Once upon a time, a very long time ago in Internet years, I wrote a webinar and publication on finding your next job with social media. I stumbled over it recently while cleaning up one of my archives. While lots of the individual pieces are badly out of date, the work as a whole is still relevant. This series is a new version of the old stuff, modernized for today.

Easy Prospecting Wins

As I said in part 2, job search is a full time job, and it’s a full time sales job at that. We are selling – and part of selling is prospecting, finding qualified people to sell to. As any sales professional will tell you, prospecting is an essential, ongoing activity. Building relationships always pays off in the long run. Today, let’s explore some easy wins in outreach and prospecting:

  • Passive following
  • Social signatures
  • Profile visitors

Passive Following

Here’s one of the easiest prospecting wins: passive following of people you want to connect with. Here, use your Twitter profile to follow people with biographies that mirror your professional aspirations. Look for people who have the title of your next manager; if you’re a manager today, look for directors. If you’re a director today, look for VPs.

Here’s an example, searching for the phrase VP Marketing on Twitter:

twittersearchresults.png

If I were looking for someone like me, this search would find me. Then I’d start to follow all these people. Follow 5 people per day, every day. A certain percentage will follow you back; when they do, send them a personal direct message (NOT an automated one!) and introduce yourself.

It should almost go without saying that anyone who proactively follows you first should receive the same kind treatment.

Social Signatures

Do you promote your LinkedIn profile and your other professional social media properties in your email signature? If not, do so!

emailsignature.png

This is a fast, simple way to help grow your audience, in accordance with Metcalfe’s Law from the previous post.

Profile Visitors

Specific to LinkedIn, we are able to see who has visited our LinkedIn profile recently. At the top of your LinkedIn home screen is a link to the people who have visited your profile recently:

linkedinhomescreen.png

Click through to see a list of who has visited recently:

peoplewhovisited.png

Connect with people you’re not already connected to (and are relevant to your job search); message those people you are connected to and say hello. I’m a fan of a simple message like this:

Hey (name of person)! Thanks for swinging by my LinkedIn profile. Anything I can help you with?

Prospecting is a Habit

Where most job seekers fall down is failing to prospect daily. You cannot simply prospect when you need to, when you need a job. You must prospect all the time, every day, whether you need it or not – because some day you will need it. Follow these three easy wins and prospect every day. Turn prospecting into a habit, and you’ll be able to do it in 10 minutes or less a day.

Next: Easy Wins in Proactive Outreach

In the next post, we’ll look at how to pitch a prospect – the good, the bad, and the ugly.


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