services include consultation for design, layout, and style of résumés and CVs. We specialize in composition and editing of résumés, CVs, professional bios, and cover letters. We prepare professional portfolios, reference sheets, salary histories, resignation letters, thank-you letters, and follow-up correspondence. Résumés can be slanted for corporate sales and marketing purposes.
(Unusual, different, more unusual description)

Warning: Don’t hire another “resume expert” until you’ve read this.
It doesn’t matter how good your resume is if it never gets read. FREE report reveals secrets to getting your resume to the top of the pile. Proven strategies to get your paper or electronic resume noticed, so you get the interview that gets you the job you want. Call 1-888-xxx-xxxx for FREE copy via email with no obligation.

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Marketing Writing Commandments

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Marketing Writing Commandments
Thou shalt keep it engaging
Be engaging! Ask questions of your readers. Challenge them. Write as if you’re inviting your reader to participate in a dialogue with you. If you’re using formal language, you’re worrying about how people will think of YOU. If you write with your readers in mind, you’re probably using language that is more conversational. Here are three tips from Dan Kennedy on keeping your writing engaging:

1) Remember that writing is a sales presentation in print. Writing is much more

akin to getting down on the living room floor and selling a vacuum cleaner to ma and pa than anything else.

2) Imagine your reader is a guy in an apartment in Cleveland, in the midst of a

ferocious winter storm, with gusting winds and snow outside at thigh height. You’ve got to get him so excited that he’ll get up out of the chair in front of the fireplace, bundle up, slog through the snow, go out to his cold car, and drive down to the post office to get a money order and a stamp to send his order in – rather than take the risk of waiting until tomorrow.

3) There’s no such thing as too much interesting copy—the problem’s not with the length. The problem is being boring.

Thou shalt test, test, and test
The importance of testing cannot be stressed enough! Recently, we were asked “When will I know when my web site is finished, once and for all?” This was an easy answer: “Never!” A web site is a living, dynamic writing tool. Test different writing styles, key words, and calls to action. What seems to be working? What’s not? Are you receiving email and calls from candidates and hiring managers who mentioned your site? The same applies to all other forms of your writing, whether it is a newsletter, job postings, direct mail piece or postcard campaign. Don’t listen to your own preconceived notions and your spouse’s opinion of “what will work”. Test on a small scale basis and keep track of patterns you’re noticing and results you’re seeing. Instead of sending out a 10,000 piece mailing, send out 500 or 1,000. See what happens. If you get half of one percent response interest, go back to the drawing board and try again. If you get a higher response, say 3%, then it’s time to do another test. Each time you have a successful test, we recommend repeating the test to see if the results were a fluke, or if your writing is effective. If you get the same positive results on your re-test, then it’s time to roll out on a larger scale. In the end, you will save much more time and money doing small-scale tests, rather than not doing any testing and just moving on to other tasks in your business!

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Marketing Writing Commandments

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Marketing Writing Commandments
Thou shalt make it emotional
We buy goods and services from people we like and trust. And all of us make buying decisions emotionally, and rationalize our actions later. Here are a few triggering ideas to use emotion in your writing: Avoid Loss. Most people subconsciously take action to avoid pain before they will to be proactive and gain something. Therefore, an article with the title: “Avoid These Painful IT Hiring Mistakes and Save Thousands of Dollars” Will be of more emotional interest to an IT Hiring Manager than one with the title: “Hiring Great IT Employees will make A Company Grow” The following words are among the most powerful in the English language, according to a study done by Yale University Money Easy Health Results Discovery New Proven Guaranteed Save Love You Safety

Different words will trigger different emotions among different readers. But by testing and tracking your marketing results you will find out that appealing to emotion is the key to getting people to TAKE ANY FORM OF ACTION.

Thou shalt practice thy writing
B. F. Skinner once remarked that fifteen minutes of writing a day, every day, adds up to about book every year. It doesn’t matter what, where, and how you write, but you must write and write often to get better at it. Devote time either daily or at least weekly to practice your writing. Draft possible article titles, advertisements, brochures, ideas for a special report or white paper, anything. You can recycle your thoughts and ideas and combine them later...It doesn’t matter how you do it, only that you practice! Here’s a great writing tip from networking expert Andrea Nierenberg (The Nierenberg Group): Each day, take 15 minutes (early in the morning or at the end of your day) and write three short goodwill notes: One to a prospective candidate or client, one to an existing client, and one to a friend. Just say hi, send an article you thought would be of interest, or say thanks for something. When you do this, you’ll have made 15 “goodwill” contacts, and at the end of the year, 750! Think of the “business seeds” you’ll have planted over time.

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Marketing Writing Commandments
Thou shalt make it compelling
Time is short for hiring managers and clients. We all have too many demands competing for our attention. You’ve got to keep your writing compelling to even have a shot at gaining someone’s attention. Which of these titles are more compelling?

“How to Attract All the Candidates You Can Handle and Fill Your Open Jobs”
Or

“Recruiting Strategies for Candidate Lead Generation” “How to Make Great Hires in Half the Time”
Or

“Superior Recruiting Services Can Help Find Employees in the Workplace”

Thou shalt make it reflect who you are (and are not)
Every recruiter should write in a way that reflects their individual style, background, outlook on life, and skill set. Your writing should reflect your strengths and positive attributes, as well as what you don’t offer or who you aren’t. If you’re really struggling to think of ways to write that reflect YOU, here are two other ideas you can jumpstart your writing while being true to your personality: Speak into a tape recorder and transcribe your thoughts. You may be more comfortable speaking than writing. Speak about your career expertise, recruiting knowledge, “how to’s”, anything. Then simply transcribe your voiced thoughts (or pay a transcription service) and you have a file you can use for lots of purposes. Have a great conversationalist interview you! Your spouse, co-worker, or a friend can interview you with pre-written questions. Record this interview about topics you want to publicize. Then have the interview transcribed to a file. Note that you can also convert this to a web-based file for download for potential new clients.

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Marketing Writing Commandments
Thou shalt remember that it’s not about YOU
Do you see the core differences between these two web site drafts?

A)

We are Snooty Staffing Solutions. We provide solutions for your organization – solutions that help your organization perform better and faster. We will help you determine which areas within your company need strengthening and help you figure out how to do it. We at Snooty Staffing Solutions, Inc. are dedicated to ensuring our recruitment candidates and sponsoring organizations find the Do You Need Staffing Solutions? very you can have solutions for Now best match to meets their needs. We strive to build long-term your organization – solutions that relationships with our recruitment will help your organization perform candidates,faster. better and sponsoring organizations, and our employees. Go to our links page for not sureinformation Click Are you helpful which areas within here.company need strengthening? your Would you like experienced help so that you can figure it all out? You’ll find dedicated resources working for you around the clock to ensure our recruitment candidates and sponsoring organizations locate matches you couldn’t find anywhere else. The key to your staffing solutions lies in long-term relationships with our recruitment candidates, sponsoring organizations, and employees. To find out how other companies like yours have ended their staffing woes for good, Click here.

Thou shalt see things from the eyes of thy reader

• • • •

Does your writing motivate your reader to keep reading? Is your writing speaking directly to your target prospect or is it too broad? What is the BFD formula (Belief, Feelings, Desires) of your reader? How specifically does your writing answer the question “What Will You Do For Me Right Now?”

B)

Can you summarize key details about your target readers that shows you truly know about their lives, their markets, and their desires?

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How to Write a Company Description
Let’s write a description for your company that will get results.
Having a company description is important for two reasons:

1) It’s an extremely practical tool that will help your business in many ways for 2)
years to come. Having a company description should also clarify what you don’t do, who your target market is not, and why you’re different.

Having a company description written in advance will save you time. You can post your company description in places, including...

• • • • •

Search engine data bases. Ezine directories. Association membership directories. Corporate summaries (Better Business Bureau, D&B, etc.). “Who’s Who” program type summaries. Seminars and tradeshow company descriptions Written summaries speaking engagements. A business plan or finance proposal. For basic public relations web sites and promotional summaries. Your web site.

• • •

Do:

 Convey a sense of history of your company, as well as its  Be bold, compelling, direct, and clear.  Ask yourself “What’s in it for the reader?” at all times.  Ask yourself “Why should the reader care?” at all times.  Keep sentences to fewer than 20 words (preferably 16).
Don’t:

principal objectives. Keep your description to 75-100 words.

 Heavily use adjectives and adverbs and self-important writing.  Be vague, long-winded or roundabout.  Use writing that is egocentric.  Don’t be shy or boring!
9 Write for the sake of filling up- space.
Remember, it’s not about you.

How to Write a Company Description Company description makeover
Before... LifeFarma, Inc. is a newly acquired subsidiary of LifeHolistics, an international company with expertise in research/development, and currently in the production of Bio-Diagnostic and Therapeutic products and services. LifeFarma (formerly Specialty Biologics) has been manufacturing Bio-Diagnostic and Therapeutic product lines for over 30 years. In the last 10 years, we have successfully participated in varied Investigative New Drug Studies. All US sites are FDA and CLIA licensed and ISO 9000/2001 registered.

What could be improved about this description?

Safe, but boring. No punch!

That’s great, LifeFarma, Inc. is a newly acquired subsidiary of LifeHolistics, an international company with expertise in research/development, and currently in the production but why should I of Bio-Diagnostic and Therapeutic products and services. care?
LifeFarma (formerly Specialty Biologics) has been manufacturing Bio-Diagnostic and Therapeutic product lines for over 30 years. In the last 10 years, we have successfully participated in varied Investigative New Drug Studies. All US sites are FDA and CLIA licensed and ISO 9000/2001 registered.

After...

What’s the benefit to me? Make stronger.

LifeFarma, Inc. is a ground-breaking subsidiary LifeHolistics, an international company with 30 years expertise in R&D. LifeFarma was created to meet increased demand for Bio-Diagnostic and Therapeutic products and services. LifeFarma (formerly Specialty Biologics) has large-scale capabilities and is creating new joint ventures with other biotech organizations. In the last 10 years, we have successfully participated in varied Investigative New Drug Studies. So that you won’t have compliance problems to worry about, we require all we require all US sites to be FDA and CLIA licensed and ISO 9000/2001 registered.

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How to Write a Company Description

Basic questions to answer in a company description:
What does your company DO? What is your background? What is your area of specialization? How much experience do you have? What can you do for me? Why are you different from your competitors?

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How to Write a Company Tag Line

What’s a Tag Line?
Taglines speak volumes to your target audience in a handful of words. A tag line is usually a few words (not more than two lines) that often accompanies a slogan, product logo, or name of a business. Your tag line should flow naturally with your company name, hand-in-hand. It should ask your audience to take a specific action, or it may describe a benefit to them. It should also differentiate you from your competition. All of these points make writing a tag line tricky! Here are some tips to create your own: Ask yourself: What do I want my tag line to do? What feelings and actions do I want to evoke in my readers?


Who will be reading my tag line that I care most about? How will my tag line give me an identity that is uniquely ME? How will my tag line differentiate myself from my competition?

Writing your tagline... • • • Keep it to 10 words or less. Do not copy an existing tag line! This must be YOURS. Get ideas to what you see in the media, in advertising, on the radio and TV.

Can you name the companies behind these tag lines? “Just do it” “Curiously strong peppermints” “It’s not just a job, it’s an Adventure” “When you care enough to send the very best” Examples to avoid! Here are a few badly written tag lines (these are real). “Business is great, and I want some more” “Offering final services for you” [a funeral home!] “Harry’s Hamburgers. The World Standard” And here are some sheer ugly ones! (If they only really existed) “Specializing in Creative Interpretations of Your Needs” “Providing Trailing-Edge Solutions at Leading-Edge Prices” “We Care...Because You Pay Us To”

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How to Write a Company Tag Line Create Your Tagline in 5 Steps
1) Brainstorm as long a list of keywords that you can in 5 minutes! Include all derivations of a word (noun, adjective, verb) 2) Start combining words together and see what works and what doesn’t. Consider this exercise just like a jigsaw puzzle. The point isn’t to come up with the “perfect” tagline, but to come up with 5 or 6 strings of words. 3) What are words that convey benefits and goals that would be important to your paying clients?. How about speed, confidentiality, expertise, value, return-on-investment, etc.? Write as many of these down as possible.

4) Now think about your area of specialty, business niche interest, or recruiting
background. What are words that convey these feelings? Also write down words that do NOT describe you; what are opposites of what you’re seeking? 5) Go through all of these lists and re-think what might work in 10 words or less. Come up with three final possibilities!

Where Can You Use Taglines?
Tag lines can appear on business cards or stationary, advertisements, your web site, or even sales proposals and invoices. Don’t forget about email signatures, company descriptions and on articles that you’ll write!

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How to Write a Biography
Having a professional biography is important to anyone in business. Yet most people don’t have one at their disposal when it’s requested. A biography can serve as a bridge to introduce you to potential new clients, but it’s often an overlooked business marketing tool. Your biography is not the time to be shy—here, you want to showcase every strong point about yourself, your background, your talents and your achievements. This is an exception to the “It’s not about you” rule, because this is very much about you!

Think about these tips as you draft your own biography:

Generally, it’s customary to write in the third person. The idea is that you want your bio to appear as though a third-party wrote the text on your behalf. “John won several sales awards in the medical device field before launching his own company in 2005”.

Try to keep your bio to a single page of text. One exception applies to web sites, where it may be fitting to have a shorter or longer version of your bio. Draft several different versions for different occasions: One for press releases or speaking engagements, one for your web site, and maybe a version for off-line collateral marketing materials formatted by your graphic designer. Include awards that you’ve won, books or articles that you’ve published, or even if you’ve been quoted or interviewed by the media. You want to show your reader “I’m a force to be reckoned with!”. Don’t exclude anything you’ve written just because it hasn’t been published—your reader won’t necessarily realize that fact. Mention promotions and transitions in your career path that are a natural progression to where you are now in your new business. No matter what your background is, you should be able to think of a way to naturally tie your life’s history and interests to where you are today. Where possible, include a professional photo of yourself (either black and white or color) with your bio. You want your reader to make a natural connection to you as a person. Seeing your picture next to rich, flowing words that accompany your achievements, certifications and designations will make them feel like they know you. Remember that decisions are made emotionally, and rationalized afterwards! A hiring manager or candidate may make the decision to contact you or not in the span of a minute. Build credibility by making a list of items that are relevant to what might be appealing to your clients. To that end, also consider sharing your business philosophy or a personal mission statement. On the web, consider adding sound or video to enhance the viewer’s experience. You want them to have the idea that you are a person they

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How to Write a Biography
want to know and contact. Having a short sound file will give more life to your bio. See http://www.giantstepsmts.com/bio.htm for a great example!

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How to Write an Industry Article (in 3 hours or less)
Writing a professional industry article is something anyone can do. And article marketing is one of the most powerful forms of free advertising you can do, either on-line or off-line. A well-written article will be published on other web sites and ezines, and can also be modified for use in your own ezine (don’t forget how important key words are for internet search purposes). Article writing is one of the single greatest springboards to set the stage of success for you. Why? • • • The media will contact you for quotes and for your professional insight. Prospective client companies will contact you, and immediately assume you are a recruiter in demand. Talented candidates will look upon you as a resource and will want you to represent them. Successful people from related lines of business will want to partner with you and create joint ventures together. Articles can be sold at a profit. Articles can lead to speaking engagements, which are often paid. You can use articles to leverage your networking activities.


• • •

In addition, being published or being able to send articles to your clientele (or prospective clientele) is one of the keys to being perceived as someone in demand. An expert. Or as Robert Middleton calls his marketing students, “InfoGurus”. There is a very simple formula you can apply to writing almost any article, but first we need to talk about how to write effective headlines. Your headline will spell the difference between having your article read or not. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t matter how thoroughly researched or informative your article is if your headline doesn’t capture the curiosity, attention, and desire of the reader. Your headline must be irresistible.

Words that sizzle
Powerful, tried-and-true words that work in headlines include:

Secrets... Insider... Discover... Announcing... How to... Do you... Proven... Immediate Are you... Ways to...

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How to Write an Industry Article (in 3 hours or less)
Here are some headlines you might build an article around:

Insider Tips to Finding C-Level Executives How Tech Companies Use the Internet to Recruit 17 Ways to Retain Great Employees Secrets of Sourcing Top Talent in Healthcare Are You Making These Common Recruiting Mistakes? Powerful Salary Negotiation Techniques Anyone can Use Stop Dreaming and Start Filling Those Jobs 7 Reasons Why Counter-offers Don’t Work Who Else Wants a Promotion? How to Choose an Executive Recruiter Get Rid of Turnover Problems for Good Are you in a Dead-End Career?
Once you have a few headline drafts you’re mulling over, here is a nuts-andbolts template to frame your article:

SITUATION

PROBLEM

SOLUTION

WHAT TO DO NOW (call to action)

Set the backdrop. What are the circumstances? Who are the players? What’s happening? (10-20% of article) What is the obstacle? What lies in the path of progress? Why is this a problem? (20-30% of article) Here’s what others have done historically. But have you considered doing this? Are you aware of this technique, tool, or alternative? (30-40% of article) To apply this new technique, tool, or alternative, here’s what you do. And here’s what to do after reading this article. (30-40% of article)

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SAMPLE ARTICLE

How to Write an Industry Article (in 3 hours or less)
Blogging Secrets Revealed

Can blogging help you reach the right candidates?
A “blog” is simply an internet (web) log. Blogs are created for personal or professional use. They may promote a product or service, or merely serve as a personal online journal. There are currently just over four million blogs today, with a new blog born every seven seconds. The problem of cocooning candidates

Situation

Today, we work and live in an era of heightened cynicism and secrecy. Isn’t it much harder than it used to be to call into a company and attempt to speak with a candidate by telephone? Central voice mail systems have grown more sophisticated and guarded. And even when recruiters are able to finally speak with an actual live Problems person, it’s often a reluctant administrative assistant or receptionist. Finally, if you are fortunate enough to be transferred to your candidate, more often than not you are greeted with that person’s individual voice mail recording. It has become de facto practice by many professionals today to simply leave their “do not disturb” function turned on for most of the work day. Later, they will screen and return external calls at their discretion. To address these changes, in recent years legitimate e-mail and web site marketing was considered a non-threatening (and somewhat successful) way to reach these “cocooning candidates.” These are in fact still viable tools, but there costly learning curves associated with them. Some recruiters have gone back to launching traditional direct mail campaigns. However, this can be an expensive and time consuming proposition to undertake with regularity. Success may be mixed until you find just the right combination of style and timing. Moreover, most outreach marketing attempts essentially are competing for a candidate’s attention today. Consider this: • Only 29% of eligible job seekers visit the “Big Three” (Monster.com, Hotjobs.com, CareerBuilder.com) • Consumers see some 3,000 marketing messages per day. • 85% of people conducting research are using the internet. What can blogging do for you? Recruiters (or researchers) who seek candidates for open positions, or to profile candidate requirements for the purpose of building a network pipeline, there are two ways we can use blogs:

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How to Write an Industry Article (in 3 hours or less)
(1) The first way is to start your own blog and attract top talent to your blog site. This is not an overnight marketing cure-all, and it will require some patience. But cultivating a readership of professionals in your niche field is a highly effective means of reaching candidates who would have never otherwise learned about your career openings. The key to making this work is to learn to attract a specialized readership to your blog, just like a beacon in the night. You don’t need millions of readers…Just hundreds of the right readers. (2) The second approach is to search other existing blogs and develop contacts and relationships. This is a perfectly legitimate means of networking, as any internet page is essentially public domain information. Based on posting activity and interactions you initiate, you can easily develop in-roads and find more candidates in less time. Let’s talk about both approaches. You want to start your own blog. Now what? How much time do you need to spend on your blog? What do you actually write about? By their very nature of being near real-time, dynamic logs about life, blogs are frequently published mediums. I publish my blog at least three times per week (sometimes more often if I have more to say). If you are going to take the time to create an effective blog, and develop a regular reading audience, I suggest blogging at least twice every week. How do I decide what to blog about? Who is your audience? What message are you trying to convey? Are you recruiting for new business clients? Looking for joint venture relationships? In need of candidates who are in short supply in your market place? Are you selling products or services, or promoting your company brand? The first step you should take is to decide on what your intended focus will be. If you write about what’s wrong with our political system one week, then the following week write about outsourcing IT services to India, then in week three prattle on about how beautiful your home town is in the fall, your readership will not feel a sense of community or predictability about you. This completely defeats the purpose of building trust and credibility! You would be better off making cold calls if you continue on this path. One of my blogs (The Hiring Insider) shares tips and tools to help line managers, corporate recruiters, human resource professionals, etc. learn to make better hires faster. Week in and week out, I try to maintain a specific, consistent thread of helpful information that builds upon previous week’s blog entries. However, a new reader should be able to jump in without any trouble at any time, so remember this as you plan your writing agenda. My other blog provides tips to job seekers in the life sciences field who are confused about who to trust in the pharmaceutical job market, and what practices to engage in and avoid in order to land the best possible job for their skill set.

Solutions

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How to Write an Industry Article (in 3 hours or less)
As you craft your blog entries, constantly think about who, what, why, where and how. Be sure to ask yourself where you are headed over time with your blog topics. Try to stay theme-related. How do I choose a service to blog on? There are many services available. For beginners, I recommend using blogger.com (Pyra labs). Google acquired blogger.com in February of 2004 and is really enhancing its features. It’s also FREE. Yep, you can register for an account in less than ten minutes and be up and blogging. Other great tools include Typepad and Movable Type. Again, the two most important ingredients are publishing good content, and establishing and maintaining a base audience. However, you aren’t done yet. Now that you’ve come this far, you need to promote your blog and get yourself out of the starting gate. Begin by submitting your blog to the blog search engines. There are several hundred of these, and they are growing by the day. It is somewhat arbitrary which ones you choose to register with. However, at a minimum, I recommend that you register your site with at least the following: www.technorati.com www.daypop.com www.blogarama.com www.blogtree.com www.bloglines.com What if I don’t want my own blog? If you decide instead that you want to search other blogs to source candidates, you can do any or all of these three steps: First, search for blogs based on what skill sets you are seeking (Oracle blogs, copywriting blogs, programmer blogs). Secondly, read the blog entries and see who is posting comments. Third, most bloggers have “blog-rolls” on either the left or ride side of the page. These cite other blogs that they like, and are usually related to the subject matter on their own blog. Resourceful recruiters will take advantage of these links and research them as well. You will also find blogs they may like or recommend which are unrelated. While I generally post relevant blogs, I also try to have a little fun. After all, recruiting is challenging work…Why not take a break and see what Dave Barry is up to?

What to do now

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Create an ezine based on an industry article
The same industry article was shortened and adjusted for use in an ezine which reached another audience. Ultimately, this article yielded 8 email inquiries from interested readers, 6 new ezine sign-ups, 2 calls from reporters, and 1 new client proposal.

Tips for converting your industry articles to ezines • • • • • Use bulleted points more liberally. No more than 2-3 sentences should be consecutively placed without a paragraph separator. Keep a more conversational, informal writing style. Make the article interactive! Use plenty of web and email links. Also be sure there are links to your web site prominently placed. The ezine can be emailed as an HTML file to prospective clients or candidates, which makes it easier for these readers to click on links, too. Invite reader contact: Ask them to complete a survey or ask them what they thought of the article. Don’t publish the entire article, just 80% of it – then ask readers to contact you if they’d like to have the full version for free. Use internet key-word search tools and substitute terms as appropriate! - 21 -

Check Your Writing With these 3 Steps
No matter what form of writing you do, you should always double, triple, and quadruple check your drafts! Here are three habits we recommend you follow religiously before you ever go “live” with your writing:

1) Learn how to Use Spell and Grammar Checking Tools
This point cannot be stressed enough. Every day we see glaring errors on web sites, press releases, journal articles, bios, and more. These are almost always typos, misspellings, and mistakes that running a simple spell and grammar check in Microsoft Word would have caught. Impressions are made or lost on details like this! Here is a quick summary of how to use Word’s tools properly: Click on “Tools”, “Options” and “Spelling & Grammar”. We recommend that you use the following settings:

Once you have finished your document, hit Ctrl-A (Control All) and then your F7 key (alternatively “Tools”, “Spelling and Grammar”).

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Check Your Writing With these 3 Steps
Never, ever directly draft your text in a program that is not a Word processing application (such as Word). Do not draft documents directly in Excel, PowerPoint, HTML editors, or other design layout programs like QuarkXPress, Adobe FrameMaker, Illustrator, etc. It’s true that many of these programs may have spell and grammar checking programs built in, but they will not be nearly as strong as Word’s capabilities because they were designed for different functions.

2) Proof your work in hardcopy format to catch additional errors you won’t see on screen.
Yes, we know this can be a pain. But almost every single time, without fail, when we print a hardcopy of our writing we catch mistakes that we would miss on screen. Just as importantly, you might see tweaks and adjustments to font sizes and other formatting issues that you want to change. Appearances matter!

3) Sleep on it! Magic happens the next morning...
When you’re absolutely convinced you’re finished with a writing task, set it aside. You need to clear the cache of your mind and come back to your work with a fresh eye. You’ll see minor (and sometimes not so minor) ways you can clean up a sentence here or there, make your writing stronger, tighter, or better. No one’s writing may never be “perfect”, but having one more day to glance over it will make a big difference in your confidence when you send your work to editors, publishers, and most importantly...To clients who might be sending you a check!

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Recommended Reading & Additional Resources

Robert Middleton, Action Plan Marketing http://www.actionplan.com/ Perry Marshall http://www.perrymarshall.com/ Jessica Hatchigan, Speaking of...Communications http://members.authorsguild.net/greenbriar/ Ken Evoy, E-Commerce for the Rest of Us http://www.sitesell.com/ Robert Bly, Business to Business Direct Marketing http://www.bly.com/newsite/home.html Dan Kennedy http://www.dankennedywebsite.com/index.htm Dr. Howard Jacobson, Leads into Gold http://www.leadsintogold.com/

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Workshop CD Contents
We’re pleased to provide the following contents on the CD on the inside jacket of your manuals:

Copywriting Tips Garfinkel, David “How to Turn Your Web Marketing Into Money In the Bank” (21-page PDF article about copy writing) Hopkins, Claude “Scientific Advertising” (42-page PDF book by the original master of persuasive sales writing. This books is out of print and not published any longer. It’s status is considered “difficult to find”). eBook Godin, Seth (119 page book “99 Cows”). Permission Marketing is highly recommended reading as well.) Robert Middleton Interview (audio file) Have you ever thought about writing your own book? This hour-long audio file interview discusses the marketing benefits that will set you apart. It’s not as hard as you might think to be an author and be seen as an expert by paying clients in your market. Sample Lead Generation Advertisements HireWorks Lead Generation Ad HireWorks Lead Generation Ad HireWorks Lead Generation Ad Home Air Solutions (These sample advertisements V2 V2 V2 are illustrations of writing that has WORKED.)

Sample Reports, White Papers, and Articles These are seven documents by different companies that illustrate the power of writing for different purposes. Use these as examples and create your own documents about topics of interest to your candidates and clients.

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