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Sales Prospects to Job Prospects: A Transition in Lead Generation July 27, 2011

Posted by christinapappas in Content Marketing, Lead Generation.

job search

My true passion is lead generation. I love the thrill of overloading sales with leads and watching the pipeline go up as a result of my efforts. It’s thrilling to say the least and it allows me, as a marketer, to exercise all my passions into a common goal.

Now that I am not doing lead generation in its traditional marketing sense (as in generating leads for a sales force team to call upon) and have now transitioned to lead generation for my own selfish purposes (job search), I am finding that the rules are very much the same. In fact, I feel like I have an unfair advantage to some of the job seekers out there because of my marketing background.

If you consider for a moment how similar lead capture and job capture are, it makes perfect sense.

So what did I learn during those days of generating leads for sales that I can apply now to my job search?

Community building – When I was working within the brand, my idea of community building was twofold. I was building my own personal community but was primarily building a community for the brand. I am now applying those skills of networking online, participating in social networks and sharing (curating) content that is interesting to me. The need to grow and nurture a community doesn’t stop when there is no physical brand behind you; you become the brand yourself.

Market research  – Where are the leads (jobs)? Are people still faxing resumes? Are we still writing cover letters? What does an employer want to see from someone like me and how do I capture all my skills on a piece of paper? I have taken the same approach as I do when I start to structure a lead generation initiative: I research! I have speak with recruiters and companies who are hiring. Have calls with people I know who had been in a similar situation. And using all these resources, I defined a profile for the job I want (buyer person in corporate lead gen speak) and devised a strategy to locate openings and what the best approach would be to introduce myself.

Inbound marketing – I must confess that the reason I had to do the research is because my last two employers had found me when I was not actively looking. So I am treading in new water! So I needed to think about this in a way that if I was an employer seeking to fill a role, how would I go about finding someone. Your most crucial ammo is your resume so I had this looked over by several people who were extremely close to me and knew firsthand what I was capable of both delivering upon and accomplishing. Another piece was LinkedIn. I set my sights to participate as much as I can afford to in the groups that are relevant. My profile is updated and clearly states that ‘I am for hire’ and it has all the keywords that a potential employer would search for to find someone for the role I envision myself in.

A/B Testing – I use A/B testing quite a lot as a marketer and I would be crazy not to. I did everything from trying different subject lines to optimize open and click-through rates to testing third-party audiences with offers – did the free trial work or the whitepaper? to tracking productivity of sales teams when things were changed in the CRM. I cannot think of one single place in marketing where A/B testing need not apply and same goes during your job search. I have tried different formats and versions of cover letters to apply for like jobs and have made modifications to my resume. I am tracking what is getting the best and fastest response and then taking that data to make myself look even better.

Content marketing – A lot of employers have asked for examples of my work so I am glad that I am ready to serve them some. One of my favorite things to do as an inbound marketer was to create content. Whether it was a whitepaper, blog post, video script or webinar materials, I loved doing it and I didn’t want my skills to get ‘rusty’. So one of the first things I did when I lost my job was to start my own blog and dedicate myself to writing something every day. It may not be the best content in the world but I am writing, consuming and sharing daily.

Influence marketing – Ok don’t cringe at this one because I don’t like the term influencer either but its true. You are who you know – right? At least my father always told me that and he tends to be more right than wrong at least when it comes to the ‘business stuff’. I am SO lucky to have had positions in marketing that afforded me with the opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds in marketing. Do the names Gini Dietrich, Marcus Sheridan, Mark Schaefer, Chris Brogan, Ann Handley, C.C. Chapman, Jay Baer, Mike Volpe, Joe Pulizzi, Robert Caruso, Mack Collier, Justin Brackett ring any bells? And that’s just a few. Its this group of fine people that I have had the privilege of connecting with that have supported me these last several weeks. And I know that if they hear of a job that becomes available in which I would be a good match, then they will let me know.

How about you? Have you applied your professional skills to your personal life? How and in what ways?



1. Career Screen - July 27, 2011

Talk about leverage in a job interview! Inbound principles are definitely applicable to all areas of life. Content will always win, no matter what the space or circumstance.

I don’t know why more people don’t add great content to their LinkedIN profiles. I would recommend starting a personal professional blog just for sharing on LI! Even if you update it once a month, it lends credibility to your “online resume”

christinapappas - July 27, 2011

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Yes. In the words of Ann Handley ‘content rules!’

And I totally agree about LinkedIn. There is quite a bit of spam but its a great place to post your resume and gain visibility to recruiters and companies who are hiring. Updating doesn’t take much time and it dosn’t take much time to be active in the groups either.

2. Ken Mueller - July 27, 2011

Great stuff, Christine. It was exactly this sort of thing that led me to start my own business in the first place. A perfect storm situation with inbound marketing at the center. I had just been cut from full-time to half-time at a job, and in a strange roundabout way involving a Twitter mistake, I was contacted by an acquaintance who said “We need help, and we think you’re the person to help us.” They became my first client, and the rest is history, as they say.

Hope the job search goes well for you. Wish I was in a position to hire!

Ken Mueller - July 27, 2011

and yes, I did just call you Christine and not Christina! DOH! My bad.

christinapappas - July 27, 2011

I have been doing the job search thing for a few weeks now and it hit me today; I am still marketing and doing lead generation. Only this time the product is me! But all the same rules and tactics apply so I had to write this. Thanks for sharing your story about how you got started and congrats on keeping the momentum going!

Btw – LOL! Everyone calls me Christine. Its like 3 syllables is too much 🙂 No offense taken!

Ladainian - September 17, 2011

It’s really great that people are sharing this infrmoatoin.

3. egervase - July 27, 2011

Good for you. This is a playbook for how to do this. Food for thought for sure.

christinapappas - July 27, 2011

Honestly hadn’t considered it this way myself until I took a step back and realized what I have been doing everyday. Finding a job is a job and marketing certainly has a place in supporting the pursuit.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Emmy - September 16, 2011

Algriht alright alright that\’s exactly what I needed!

4. #FollowFriday: Christina Pappas | Spin Sucks - July 29, 2011

[…] for example, her blog post about using her inbound marketing skills to generate leads, not for her company’s sales team, but for job prospects for […]

5. Nikki Stephan - July 29, 2011

Those are really great suggestions, Christina! Glad I found you through Gini’s Follow Friday recommendation.

I can’t imagine it will take you very long to find a new job that’s a perfect fit for you. Best of luck with the search!

christinapappas - July 29, 2011

Thank you for your comment and kind words Nikki! And glad you enjoyed the article. It’s interesting to consider how our know-how in the office helps us in our offline lives.

6. #FollowFriday: Christina Pappas - July 29, 2011

[…] for example, her blog post about using her inbound marketing skills to generate leads, not for her company’s sales team, but for job prospects for […]

7. billdorman - July 30, 2011

You are who you know – right? So true, networking I can do and sometimes need to be more strategic with my community but I have a lot of fun with this aspect of it. It has without a doubt opened more doors, created more opportunities than any cold calling, smile and dial could do.

Good luck in your search, I’m sure you will find a good fit with your strategy you are using.

christinapappas - July 31, 2011

Online communities have certainly opened up many doors for me. Think back a few years when you had to travel to events and attend local meet-ups to meet and connect. Top of that, you certainly didnt get to meet near as many people as you would have liked due to the time commitment. The online networks have opened not only new doors but many more of them! In fact, I feel its more powerful because everyone has an even chance (the shy guy/gal can be more vocal online because its more comfortable) to connect and be themselves.

Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed the post!

8. Erica Allison - July 31, 2011

Excellent analogy, Christina! If you don’t get some amazing leads from this post and Gini D’s #FF, I’d be shocked!!

Great to get to know you more..

christinapappas - August 1, 2011

Let’s just say I was shocked when I walked out of an interview Friday morning and saw Gini’s article! I had no idea she was writing that and I could barly drive home I was shaking so badly with excitement. The support from the social networksa has been amazing.

Glad you stopped by and I am excited to get to know you more too!

9. Joe Pulizzi - July 31, 2011

Thanks for the shout out Christina…and really helpful article for those on the look out. Keep up the great work.

christinapappas - August 1, 2011

Hi-ya Joe!

SO glad I got the chance to meet you and work with you while I was at [company that shall not be named]! I hope we get the chance to work together again since I love what you are doing at Junta42 and your blog has inspired a lot of my writing (in fact, I got one coming soon about gamification that I wrote based on yours). So Thanks!

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