1. Find your Unique Selling Position
When I first started my job as a consultant, my career counselor asked me what I wanted to be famous for. She wanted to know the skill set that I could hang my hat on to make myself really valuable to a project.
For some people it may be wizardry with excel. For others it may be you really know how to write a sales letter. For me, I wanted to hang my hat on process improvement. I could walk into a situation and be able to identify bottle necks and improvements right away.
We will call this your Unique Selling Position.
When I was interviewing for jobs, I was able to be a master story teller of my unique selling position. I could recall past experienced where I saved my organization money and time by improving processes. My unique selling position was my calling card to express how I could add value to the company I was interviewing for.
2. Where does your Niche Hangout?
I could have the best business idea in the world. This idea could save people hundreds of hours of heart ache and provide a ton of value. But if idea gets no exposure, no one will buy my product.
This is the same thing with your unique selling position. Your unique selling position could be absolutely what your niche is looking for. But if you aren’t getting exposure to your niche, no one will hire you.
What does this mean practically? One of my past jobs was working for a church. I was particularly interested in using technology in the church world. So what did I do?
I went to a live conference that a church CRM (customer relationship management) software company put on. I was able to connect and network with others interested in using technology in church. Now this didn’t lead to me working for a different church because that wasn’t my goal of the event. However, those connections have been valuable for me as I was able to email individuals about how they are using and maximizing the technology they are using.
If your unique selling position is solving a pain that companies have, you need to have exposure to those companies so they can hire you. In other words, companies need to know that you exist.
Quick fire ideas for finding online communities of people in your niche:
- Google search “niche” + community
- Search on Facebook/LinkedIn
- Google search “niche” + networking event + “big city you live near”
- Google search “niche” + conference
Jump into those communities and go to those events.
3. Marketing takes Hustle
When I launched my first business, I didn’t expect people to just stumble upon my website and buy my product. I sent 100 emails a day to small business owners, inquiring to see if I could provide a solution to a pain they had. Launching a business takes hustle.
The same principle applies to job hunting. When I was searching for a job I spent at least 6 hours a day in job hunting related activities. If you are unemployed, many take the stance that job hunting should be your full time job.
If you are spending several hours a day networking and applying for jobs, this also means that you are going to likely get told “no” a lot… or even worse, just hear nothing back. This is all part of the game.
When I launched by business I was fully aware that I could convert about 3% of the people I cold emailed. That means of the 1000 emails I sent, 3 of them bought my product. Not exactly a sustainable model for doing business but I just needed some revenue to get started.
4. Social Proof
The best way to get someone to hire you is when there is already someone trying to hire you. This is how I was able to negotiate a salary offer by 20%. When multiple people want you to join their company, this creates “social proof” of you as a worker. Think of the testimonials found in any infomercial. They have strategically placed those testimonials because they want to show you that other people are already buying their product, and you should too! When you have multiple people wanting to hire you, it re-emphasizes that you are a hot commodity. They should up their offer so they can have you on their team.