Content. We hear about it all the time and are encouraged to produce more of it. But what is content? Simply put, content is anything that you create that communicates an idea. Content can be a blog, a white paper, a video, or an audio recording. “Content marketing” is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your audience. The ultimate goal is to drive action on the part of your market.
Personal branding and career management both rely heavily on content marketing. Every interaction you have with your market (your network) adds or detracts from your brand. When you are seeking a new role, it is imperative that you use the best practices in content marketing.
And guess what the Number One complaint about content marketing is? Recipients of content deride most vociferously the fact that the content they receive—which is supposedly designed for them—is boring and irrelevant. When it comes to your brand, the last thing you want to be is boring and irrelevant. And if you’re shopping yourself for a new job? No one wants to hire and to work with a dullard.
So stop producing boring content. People have enough boring material that they are required to consume. Why would they volunteer for more?
As a job seeker, you need to stand out and be different. Imagine how many resumes and cover letters a hiring manager receives. And they all say pretty much the same thing:
I’m a highly qualified strategic project manager with 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. My successful background in delivering projects within appropriate scope and budget, along with my experience in coordinating with multiple departments, vendors, and business partners to ensure that client needs and timelines are met, would make me a valuable addition to your team.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. This hypothetical example is all too typical of the types of content that people put out there when marketing themselves. And this does NOTHING to market this particular, yet hypothetical job seeker. This sounds like it was constructed out of some automated keyword generator instead of by a human.
Want to be Not Boring? Tell your audience something unique and interesting.
I’m sure you’ve noticed. The financial services sector has radically changed. Contraction in the market, coupled with significant changes in technology infrastructure have reshaped the industry. Increased competition from non-traditional financial services firms is fierce. And customers now expect an experience defined by them, not by the industry.
As an experienced leader with a deep and varied background in financial services project management, I understand these challenges. And I am uniquely positioned to help take your organization to its next level.
This example focuses not on the writer, but on the industry. It demonstrates two things: 1) the writer understands the industry, and 2) the writer has put some thought into creating something unique to the audience. This second example compels the reader to continue reading, and that’s the goal.
If you want to create content that will be consumed—and who doesn’t?—you need to make it compelling. Do something different. Say something unique. Stop conforming and churning out more of the same.