22 Top Career Marketing Communication Strategies for 2015

March 23rd, 2015

GCBD1-optimizedThe long-awaited Findings of 2014 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the New & the Next in Careers has been released by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium! This report summarizes the findings of a November 14, 2014 meeting of 150 career professionals from six countries who brainstormed “best practices, innovations, trends, new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting, and are projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management.”

The section that most interests me in the report is “Career Marketing Communications,” which includes resumes, cover letters, social media profiles and other career marketing communications. Here are some of the findings and advice you’ll want to keep in mind:


  1. Powerful, consistent branding is essential in resumes and across all job search messages and materials. Taglines with a candidate’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) are becoming more common.
  2. Great resumes tell stories with testimonials and other unique information that “connects the dots” for readers.
  3. Keep resumes short and snappy, with smart, strategic use of SEO/keywords!
  4. Infographics, hyperlinks, graphs and charts are all fair game on resumes!
  5. Resume content may evolve to address behavioral questions.
  6. Mailing addresses may be omitted from electronic resumes (this reduces the risk of identity theft)—but consider including them on paper versions.
  7. Short, half-page cover letters are most frequently submitted in the form of an email. Use a punchy subject line to capture interest!
  8. LinkedIn profiles should almost always be written in the first person.
  9. Make sure your resume is readable on mobile devices.
  10. Craft your job marketing messages with an organization’s culture in mind. Is the organization conservative/traditional? Casual? Dynamic?


  1. Send your resume by snail mail to stand out – especially with older hiring managers.
  2. Don’t skip the thank you letter! It will make you stand out. Send a thank you email (it’s fast) and follow up with snail mail to make an impression.
  3. LinkedIn Premium is not recommended except to human resources professionals and recruiters. (I would add that anyone wanting to pursue leads from those who view their profile would also benefit.)
  4. The portfolio approach for career marketing documents is valuable, in particular for technology and engineering fields.
  5. 30/60/90 plans will be requested by more and more employers.
  6. Applying to jobs on job boards is discouraged. Instead, identify the jobs on the job boards, then go to LinkedIn or the company’s website to network with key decision-makers.
  7. Networking and referrals are still king for getting into a company. 80% of jobs are found by networking!
  8. Apply to jobs if you meet at least 75% of their requirements. 100% is not required.

Company Context

  1. Companies understand a LinkedIn profile is an essential networking tool. Employees can be less afraid of their companies’ becoming suspicious when they update their profiles.
  2. Companies are sourcing candidates directly from LinkedIn, and using recruiters less.
  3. A large network on LinkedIn is attractive to many companies.
  4. Resumes are still important documents, distinct from LinkedIn profiles!

If you are engaged in a job search, take this report to heart and create your career success!

To read more about the New and the Next in Video Bios, Web Portfolios; Job Search & Job Boards, Networking, Interviews & Hiring, Career Planning & Management, Personal Branding, and other important career topics, see Findings of 2014 Global Career Brainstorming Day: Trends for the New & the Next in Careers.


How to Use Your Anger to Make a Difference

March 16th, 2015

angerI grew up thinking anger was bad. If I ever got angry, my parents would send me to my room and close the door, instructing me not to come out until I had calmed down.

I fairly quickly learned not to express my anger directly.

As an adult, I found myself getting angry easily at little things. I would yell at tech support people, but never at people I actually cared about. Sometimes I would express my rage in dreams, waking up feeling somehow cleansed.

I often doubted my sanity because I felt angry so much of the time but did not know how to use it to any advantage.

Productive Anger

In more recent years, I have learned to express my anger more productively, and my previously pent up anger does not have much power. I’m discovering that most people can handle it when I express my anger to them! Not a single one of them has “sent me to my room.” In fact, many people take action when I express my anger that they might not have taken otherwise. They actually want to satisfy me!

Anger can be fuel for a project or a cause. It can lead to career and business success. It can be channeled into creative endeavors or physical challenges. And it can make a difference in relationships.

Anger Can Equal Caring

This week, I expressed my anger to a friend over the way he was not fighting for himself, and he had a huge revelation about his life and how he can choose a different way of acting and being.

I’ve heard it said that anger means you care. We are so quick to express anger to a child who starts crossing the street dangerously – we want to protect that child. But we often hold back when an adult is heading down a destructive path.

A scene in the movie Good Will Hunting epitomizes the use of anger to take a stand and make a difference for someone you care about when the person is not fulfilling his or her potential:

This is how I want to be with the people in my life. I want to care so much that I will threaten harm if they do not live big. I want to care so much that I order them to get their lives moving in the right direction, even if it’s at my own expense.

Who do you know who could be doing more with their lives? Their creativity? Their relationships? Their careers? Are you willing to step up and fight for them so they are inspired to fight for themselves? I hope Ben Affleck gives you the kick in the butt you need.

What color is that dress? Check your perception.

March 9th, 2015

The Blue-Black / White-Gold Debate

There is a debate raging across the internet about the color of the dress in the photo to the right.

Is it blue and black? Or white and gold?

I read about this debate and was skeptical. Was this some big scam? When I look at the picture I see blue and black and can’t imagine it would be anything else.

I decided to test this proposition my self. I was surrounded by people this past weekend at a family event, so carried around my laptop asking my relatives what color they thought the dress was.

Reality Check?

Of my first three subjects, my mom saw blue and black. So did my cousin Michael. But my cousin Carol saw white and gold. The more people I asked, the more I realized that this is for real. People see the colors in this dress differently — and each person is completely convinced about the “rightness” of his or her view.

My cousin Michael was an interesting case. I showed him the picture a second time in different lighting, and he saw it as white and gold. But a minute later, he was saying it was back to black and blue.

He still insisted he was right and I was playing tricks on him with the lighting on my computer.


Being Right

Do you think you “know” things like what color that dress is? I know I do. My brain does not even want to consider that someone else really and truly sees it as a different color. That dress is black and blue! But many people I know and trust were right there saying with complete conviction, “White and gold.”

This reminds me of another exercise where one person is looking at a mug from the handle side, and another is looking from the non-handle side. To one person, there is no handle. To the other, it’s clearly a handled mug.

Here’s the rub: Both people are right!! And they are both stuck in a perspective.

The Gift of Perspective

If we could get this about other issues – religion, the cleanliness of our kitchens, what it means to leave on time, [insert your issue here], imagine how much better our relationships could be. Imagine how much less we would fight over the not-important things. We could be curious instead of “right.” We could truly be “over there” with the people in our lives, listening to them accurately.

How does this principle apply to writing? Whatever we write, whether it’s a blog article, an e-mail message, a book, or a resume, one person might read it one way and another person might read it completely differently. The same resume can be loved by one hiring manager and hated by another. I notice it with my e-book too: People rate How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile everywhere from 5 stars to 1.

It’s rare to find any topic on which people agree 100%. If we can take that as a gift instead of as a point of contention, we can all grow and expand as we explore each other’s perspectives.

I challenge you to try this at home. Make someone right today who you are totally convinced is wrong. Who knows what might emerge from there?

How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile Raffle Drawing!

February 23rd, 2015

How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile Raffle Drawing!

Did you know that last week (February 9-15, 2015) was International Random Acts of Kindness Week? Neither did I, until a woman named Ann Terry Gilman from Germany purchased my LinkedIn e-book—3 times! I wrote to Terry to find out whether she intended to purchase the book in triplicate, and she responded that no she did not, but would I please give away the two extra books to an organization in need—in honor of RAK week!

Terry took the message of RAK to heart and I am happy to announce that The Essay Expert will be holding a drawing on March 1 for an organization to receive a free lifetime subscription to the PDF version of How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile.

If you know a job club or an educational institution that would benefit from the information in the 11th edition of How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile, please send the following information to teesupport@theessayexpert.com:

  1. Name of contact person
  2. Name of organization/institution
  3. Description of the mission of the organization/institution
  4. Email address the book (and lifetime updates!) will go to

We will hold a drawing for 2 winners on March 1, 2015 and the winners will be announced through my e-list!

Random Acts of Kindness Life

Of course now that I know last week was RAK week, I’m thinking about whether I do enough RAKs in my life. Last week, one day I brought a smoothie to a friend who is a nurse and would miss dinner that day due to working long hours. I tried a new salmon recipe. I drove to Chicago to see people in my class person instead of attending, as I usually do, on the phone. I made 50 phone calls for people to assist on the Transform Training while the other people in my group were making 15-20 calls each. I brought my teddy bear to yoga class and talked to people I would not normally have talked to.

I did all these things without knowing it was RAK week! Did you perform random acts of kindness last week too? Here are some ideas:

Kindness Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Week

Feel free to take these ideas and run with them on any day or week of the year! When recently have you put a smile on someone’s face or contributed to a good cause? Please share about it below!

And if you know of an organization who would benefit from a lifetime subscription to How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile, remember to send their name, organization name, organization mission, and e-mail address to teesupport@theessayexpert.com!

Losada Colada: The Power of Positive Thought and Action

February 16th, 2015


The Losada Ratio

As part of a project to put together a weekend training in March, I have been given a leadership assignment: Losada Colada!

“Losada Colada”? Whatever is that? In the terms it was given to me, my assignment is to communicate 3 positive things for every critical one. Let me explain:

The Losada ratio is defined (see The Power of Positivity, in Moderation) as the sum of the positivity in a system divided by the sum of its negativity. Amit Amin, in the above-referenced article on happierhuman.com, reported that a ratio of 3.0 to 6.0 is highly correlated with high performance in multiple areas of life. The ratio predicts divorce rates with 90% accuracy and is also highly predictive of the profitability and satisfaction of teams in organizations. College students with a positivity score of 3.0 or above exhibited higher emotional and social health.

While there are known issues with the mathematics of how Losada ratios have been calculated, the basic premise is indisputable: As long as you are not unreasonably positive/optimistic in a way that could be harmful to your well-being, more positive thinking—and communication—will make you a more productive person with better relationships and a more fulfilling life.

The Positivity Challenge

Why then, even knowing this, do I find myself often focusing on the negative?

I had a lot of training growing up on doling out criticism, and in my adult life I have even given myself a job where it is my job to find what’s wrong with someone’s writing and fix it. This is a very comfortable activity and attitude for me. I do make an effort to provide positive feedback in addition to the negative: When making comments on a document I often insert, “Love this word!” “Nice phrasing here!” “Yes YOU come through so much more now!” But somehow I almost always feel like I’ve pointed out more wrong than right, especially when editing the work of my writers.

As project manager for this upcoming weekend workshop www.transformweekendtraining.com, I am being trained to create group enthusiasm. My assignment of Losada Colada is intended to make me better at doing that with a team of people who, like me, are doing this work not as a paid job but for their personal growth. Without their buy-in, our project will likely struggle.

And so I keep my instructions in mind: 3:1 ratio positive:negative.

The Impact of Positivity

Even before this assignment, I trained myself to say at least one positive thing before saying a negative one; saying three is taking extra focus. I like it because it is allowing me to see more of the strengths in the people around me than I normally see.

I’m not doing a perfect job with this assignment. For instance, one of my team members (I’ll call him Ron) was holding two roles and not doing either of them 100%. I called him to relieve him of one of the roles, thinking he would be happy that some responsibility was being taken off his shoulders; but he was clearly hurt. I looked at how I had communicated. Had a done my Losada Colada assignment?


I called Ron back, told him I had messed up and not done my assignment, then appreciated him for 3 things. He responded much better to that communication. And when I told our group about the change in leadership, I made sure to appreciate Ron for all he had done well.

Ron took more action on his other role than he had in the 3 weeks before this communication! It worked.

LinkedIn Losada

As LinkedIn members and networkers, we can all practice Losada Colada. I received the following note in my inbox a few days ago:

“Thanks for connecting with me Brenda, and more importantly the wonderful tips. I love them :-) I will definitely will spread the word about what a wonderful person and incredible resources you offer. I just signed up for mailers :-) YES!”

This note made me feel great! It even got me to investigate further into the website this connection was promoting. He was practicing what he preached! I’m going to keep doing my Losada Colada assignment for the rest of my life. I will probably get more out of it than a I would from a sweet drink on the beach, though I do enjoy pineapple and coconut (non-alcoholic) beverages!

How do you envision bringing Losada Colada into your relationships, both at home and at work? What do you think the impact might be? If you try it and see results, please share your stories!

A Fool-Proof Way to Achieve Any Goal – And That’s a Promise

February 9th, 2015

The Temptation of Giving Up

A friend of mine set out to make croissants for the first time. For those of you unfamiliar with the art of French baking, these pastries require several stages of preparation over 2-3 days. On the second day of his first attempt, when the batter got too thin and sticky, my friend got frustrated and threw the dough into a bread pan instead of finishing the croissant-making process. I protested that he was giving up too soon, but to no avail. He ended up with some cross between biscuits and croissants, and a learning experience for the next attempt.

The Art of Perseverance – A Lesson from Mouse Tales

My tendency is not to give up on almost anything until absolutely all options have been exhausted. Part of that philosophy was hammered into me as a child through multiple readings of the book Mouse Tales, by Arnold Lobel. I did not realize it at the time, but I think I learned some of my most important life lessons from that book.

In one story, The Journey, a mouse ventures out in his car on a road trip to his mother’s house. After driving for some time, he encounters a slight problem: The car, sadly, falls apart. But, thankfully, just at the right moment, there is someone selling roller skates at the side of the road. The mouse purchases a pair and rolls and rolls until, guess what? The wheels fall off of the roller skates. As luck would have it, there is a person selling boots at the side of the road! The mouse wears through the soles of the boots, and then through a pair of sneakers, and then, would you believe, though a pair of feet. When his feet get too tired to walk, amazingly enough, there is a person by the side of the road selling feet! The mouse makes it to his mother’s house wearing his brand new pair of feet.

Excuses, Excuses

Many of us in the mouse’s situation would never have made it to our mother’s house with all these breakdowns. Do any of these laments sound familiar?

  • My car broke down! Now I have to take it to the shop. Sorry mom.
  • I tried! I even tried getting there on roller skates! But everything just keeps falling apart.
  • It wasn’t meant to be.
  • My hands are tied.
  • Bad things are always happening to me.
  • No one is there to help me. I have to do everything alone!
  • I can’t let my mother know that my car is so old and broken down.
  • I don’t have time for this.

These excuses keep us from being creative, from keeping our eye on the prize, and from noticing that person who shows up just at the right time to help us. They keep us from prioritizing our relationships. And they have us tossing in the towel long before the game is truly over.

The Magic Formula for Achieving Any Goal

Setting aside all judgment about how important our mother would feel if we gave up on our journey, what this Mouse Tale has to teach us is something about persistence and perseverance. This mouse was not about to give up no matter what. He understood that his commitment to his goal was beyond any limitation on how he would achieve it. And at every juncture where he could have thrown up his paws and said “I can’t” or “It’s impossible” or “It’s too hard,” he found an alternative and went with it.

My friend Seth and I, some time ago, identified a surefire and quite simple way to reliably achieve any goal: “Don’t give up until you achieve it.” You will either achieve that goal or you will die trying. Whether it’s making croissants, getting a new job, or making a visit to mom, the rule always applies.

That’s the rule the mouse followed. He reached his goal, he could feel proud of himself, and his mother was very very happy.

[By the way, my croissant-making friend did try again. Things did not go perfectly the second time either, but he pressed on until actual croissants, albeit dense ones, came out of the oven. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.]

Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords of 2014 … At Long Last!!

January 26th, 2015


The Power of A Single Word

On Friday, I received two pieces of information that I would not normally put together into one blog, but they coincided too well to resist:

1. One of my clients, on the heels of an interview, wrote to me excitedly that the interviewer loved her resume—especially the word “unstoppable” in her summary section. The interviewer had never seen this word on a resume before.

2. LinkedIn came out with its list of Top Ten Global Buzzwords. Cautions LinkedIn: “Pledge to banish trite buzzwords [from your profile].” The article gives excellent advice on how to avoid using meaningless phrasing to describe yourself, as does my book, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile. I encourage you to read the article—and my book—for the tips they offer!

Here’s the list of 2014’s overused LinkedIn buzzwords:

1. Motivated
2. Passionate
3. Creative
4. Driven
5. Extensive experience
6. Responsible
7. Strategic
8. Track record
9. Organizational
10. Expert

Are You Unstoppable?

You might notice that “unstoppable”—the word that so impressed my client’s interviewer—is not on the list of LinkedIn buzzwords. It’s no coincidence that the word caught the attention of someone who probably goes through hundreds of resumes every week.

I’m not advocating that you use the word “unstoppable” in your resume or LinkedIn profile, unless it is the absolute best adjective to describe you. I don’t want to be “responsible for” adding “unstoppable” to next year’s list! Rather, I want you to find some language that doesn’t include the above trite words and phrases used by multitudes of LinkedIn users. (I’m willing to bet these are the words showing up most often on resumes too.)

I also want you to comb through your resume and LinkedIn profile to see how many overused buzzwords show up. Then ask yourself how you can say things differently so that you don’t sound like everyone else.

How to Stand Out on LinkedIn

Here’s a hint: Whereas anyone can claim to be motivated or creative, or to have a track record, not everyone can claim that they stepped into a competitive [insert type of] market and drove an organization from #2 to #1 worldwide, or that they conducted a multi-media campaign that increased a customer base by 500K.

Whatever your achievements, get to the details and stop using the same words everyone else is using to “try” to sound good. It’s not working! Instead, use LinkedIn best practices for each section of your profile, especially your headline, job titles, special sections, skills & expertise, and recommendations. That’s how you’ll call positive attention to what you have to offer.

On a personal note, I must admit I’m saddened to see the word Expert on the buzzwords list, given that the word is in the name of my company. But that is something I’ll have to live with.

If you don’t pee in your pants or throw up, you’re not running fast enough.

January 19th, 2015

runnerOn a call with my transformational growth group last week, one of the participants shared her high school running coach’s words to the team: “If you don’t pee in your pants or throw up, you’re not running fast enough.”

I immediately recalled a recent yoga class that I attended, where at the peak of the practice in a hot room I attempted—and came close to achieving—a difficult arm balance pose. I felt a wave of nausea come over me and knew I was venturing into new territory.

Then I thought about last summer at the outdoor pool, when I watched a kid on the swim team barf by the fence and then hop right back into the pool. Other images, like early contestants on The Biggest Loser losing their cookies repeatedly, also came to mind.

Similar physical reactions can result from experiencing strong emotional reactions. I have seen people vomit while doing emotional work; and I certainly know the feeling of queasiness that can come from touching deep emotional fear and pain, or from taking a risk in interpersonal communication. Sometimes simply the thought of doing something new or different for my business makes me want to throw up.

What all these triggers have in common is that they arise when people are pushing past their comfort zone—which, by definition, is not comfortable! But this doesn’t mean that the activity or work is something to be avoided. If there’s anything new you want in your life, whether a physical result or an emotional transformation, you will experience discomfort on the way to achieving it.

Is there somewhere in your life where you are jogging along, letting yourself get comfortable and staying there? What would it look like to push past your comfort zone? Are you willing to experience fear, nausea, or even peeing in your pants to get the result you want?

I’m choosing to take that feeling of nausea and/or fear as an indication that I’m pushing my life in ways I want to push it. It means I’m digging deeper.

The payoff is stronger muscles, stronger relationships, and a stronger business.

If you want to stretch more than you’re stretching in your life and work, and feel like you don’t have the tools or courage to do it, I recommend the training I’ve been taking part in for the past 2 years. See www.transformweekendtraining.com. The next weekend introductory workshop is March 13-15 in Chicago and you can register for free using code TTCOMP. I will be there and would love to meet you!

The Essay Expert’s Top 10 Lists of 2014

January 12th, 2015

This is the time of year where typically I share LinkedIn’s list for the past year of overused buzzwords. Sadly, no such list has been issued this year. While one enthusiastic reader encouraged me to create my own list, I don’t have the analytical tools to discern the most popular words and phrases in LinkedIn profiles throughout the world. So I am appeasing myself with sharing a list of lists that span a range of topics, from LinkedIn to love.

Here are some lists I will refer back to as 2015 unfolds. The first five are related to my professional wheelhouse—job search and LinkedIn—and the second five run the gamut on more personal topics!

  1. 10 Data-Driven Steps to Dominate LinkedIn Publishing. This list is a must-have for anyone publishing articles on LinkedIn. I was just reminded to publish my posts on Thursdays – and to write longer articles!
  2. Top 7 Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making On LinkedIn. This one comes from yours truly and it’s a must-read if you didn’t catch it the first time around! You will get some good reminders here whether you’re a beginning or more advanced LinkedIn user.
  3. The 25 Hottest Skills of 2014 on LinkedIn. As LinkedIn opines, “If your skills fit one of the categories below, there’s a good chance you either started a new job or garnered the interest of a recruiter in the past year.”
  4. By the Numbers: 120 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics. This article provides a treasure trove of LinkedIn-related numbers—and a compelling argument for why every professional needs a compelling and complete LinkedIn profile!
  5. 14 Job Search Predictions for 2015. Fourteen career experts offer their wisdom on the 2015 career landscape in this value-packed article!

Non-Job Search Related Lists—Time-Saving Tools, Communication Tools, and More!

  1. The 10 Best Time-Saving Tools of 2014. I am inspired to start using some of these tools and start planning for how to use all those extra hours!
  2. 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them. This list is reassuring in that it lets me know I’m not alone in the goals I set for my life. And what great resources for achieving each of them!
  3. 20 Alternative Uses For Common Household Items. Did you know that petroleum jelly can keep your car doors from freezing shut and that raw honey is an antibiotic? That’s just a taste of the extremely useful tips offered in this article!
  4. 20 Life Skills to Keep Peace in Your Relationship. These self-awareness and communication skills will create healthy relationships with romantic partners, family and friends. I know I am doing the right thing when I see these skills improving in myself and the people around me!
  5. Top 100 Best Places to Live. I like this list especially because I live in the #1-ranked city – Madison, WI!! I also know that a lot of people reading this blog might be considering relocation, and lists like these are useful resources as you choose your next home.

I also want to give a mention to 25 of the Most Creative Sculptures and Statues from Around the World, sent to me by my publicist Scott Becher. I’m sharing it, well, ‘cuz it’s cool and will exercise a different part of your brain.

What’s your favorite list from 2014? Please share! I’m planning to make this an annual blog, so if you have candidates for the list as 2015 unfolds, please send them my way!

New Year’s Ressaylutions 2015

December 29th, 2014

It’s that time of year again: New Year’s resolutions.

Today I spoke with a friend whose resolutions are beautifully concrete and achievable: Declutter his journals, letters and cards from his apartment, and make sure all his and his parents’ affairs are in order, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed. I envied the simplicity of that. In my world, one of my personal resolutions looks like this: Build relationships as I take on leading teams and prioritize those relationships over getting stuff done. But still get stuff done. And inspire my teams with energy so they want to satisfy me!

This sort of goal is much less straightforward and measurable, but it’s my goal and my resolution. I hope to see great progress in that area by the end of 2015.

For now, let’s check in on the resolutions I made last year for my business. How am I doing?

2014 “Ressaylutions” and Current Status:

  1. Increase college essay / personal statement portion of my business to 25% of business. As predicted in my October blog, I reached just about 10%. Most of the marketing efforts I made in good faith did not result in new clients; however I received some inquiries by people doing Google searches (great news for me) and several resume writers have referred clients (thank you—you know who you are if you are reading this!). December is traditionally a busier month for college admissions, so if you know someone applying to school please let them know about The Essay Expert!
  2. Roll out a new “responsive” (mobile-friendly) website. This project is finally on track and I expect to roll out a new site in January! Just missed my 2014 deadline by a smidge.
  3. Choose a CRM and project management system. I am still working with an Infusionsoft expert to create these systems. I have reviewed about 100 pages of email messages that will go out to clients and writers in the course of working on various projects. I have now been advised to get the website up and running before implementing Infusionsoft. I look forward to having things run seamlessly by Q2 2015!
  4. Serve 250 clients. Total clients this year is 160. I did not reach my goal. I will be looking at my lead generations strategies and expect that my new website and Infusionsoft implementation will support The Essay Expert’s expansion to a wider client base in 2015.
  5. Generate 214 success stories. I did not meet this goal (we’re at 50). When I look honestly, I think I may have gotten lazy on my follow-up efforts. I have automated messages that go out to clients but I could do more to reach out individually and personally.

My 2015 resolutions are as follows:

  1. Increase college essay / personal statement portion of my business to 25% of business. I’m going for this one again and am encouraged by the uptick in this part of my business in the last month!
  2. Roll out a new “responsive” (mobile-friendly) website. This will be happening for real in January!
  3. Implement Infusionsoft. See 2015 report!
  4. Serve 250 clients. Going for this again!
  5. Publish a print version of How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile. I have a publisher all set to go on this project. The challenge is that LinkedIn’s interface changes so frequently; I was almost ready in December to move forward and then almost everything about LinkedIn’s home page and functionality changed! Nevertheless, I’m determined.
  6. Implement a robust referral program. I want to encourage people to refer clients to The Essay Expert and to reward them for their efforts. If you have an idea of what would be a great incentive for you, please let me know!
  7. Create more internal systems/guidelines. I faced a couple of difficult negotiations this year that might have been prevented by clearer agreements with my writers. Although I have detailed agreements that I sign with all writers, as well as guideline documents, I’m discovering some missing pieces and will be putting those in for 2015. Setting clear expectations is key to running a business smoothly!

2015 is looking to be an exciting year of growth, both personally and professionally (and I happen to believe they are one and the same). What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 and your growth edges? Please share!