Twitter introduced Twitter Places yesterday Dedicated Place Pages: Google Places (formerly known as Google’s Local Business Center) , corporate Twitter account How Twitter Places Works: If you think Twitter’s new feature sounds a lot like Twitter Help Center Also seen in the above image, when users roll their mouse over a location associated with a person’s tweet, they’ll be shown a map. ) with your business’ place before you tweet about your promotions so it appears on your Place page. In an effort to bring more context to tweets and expand upon Along with the Twitter Places launch, Twitter is also releasing API functionality and Twitter Places functionality for more web browsers (Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox). Download the free webinar Twitter Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Twitter Updates Clicking “Tweets about this place –>” will bring the user to a dedicated page, or Twitter Place, for that location, showing recent tweets and check-ins (that’s right, it’s integrated with Foursquare and Gowalla!) associated with that particular place. Originally published Jun 15, 2010 4:40:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 account is associated with your office location before you tweet about your content, etc. You can also ask some of your employees who are on Twitter to associate their tweets with your business’ location while they’re at work, enabling visitors to your Twitter Place to connect with your employees. Topics: So what can you do to help make their first impression a good one? While you have no control over what visitors to your place of business will tweet, you do have an opportunity to own some the tweets listed on your Place page. Is there a special promotion or discount you’re publicizing? Make sure you associate your tweet (and your When users tag their tweets with a particular place (e.g. a local business, restaurant, stadium, museum, what have you), their subsequent tweets will be associated with that location (see image above). Users will know the new feature has been rolled out to them when the “Add Your Location” link appears below the Tweet box. (For help, visit the What other ways do you think Twitter Places will be beneficial to businesses? , which allows users to associate tweets with specific places, and gives each place a dedicated Twitter page. The new feature will be rolled out to users on twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com over the next week, so if you don’t have the new functionality yet, hang in there — it’s coming! Photo via Twitter Blog for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. .) Hey marketers and business owners: has the light bulb gone off in your head yet? Think about it, if people visit the Twitter Place page associated with your business, they’re going to check out the tweets and check-ins listed on that page. If that person has no prior relationship with your brand, that feed is going to have an impact on his/her first impression of your business. Mapping: Tagging Tweets With Places: Are you a B2B company without a storefront? Again, make sure your corporate The Meaning for Marketers , you’re right; there are definitely some similarities. Right now, Twitter Places only shows the tweets/check-ins associated with a specific place, but Twitter definitely has an opportunity to take it to the next level by giving every business a home on Twitter, just like Google Places does. By incorporating additional features such as the ability for businesses to build profiles on their Place page, Twitter could make their offering a preferred and much more functional alternative to Google Places for business owners. its location-based functionality API and Additional Browser Use: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
It may have been a shorter work week than usual, but the inbound marketing news sure didn’t slow down. Between new feature releases on your favorite (or maybe not) social networks, websites still recovering from the recent Google Penguin updates, and the usual thought-provoking inbound marketing content that fills our tweet streams, we have a lot to catch up on. So here’s a distilled version of all that industry awesomeness in case you missed it while trying to squeeze a five-day work week into four ;-)Recovering From an Over Optimization Penalty From SEOmozFirst, let’s visit Nick Eubanks at SEOmoz to learn more about the recent Penguin algorithm update from Google — if you haven’t read it yet, you can get a quick recap here. This post is useful because it gives us a step-by-step walkthrough of how an actual company who was dinged in the SERPs by the Penguin update recovered its listing positions. So if you or one of your clients is struggling with this problem right now, this post will give you insight into how you can begin to repair your organic search presence.Why Enterprise SEO Shouldn’t Focus Solely on Keywords From Search Engine LandContinuing on the SEO train, this blog post by Ian Lurie gives us insight into an oft-overlooked topic — how enterprise organizations should approach SEO. Because it’s different than the approach many SMBs should take, and one critical difference is that there really shouldn’t be an incessant focus on keyword optimization. Plus, it opens with a joke — might as well have a chuckle while you read about site crawls.Facebook and Google+ Feature ChangesMan alive there was a lot of inbound marketing news this week. First, Facebook announced the launch of Promoted Posts that lets us extend the reach of our page content. Then, Google+ rocked our worlds with the death of Google Places, which was officially replaced with Google+ Local. That’s right, local businesses, now you have to use Google+! Muahaha. Finally, Facebook came back again to make our lives easier by allowing us to schedule our posts for the future, and letting us assign page admins to certain roles that limit (or increase) their ability to make changes to our brand’s social presence.Is Pinterest Really Leading to Product Purchases? From eMarketerThere’s been a ton of hoopla around Pinterest as of late, but does it actually lead to product purchases? eMarketer just released some data to let us know! Juicy data? You sure know how to make a marketer swoon, eMarketer.10 Reasons to Develop for Android First From Marketing PilgrimFinally, Craig Palli at Fisku helped add fuel to the Android vs. iOS fire with this post that asserts those developing (or thinking about developing) a mobile app should first develop for Android, not iOS. Sneak peak: the Android market’s bigger, and there are fewer privacy constraints. You’ll have to keep reading for the other 8 reasons!What other good inbound marketing content did you find circling the web this past week?Image credit: NS Newsflash Technical SEO Topics: Originally published Jun 3, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Aug 23, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: How important is mobile optimization to your ecommerce website? If going mobile isn’t already one of your priorities this year, you might want to clear some space in your strategy for it. The following infographic, brought to us by the folks over at digital marketing technology company Monetate, highlights the impressive growth in traffic (103%!) from smartphones to leading ecommerce websites over the past year.The infographic also calls attention to the battle for smartphone supremacy between Android and iPhone devices, both of which represent the most growth in smartphone-driven traffic to ecommerce sites. Furthermore, the graphic analyzes the various shopping activities of smartphone users as well as the mobile marketing tactics currently being used by marketers, with website mobile optimization topping the list at 46%, followed closely by mobile apps (45%), and trailed by mobile email optimization at 35%. Check it out!(Click infographic to enlarge.)How are you leveraging mobile marketing for your ecommerce business? Have you noticed an increase in traffic from smartphones in the last year? E-Commerce Websites Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Jun 25, 2013 7:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Anyone been to Google today? It’s paying homage to architect Antoni Gaudi, who is most famous for designing the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona (and may or may not be the origin behind the word “gaudy,” according to some in my friend circle). If you haven’t Googled yet today, the image is to the right — now you’ll understand why it was hailed by Mashable as “barely recognizable.”Anyway, there are more important things going on today than goodles (Google Doodles … think we can make it stick?). There are super moon snapshots galore. Apparently Saturn’s going to be making an appearance soon. Obama’s singing Daft Punk. There’s just a ton of big things going on, you guys. Here are the biggest news stories from the world of marketing.Instagram Is Totes Cramping Vine’s StyleCharlie Warzel over at BuzzFeed is postulating that Instagram’s new video feature, which is integrated with Facebook (obviously), is kicking Vine’s butt because Vine showed up first. Wait … what? Well, the idea is that Instagram sat back and watched Vine, learning from their mistakes.”Looking back, old App Store reviews now read like an instruction manual for the Instagram team, with the most negative reviews calling for nearly all of Instagram’s new features, like filters, better privacy settings, longer clip lengths, and the ability to upload previously recorded videos,” Warzel reports.I buy it … though the Topsy data showing Instagram link shares surpassing Vine link shares doesn’t convince me this is a permanent trend. I think it might just be people getting excited about this shiny new toy. We’ll see, though. Personally, I will continue to use neither, and let the more creative people out there rock it.Watch a Shark Eat a Cute SealOh … oh my … NO! Discovery Channel put out a commercial to promote 2013’s Shark Week, also known as the best week of television and the week I’ll be conveniently “working from home.” But then there’s also an adorable baby seal in the ad, and … well, yeah, just watch.It’s obviously meant to be funny (and it totally is), but I’m sure there are some seriously shocked seal fans watching out there. Either way, kudos to a job well done on your advertisement, Discovery Channel. As our regular readers know, I’m a big fan of well-executed ads, and Discovery Channel is one of the few that delivers A+ content on a consistent basis.QUICK! What’s Your Phone Number?Doctors in South Korea have identified a huge uptick in something called “digital dementia.” It’s prevalent among so-called internet addicts, and in short, describes the inability for people who are extremely digitally connected to recall basic details because of the ease with which they can typically access information. A few years ago, I was most worried about carpal tunnel as a side effect of my office work, but as an inbound marketer I can’t pretend this affliction hasn’t crossed my mind, too. What do you think marketers — do you forget details more easily than you used to because of your constant internet use?Elizabethan Facebooking, Tudor TweetingSounds like my kind of social networking. The New York Times published a piece around the ongoing debate about the impact of social networking on our society. Are we getting dumber? Are our attention spans dwindling? Are we killing the economy? Yes! Unequivocally! Death to all the social networks!Well, the piece puts this debate into perspective by going back to the 1600s, in which similar fears arose around the social network of that day — the coffee house. It’s a fascinating read, especially if you’re a history buff. Check it out.On Viable Career Opportunities and Tank Top WearingWe hear a lot of hoopla about millennials struggling to find jobs. But luckily, The Onion has helped shed some light on popular summer jobs so you know where to look to make some cash.Alternately, you could apply to a real job, like the one we just published today for an Associate Editor. Only it’s not a summer job … it’s like, full time. For real. Like, you can work here for a long time. That kind of thing. Oh, and to clarify, it’s not only open to millennials. So if you found a typo in this blog post and you’re itching to comment about it, perhaps check out the job posting instead? #productiveoutletsWhat other amazing stories did we miss today? Keep us all in the loop! Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Nov 25, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: What’s the difference between a healthy tweet and a sick tweet? Simply put: Healthy tweets live longer. How long, you ask? Well, the jury’s still out on that. Some reports say 48 hours, while others say 18 minutes. Either way, we marketers are always striving for those healthy tweets — ones that reach out to our followers and get them engaged with our brand.But with 9,100 tweets scrolling by every second, we have to do everything we can to get our tweets noticed. There’s a lot of outside factors that influence the lifespan of a tweet — numbers of followers, time of day you’re tweeting, etc. — but to make sure your tweets are as impactful as possible, you have to have a game plan.So, here are five strategies you can employ on Twitter to give your tweets the best chance to be healthy and get noticed by your followers. 1) Optimize your tweets for retweets.One of the best things about marketing on Twitter is that it gives you a built-in mechanism for extending the lifespan of your tweet: the retweet.When someone retweets your tweet, it means they found the content valuable enough to share with their own followers, thus extending the lifetime of your tweet. It’s a great way to pass along content to your followers that you didn’t create yourself or to show support to a fellow business or colleague.Get started by: Checking out the free tool RetweetLab.com. Powered by HubSpot, the tool allows you to analyze any Twitter account to get the data you need to make sure your tweets are retweetable. The tool was created by Dan Zarrella, who wrote The Science of Retweets and has spent years analyzing data to bring us best practices for social media marketing. (One quick tip: Always cap your tweets at around 115 characters for optimal retweet-ability.)2) Schedule your tweets in advance.Twitter is a great platform for on-the-fly updates, but when you’re using Twitter as part of your overall social media strategy, you’ll want to schedule tweets in advance that complement other aspects of your marketing. This will help keep your tweets healthy because you’ll have time to optimize them.That’s not to say you can’t post Twitter updates while at a big conference or event. But what if you’re the sole social media marketer for your company and you’re at the event? It’s good to have a few tweets cued up for backup that still support your other marketing efforts.Get started by: Setting aside 10 minutes a week to schedule tweets in advance. Friday might even be the best day to do this, so you know when you get in to work on Monday, you have your social media content all planned out for the week. This leaves you room to practice newsjacking for anything that’s relevant to your industry or capitalize on a marketing campaign that’s doing really well by adding in a few extra tweets mid-week.(HubSpot customers: We just made a fantastic planning spreadsheet so you can bulk upload tweets with ease.)3) Include a link in all of your organic tweets.Unless you’ve got a Twitter update that shakes the entire world, adding a link to your tweets is great way to keep it healthy. It brings even more content to your tweet while staying within the confines of Twitter’s character limits. It also gives people something valuable to pass on to their followers beyond your commentary on the link. Providing valuable information to your followers is the best way to get noticed.Get started by: Taking a link and coming up with multiple ways to promote it. We recently posted this article and suggest promoting one link in five different ways by using the title of the page, a quote, one takeaway you discovered, one statistic, and a sentence of commentary. Not a bad exercise to do, especially when tweets with links are 86% more likely to be retweeted.4) Get more Twitter followers.There’s no magic number when it comes to Twitter followers. But the more followers you have, the more likely it is that someone will see your update and engage with you. For example, if Justin Bieber were to retweet you, it’s possible your tweets would be seen by millions (maybe even tens of millions). But unless you’re a megastar, you’ll have to settle for getting followers the old-fashioned way.Get started by: Engaging with others in your industry on Twitter. You can search Twitter for relevant hashtags, or industry terms, to help you find other people or companies that are like you. You can even create lists of these folks so you can easily monitor their Twitter updates and see who else they’re engaging with. Connect with them by retweeting them or asking them questions about content they’ve shared. But don’t resort to getting new followers by tricks or bots — that’s just not proper social media etiquette.5) Use a hashtag in your tweets.Hashtags are commonly used in tweets to give those scanning through some quick context about the subject of the update. You may not say the word “social media” in your update, but adding #socialmedia to your tweet will catch the eyes of those interested in the subject. Also, hashtags are a great way to search for tweets – so your tweets should be optimized for search as well.Get started by: Having a handy list of 7-10 hashtags that you can always use in your tweets. Setting up the list early takes the guesswork out when your tweeting on the go or scheduling tweets for the week. You should use these hashtags when sharing your own organic content and especially when you’re curating content to make it easy for your followers to understand the relevance of your retweet.Along with these five strategies to keep your tweet healthy, don’t forget to make sure you’ve put some thought into the copy, too. Crafting your update to include an attention-grabbing title, or colorful commentary, will go a long way in making sure your tweets get noticed by your followers. Be interesting, be authentic, and most importantly, keep the “social” in social media by being human.What other strategies do you have for making sure your tweets last as long as possible? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you’ve ever been in a content creation role, you know that there’s lots you can do to make sure you’re creating great content every single day. You can’t just wait for inspiration. You’ve got to be prepared, motivated, and focused — all at the same time. The trifecta can be hard to get, even for the savviest of writers.So if your job is to create content every day, how do you achieve all that?To get to the bottom of this, I spoke with my teammates here at HubSpot. It’s no secret: we create a lot of content, especially blog posts … so I figured we’d have a few tricks up our sleeve for writing a post every single day. Here’s some of the best advice our team has for getting prepared, motivated and focused to write each day on the job.1) Braindump Your Ideas in TrelloMy best brainstorming doesn’t often happen randomly — I usually need to sit down, realize I need to brainstorm, make inspiration strike once, and then iterate on that idea. I personally love to brainstorm ideas in Trello — a place where my whole team can see them and grab one if they want to write it. Having a central location for ideas keeps the blog post idea mill flowing for the entire team, even in the darkest days of writer’s block.2) Race Your Laptop’s BatteryMy colleague, Corey Eridon, mentioned this tip in a previous post about blogging tips — and it’s something our team will do when under a tight deadline. Just unplug your laptop, go somewhere else, and race to finish your post before your computer shuts off. Constraining your writing to a certain time limit can help you focus on getting the most important points down in a concise way.3) Isolate Yourself (Physically AND Digitally)To get focused, my teammates and I also like to isolate ourselves. Whether it’s holing up in some random conference room to write, popping in some headphones at our desks, or turning off all instant message/email/tweet notifications on our computers, we’re making sure we’re focusing on the one and only task at hand: writing a blog post. Those other distractions can wait until you’ve finished.4) Refresh Your SurroundingsThis tip is one my coworker Karlan Baumann swears by: changing your surroundings any time you need to work. So if you’ve been emailing at your desk all morning, try heading over to a local coffee shop to write (or vice versa). Writing requires a different mindset than the rest of your day-to-day duties, so changing up your surroundings to mirror the change in mindset can be very helpful.5) Listen to Music Popping in your favorite tunes can help you gear up to write something awesome — though it doesn’t have to be a certain type of music. My colleague Shannon Johnson told me that she prefers classical or non-lyrical music when she needs to buckle down and write … but mine is usually the Pandora Beyonce or Mumford and Sons mix. Find whatever music empowers and focuses you to write and go from there.6) Get ComfyI absolutely need to feel physically comfortable before I write. Forget ergonomics — sometimes I need to be hunched over my post for an hour to get it out quickly.Experiment to see which body position works best for you. For me, I need my feet stretched out and laptop on my lap because that’s the position I used when I was on tight deadlines at college. This position can work at my desk or in a conference room or on the couch. You may need much more — or much less — rigidity, but it’s important for you to know how your posture can help or hurt you. 7) Chunk Up Your WritingOften, I’ll get overwhelmed and think, “I need to get 1,500 words done before lunch? I have 10 minutes before my next meeting so I won’t even try to write something.” But that’s not always the best way to think about writing — or any project in general. Lately, I’ve been trying to say to myself, “I have 10 minutes, so what can I write in that time that’ll be substantial?” Usually, that’ll be one or two paragraphs of a post — so I’ll challenge myself to write that before I need to go to my next meeting. Set deadlines for yourself for parts of your writing, and you could find that your productivity skyrockets. 8) Do It at a Set TimeIt’s really easy to make excuses to not write. An impromptu meeting crops up or suddenly your inbox is overflowing or maybe someone’s complaining on Twitter and you need to respond to it. But if you let yourself get caught up in all of those, you’ll never have enough time to bang out a post. So try carving out a chunk of time to sit and write, and don’t let anything else interfere. Maybe you write best in the morning, so you block out 8-10 a.m. on your calendar. Send yourself a calendar invite for that time and disconnect from all notifications. You’ll train yourself and your coworkers to expect you to blog at that time.9) Talk It Out This is a great tip that came from Corey as well: when you’re getting caught up in trying to write something down, just talk it out. Grab a voice recording device or a coworker, and explain what you mean out loud. Naturally you’re going to be more down-to-earth and jargon-free, and hearing your own voice say the concept out loud can jumpstart your creativity. Bonus: if you have Evernote, you can write your blog posts by talking them out. 10) Skip to Easier StuffWriting can make me really angry sometimes. Randomly, I’ll have a blog post idea and have no clue how to begin the post. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been ruminating on the idea for a week or a month or half a year — somehow I get writer’s block. Instead of fighting against those sections that just won’t cooperate, skip to sections you know like the back of your hand. Writing non-linearly seems counterintuitive (don’t you have to build your story first??), but it can help unlock your creativity. You’ll get back into your writing groove and it’ll be easier to tackle those other sections. Just make sure you go through a heavy edit to make sure your story flow actually seems logical. 11) Organize Your Bookmark Bar With Resources You Use Every DayI’m an organized person. I keep track of my blog post ideas in Trello, I color-code my email inbox, and I sure as heck make sure I’m ready to write or edit a blog post at a moment’s notice.One thing that has significantly cut down on my writing and editing time is my collection of bookmarks. I’m not the greatest at dead-recalling facts. Instead, I bookmark resources that’ll help me find the information I need. So things like the link to our blog or design style guide, or the link to our stock photo subscription, or the link to our personas — I bookmark them all. That way, I don’t have to spend time searching for important blog post content to reference or cite.I also like to bookmark resources that’ll help me come up with new blog post ideas. Generally, I like to check out this site, but I also use a bunch of these browser bookmarks. Do you write every day? What tips do you have for consistently creating content? Productivity Originally published Feb 27, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: It’s hard to call Amazon a trendsetter in this field, since eBay has done something similar for over a decade. Still, because of Amazon’s influence over ecommerce trends, we may be able to consider it groundbreaking. What’s this “new” thing they’re doing?Haggling.Sure, eBay is and auction site, where buyers try to outbid each other for anything from socks to one-of-a-kind art pieces. Amazon’s “make an offer” option is, for now, available only for rare pieces like collectibles and fine art. The basic idea behind the two is the same, though. By allowing buyers to make their offers, whether in an auction setting or a haggling scenario, these two ecommerce giants give buyers even more power.How It WorksAs you’ll see in the screenshot below, Amazon provides the option for buyers to either purchase the item at a set price or to make an offer. The offer is delivered directly to the seller, who can either accept that offer or make a counteroffer. The deal is done when the seller either accepts or both parties walk away.Just like haggling in real life, right?Why This Is Big NewsIf eBay has done something along the same lines for years, why is Amazon’s new negotiation option such a big deal? In truth, Amazon is a leader in the ecommerce world. The company has made buying online easier and less expensive than ever. When they break new ground, the rest of the ecommerce world follows.Sure, other websites out there probably haggled with buyers if those buyers were savvy enough to seek out the contact information. As far as a structured, easy way for potential customers to make lower offers, Amazon is leading the pack. They may have already patented either the idea itself or the technology used, but that won’t matter.As we’ve seen, using patented technology for ecommerce isn’t new. Amazon may have the 1-Click buying option, the whole “photos on a white background” technique, and even online gift cards locked down, but that hasn’t stopped others from developing their own versions.The more technology-savvy ecommerce companies out there could very well develop their own version of Amazon’s haggling option. And before they go through that trouble, they have the ultimate example to learn from. If it works for Amazon, we’re sure to see it crop up everywhere.Where It WorksIf you’re thinking that haggling just won’t work for a lot of ecommerce outlets, you’re right. The structure isn’t ideal for everyone, but it is the perfect solution for many. Antique dealers who haven’t considered an online outlet for their goods may find this particular buying option perfect. Fine art sellers could experience a higher number of sales if online shoppers felt they could make an offer. Vintage apparel stores could see a huge surge in sales if buyers had the option of haggling over that Chanel purse.Someone looking for a pack of socks, though? This model isn’t going to work. For that, you could still go to eBay.What do you think about haggling? Is this the future of ecommerce, or will Amazon only be able to use the model for a small selection of items? We’d love your thoughts, so leave a comment! Ecommerce and Amazon Originally published Jan 30, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Job Search Originally published May 11, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: College graduation is just around the corner, which means it’s almost speech season. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good graduation speech and all the platitudes that come along with it, but very few of them help you transition from full-time student to full-fledged adult in the working world. In fact, it’s hard to find good, actionable advice in general on how to get a job after you graduate. Download our complete guide to getting a job after graduation here and get 10 free resume templates here.The opportunities ahead seem both endless and elusive, making it incredibly challenging to identify and build a career path you love. You just want someone to give it to you straight: How can you actually find a job? We want to help. At HubSpot, we’re lucky enough to interview and hire a lot of recent graduates, so I’ve rounded up some advice below based on interviews, applications, and feedback we hear from hiring managers, recruiters, and job candidates alike.So whether you’re putting your cap and gown on in a few weeks, graduated last year and are in a job you don’t love, or frankly are just sick of your parents asking what’s new on the career front, below are actionable tips to help you create, refine, or revitalize your job hunt — sans any platitudes or cheesy quotes.In fact, HubSpot’s Melissa Obleada has designed some free templates and tools you can use to put the advice below into practice. Download this post’s complementary guide here.Don’t try to boil the ocean.I asked a recent college graduate how many applications he submitted to companies each week as part of his job search. His response (perfect in its honesty) was, “As many as I need to get my parents off my back.”In spite of its hilarity, this type of approach isn’t strategic (and is typically unsuccessful). I refer to this strategy as trying to boil the ocean — it’s virtually impossible and incredibly frustrating. It’s hard to stick out from the pack of other applicants when you’re trying to be all things to all people. Plus, you can’t properly research and follow up with hundreds of job applications. Instead, I recommend doing enough homework to reasonably target 10-12 companies.There is definitely a balance between quantity and quality in the job search, but you get diminishing returns when you’re applying daily to hundreds of positions. You’re much more likely to make spelling mistakes, misstate goals or interests, or miss a scheduled phone screen if you’re trying to juggle too many balls. Instead of boiling the ocean, invest the time to target a few key opportunities and roles — your calendar and your future employer will thank you for it.Talk to 10 people about their jobs.So how do you actually narrow your job search down from “I’ll do anything” to “Here’s why I would be a great sales rep at X specific company?”I recommend starting with the “phone a friend” option. Most recent graduates think of a job in terms of its job description, but the reality of work can differ significantly from the rhetoric. Regardless of the field you choose, you are going to spend a lot of time at work, so it’s worth investing the time beforehand to understand what roles will actually be like after you secure the job. A 30-minute well-organized and orchestrated phone interview can help you achieve this goal.Not sure where to start? Ask a friend who graduated recently, a neighbor from your hometown, or check in with your career services office to ask for some input. If your immediate network isn’t a great resource, get to work on LinkedIn — identify individuals with job titles that interest you and ask if they would be open to a quick conversation (more on that below).For this step in the process, resist the urge to pick senior people — selecting people at or close to entry level jobs gives you a much more realistic sense of what your day would be like and what skills you would need to succeed. Moreover, this step can help you significantly refine your search and align your applications accordingly, so save your targeted emails to senior leaders until after you have clear context on the types of roles you’re most interested in pursuing.Don’t waste their time (or yours) by asking silly questions. Instead, focus on asking questions about what their average day looks like:What do they work on?Are they mostly working alone at a computer or in meetings with other people?How (if at all) do they interact with their boss?What’s the culture at their organization like?What do they like about it and what do they wish they could change?What’s the most important skill to succeed in the job they have, and why?These types of questions are specific and give you a real sense for what it’s like to actually do a given job.Listen.This sounds incredibly obvious, but the reality is that most job seekers spend more time talking than they do listening. Active listening can be the single most effective tool in identifying the right company and role for your skill set.Have you asked your professors and advisors if they know alumni working at companies where you could be a good fit? Have you asked your previous employers (even for your summer lifeguarding job) for feedback on what you’re best at and what you can do better? The answers to these questions should help inform your job search, but you need to actively listen to make their advice actionable.Moreover, when you’re talking to potential employers or alumni in careers you’re interested in pursuing, take good notes. I’d recommend creating a Google doc with the name of the person you’re talking with, the company he or she works for, key takeaways from the call, and next steps. It’s easy to think you’ll remember the titles of jobs she recommends or the person in his office you should reach out to follow up, but life often gets in the way. So take good notes, have clear follow-ups, and carve out time after every informational conversation to thank the person who gave you his or her time.Identify three job tracks and create a playbook for each one.Hopefully your phone calls and interviews help you identify a few roles that really interest you while eliminating a few potential career paths that aren’t a fit for your skills or background.Armed with this knowledge, visit the career site for a few of the companies in your designed geography that offer the roles you’re seeking, and take note of the specific skills the position demands. Many applicants skip this step entirely, but it’s imperative to understand what the hiring managers are seeking and what experience is most relevant to the career paths you’re targeting.My colleague, Mike Redbord, VP of Support at HubSpot and a gentleman who interviews more HubSpotters annually than anyone else I know, says it best: “Understand what potential + skill look like, together, and seek hiring managers who get it.”Recognizing that the best hiring managers can screen for potential and skill, you need to craft a compelling narrative for why you are positioned to succeed in a role. Does that mean you need to check every single box? Absolutely not, but you do need a compelling story for why you are uniquely suited to the position.Far too many people send the same resume for multiple positions that require very different skills and experiences, so my recommendation is to fill in the blanks of this sentence before you start on a resume or cover letter: “I would be a great (_______________) because I have _________, ________, and _______ skills as evidenced by my work with ___________ and _____________.” This may seem elementary, but when you’re in the thick of a job search it’s easy to get lazy and ship the same materials to everyone. Creating a clear, concise summary of why you are positioned to succeed in a given role is a great foundation for the materials you’ll create next before applying.Craft your story.Don’t think about editing and shipping a boring, stale resume — think of your application materials as chapters of the story you’re telling to a potential employer. Far too many people think of their cover letter as re-stating everything on their resume. In reality, the cover letter should draw a direct and obvious line between the job description you’re applying for and the experience illustrated on your resume. And every piece of material you submit should be consistent with the narrative you created above, demonstrating how your experience and potential will make you thrive in the demands of the job.I use the word story here intentionally — far too many people treat creating their resume, cover letter, and any other necessarily application materials as a chore to be completed or a checklist to be generated. In reality, recruiters and hiring managers scan through hundreds if not thousands of resumes on a weekly basis: Make their lives easier (and more interesting) by creating a truly compelling narrative on your interest in the role. Telling a great story doesn’t mean filling every square inch of space on a page. In fact, the best resumes and cover letters use spacing, italics, and bold text to make the materials more readily digestible and enjoyable to read for the hiring manager.When it comes to crafting your narrative for applications, don’t underestimate the role of activities outside of work: You don’t need a formal internship or summer job to show that you’re interested in and capable of blogging, or a seasoned job in sales to show that you’re passionate about engaging people.Did you blog for your college admissions office to help recruit incoming students? You should include that experience if you’re applying for a marketing, recruiting, or human resources position.Did you use iMovie to create videos for your university’s theater program? Learn enough code to launch a website for your parents’ restaurant? If you’re applying for any role in technical support, design, or engineering, incorporate it.Far too many people underestimate the role activities outside the classroom can play in demonstrating your potential and drive, so don’t overlook these experiences when you’re crafting your story.Google yourself.Most hiring managers will run a quick Google search before reaching out to you for a phone screen. So instead of wishing and hoping they miss that photo of you from a recent party on Facebook, Google yourself before you start applying for jobs and ask yourself what story your online presence tells. If it doesn’t align with the narrative you’re using in your job applications, invest the time and energy to change it. Your online presence should reflect your personal and professional interests, and with the proliferation of free publishing forums (from LinkedIn to Medium to About.me), you have no excuse not to put them to work on your behalf in the job search process.For example, let’s say you are interested in applying to Wistia, an online video hosting platform and one of our neighbor companies here in Boston. How could you convey a passion for video if you’re not an editor, producer, or director? You could share remarkable videos you see online as a consumer, blog about how video marketing can influence the sales process, incorporate your previous experience with video on your LinkedIn profile, or tweet articles covering recent brand video launches, among other things.There are countless articles about how to avoid major social media missteps (like your college frat party photos or misspellings on your LinkedIn profile), but too few focus on what you can proactively do to ensure a quick Google search and your official application tell the same story about your talents and goals. Be honest about what your current digital footprint says about your candidacy, and then invest some time and energy to change it from a liability to an asset before you start sending your resume out.Apply thoughtfully.Before you hit submit, triple-check everything for spelling, syntax, and grammar. I’m terrible at editing myself, so I often ask my sister for help given her super powers in editing. Everyone knows someone with a particularly good eye for catching mistakes — pay them in lunch or coffee to help you do a final check of your materials before you ship them. We’re all human, and everyone is juggling a lot of priorities day to day, so don’t let a spelling or grammatical mistake be the reason you don’t land a job. Also, be sure that you have the right details in the right applications. Create separate folders on your computer for each company so that you don’t proudly state how excited you are to work at Company X when your application is for Company Y.Once you hit submit, you’re not done yet. I recommend creating a Google spreadsheet with tabs for each of the job types you’re applying for, along with the name of the company you applied to, the date you applied, a link to the job on the careers site (so you can reference it easily if asked down the line), as well as the name of the hiring manager or recruiter if available.This quick exercise makes follow-up a breeze. If you haven’t heard back within a week, sending an email to your contact to politely check in and ask if there is anything you can do to support your candidacy is a great way to show interest without being overbearing. Logging everything (including return phone calls, informational screens, and rejection emails alike) in one document will also minimize embarrassing gaffes such as applying for multiple positions at the same company or missing a scheduled informational interview. Plus, having a centralized location means it’ll be much easier for you to react if something unexpected comes up, such as if a hiring manager calls you to discuss the role in depth.Respect the process.Far too many candidates underestimate the importance of the entire recruiting process in landing an interview or job. A recruiter calling you to role-play what it’s like to work on our services team? That’s part of the job audition. The emails the hiring manager sends you with details on what to expect in the interview? Your response and timeliness are part of the interview process as well. Treat every element of the entire candidate experience like a formal interview. If you’re taking a phone call from the company, find a quiet place to talk, answer the phone appropriately, and thank the hiring manager or recruiting coordinator for making the time to connect with you.Part of respecting the process is really doing your homework. I mentioned the pre-research phase of homework already, but once you’ve received an indication of interest from the company (whether in the form of an email or phone call asking for more information or a phone interview), the real hard work begins. Here’s a checklist to consider when you’re doing your research:Can you describe, clearly and concisely, what the company does to make money and the problem they are solving in the market?Have you visited their leadership page to understand the backgrounds of people running the company and how the organization is organized?Did you check out interview questions along with recent candidate experience reviews on Glassdoor to check out what people are saying about the company so you can ask better questions when you meet with current employees?Can you reference any recent news the company announced on its company news page, investor relations site, or blog?Have you followed the company on one or more social media channels so you can see how the organization positions itself in the market?If you’re lucky enough to get an interview, have you checked out the LinkedIn profiles of everyone you’re meeting with so you know their role and tenure at the company?It’s important to treat every interaction with the company and its hiring team with the highest degree of professionalism and consideration. Visiting a company’s website on the train en route to the interview does not constitute research. If you expect an organization to invest in you, invest two hours to properly understand its products, people, and value proposition so you can tailor your approach and responses accordingly.Pass the receptionist test with flying colors.Everyone is capable of kissing up to C-level executives for 20 minutes, but the people we actually want working for our team show considerate behavior to all of their teammates. No one wants to work with a jerk, and if you’re rude or dismissive of the person who greets you upon arrival for an interview, chances are you’re not the type of person I want to be in the trenches with on a daily basis. Plus, receptionists usually have the ear of top executives, so if you underestimate them, it could cost you.Treat everyone you interact with at the company as though they are your interviewer. People don’t want to work with anyone who can’t make time for general pleasantries. Pro tip: Keep up that behavior long after the interview is over — it’s good for your career, your life, and of course, your karma.This isn’t a one-off trend: Companies like Zappos rely on the employee driving the company bus or the security guard greeting people for regular input on candidates. In fact, when the co-founder of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, appeared on The Growth Show, he said their entire organization took a page from Zappos in screening heavily for empathy and humility in the hiring process. As Blumenthal correctly pointed out, you spend most of your waking life with coworkers, so hiring people who are jerks just creates “culture debt” — a huge price that your organization has to repay for years to come.Best in class companies want best in class employees, and people often think that’s a reflection of your GPA, your title as your past employer, or your ability to complete a skills assessment for the role in question. While all of those criteria are important factors, you also have to demonstrate that you’d actually be someone that team members would enjoy working with during your tenure with the organization. So be nice and gracious to everyone you meet: It will pay off for many years to come.Know how to accept and negotiate an offer.If you make it through the interview experience and are lucky enough to be offered a job, don’t botch your hard work at the one-yard line.Instead, start off by thanking the company for the offer and asking clarifying questions to better understand the role you’re being offered, the team you’ll be joining, and the salary and benefits associated with the job. Typically, you’ll receive a call from a hiring manager or recruiter with this information, and then ask for the offer to be sent in writing. I generally recommend that people profusely thank their interviewer, then ask for a day to review the offer in detail and return with any questions you may have. Doing so ensures they know you are interested and gives you time to pour over the materials in depth to formulate good questions to ask of your potential employer.For an entry-level position, you have to strike a balance between negotiating a fair deal and being a high-maintenance hire. I recommend formulating a list of your questions then reviewing the materials a second time to ensure that the answers aren’t contained in the information they sent for you. You want to ask questions that are thoughtful, insightful, and reflect what matters most to you. In other words, if your base salary is the most important factor in your job decision, invest most of your time on the phone asking clarifying questions — not on how much vacation time you will have.Bonus tip: Once you have a job, check your entitlement at the door.Your first few jobs out of college should provide you with ample opportunities to grow personally and professionally — but part of that growth process involves paying your dues. At HubSpot, our CMO cleans up the kitchen if people leave a mess. On a business trip together, our CEO waited in line for coffee so I could finish up a conference call. Our CTO does his own presentations, schedule, and travel. There is no room at our company or on our teams for people who aren’t willing to be shockingly helpful (our CTO and co-founder’s term) with even the most menial tasks.Companies need incredible, brilliant, insightful people who will be future leaders in the organization, but they also need people willing to do hard work, especially when it’s inconvenient, unglamorous, or tedious. So if you’re asked to help out with a challenging task, take notes at a meeting with a leading exec, or help an intern with a project, don’t ask why or who will get the credit — your reaction speaks volumes about your willingness to be a team player, and sends a strong message to people about what it’s like to be in the trenches with you.Herb Brooks, a legendary hockey coach, said something I remind myself of often: “Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.” When you’re just starting out in your career, it’s easy to get frustrated and be complacent in your job search. The hard truth is that no matter where you went to school, no one is going to hand you your dream job with a bow on it at your desired salary in your desired location working for the perfect manager with the perfect team. Landing a job in any profession requires patience, competency, commitment, flexibility, and follow-up — and these skills aren’t always required to graduate with your degree.My pitch to you is that there is no better time than the present to pursue the job and career track you love, but it’s not going to fall in your lap. Follow the guide above to narrow your search, target your prospects, and prepare yourself for the application and interview process. It’s an investment of time and energy well worth making — one that will pay dividends for your entire career.
Originally published Jan 15, 2016 12:00:00 PM, updated July 17 2018 Topics: 276Save Grammar Fails Do you compliment your friend on his new haircut, or complement him? Did that movie have an affect on you, or an effect? Did you walk fewer steps or less steps than you did yesterday?The English language is full of confusing spelling and grammar rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re still a student or writing professionally for your job: From time to time, we all need a little reminder for how to spell a difficult word or whether it’s okay to start a sentence with “and.”Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post TemplatesThat’s why the folks over at urbanest created the cheat sheet below. It covers a variety of useful grammar and spelling rules in the English language, including punctuation tips, commonly misspelled words, and even the grammar rules that can and should (gasp!) be broken. This is one you’ll want to bookmark for future reference.(And if you want to study up on grammar even more, read this blog post to learn 25 of the most common grammatical errors we all need to stop making.)276Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! From the subject line to the closing, there’s a science to writing the perfect email.Include too many pictures, and your clickthrough rate may decrease. Write too much text, and your message may overwhelm your reader — especially considering 48% of emails are opened on a smartphone.In our ebook, How to Write the Perfect Email, we’ll walk you through the 14 key steps to optimize your marketing emails for opens, clicks, subscribers, and more. We’ll cover how to:Prioritize the goals of your emailsNail the tone of your email to build trust with your audienceTime your sends to make sure your email is actually readSegment your emails by lifecycle stage, content engagement, and moreChoose an impactful call-to-actionWith each email send, marketers make countless decisions that influence whether your message gets opened, tossed, skimmed, or clicked. Don’t send your next blast without the latest optimization tips and industry data.Check out our email optimization guide and learn how proper email optimization can boost your content downloads, convert more prospects, and increase your ROI. Email Marketing Originally published Dec 8, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017