it’s not rocket science, right?

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career coaches often advise clients to avoid getting too jargon-y with their work history. especially for those contemplating a career change, a resume full of technical details of past feats could be as mystifying as an episode of “lost.” back in the time of the dinosaurs, I used retail scanner data to help manufacturers and retailers figure out how to sell more stuff. my dream was to be a brand manager, but I couldn’t hurdle the research wall. then a kind recruiter gave me a tip. “you have a researcher resume. the skills you highlight make you really good at the job you have today.”

I got a similar knock on the head today. I was not talking to prospects like clients!

they don’t get it

I submitted a proposal a few weeks back for some basic social media work. in a subsequent phone call, the prospective client expressed unhappiness that “there are not any deliverables.” I checked what I had sent and replied, “uh, yes there are. a facebook page, the linkedin group, etc. etc.”

“but we wanted to see clearer deliverables – what you will provide to us.”

[sigh] “all right – I’ll redraft the proposal and get it back to you today.” I added the word “deliverable” to the original document and bolded the text wherever it mentioned something I would develop for them to use. then, unfortunately, I forgot to forward it back to the firm.

fast forward to this week. phone rings. “todd, can you come in for a meeting friday to discuss helping us with social media?” “er, you bet – let me get that revised proposal to you.” yeah, they might be dissatisfied with my proposal, but they knew they needed the work done. first lesson learned.

lightbulb time

so we sat down today and started to talk about strategy. immediate goals, longer term stuff – the usual. then, one of the managing partners reiterated the “what are the deliverables” line, and I explained again. I described how they would use social media to identify leads. I spoke about the distinction between a twitter follower or facebook fan (or whatever we’re calling them now that facebook changed the vocabulary) and the kind of leads they got from their list vendor. I talked about how they would use the other platforms I would create for them to nurture those leads and build credibility as a solution provider.

and as I spoke, I realized it wasn’t them who didn’t get it – it was me. with no understanding of the process of using the tools, the tools meant nothing. there were no deliverables.

social media marketing isn’t rocket science, or even sliced bread. what it is is a new way of interacting with prospects and customers. hell, even the idea of interacting is new. the volunteer army of social media [insert preferred silly title here] think about this stuff all day. we understand how it ties into traditional marketing. sales. customer service. but not everybody does.

if there is not immediate jubilation about the power of social media, it may not be just the client that doesn’t get it.

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