As a member of the bold career project tribe, you have an interest in increasing your footprint in your target markets by developing relationships, connecting with potential buyers, establishing referral networks, building your reputation, and perhaps even developing an audience for your work.
How are you going about it?
An Attraction Marketing System
The default personal marketing activity for most professionals is push-focused. We attempt to force our agenda and timeline against external actors like potential employers, customers or network contacts. The average job search and networking efforts are usually push centred. You apply to jobs and approach targets and take the other necessary steps to find your next professional step. Your job is to earn attention, conversations, new connections and consideration for opportunities. This is the activity of sales, and hunting.
Push activities are necessary and important.
However, how can people find you? How does your market hear about you? How does your reputation grow? Is there a designed way for people to find out more about you and follow you in some way? In other words, do you have a marketing system working for you?
Pull, or Attraction Marketing Systems
Pull is about attraction. Where push is hunting, pull is farming and should form an important part of your personal marketing strategy.
When I worked in the executive search industry, I noticed a special segment of executives fully in control of their professional journey. They were fielding a regular stream of opportunity calls from headhunters, industry peers, investors and Board search committees. They were go-to candidates and influencers in their sphere. These individuals had managed their career in a way that meant that they had a great degree of control over their destiny.
Were they the absolute best, most talented, most qualified people in the market? Not necessarily.
Would you like that same sort of opportunity stream?
Pull is about seeding the market. Creating conduits and reasons for people to find and come after you with opportunities. You are not sure which seed will end up being a strong plant, but you do know that if you plant and take care of the field, you will have a fine crop.
There are four, inter-dependent requirements to develop a personal attraction marketing system and become an attractor in your marketplace.
Worthy of Time and Attention
Whatever it is that you do and offer has to resonate with and be compelling to the people and organizations you are trying to attract. You have to become attractive. As a hire. As a freelance solution. As a network member. This involves some combination of substance, credibility and professional progression wrapped in a good story.
Presence / Platform
Your story and offering needs to exist somewhere other than in your mind. How can people find out about you? What sound bites and value can you offer those who want to sample, to peruse? How can someone actually learn about you without first meeting you. Ideally, your brand is working for you while you sleep. Through assets like a well designed LinkedIn profile and resume, an email signature, an blog / portfolio site, posts and publications, presentations and others.
Ideally, you have a growing army of referral sources. People who know what you can do and what you stand for who are willing to refer you. And beyond their willingness, ideally they know where to send people – your profile, a website so that someone can find out more about you. Your referral network amplifies your message.
Finally, all of this begins to work like a capillary system, with branches feeding the main arteries. The relationships you’ve created, particularly with influencers and connectors. The roster of delighted clients and employers. You showing up in search results. The cumulative effect of the multitude of seeds you’ve created starts to attract and feed people towards you and your offering. (If you are subscribed to my newsletter, you are experiencing my capillary system.), Having heard about you, your attraction marketing system allows them to check you out and perhaps experience your work, through your LinkedIn project listings, Slideshare presentations, your blog, a newsletter or a portfolio.
Not everyone comes through the system. Hopefully, you end up attracting the kinds of people, organizations, and projects that you want to attract and those don’t see a fit opt-out. That’s a good thing.
Develop profile in your market (industry & local)
Here’s the reality check. Becoming an opportunity magnet is not an overnight strategy. It is the farmer’s mindset. It takes time and sustained activity to make that happen. Unless of course you can make news in a positive, compelling way in the short term. Who knows, the world may beat a path to your door.
While you work on the long term, you can get started now. Invest some of your time and attention in opening up those channels and conduits. Examine your current platform: Is it doing what you want it to do? Implement strategies to ensure that you end up on someone’s call list when they have a need or are asked to refer someone. Rather than haphazardly, build it strategically.
If you need support with your personal attraction marketing system – a LinkedIn profile upgrade and strategy, resume, your online strategy or an overall plan, contact me here.
Keep moving forward.