Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Call for Writers in St. Louis, MO - Opportunity to Build Your Portfolio

I recently began doing some work for REBUS - St. Louis, a division of the St. Louis Ad Club. I am their Online Communications Manager, and we are set up and ready to ramp up our social media presence and blog content. Here's a call I'm putting out to all writers in St. Louis, MO - especially young/green professionals looking to enhance their portfolio, build their reputation online, and learn from others.

Writers in St. Louis, MO: Are you looking to enhance your portfolio? Want to be a blogger without having to worry about growing a following? Want to write about what interests you in marketing, advertising, creative, social media, and the world of copy and messaging? REBUS St. Louis is a fast-growing network of young advertising professionals in St. Louis, MO, sponsored by the AdClub of St. Louis. We've recently launched a blog at that we will be promoting at monthly events and across social media outlets online. If you're passionate about your industry and want to grow your online professional reputation, become a blogger with REBUS. Please contact us. We have immediate openings available.

Additional details:
We currently do not pay for content, but the blog is lead by social media experts and online advertising gurus working at St. Louis agencies, and we're all looking forward to working with you to put out compelling and relevant content about local events, professional experiences and industry trends. We'll post your name and photo next to each of your posts and get links posted on Twitter, Facebook and other places where we have hundreds of followers. Get your name out there, and join our team!

To apply:
Email me with your name, phone number, email address, LinkedIn URL or resume, as well as 3+ writing samples by November 15th. We will be in touch shortly after we hear from you.

Get connected. Get Hired. Secure your next full time marketing or IT job

I just received an email this morning from a colleague who is looking for full-time employment. I've been getting contacted by friends and connections quite often lately looking for advice, a recommendation or a connection. I realized that my reply to this friend this morning may be beneficial to anyone in the St. Louis job market looking for a job - or possibly any market where the desired job is in online/social media, marketing management, search marketing, advertising, IT project management or similar (some of the areas in my professional background, as I can't speak to the others as much).

The email said:
Hey!  How goes it?  I enjoy following your tweets and it seems like you are in a good place lately. I'm actually looking for full time work, any ideas? I wasn't sure if there were opportunities where you work or if you know of anyone else in the industry looking for help. I figured you'd be a good person to ask.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Here was my reply - abridged to protect the innocent:

  1. Get introduced to [people who I know that are very well-connected in St. Louis and enjoy helping companies find good talent and good talent find enjoyable jobs. I can name names privately, but I have to want to introduce you first.] ;-)

  2. Get the scoop on which companies in St. Louis are hiring in online marketing/advertising and internet jobs. There are quite a few agencies that I could name, but you can figure it out just by doing a job search. From my personal perspective, October/November is a great time to be looking for a job in our field in STL. For whatever reason, now that summer vacations are over and people are holed up in their offices away from the cold and rain -- what's with all this RAIN!? -- marketing/IT hiring managers are looking at year end forecasts and into 2010 and saying, "Where's my talent? I need new talent!" I have seriously heard this from multiple hiring managers in the past few weeks. Get out there. They're looking for you! Once you identify the companies that need talent like yours, start repeating the company's name to yourself day in and day out like a crazy person, and then follow these remaining steps...

  3. Update your resume and shoot me one so I can see all your skills and see if there's any way I can help. More importantly, get a professional's opinion on it. Find a recruiter in your field who doesn't mind spending 5-10 minutes giving you a critique, and if you respect this person, you'll do everything they say without hesitation.

  4. This should probably be number one on the entire list: Update your LinkedIn profile, and start asking for more recommendations. Get keywords galore into your profile. Add yourself to groups on LinkedIn that are geographically local and/or industry relevant. Follow posts on those group boards and comment back with insightful, professional opinions -- add value. (Shoot me a request for a recommendation, and if I've worked with you and think you worked hard, I'll probably write you one too.)

  5. If your goal is to work in social media or online marketing, or if you have a technological skill set that is very specific and valuable, start and maintain a personal blog. Post a minimum of 3 times per week (I know I am guilty of not meeting this requirement, but I'm not looking for a job), and make it clear from your LinkedIn and Twitter that on this blog, it's YOU providing the content/insights. Keep it professional and remember that every word you say will be seen by the recruiters and hiring managers making their decision later. Tweet your blog posts, engage with people on Twitter, and you may be surprised when someone reaches out to you on Twitter and says: "I really enjoy your blog posts and Twitter comments. I know someone looking to fill a position that you may be interested in..."

  6. Consider making a Google Profile and/or a Google Site all about your resume and experiences.

  7. Make it your new full-time job to conduct a new keyword search on job search engines (a minimum of and and make it your personal goal to find 3 new jobs per week that you'd really enjoy doing. There will be others you find that you'd grade a notch lower in desirability - and still apply to those! But every time you apply to the really desirable ones, check your LinkedIn network for anyone you know who knows someone who works there. Ask them to recommend you for the position.

  8. Send paper copies of your resume, always customize a cover letter, and make a reproduction of your personal portfolio to mail it to every job you really, really want. Put it all in a nice resume folder, and FEDEX it overnight to the hiring manager or recruiter the day you apply. If you do not customize your cover letters, I don't care how many people tell me that they don't read them or the fact that I barely scanned them myself when hiring 35 people in one summer a few years back (I reviewed upwards of 300+ resumes & cover letters in 3 months time), the point is, if you didn't write one and customize it to "moi" then you don't care enough. End of story.

  9. Make your own business cards if you don't have them already, and start going to local networking events and any other relevant club meetings in the area. Here are some I suggest:

Do you have additional ideas about how to find your next full-time, long-term career opportunity?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teaching SEO & Social Media Marketing Courses at St. Louis Community College, Spring 2010

I have mentioned this to many friends and colleagues, but now I'm starting to nail down details and times for the classes I will be teaching at St. Louis Community College - St. Louis, Meramec Campus. The school is at Big Bend and Geyer in Chesterfield. The costs will be low and the courses are open for anyone to attend, since they are part of the Continuing Education program in conjunction with the college's Digital Arts & Technology Alliance.

Right now, the lesson plan, dates and times are under review, and once approved, I will teach 6 total classes, 2 per topic (you'll attend both for the topic if you register - the lesson is split over two week days). If registration is high and the classes go well, the school will work on placing them into their undergraduate credit course catalog for future semesters. The way I see it, anyone in St. Louis who is looking to increase their skills in SEO, social media marketing for business or email marketing (and would like to spend a few Spring evenings with me!) should take these classes. If you've worked with me in the past, I think you'll expect to see me deliver a comprehensive and strategic overview of each area along with valuable, actionable tips and tricks of the trade. Registration for these courses will be available very soon. Please contact me directly if you have any questions or if you want me to email you once registration is open.

Tentative Dates

Social Media Marketing: Mondays 2/22 and 3/1
Email Marketing: Wednesdays 2/17 and 2/24
Search Engine Optimization: Wednesdays 4/7 and 4/14

All classes will be 6:30 - 9:30 pm (also tentative).

Course Description:
Using Social Media Marketing to Promote Your Business Online
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have active communities where your potential customers and business partners are networking and sharing information. Many traditional methods of making deals or puchasing products have begun to happen online. Learn how you can use social media sites to join these conversations, build your brand, establish and maintain your company's reputation and ultimately get more leads or sell more products. Learn how to define a strategy that will work for your business and how to select the right resources to get involved in social media in an impactful and effective way.

- Blogs and unique web site content
- Twitter and micro-blogging
- Facebook and MySpace
- YouTube, online videos and photos
- Establishing a social media strategy: goals and objectives
- Defining a social media action plan and standards

Email Marketing Strategies for Successful Businesses
Discover best practices for effective email marketing (not spamming). Become more successful with your email marketing campaigns by learning how to select effective software, create compelling designs, and write pursuasive copy. Learn how to personalize email marketing campaigns, select the right days and times to send them, and ultimately increase the number of recipients who open your emails and the percent of those who click or take action. (You do not need to know HTML to attend this class, but some basic HTML concepts may be covered.)

- CANSPAM Email marketing laws and regulation
- Newsletters and marketing messages
- Building, selecting and segmenting lists
- Managing opt-ins and opt-outs
- When to send emalis
- Writing compelling copy
- Designing HTML emails

Optimize Your Small Business Website for Search Engine Rankings
To increase targeted traffic to your company's web site, you need high rankings in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Learn how major search engines read web sites and how they determine where to rank your site in search results. This class on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will cover a complete process for optimizing your site: selecting the right keywords, analyzing your competitors, writing optimized copy, optimizing code, submitting your site, and obtaining links. (You do not need to know HTML to attend this class, but some basic HTML concepts may be covered.)

- Analyzing Goals
- Selecting the right keywords
- Studying the Competition
- HTML and Technical Analysis
- Optimizing content
- Obtaining links to your site
- Ranking report software
- Web Analytics

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