You’re a resume writer or career coach looking around at the dominoes falling around your most recent major challenges — the impact on hiring and career services from coronavirus COVID-19. But let’s face it, there are two critical things to know here:
- It could be ANY time of uncertainty; COVID is just the newest wave of challenges an entrepreneur should prepare for.
- There is good new! Your profession has been tried and tested to survive (and even thrive) when the economy becomes depressed or a pandemic sweeps the planet. I know it seems different now, but there are steps you can take to ensure your business thrives.
I want you to embrace that your services can be disaster-proof!
During COVID many of our clients found themselves: Companies wee closing their doors. When possible, staff were working remotely. Some employees found themselves temporarily at income loss. Many wondered if their employer could survive a potentially lengthy downtime. Some even lost their businesses and inadvertently became job seekers.
You probably thought these individuals wouldn’t want to spend money and get help at such uncertain times.
While some may have experienced a pause, there were ways to make that pause very small that will serve you in the future when the next challenge comes along.
The truth is, many don’t even know you are out there or that it’s critical that they get ready for whatever could happen RIGHT NOW.
You can help job seekers in any market to be ready to:
- Relaunch as needed.
- Reposition for greater satisfaction.
- Resist taking harmful action.
- Release anxiety and embrace strategies that get results.
So, don’t let thoughts of fear or scarcity dig their claws into you.
There will always be challenges AKA opportunities!
This lesson provides numerous strategies you can take over the days, weeks, and possibly months ahead to ensure you’re creating opportunities and positioning yourself for accessibility. When possible, I’ve shared in-depth resources on topics, many of which are free to anyone without registration. Those with an asterisk (*) are member’s only resources. Not a member? You can get access to the entire CDI library for only $97.
Contact Former Clients & Prospect Lists
Let your lists know that the best strategy is preparation. Tell them how you can help. Remind them that it couldn’t be more critical to be ready to launch with an updated resume and tool set, if the need arises. Now is the time! You are here to help — safely, remotely, expertly.
>> Never created a list? Use downtime to create a free offer on your site (which can also be shared in social media for more exposure). Get your teen or a stay at home parent to cut and paste client information from your records into a template email asking them to opt into your list. With no list, start now with social media followers and via your blog. >>
Showcase Your Virtual Service Model
If you work remotely, consider adding a visible PSA to your website letting prospects know. Many who have never worked with a career professional aren’t aware that this is the most common model.
Don’t stop at putting it on your website — it’s a great add-on for a prospect email, blog post, and social media.
>> If you don’t currently work remotely, now is the time to start! I transitioned in 2004 and never looked back. >>
Offer a Small Relief Discount for Impacted Populations
After 9/11 it was common to seeing resume writers and career coaches providing discounted (and even free) services. While 9/11 was felt around the world, it didn’t financially impact most of you, so the free outpouring was wonderful. But it isn’t practical here where your business could falter.
A discount would look like 5-10% and shouldn’t be across the board. Think of your ideal clients who may be impacted and make the offer there.
Again, this is something that is totally newsworthy!
>> Please don’t even consider this if your prices are too low and even a small discount would hurt you. I’ve always emphasized a la carte pricing should have retail markup to ensure passing on a discount doesn’t cause harm. >>
Be the Authoritative Light Shining Through Darkness
There’s a lot of fear, disillusionment, and panic out there right now. People need positive leadership and hope more than ever.
Step up as an authority with your positive messages that carry strategy and hope to expand your followers and galvanize them to reach out.
This is the perfect time to leverage social media, guest blogging, blogging, and article publishing to share more tips, provide encouragement, and be visible.
>> Try your hand at video tips since that’s the #1 way we like to consume data online today. >>
Cultivate Your Virtual Professional Network
Dig into LinkedIn, following up with those who viewed your profile (Premium account), connecting with former clients who you see found new employment, and joining prospect target groups to expand your visibility (members see your activity).
With the mobile app, you can easily do this anywhere and amidst any chaos that kids home from school may be causing.
Take Action On Your Profit Project
I hear repeatedly that there just isn’t time to create the product, course, book, or tool you’ve been planning to start forever.
If you’ve got a little time now, get going on it so that your launch is in sight. It won’t make you money while you work on it, but it will recharge your batteries and provide you with a way to make money while you sleep once it’s done.
Follow Up With Prospects
When I had my private practice my husband used to say I could, “Make it rain”.
I’ve never been a salesy person but in any brief valleys in my business, I knew what to do, and you can do it too.
It can be as simple as picking up the phone and following up with any prospect from the past six months who had to think about it:
“Hi Joe, this is Sarah from A Competitive Edge Career Service. We had a consult a few months ago and I just wanted to check in, see if you had landed your next position, or might still be in need of help. I’m here if you need me.”
If they haven’t had traction yet or retained another service, at this point they frequently realize it’s not DIY and will be eager to start.
>> This doesn’t yield the high results I had if you don’t have a solid edu-fearacating and show-and-tell process in place for your consultation. If prospects still saw it as a DIY you were charging too much for when they didn’t buy then, it will be the same thing now. >>
Get Virtual Visibility With Webinars
Whether you host it live, recording it and make it evergreen (perpetually available without your continued presentation), or pitch organizations on hosting your webinar, this can be a great way to get visible and grow your business.
You can offer support tips, success strategies, motivation and encouragement for weathering the current storm, or your favorite program.
Be sure to promote and share it everywhere!
>> Please make sure you don’t give away the store in your preso. Please make an offer at the end. >>
Kickstart Slumping Marketing Activities
When you are busy it is so easy to let all that marketing slip through the cracks!
Get brainstorming and plan out your editorial calendar for the next six months to a year. Get back to active blogging. Start sharing expertise on LinkedIn again. Leap into video blogging.
Bolster Your Expertise
You’ve likely invested in courses and certifications that you may now have more resources to complete. It won’t immediately bring in business but it will further your authority (and give you more to post about) once attained.
Been thinking about starting a certification or course, or getting coaching yourself? Here is the launch page for CDI’s resume writing, career coaching, and business programs.
Take on the TORIs
Finally make time for the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) resume writing awards. They will be open in just a few days.
Winners and nominees consider them the #1 best and most cost-effective way to dramatically grow your business. Both tell us it has doubled or tripled their business, allowed them to increase their rates and reduce their marketing, and work only with their ideal clients.
Since the top reason for not entering is lack of time, this is your chance to make them a priority, especially since they don’t close for 2020 until July.
A TORI pays off for years to come.
>> Shed any excuse about not having the skills. Several 2019 TORI winners cite CDI’s resume video tutorials from former TORI winners as the key to their wins. Your clients WILL need these skills as we move more and more into consuming visuals. It’s not just for networking resumes anymore — check out our tutorial on making graphic resumes ATS-friendly. >>
Check for Branding Congruence
Our messages, ideal clients, and passions can evolve and shift over time. It’s not uncommon to become a career professional with copy sending mixed messages just like the shoemaker with holes in his/her shoes.
If you want to attract and convert, your messages need to be congruent and magnetic for your ideal clients.
Spend some time looking at your website, your social media headers, your tagline, your copies, and even the languaging you use. Make sure it’s up-to-date and in line with your brand and ideal client today.
>> I know it can be scary to think about spending money right now, but make sure your website is modern. I frequently encounter the disconnect of professionals seeking to close 3- to 5-figure sales with executives, but they have a very dated website. At least strategize, begin writing new copy, and line up a plan to make the investment. >>
CDI for-fee programs:
Focus a Gratitude Lens
When everything seems to be going wrong, the media is spewing fear, the stock market is plummeting, and panic is rising, it’s critical to nurture your inner peace.
The single best way to do this is to focus on doing gratitude work.
It will likely start VERY small if you aren’t accustomed to counting your blessings. Spend a few minutes each morning or evening talk to texting them into your iPhone note file, journaling, using an app, internalizing in the shower, sharing with a spouse of friend, or even posting one thing to Facebook. Find just one thing to be grateful for today and think briefly about how that makes you feel.
If you practice gratitude that one thing will grow to dozens of things, and you’ll see yourself appreciating all the good despite all the bad that is constantly pushed at you.
This is a muscle you need to succeed!
Take Care of the Amazing You
I have always loved the quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first”. – author unknown
I know many a career professional who loves helping others so much that they burn themselves out or miss out on the wonderful world happening around them.
If that’s you, this can be the perfect excuse to spend a little downtime relaxing and rejuvenating from the safety of your home.
When you carve out time for yourself, you will emerge revitalized.
* * * *
I hope this has given you plenty of ideas on how to stay positive and thrive despite coronavirus COVID-19. You CAN emerge not only surviving but thriving.
What Other Tips Can You Add?
I’d love to read your additional tips, strategies, and ideas. Please share them in the comments.