I was speaking to a recruiter the other day.
Here’s how our conversation went:
Me: How are your business development efforts coming along?
Recruiter: Not great. The only way I can find new jobs to fill is by constantly going back to my network and asking for more business.
Me: Why is that the only way?
Recruiter: I’ve tried everything else and nothing works!
Me: What else have you done?
Recruiter: I have a website. I post blogs regularly. I’m active on social media. It does nothing!
Me: (Long pause) If that’s your entire marketing strategy, it’s no surprise you can’t find new clients…
A reality check
Think about all the time that a successful recruiter will put into cold-calling for new clients and following up with past clients to find new business. It’s at least 10 hours per week and for the most dedicated, it might be closer to 20 or even 30.
Now think about the time you spend on your online marketing strategy. You likely set up your website 2 years ago and haven’t touched it since. You write a blog post in an hour and barely have time to proofread it. You go on social media to share the post, which takes about 2 minutes.
If you compare the effort between the two activities, it’s no wonder that your online marketing strategy isn’t working. You are barely even trying.
If you build it, they will come
Cheesy reference to Field of Dreams aside, it is the truth. If you spend time on your marketing strategy and continually refine it, people will find out about you and some percentage of those people will turn into new clients.
So the question is, what does it mean to spend time on your online marketing strategy?
I know from experience that asking a recruiter to spend the same time on their online marketing strategy as they do on their offline marketing strategy is a fool’s errand. Instead, I’m asking you to spend five hours per week on online marketing.
If I were a recruiter with no marketing budget and had only five hours per week, here’s what I would do to find new business:
Check your analytics (30 minutes)
Every client we work with has Google Analytics installed on their site but I can count on one hand the number of clients who have ever looked at the data, despite the fact that it is a goldmine for insight into what is working and what is not.
For example, let’s say you’re executing an SEO strategy and you want to know if it’s paying off.
Open Google Analytics and go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels and click Organic Search.
In five seconds, you have the chart below showing that your strategy is paying off with an impressive growth curve.
There are dozens of other important insights that can be gleaned from Google Analytics and tools such as Google Search Console but you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with them.
Fortunately, there are thousands of guides on website analytics. Check this one out to get started.
Do keyword research (30 minutes)
When I ask a person how they intend to get people to read their blog posts, I’m often met with a reply like “I’ll share it on social media”. When I ask them how that will work given that they have 50 Facebook likes and 40 Twitter followers, I’m typically met with silence.
If you’re going to spend time writing blog posts and you know you don’t have the time to spend on devising a complex distribution strategy for your content (a proper social media strategy, paid advertising or a newsletter), your need to give your posts a chance to be discovered organically by writing about topics that people are actually searching for.
To check out if people want to read what you’re writing about, you can start by logging into Google Adwords and selecting Tools > Keyword Planner > Get search volume data and trends. Change “All locations” to your target market and enter the topic you want to write about.
A search term with a meaningful monthly volume
You will likely notice that many of your topics return zero average monthly searches. While this does not guarantee that your post will get no traffic (the data isn’t perfect), it’s a pretty good sign that what you are about to write is a waste of time.
Write your blog post (3 hours)
Most non-writers hate writing blog posts. I get it. I often struggle myself to put these pieces together. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to slap something together in an hour and call it a day. In the end, you are only wasting your time as nobody will ever read your cobbled-together thoughts.
Producing high-quality content takes time, even if you are a subject matter expert.
Rather than putting together a 300 word fluff piece that has no value to anyone, dig deep into your topic and aim for 1000-2000 words that comprehensively cover your topic.
Add value to your reader by going to a site like Fiverr and having a designer create a custom giveaway for $20.
A pop we use on our most popular post to give away a free PDF download
Use our list of recruitment marketing ideas for 2017 to find your inspiration and get started on a deep post.
In, short your post stand out from the sea of garbage that most people call content marketing and you will quickly gain visibility.
Just 5 hours per week
If you put in the work, you will see results. If you don’t, you will continue to flounder. Dedicate 5 hours per week to the tasks above and online marketing success will soon follow.