The Virtual Handshake Blog contains excerpts of Networking Times interviews with Scott Allen, co-author of "The Virtual Handshake, Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online," and Thomas Power, co-founder of Ecademy. Scott Allen makes a point about online marketing that should resonate with all job seekers.
"The relationship is more valuable than the transaction. People need to understand that the lifetime value of a relationship, even with someone who never buys from you, will be worth more to you by orders of magnitude than any one individual sale itself."
Job seekers get so caught up in the "transaction", i.e.finding the person who has the open position and can interview them, that they neglect the importance of building relationships with people who can connect them with decision makers. When relationships are sparse, interviews will be few and far between. The ultimate "buyer" of your product is not the only person who should be part of the "sales" process. Surround yourself with people who can build your brand and become advocates for you to improve your chances of getting noticed.
Great brand building opportunities include speaking at professional conferences, contributing content to industry-related publications, blogging, and joining relevant online communities. These forms of strategic networking allow you to "market" your services quietly while building trust and rapport with your audience. Ultimately these and other relationship-building activities are how 70-80% of job seekers secure new, more meaningful employment. Develop and nurture your marketing campaign now and reap the benefits for years to come.