Know Your Numbers: The More You Prospect, The Luckier You’ll Get

Katie Corbett holds the book "Fanatical Prospecting"

By Katie Corbett

 

When I was job hunting, I discovered that the more activities I did that related directly to talking with people and following up on job leads, the more likely it was that I would land a job. This might seem like common sense, but it can be easy to get caught up in the false sense of accomplishment that comes from filling out job applications, so I wanted to stress this point. There is an entire hidden job market that is based on who you know and who you talk with, and I have heard of people landing jobs without filling out a single job application. I’ve done this four time in my career, so I know it’s possible.

 

I read a book called “Fanatical Prospecting,” by Jeb Blount, and this idea applies in sales, too. To help me stay on track, I made a list of all my job hunting activities. Here are some tips if you want to create your own job hunting activities list.

 

  1. Count the number of weekdays in the next month.
  2. Write down three job hunting activities you want to do each day.
  3. Make sure each activity involves interacting with a person.
  4. Remember to include follow-ups in your list.
  5. If you have items on your list that make you nervous, schedule an appointment in your calendar to get them done early in the day.
  6. As you get job interviews and informational interviews scheduled, add them to your list.
  7. Choose a way that you will reward yourself each day as you complete the three tasks.
  8. Once you accomplish the three job hunting tasks for the day, give yourself the rest of the day to relax.
  9. Find a friend who might be willing to serve as an accountability buddy; you might find it helpful to call, email, message, or text that person when you have completed your three daily tasks.
  10. At the end of the month, make a list for the next month.

 

I hope you find these tips helpful as you create your job hunting activities list. I found this to be the quickest way to land a job. It works especially well when you have a specific type of job you are aiming to find.

 

Was one of these tips particularly helpful? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Join Or Create a Peer Support Group

Katie Corbett holds the book "201 Great Ideas for your Small Business"

By Katie Corbett

 

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I was looking for ways to connect with others virtually. I joined a small group of other female business owners and have made a lot of great connections.

 

The book, “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business,” by Jane Applegate, suggests many benefits to joining such a peer support group. Here are some of the benefits of being part of the group.

 

  • Mutual Support. If one of us is having a bad day or feels unmotivated, we have a group of friends who can lift us up.
  • Increased Connections. If someone in the group is looking for a virtual assistant, a social media manager, or legal advice, chances are someone in the group can either help directly or knows someone who can.
  • People Hire Those They Know, Like and Trust. I have gotten a client from the group.
  • Members Celebrate Each Other’s Success. Whenever one of us has a success to celebrate, the rest of the group is there to cheer them on.
  • Members Promote Each Other. If one of us has something we want to promote out to our networks, we know we can tell the rest of the group about it and the members will promote it out to their networks.

 

Whether you are running a small business, looking for a job, or want to try a new hobby, finding a group of people to support you along the way can be really fun and encouraging. I hope you find the right mix, so that it can be a great place to share ideas, encourage each other, support each other, and celebrate success.

 

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Ask for A Quick Yes Or No

Katie Corbett holds the book "201 Great Ideas for your Small Business"

By Katie Corbett

 

I have a list of clients to follow up with each month who have expressed interest in my services. It’s great having a lot of people on that list, but sometimes and is also good to narrow it down. This is true whether you are running a small business like me, searching for a job, or even dating.

 

In the book, “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business,” by Jane Applegate, I learned that there is nothing wrong with getting a quick yes or no from someone. This means that you can move on with your life and add truly interested parties to the list.

 

I recently adjusted my prices for my writing business. I was having calls with my list members to alert them to the change. One person seemed confused about what I was looking for during the call. I realized that she was likely no longer interested.

 

I wanted to confirm this, so I said: “How about if I take you off my list of prospects, and we’ll keep in touch. If you change your mind, feel free to reconnect with me.” She quickly agreed.

 

Asking the question, such as, “are you still interested,” “Do you think I’m a good fit for this job,” or in the dating scenario, “Will you go out with me,” can be a quick way to get the answer you need. It is frustrating to sit around and wonder, and simply asking, while nerve-racking, can help you move on.

 

Taking the uninterested prospect off my list left room for more people to join. That week, two new prospects joined my list. My desire for a quick decision made room for someone else who was truly excited and enthusiastic.

 

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Never Work with Anyone Who Gives You a Headache or a Stomachache

Katie Corbett holds the book "201 Great Ideas for your Small Business"

By Katie Corbett

 

I’ve learned to pay attention to my body. It can tell me if I’m feeling comfortable, doing work I love, or even if I’m working with toxic people. I’ve since set a rule about not working with or for people who give me a headache or a stomachache.

 

In “201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business,” by Jane Applegate, I read that paying attention to how your body is feeling in certain situations can help you evaluate situations, even if everything appears fine on the surface. I worked in a toxic work environment for ten months. Occasionally I would have a difficult meeting or become aware that something wasn’t right. As I reflect on the signals my body was sending, even when things seemed fine, I knew deep in my gut that it wasn’t a great place to be. Here’s what I noticed:

 

  • I often got the feeling that I was being watched.
  • I jumped and startled easily.
  • I would sometimes cry at work because I felt overwhelmed.
  • I often had the feeling that I was barely surviving.
  • I got stomachaches and headaches in the morning before going to work and on Sunday nights as the weekend was ending.
  • I felt a sinking sensation whenever anyone said they wanted to meet or talk with me.

 

These were just a few of the ways my body was trying to tell me I was in a toxic environment. I hope that if you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you’ll recognize it sooner than I did.

 

Our bodies are amazing and they can tell us how to know about whether we are in a toxic work environment. Pay attention to the body signals you are getting. I also encourage you to set the boundary, as I have, that you won’t work with someone who gives you a headache or a stomachache.

 

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Reminders Put Money in the Bank, and Here’s How You can Master Them

Katie Corbett holds the book "Free Marketing"

By Katie Corbett

 

Whether you are job hunting or running a business, sending out reminders and follow-up messages is important. They will keep you top-of-mind and help you obtain faster results.

 

In the book, “free Marketing,” by Jim Cockrum, the benefits of following up are extoled. Using a script to guide the messaging and give you courage can help you do this crucial but often procrastinated task. Here are some scripts that you might find helpful.

 

After a job interview:

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for (name of position). It was a pleasure meeting you and learning more about (name of company). I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

 

For reminding those in your network that you are looking for a job:

I hope you are doing well. (Insert life update here, such as a hobby you are starting, why you are excited for the change of season, etc.) I also wanted to let you know that I am looking for a job. I’m particularly interested in (insert position or industry). If you know of any openings, or would be willing to connect me to someone who works as a (insert name of position), I would appreciate it. Thank you for your time and assistance.

 

If you are running a business:

Are you ready to start (type of project)? If not, I can reach out again next month.

 

Each of these scripts can be used to make the task of following up nearly painless. Remember to customize each script to meet your needs individually.

 

I hope you find these ideas helpful. Have any other situations arisen for which you would find a script beneficial? Let me know in the comments.

 

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The Ultimate Success Tip: Give Them What They Want

Katie Corbett holds the book "Free Marketing"

By Katie Corbett

 

I have been publishing content on this blog for almost three years, and have been posting regularly on LinkedIn for almost one. You may wonder how I keep coming up with new content. It hasn’t been as difficult as one might think.

 

I saw an idea in “Free Marketing,” by Jim Cockrum, that sums up the strategy I use: Give People What They Want. I figure this out by asking questions and paying attention to the questions I am asked. Here is a list of methods I use to capture those ideas. Pick your favorite and try it:

 

  1. Have a specific file where you write down frequently asked questions.
  2. Keep a piece of paper handy when you are on networking calls.
  3. When you think of questions you have been asked, write them down right away.
  4. Make a point to ask people what questions they have for you.
  5. If you’re in a larger group, pay attention to the questions others have throughout the conversation.
  6. Talk with others in your field; sometimes in the discussions, you might find out questions they are regularly asked.

 

Taking the time to learn what people are interested in knowing more about, whether you are blogging to promote a business or just because it’s fun, will give you endless content ideas. I hope you find a wellspring of ideas, as I have.

 

Even if you are working a job and don’t run a blog at all, keeping track of the questions people ask is beneficial. It will help you anticipate questions and answer them in advance, which is sure to impress the boss. At the very least, having answers prepared will show you take your work seriously.

 

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Why I love Networking with Other Writers

Katie Corbett holds the book "Free Marketing"

By Katie Corbett

 

I’ve been networking for a long time now, and even more so during the COVID-19 quarantine. I know of networking groups that only let one person in from each niche. One photographer, one baker, one hair stylist. While the idea of limiting competition makes sense in theory, I think it’s better to trust that the opportunities you need will come to you.

 

In the book, “Free Marketing,” by Jim Cockrum, it is suggested to eagerly send customers to your competition. This could go for job hunting as well, if you know someone who might better fill the position. Here are some benefits that could arise through adopting an abundance mindset and networking with people who do the same work as you:

 

  • You will be able to swap tips with others in your industry
  • You will be able to stick with doing what you do best
  • You will develop a reputation as someone who helps others
  • You might have someone you helped do a favor for you, or refer business to you in the future
  • You will be operating from a mindset of abundance, which will help others perceive you as a positive person

 

I love networking with other writers and coaches. Throughout the conversation, I learn about new tips and techniques I can apply to my own business, and am building a relationship with someone to whom I can refer business when I get a project request I’m not the best person to fill or if I’m feeling swamped.

 

The next time you have the chance to network with someone in your field, give it a try. It might be a great way to relax and talk shop with someone who understands your world of work.

 

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Never be a Wallflower Again: Eavesdrop In

Katie Corbett holds the book "How to Talk to Anyone"

By Katie Corbett

 

When you are in a room with a lot of people, (virtually or otherwise), it can be hard to start a conversation. If you don’t know anyone that well and can’t think of anything to say to get the conversation going, the technique I’m blogging about today might help.

 

In her book, “How to Talk to Anyone,” Leil Lowndes discusses a technique she calls “Eavesdrop In”. I was thrilled to see this idea listed, because I have been doing this since middle school. Basically, you just listen to the conversations of those around you and join one that seems interesting.

 

As a person who is totally blind, I can’t start a conversation with a compliment about someone’s hairstyle or clothing. I can’t look around a room to see who is there, and reading nametags is completely out of the question. I can listen to the conversations around me, however.

 

In fifth grade, I joined a choir with kids from schools all around my city. I had no problem making friends because I was super outgoing and found it easy to talk to people. Middle school hit and I became a very shy, awkward person. The Eavesdrop In technique was something I used in order to avoid falling into obscurity. I joined conversations about what we had all eaten for dinner that night, what books we were currently reading, where our families would be going on vacation next. Even though I didn’t make any lasting friendships, this tactic ensured I didn’t spend the entire night sitting by myself.

 

I have come back to this method again and again. If I am in settings where I don’t know anyone, I find it helpful to focus on what those around me are talking about. It helps me push back any lingering panic about what others might be thinking of me and avoid being a wallflower.

 

Next time you are at a gathering where you don’t know anyone, or even if you are unsure of what to say, I highly recommend you try this conversational tip. At the very least, you will spend time talking with others and might have some interesting conversations.

 

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