In my last post on PersonalBrandingBlog, I discussed the different ways entrepreneurs can use Personal Branding to help them in the job search. One of the items I suggested was for entrepreneurs to start a blog as a tool to help further showcase their skill-set and ability.
Begin a blog.
You’re an entrepreneur! You enjoy building things. Here’s another project to start: a blog on the certain skill-set you choose. For this example, if you are going down the route as a “sales professional,” it’s time to start writing a blog about running sales in a start-up. Talk about the different challenges you faced. Talk about the experiences of running a start-up’s sale organization.
Your blog will serve as the first way you re-brand yourself from “entrepreneurial superstar” to “entrepreneurial sales superstar.” By writing blog articles that demonstrate your sales acumen, you will begin to shed the image that you are an “entrepreneur who wears many hats” and begin to develop the image that you are “an entrepreneur, who is used to wearing many hats, who succeeds at sales.”
To help entrepreneurs get started, I’ve decided to propose sample blog post topics for entrepreneurs who decided on a specific skill-set they want to focus on. These are all topics that entrepreneurs had to perform for their own companies that can transfer over to being an employee for a company.
Choosing the right CRM software – you might be tasked with doing this for a larger company. Explain your thoughts behind which CRM software you chose and why. This will show analytical thinking skills, as well as expertise of the market – all of which are crucial for sales professionals.
The art of the sale – explain how you closed sales for your start-up and how you turned a “No” into a “Yes.” The sales process is harder for a start-up (they face competition from well funded and well established brands), so being able to demonstrate how you succeeded, and your own “war stories,” will show true passion for your work. And at the end of the day, companies want someone who can close deals.
The Marketing Blog
One of the most difficult things to do for a start-up is to market a business with a small to non existent budget. Sharing stories and “how to” guides will show you think strategically and how your existing skills can be applied to a larger organization. Specific topics include:
– SEO – describe how you utilized SEO for your business. A lot of the same techniques used for SEO for small businesses can be applied to larger organizations. Demonstrate your proficiency! Most companies have a need for someone skilled in SEO.
– SEM – describe how you utilized search engine marketing for your small business. Even though you might not have the experience of managing a multi million dollar search engine marketing campaign, a lot of the same techniques used for smaller campaigns can be used for larger campaigns – so take this opportunity to show off your ability! Most major companies have search engine marketing budgets.
– Creative – describe how you created certain marketing material. Talk about the “essential” marketing collateral a small business needs (white papers, brochures, etc., etc.). A lot of this is the same marketing collateral an employer has a need for as well. Post examples of what you have created! Talk about the process behind it!
-The start-up marketing calendar –
The Programmer Blog
You created cool technology. Great! PHP, AJAX, C# and Ruby are all your best friends. Even better! You enjoyed working with a small development team. Even better! Time to blog about some of your experiences:
– Working with small development teams – talk about your experience in working with a small development team and how you motivated programmers during marathon programming sessions and kept everyone focused. At your new company, you could very well be in charge of a development team.
– From concept to creation – talk about how you were able to take the vision of the product and turn it into something tangible. Explain the whole process from start to finish. Spread it out over a few blog posts! At your new company, you will be responsible for creating new programs and interpreting business requirements for new software.
– Programming languages – break down all the current programming languages and explain which one is your favorite to work with and why. Explain why your start-up focused on a specific programming language / technology. Go into detail as to why you chose that specific language and how it applied best to your development team and product. Some companies are looking for programmers with knowledge of specific programming languages. Some companies are looking for an established tech veteran to help determine the programming environment for a development team. Brand yourself now as the correct person for this.
Ben Cathers is a young entrepreneur and author who successfully built three different internet startups before he was 19. Ben is the author of Conversations with Teen Entrepreneurs and was named in 2005 by CNN as a member of “America’s Bright Future.” Ben has been quoted/featured in the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo! Internet Life, The London Sunday Times and in over 40 different publications. Today, Ben is working on his 4th startup (stealth mode – in the social media space), does web strategy consulting for small to medium companies, runs the social media group for Lightspeed Financial, maintains a blog on social media and entrepreneurship at BenCathers.com and is on the advisory boards of BranchR.com, ZepFrog Corp and iGot2Know LLC.