P.S. Increase productivity with these office design tricks!
According to popular opinion, the American job market is oversaturated with applicants. Like a sponge that’s soaked up all the water, this makes it sound like there’s no more room at the inn. And, that knowledge alone can drastically hinder your job search for your dream position. After all, what’s the point in applying if you’re going up against thousands? Wouldn’t you be better off sticking with the job you’ve got, or settling for a position that seems more attainable?
The fact is that, if you look back through history, oversaturation has always existed in some way. And, the majority of the time, there are a few things we should keep mind. Such as…
Not all industries are equal
The main problem with the idea of an overarching oversaturation is that it fails to take individual markets into account. After all, the job market isn’t one organism. Industries each have their own markets to take into account, and it would be wildly inaccurate to say that they’re all inundated. For instance, the medical industry is facing significant nursing shortages in the coming years, while even aviation struggles in the face of a growing pilot shortage. Then, of course, there are more popular roles, such as those in the financial sector. With this in mind, the only way to truly get a feel for your market is to start applying. You’ll soon see whether you’re up against many applicants, and will be able to adjust your process accordingly.
Competition is inevitable
The idea of oversaturation can be harmful because it suggests that applying would be useless. After all, your name won’t even come close to acceptance against thousands of others, right? Wrong. In reality, competition in job applications is inevitable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try — there are a million reasons why those thousand others might not be as suited to the job as you. It just means that you should pay careful attention to how you can guarantee that you stand out from the crowd. Given that you were unlikely ever to be the ONLY job applicant, that was always set to be the case, and oversaturation has nothing to do with it.
Booming markets need more, not fewer applicants
When it comes down to it, the strangest thing about this whole oversaturation theory is the fact that thriving industries need more, not fewer applicants. If a market were oversaturated, it would suggest that area’s doing pretty well. And, that success would in turn undeniably lead to more job openings, new companies in the field, and other such benefits. Each of which makes it more likely you can make your mark within the industry, not less.
The simple reality is that yes, sometimes you will be up against thousands of other applicants. Sometimes, however, you may be one out of fifty. Oversaturation doesn’t mean impossible. So, forget what you’ve heard, and go out and bag that dream career!
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again — content is king. Online content creation and marketing was once just a way to set yourself apart, but nowadays it’s pretty much a necessity. And if you’re a small business or solo-preneur, your online content can make or break a successful marketing campaign.
Over the years I’ve worked with a ton of brands (both new and old) to develop meaningful online content strategies. Here’s what I can tell you — everyone, from a dog-walker to a CEO who writes bestselling books, can create valuable and relevant online content that will connect with potential customers.
And it’s not too late to get in on the action! But it can certainly feel overwhelming. Do you make YouTube videos, start a podcast, write a weekly newsletter? What should you share? And how often? While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, I’ve put together a list of my top 10 tips:
1. Have fun!
This one may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often I find myself offering this simple piece of advice. In terms of building and maintaining your audience, personality matters. Nobody wants to hang out with the person who isn’t having a good time. And they’ll probably be able to tell if you’re faking it, too. But more than audience, you have to consider sustainability. Can you keep something up if you don’t enjoy it? Create the content you enjoy making, at the rate you enjoy making it.
2. Invest in ways to make it easier and more fun.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create online content. Work with what you have to start out. But when you’re ready to invest, consider spending your money on things that will make the process easier and more fun. If the aspect you enjoy most about is photography, maybe you spring for some camera gear. Whereas if drafting written content to accompany those photos is taking up too much of your time, consider outsourcing to a freelancer.
3. Provide value within your niche.
People aren’t going to care about your brand or your products right away. Until you’ve developed a bit of a fan base or a sense of community within your audience, they’re going to scroll right past that blog post about your company vision or the video covering your life story. That’s not to say there won’t be a place for those things eventually! But you’ve got to start by providing value. This can be as simple as a blog post with relevant tips & tricks or an infographic with useful information. But could also include things like printable PDFs, detailed templates, or an inspiring podcast.
4. Have patience!
Organic growth and ROI will come, but it won’t come over night. It takes time. Building up your online presence or brand is dependent upon also building up that community of followers. So, you might hook them with valuable content but now you have to give them time to get to know you. Put out the the content that lets them do so. (And take time to get to know them, too! ) This also means you have to be consistent. You have to tell them when content is coming and then follow through.
5. Track your analytics.
Yes, this is a creative endeavor. But you can have a little more method to your madness than throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Look at the numbers. Create a spreadsheet to chart growth in key areas and keep track of what worked and what didn’t so you can modify as needed.
6. Develop a relationship with your audience.
I’ll say it again — you’re building a community FIRST. The brand will blossom from there. One very simple way to do this within online content is online COMMUNICATION. Reply to comments, answer emails, tag people, reach out to other brands and people when you feature them in your content. Folks love recognition, whether that be clicking the heart next to their Instagram content or writing a LinkedIn article about how much you love their business. Another way to build relationships is by engaging with other creators in your niche. Your voice is amplified when it’s in a chorus of others!
7. Be authentic!
It’s going to be hard to develop lasting relationships with a community of loyal customers if you keep changing who you are and what you stand for based on passing whims (or paychecks). Be yourself. Only communicate what you believe and stand for. Again, people can tell when you’re faking it. You’re interesting and enough just as you are!
8. Don’t be afraid of the ask.
Yes, you want to consistently provide your audience with value when it comes to your online content. But here’s the thing. You got bills to pay! You can’t give everything away for free! So, now that you’ve built up that community that loves and trusts you, you’ve shown time and time again that you’re a reliable source of [information, advice, inspiration], someone out there is probably going to want to actually pay for one of your goods or services. Probably a LOT of someones. But…not if you don’t ask!!! So many of my clients over the years have expressed hesitation when it comes to the sales aspect of their online content strategy because they, “Don’t want to sound sales-y.” And I get where they’re coming from. You don’t have to shove sales pitches down peoples throats 24-7. But you won’t get a sale if no one knows you’re selling. My advice? 1) Keep your content diverse — a fun post here, a value add there, this product, that service, etc, etc. 2) If you think of your overall online content strategy as a novel, make sure you’ve written your audience as the protagonist.
9. Start now.
There’s no “right” time to begin incorporating online content into your marketing plan. You could wait for that new camera, website redesign, or social media intern — but those things may never happen. And you’re missing out in the mean time.
10. Keep learning as you go.
Need inspiration? Look to other content creators. See what YOU enjoy watching and reading, what resonates with YOU, who is providing value in YOUR life. What are they doing that you can incorporate in your content? Without copying them, of course! Need more resources? There are a plethora of educational materials available about online content creation, many of them completely free.
Keep trying new things. Keep creating. Keep seeking out additional knowledge and strategies. You got this!
If you ever want to talk strategy, my inbox is open! Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org ❤ Let’s work together to make some internet magic!
When it comes to looking for a new job, the percentage rate of reaching the interview stage is unfortunately very low. But, when you do land an interview for an organization, you’ll likely feel like you’ve won the lottery. Of course, you haven’t actually got the job yet; you still need to meet your potential new boss and convince him or her why you’re the model employee they’ve been waiting for.
So, how do you impress your interviewers at the interview? Here are a few tips to give you some help and inspiration:
Dress for success
Let’s face it: first impressions count when you meet someone for the first time. If your potential new boss thinks that you look like you’ve just stepped off the beach, they aren’t likely to shortlist you for the job.
That’s why it makes sense to dress for the occasion. Many people often get confused about what they should wear for an interview. In general, you should wear smart, formal clothing. The worst that can happen is that you feel overdressed for the occasion. But, at least it shows that you’ve made an effort to impress those that are considering hiring you.
Research and memorize key facts
One of the questions that you are likely to get asked at the interview is “how much do you know about the company?” and, of course, the job itself. With that in mind, you need to spend some time learning about the organization’s history, mission statement, and what they do. You’ll also need to remember what your likely roles and responsibilities will be in the job.
The sad truth is that many people crash and burn at the interview stage because their minds go blank out of fear or anxiety. To avoid that happening to you, it’s important you can remember key facts and information about the company and your role within it.
There are many strategies for getting this information to stick in your brain. One fun way is to create a match-up quiz on WordMint and print out a few copies. Doing so will help you both visualize and memorize the answers to important questions.
Know where you are going
No-one wants to be late for an interview because they can’t find where they are meant to be going! Before the big day, take a trip to the location where your interview will be held. Make mental or written notes of landmarks to help you memorize the route to the all-important destination.
You should also factor in traffic jams, especially if your interview is likely to be during a peak traffic period. Google Maps can help you determine when you should leave your home so you can get to your interview in plenty of time.
Print out a copy of your resume
Last, but not least, you should print out and take a copy of your resume to the interview. It can be a useful resource if you get asked to fill out any forms at the time, or if one of your interviewers wants another copy of it.
P.S. If you’re on the job hunt, I recommend finding ways to reduce stress in other areas of life. Here’s my budget friendly meal plan for busy seasons!
Today I thought it might be fun to share a “S**T I GOT DONE TODAY” list from a recent workday.
[I’ve talked about these lists as self-care HERE.]
This was a day I accomplished a lot. But at the end of it, I still found myself feeling uneasy about all the BIG PICTURE items I had coming up in my calendar. To quell my unease, I took a step back to reflect on all the things I’d crossed off my list that brought me closer to completing the scarier deadlines I felt looming large.
If you’re curious, here’s how this day went down —
Copy edited a project – Editing requires careful reading. Careful reading requires full attention. I try to tackle editing work first thing in the morning for this reason. Plus, starting my morning with reading feels like a great warm-up for the more creative work to come.
Wrote and designed 3 monthly newsletters – I’m at my most productive in the morning, and my brain was feeling effectively warmed-up after the editing work, so I jumped into a project that required a lot of writing next. The design aspect of newsletters like these requires a lot of work up front, but I had already designed templates for all three before this day so I mainly had to perfect layouts and make things pop.
2 weeks of social media content – This was the second most creatively-focused task of the day so I rolled right into this after the newsletters. I usually try to batch 4 weeks of social media, but this client had a lot of upcoming events that would be filling their feed in the latter half of the month. I sent off the copy and images for approval and then took a well-deserved lunch break.
Created a letterhead – Brain warm-up part 2! I try and slot in a few easy to accomplish tasks right when I get back to my desk. It’s kind of like how Target places the Dollar Spot right as you enter so you’re in the habit of throwing stuff in your cart by the time you roll into the rest of the store. I need to get in the habit of checking things off my to-do list so I can keep my momentum up for the rest of the day. Today it was a simple document design but these sorts of things can also include lengthier email responses, phone calls, scheduling social media, or making small website changes.
Research for a client’s book – This took up the bulk of my afternoon, but while it took brain power and thoughtfulness, it didn’t require a lot of creativity. Making it a great afternoon activity for me. (I get the 2 pm slump!) I love helping clients through the entire book writing process but there’s something about filling in research gaps with a bit of internet sleuthing that I find especially engaging.
Compiled data into a deliverable – A perfect item to end the work day on! The research was already done, so essentially this was just some data entry. But the final product needed to go to a client which meant it felt high stakes enough to keep myself on task and to go the extra mile to make it look pretty.
And there you have it! I hope you found that interesting. If you’re ever feeling anxiety about work (there’s just always MORE to do!), I highly recommend taking a moment at the end of your day to reflect on the S**T YOU GOT DONE! Let me know if you give it a try!!
One aspect of work-life that I look back on fondly now that I’m a work-from-home freelancer is working events. From hosting speech tournaments on college campuses when I was a forensics coach to planning and executing a street fair during my days on the marketing team at a food co-op, these all day affairs used to be a pretty common occurrence for me. They were always stressful. Always a lot of work. But oh so rewarding at the end of the day when you pulled it off.
After a lot of years, and a lot of trial and error, I feel like I eventually got working events down to a fine science. Whether you run conferences, host all-day trainings, or volunteer at your kid’s model UN tournaments, you know the deal! Here are my top tips —
1. Get plenty of sleep the night before.
I’ve worked plenty of events in a state of exhaustion and, let me tell you, it ain’t fun. Do everything in your power to show up bright eyed and bushy tailed. It will feel like way less of a slog and the hours will fly by if you go into the day feeling energetic. If the event starts later in the day still get plenty of rest the night before and make sure to eat well and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Eat a hearty, well-balanced breakfast.
When you’ve gotta go, go, go – sitting down for a decent meal isn’t always possible. Waking up just a tiny bit earlier is totally worth it if it means you won’t have to scarf a pop-tart in the car on the way there.
3. If you can, spend some time outside and/or do some form of light exercise before you go or when you get a break.
This will give you a nice boost of energy and stamina. It seems counter-intuitive, especially if you know you’re going to be running around and doing a lot of set up throughout the day, but I promise those exercise endorphins are worth it. And the sunlight part is a no brainer if you’re going to be spending the next million hours inside.
During the event –
4. Wear comfortable shoes.
If the event is a more casual situation and you can get away with rocking walking shoes, by all means! But even if this is a biz-cas affair, make sure your shoes are selected for comfort and not style. (I mean, you can have both…but you know what I mean.) I spent way too many years rocking ballet flats at events before I realized those aren’t the BEST option for gallivanting from one end of a college campus to the other and being on your feet all day.
I’ll say it again for the people in the back — HYDRATE! Keep a water bottle close at hand and just keep guzzling. Nothing takes the pep out of your step like thirst.
6. Keep your pockets stocked.
I always want to remain incredibly mobile when working an event…and I don’t really want to carry a bag everywhere I go OR have to add even MORE steps to my daily total to run to a “home base” for what I need. For me, this means keeping some cash and my debit card on my person throughout the day.
7. Have portable snacks on hand.
Sometimes your only downtime when working events is when you’re walking from one place to another. So, I like to bring along portable snacks that I can eat on the go. Bananas and granola/protein bars are great for this. NOM.
8. Avoid the urge to pound caffeine and sugar all day.
Another reason to show up well-rested. All the caffeine and sugar crashes just aren’t worth it…not to mention it will mess with your sleep after the event is over. Don’t you want to sleep like a baby after your marathon day? I think yes.
9. Say “Thank you!”
Successful events truly take a village. Show your gratitude as much as possible. Even if you’re not the one at the tippy-top running the whole shebang, there are certainly people who are making your part in the whole thing easier. Tell them you appreciate them!
10. Don’t bark orders.
And if you ARE running things, be considerate with how you manage and delegate. Events can feel way more high stakes than day-to-day work for everyone involved. Tensions will run high. Ask for help with a specific task instead of giving an order. Slight rhetorical shifts can make grunt work sound a whole lot less demeaning.
What tips would you add? xoxo
Over the last few years, the landscape for job hunting and recruiting has changed massively. The way recruiters look for candidates, the way companies seek out and headhunt potential employees, the way that people look for jobs, the way they apply, and what impresses both parties have all been influenced by advances in technology.
Recently, I found myself chatting with a client who works as a headhunter about this very thing. She said she often found herself marveling about the drastic changes in her industry just over the course of her career. While older generations would advise people to just “go pound the pavement,” it is without question that you need to be using technology to get a job these days. She said, “pounding the pavement may show that you are a well presented, well spoken, smart and ambitious person, but the chances of being able to talk to the right person during a face-to-face cold-call are slim to none.”
“Applying online is not the only way to utilize the technology we are now so lucky to have access to, there are many more ways to broaden your job search and increase your chances of getting a new job.” Eager to know more, I asked her, “LIKE WHAT?”
Here are a few of her technological tips:
Clear Up Your Social Media
You’re going to Google the person interviewing you aren’t you? So, don’t think they’re not doing the same to you! They are. Today, potential employers will actively search your social media profiles to have a look at you, so make sure you are representing yourself well online. Have your LinkedIn profile up to date, your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram clean (or at least update your privacy settings).
Apply On Apps
Apps are everything now, so get all the job apps available and make sure your CV is on them and your profile is up to date. That way when you’re on a train or sitting in a bar while your friend has abandoned you for the bathroom (or a cute guy), you can have a quick look, and if your dream jobs pop up you are always ready to apply instantly.
It’s all about making a good first impression but also about standing out, and you can use technology to do this. Why not make your CV interactive? For example, you could make a video or create an animation. It’s far more effective than a piece of paper and also, as mentioned before, this will show your prospective employer that you are well presented, well spoken, smart and ambitious … just in the form of a video. It also shows that you think outside the box and that you use your initiative.
The social networks are out there, so use them. LinkedIn is the obvious one when it comes to business and careers, but Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can work well for connecting with people and networking. If there’s a particular industry you want to work in, then follow people who also work in that industry, connect with them, engage with them. Then, you can eventually suggest meeting for coffee to pick their brain or find out how you could help each other out in some way.
Any tech savvy folks out there with tips to add?
Are you currently searching for a job? How have you used technology to bolster your approach?
SHARE BELOW! xoxo
I’ve talked a lot about a “set it and forget it” mindset on the blog. Anything that allows me to make a bulk number of decisions and do the work up front is a win in my book. Meal planning, capsule wardrobes…even self care!
But would you be surprised to know I also use a similar approach with my marketing clients? Often, an entrepreneur or a small business owner will hire me for online marketing and think the buck stops with website copy and social media campaigns. Many of those same folks will have an existing email list (gathered from online sales or some sort of passive sign-up form) that they’ve never done anything with! That’s when I get to swoop in and explain how dang awesome email marketing can be. Why? Because you can set it and forget it, of course!
Email sequences and automations allow you to frontload a huge chunk of marketing work. Once you have all your copy written and all your triggers in place, you get to sit back and watch the magic happen.
Here’s the thing. The internet is a noisy place. Getting people to click through to your corner of the web takes some work and demands you build some trust. Social media can help…but what happens when your platform of choice goes down? Email marketing gets you guaranteed screen time. A front-row seat in someone’s email inbox? That’s a powerful place to be! And with great power comes great responsibility. Here are some tricks of the trade to make sure your email marketing is on point…
* This post may contain affiliate links.
If you consider yourself even the slightest bit interested in personal finance, you’ve heard it before — diversify your income streams. Whether you have a traditional 9-5 or work for yourself/freelance, new sources of income that can be made from home are often the goal. Especially if you don’t wanna tack on extra commutes (*raises hand*). ESPECIALLY if you’re introverted (*raises both hands*). In our super online world, there are all kinds of ways to make money without leaving your house, but finding the options that bring you joy can sometimes be tricky.
Read on for some ideas that could help you boost your income without feeling like too much work…
Turn a Hobby Into a Side Hustle
If you have a hobby that you love and want to hone, consider how you might make money by turning this hobby into a side hustle, or even a full time gig. This is a great way to pull in a bit of extra cash along side a full time job. After-all, you’re already taking part in whatever this hobby is in your free time, right? Like to make cakes? Start a baking blog. Into scouting for vintage jewelry? Start an Etsy store. Painting savant? Start teaching an art class once a week. Even if you’re brand new to a hobby there are so many resources online to help you grow a side hustle. For instance, here’s how to become a microgreens farmer, a certified pet sitter, and an extra in tv and movies. Pay close attention to what makes you happy — whether that’s growing plants or hanging out with kittens or standing in front of a camera — and do more of it. Then, consider whether this could be a lucrative business option for you.
Use Your Expert Knowledge To Help Others
If you have substantial knowledge in a subject, you could use this knowledge to help others. How? Become an online consultant or even a tutor. There are lots of sites out there for you to market your expertise and look for clients. If you’re willing to do a bit more work upfront, consider creating online courses on your favorite subject matter. If you already have an online following or email list, you can easily send out info about your new class. Without an embedded audience, there are great websites like Teachable and CreativeLive to consider. Sharing your knowledge and expertise can feel great when you’re talking to people who really want to learn!
Create Content Others Can Enjoy
Many of us enjoy creating content for ourselves. You have full control over the message and you’re able to feel involved with the larger community of whatever your niche may be. Some people enjoy writing Ebooks, others like writing blogs, some enjoy making videos, the list goes on. It’s now easier than ever with sites like Upwork and Fiverr, to put yourself out there and use the skills you’ve acquired making content for yourself and do it for others. This could be as simple as writing a blog post or two for a website you love or designing cool slides for an influencer’s Instagram stories. If there’s an aspect of content creation you love, there’s definitely a way to monetize that!
If you love taking pictures and consider yourself skilled with a camera, you could sell your photography to stock image sites. It can be a little bit trial and error to figure out what sort of images are accepted and do well on these sites. However, I’ve seen lots of folks make a killing once they hit a nice little rhythm. Even if you’re waiting to get accepted by the bigger sites, smaller, free stock image sites often offer incentives to photographers, like being able to link to a PayPal or Ko-fi account. That way, if someone really loves your image they can thank you for letting them use it. If you’re already walking around with a camera all day practicing photography, keep these stock image sites in mind.
Clear Out and Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
There’s no feeling quite like clearing out all of your unwanted stuff and then enjoying the free space of a decluttered home. Once you have everything that you no longer want, you can use online platforms to list and sell these items. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!
What am I missing Do you have any ideas for making money from home that you think could spark joy?
I had a serious light-bulb moment the other day while, of all things, PLAYING THE SIMS 4…
Have you ever played it? If not, let me clue you in.
The Sims is all about simulating life. So, your sim (the little person on the screen that you control) goes to work, forms relationships, and pursues hobbies. And you play to move up the ranks in different categories — like to reach level 10 of the scientist career or become an expert in gardening. The higher you get, the more you can do in the game.
Now, there are certain things you can do to make sure your sim is killin’ it in all these categories.
For instance, my sim works as a newspaper reporter. If I make sure she goes to work “focused” instead of “playful” or “sad,” she advances faster in her career. Makes sense.
Before she goes out on a date, she needs to feel “social.”
When she’s headed to the gym, she should already be “energized.”
If I want her to succeed in a certain hobby, she needs to be “inspired” before diving in.
You get the idea.
As the person in control, you direct your lil sim to do whatever it is for them that will flip on the correct emotion.
Before work…read a book.
Before a date…talk on the phone.
Before the gym…take a cold shower.
Before gardening…research plants online.
See where this is going?
While directing my sim to pick out a book to read before she headed to work, I realized…
I could do the same thing!
When my brain is going a million places at once, and I can’t focus on a project that requires some super single-tasking; instead of taking a break that involves MULTI-TASKING (like playing on the internet or tidying up the kitchen while listening to the news), why not pick up a book and read a chapter? When you’re reading, you really can’t do anything else.
And I’ll tell you, dear reader. I tried it and it works.
I’m ready and FOCUSED for the work that lies ahead.
And it’s worked in other aspects, too. Morning phone/skype meetings are definitely not my jam. But if I make an effort to do something else social…even if that’s just chatting with a barista…before I hop on the line, I’m much more in the head space for being outgoing.
While applying this sim-hack might not be quite as easy in the real world, (afterall, I can’t just click a mouse and feel happy!) it really boils down to taking a moment to check in with yourself.
What will I need to make this next task a success?
How can I create that for myself instead of looking for it in an external source?
What makes me feel happy/social/productive/zen/inspired/creative?
And then HOOKING YOURSELF UP!
Give it a try some time and let me know how it goes! xoxo