Sunday, 23 January 2011

Self Promotion

As some of you may have noticed, my activity here on the blog has been a little sporadic lately… The reason for this is that my attention has been elsewhere, hence the focus of this post, but first for a bit of background information.

As most of you will know our startup PhoneFromHere.com is bootstrapped with funds and resource provided by the parent company, a digital/software agency. As you will also be aware one of our main business objectives has been raising investment to enable our early stage business to grow faster than would otherwise be possible. We had some initial success, securing some angel investment from an established publishing house in Manchester and also got close to raising investment from one of the government funds in Liverpool, just before the economic crash when the fund was closed. Towards the end of last year we made one last push to try and raise investment, this time we looked abroad, but unfortunately the current financial climate meant that there was very little funding available and in the end the competition was just too fierce. This, combined with the fact that the parent company was also struggling to secure development contracts of any significant size, pushed the MD of both companies to make some difficult decisions. It was clear that the current setup was no longer financially viable, therefore although PhoneFromHere.com will continue as before with six unpaid directors, there will no longer be any paid-for resource available. In addition the staff of the parent company, including myself are sadly being made redundant.

And so, moving on to the focus of this post, taking a new year, new start approach I have been reassessing my personal and private objectives. My main priority is to find a new job and therefore I spent sometime looking carefully at my skills and experience to determine what sort of position I would like. What kind of role would make the best use of my skills and what areas would I like to develop moving forward. In conclusion I am looking for an Account/Project Management role in the Digital sector, with an opportunity to grown my stratigic thinking/planning, but how to go about achieving that goal...
  1. I started by writing a CV, which I tailored specifically towards the type of role I would like and sent that out to a number of the recruitment agencies. I tried to meet with as many of the recruiters as possible, building relationships with these guys is key, if they know you and like you then they are much more likely to do a great job selling you and your skills to their clients.

  2. I also created http://flavors.me/gjtbrown gathering all of my digital activity together in a single place, somewhere I can point people and they can instantly get a quick overview of me and my online activity.

  3. I updated my Linkedin profile and increased my activity within my groups, trying to answer questions and contribute to discussions. Engaging with members of the community in this way will help to establish me as an expert in my field and raise awareness of my skills and abilities within the minds of my peers.

  4. I have made my Twitter community aware of my situation and received a number of helpful hints, tips and offers of advice from my followers. Use Twitter to engage your community and foster real relationships, in the same way as you would to promote your company or product. Tweet regularly and add value to you community everyday:
    • Try to answer a question, respond or do something nice
    • Publish a link that is of interest to you and your followers
    • Talk about an event you have attended or will attend
    ONLY if your community values you, will they respond well when:
    • You ask questions or look for help/support
    • Sell yourself, your products or services

  5. Finally I been attending a number January networking events (as my twitter readers will have noticed!), the purpose of this is to get myself out there, be seen by people in the industry and let them know I am in the market for a new role. As with business promotion it is important to combine online and offline promotion, getting in front of people will keep you at the forefront of their mind. Make sure to give them a business card and follow up with any contacts you make, if there are potential synergies meet up later for a one-to-one to find out more information. Like all self promotion it is important to establish yourself as a member of the community, don’t just sell, listen, introduce people to relevant contacts and then people will do the same for you. This will help to establish you as an expert in your field and in time people will come to you based on your reputation with opportunities tailor-made just for you!!
Wish me luck in my search for a new role :-)

2 comments:

ianpettigrew said...

Georgia,

You've have a good plan which looks really good.. Just a few thoughts to add:

- As well as getting your CV out with the agencies, I think it is worth identifying your absolute perfect job! If you could have the pick of any job, what would it be? Then.. approach that company directly or ask your network of ways to do that. I think there's a danger on job-hunting that we can all become a bit reticent about going after what we want.

- If you've not used it before, I'd really recommend doing the StrengthsFinder test (Tom Rath's book of the same name is less than £9 on Amazon and includes an online assessment of your top 5 strengths). It might help you get even clearer on what you want to do next.

-If you have some spare time, it might be worth seeing if you can use the time to do your job free-of-charge for a charity as a way of both doing some good and building another case study.

I hope it all goes well.

Georgia Marshall-Brown said...

Hi Ian,

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment - I completely agree about identifying the 'dream job' and approaching (through your network) companies you would like to work for.

Adding this to the 'to do list' for the week :-)

Cheers
G