Blogging since April 18th of 2005

May 22, 2008

At the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia the prior week Danny Cahill told the Pinnacle Society attendees about the importance of blogs. I honestly can’t remember what he said about why but it was convincing enough to tip the scale in favor of starting one up. While I am being more open than strictly necessary my biggest reason for writing down my thoughts is the same one I use for giving blood every time I am eligible. I figure I have plenty, I can make more, and the turnover is probably good.   It’s been fun to say whatever I want while pretending there are more people reading it than the one or two a year who actually mention seeing it just to see me turn pink. I confess to being dubious about the value of blogs beyond a good release and the occasional food fight, ass-kicking or friendly banter this one generates.

I think we see the blogs that might actually have a hand in generating revenues in the same proportion we see the top 100 golfers on Sunday on TV. Along with them there are actually millions of other golfers that no one wants to see, does see, or should see.  Those millions of golfers spend a lot of money and time and energy following people who recommend that if they buy the club that breaks when you swing it wrong or the splint that keeps your wrist straight then ,YOU TOO, can make  2 MILLION DOLLARS on Sunday playing a game. I am just not seeing that with blogs.

I just think that ,for those of us who claim to be headhunters who search, that most of our time should be spent either finding out what our clients want or trying to get it for them. People who follow that model never have spent too much time and money on advertising (which is what blogging is in the context it is now being pushed) because they have not really needed to. Just like famous attorneys…they do a bit of it but mostly their names are made by the work they do.

So ,by all means, blog your fingertips off…but do it for the right reasons. Lots of people can make money and get activity through blogging but I just don’t think it is headhunters making placements right now. I would seriously just love it if people would send me stories about direct ,verifiable placements they made because a candidate or client contacted them about the brilliant posting on whatever. Ok. Back to work. That just cost me a couple hundred bucks. All just so my buddy Jerry and the other nameless nut in Atlanta can have something to do. 🙂

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13 Responses to “Blogging since April 18th of 2005”

  1. Jerry Albright Says:

    Is this here thing a blog, Dave? Were you blogging when you put this together? Or since it seems to be a post on a forum does that have a different name? I always try to use the correct terminology with these web things. Or is this a Web 2.0 thing?

    Hey here’s something I find interesting. The vast array of tools designed to help us hook up with each and every resume ever drafted in the history of the world. WOW! Too many to actually review.

    But isn’t that only half the job? Within the next few weeks we’re launching something that will absolutely increase your ability to generate new CLIENTS. Yes that’s right – I said it. CLIENTS. We all remember them, don’t we? Or are some of us actually making deposits in their bank accounts due to the number of candidates they’ve got? Or maybe they have “virtual” bank accounts with “virtual” bills to pay. Like SecondLife.

    Oh well. Some of us really would like new clients. I can always squeeze in a few more. Most of us could. Though not you Dave – you’re at the top of your game – no room to move up – you’re golden! I’m talkin about us regular Joes. Those of us in the shadows.


  2. One of the great advantages enjoyed by recruiters who blog is that they have known all along how to monetize their content: Placements.

    I have blogged for nearly four years now, and I have never once considered adding Adwords to my sidebar or generating content as a standalone business. That would be like stepping over dollars to get to pennies.

    The real money is in recruiting, and in that sense, my content blog is a means to an end — not an end unto itself.

    Some of my fans ask me why I don’t post more often. I tell them that I have reached a point of diminishing returns on my blog in terms of how well I am doing in search engines.

    Seriously, how much better could I be doing? Let’s see …

    http://www.google.com/search?q=marketing+recruiter
    Estimated clicks per day: 21 – 28 according to Google

    http://www.google.com/search?q=marketing+headhunter
    Estimated clicks per day: 7 – 9 according to Google

    http://www.google.com/search?q=management+recruiter
    Estimated clicks per day: 51 – 80 according to Google

    http://www.google.com/search?q=logistics+recruiter
    Estimated clicks per day: 4 – 6 according to Google

    http://www.google.com/search?q=finance+recruiter
    Estimated clicks per day: 10 – 14 according to Google

    This is all targeted traffic, and it does not include the hundreds of long-tail searches that hit my blogs every day. Nor does it factor in type-in traffic: I own hundreds of domains and maintain many weblogs. MarketingHeadhunter.com alone gets 300-450 unique visits per day. My vCard has been downloaded >15,000 times. (Yes, I can prove it.)

    So, let’s be fairly clear about two benefits of blogs:

    I.) Increased trust and credibility with the prospect.
    II.) Increased visibility in Google, which now accounts for 69% of all US search activity.

    For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last 5 years: Why is SEO so important? Well, as I mentioned on Recruiting.com last year, recruiting sales leads (aka “call-in JO’s”) seem to originate in one of two ways …

    WAY 1: The prospect …

    a.) Receives incoming cold call voice mail from recruiter,
    b.) Googles recruiter to see if they’re for real,
    c.) Checks out recruiter’s blog from Google results, and then
    d.) Returns call of recruiter if there’s a need and the recruiter appears to be any good.

    WAY 2: The prospect …

    a.) Has a legitimate need and then use Google to produce a “short list” of relevant recruiters,
    b.) Checks out recruiter’s blog from Google results, and then
    c.) Reaches out to recruiter if the recruiter appears to be any good.

    Either way, no blog, no sale. Sure, referrals might get wedged in to the process somewhere, but increasingly: You’re gonna get Googled. And when you do, a great blog can be a powerful differentiator.

    My first recruiting job was for an old-school recruiter who swore high and low that recruiting is a sales business, not a marketing business. Although I didn’t argue at the time, I was pretty sure that he was, at best, only partially right.

    As always, the cornerstones of any successful recruiting practice are still TRUST and CREDIBILITY. But sales isn’t the fastest way to establish those things. Word-of-Mouth marketing is.

    And that’s where blogs come in.

    Respectfully,
    Harry Joiner

  3. Dave Staats Says:

    Well..ok.. It IS a blog. It has been moved to the Fordyce letter after being two other places previously. I’ll have to check later to see what could have been interpreted as my saying I do not want new clients. I might have said something about not really needing anything more than what I am doing already to get those clients. And while I might actually BE at the top of MY game I have never fooled myself into thinking that the top of MY game is anything more than the bottom of someone else’s.

  4. Jerry Albright Says:

    Any idea how many people actually read what is posted here?

  5. Jason Davis Says:

    You guys are funny and should get a room. maybe in vegas. Jerry, are you going to vegas for the Fordyce Forum? I’ll be there and it would be great to meet. I know that Dave is going so we could all have some drinks. I’ll be broadcasting interviews all day on the 5th and 6th and it will all be available in real time on http://www.RecruitingBlogs.com

    Jerry, let me know when you can show me the new software.


  6. Last week there were 1,132 visitors and 3,224 pageviews on FordyceLetter.com. Its a start.

  7. Dave Staats Says:

    I love seeing what Harry said. It is, in fact, something I asked for. I feel a BIT better and can leave it just knowing there might be something beyond my own satisfaction involved in what I am doing blog-wise. Even then, As I look at my board with active and completed deals this year every single candidate except one is a referral from someone I already had in my database. The exception is someone I just got from a paid researcher.

    And David, Thanks for sending those statistics. I’m from a generation and a place where just thinking maybe one person saw it is a compliment.

    As I have said before, I’d be just as proud if TFL to see those kinds of numbers even if I were not involved.


  8. Dave,

    Great post and follow up comments. I used to struggle with the fact that the benefits of my blog are mostly “indirect” — which is why blogging is so hard for most firm owners to embrace.

    When I worked for the guy I mentioned above, we would have a Hot Sheet meeting every Tuesday and Thursday. The Hot Sheet was an Excel spreadsheet with the names of each candidate in play, and it would list the candidate’s employer, current salary, open job for which he was in play, and referral source. It was a simple yet effective system, and to this day I use a similar report automatically generated from Sendouts.

    Most of my “money searches” and winning candidates come from referrals — not the blog. However, part of how I use the blog is to create a point of differentiation out of it — to “CREDIBALIZE” me to ALL of my new clients and candidates.

    Back in 2002, I owned an Inside Sales training and consulting firm called Reliable Growth. In the Spring of 2002 I worked with AFLAC — the famous insurance company. At sales meetings, we would hotly debate the benefits of cold calling. Some reps would swear it doesn’t work. But me and an old-school AFLAC sales manager names Brian would say it does. To take it a step farther, Brian would say that EVERY CALL YOU MAKE TO SOMEONE WITH WHOM YOU HAVE NEVER SPOKEN IS A “COLD CALL” — EVEN IF IT’S A REFERRAL. I agree.

    So back to blogging: In every single intro call I make, regardless of whether the person calls me or vice versa, I point out to them that I am # 1 on Google, # 1 on MSN, etc etc. Not that they asked, and not that it matters. It’s just something that I used to credibalize myself.

    And it works. (Like a charm.)

    Do you ever watch that TV show MadMen? It’s about some Madison Avenue advertising execs back in the early 60’s. Brilliant show. It’s a history lesson in marketing — which is useful if you are in the marketing field. What goes around comes around.

    Anyway.

    In one episode, the agency guys are presenting a new campaign to a cigarette maker, and the air in the room is so thick with smoke that you can barely see the actors. The grizzled old tobacco company CEO says the new campaign sucks, and the agency guys are caught flat footed and have to invent a new USP (“unique selling proposition”) on the fly.

    The series’ protagonist, a guy named Don Draper, finally captivates the tobacco execs by weaving a selling story around the fact that the client’s cigarettes are ‘toasted” during the manufacturing process. And the old CEO says “Buddy, ALL cigarettes are toasted before they are rolled.”

    To which Draper replies “So what? The average smoker doesn’t know that — and if we can claim that feature before any other brand does, then we own that differentiation. Once we own it, the agency can make it meaningful to the average smoker.”

    That kind of sales psychology is real. It works. And as web 2.0 visionary, Doc Searls, used to say, “Sales is REAL — Marketing is bullshit.” He’s so right.

    At the end of the day, my blog is something that I use to create a differentiation for myself — regardless of how the client or candidate found me. The benefits are indirect, but I always find a way to make them matter to anyone who reaches out to me.

    “Hey, look at me: I’m toasted!”

    Yours truly,
    Harry

    PS – For more on my cold calling methods, see
    http://www.marketingheadhunter.com/2007/03/cold_calling.html

  9. Dennis Smith Says:

    Holy cow….I leave the scene for a week (to get some work done), and a terrific conversation about blogs erupts!

    Well, this is good stuff. I can’t add much to the conversation from Dave and Harry (I knew there was a reason I posted about Harry this morning (on my blog), before I even got here).

    I’ve been blogging for almost four years at WirelessJobs.com. I use it to differentiate myself, and to brand myself as “the” wireless recruiter. It’s taken a long time, but I can easily substantiate the value. Especially when it’s directly responsible for bringing in candidates every week (just received a CTO resume last night and will be submitting the candidate tomorrow). And, yes, it’s been directly responsible for multiple placements.

    But not nearly as many as I expect will occur over the next 2-3 years, due to cumulative nature word-of-mouth marketing.

    Thanks for the post Dave – and for those who found the time to weigh in.

    Dennis

  10. Dave Staats Says:

    Well there’s reason enough to blog… I got to meet and have a great conversation (on phone after the postings) with Harry and it also was interesting enough to move Dennis. See you next week Dennis…

  11. Maren Hogan Says:

    I think the practice of blogging can build relationships. There is a level of transparency that you can’t achieve through cold-calling or even referrals. Of course, the great trifecta (referral, reader, oh wait that’s just two. . .) is always nice, but rarely happens.
    Dave, I have had the pleasure of recruiting a reader, FYI

  12. Jim Durbin Says:

    Clearly I’m biased on the matter, but there are more examples of third party recruiting bloggers.

    Carl Chapman and Paul DeBettignies stand out. I’m another example, both with StlRecruiting and with the new SocialMediaHeadhunter. All of my business development and candidate work comes from that blog, and it’s lead to 3 searches, 4 candidates, and 1 placement with two more in progress.

    That’s not bad considering my full time job is running a marketing firm.

    I expect my recruiting blog to bring in an additional $100,000 in search fees this year using less than 20% of my time.

    What’s strange is that so many recruiters have blogs, but so very few are actively courting candidates through that blog. Self-promotion is great, but if you can focus your blog on information relevant to your candidates, you’ll be able to track ROI much more effectively.

  13. Dave Staats Says:

    I do like seeing this stuff,Jim. It is what I need to see and what I meant when I said I hoped to. When I asked in the posting it wasn’t in the spirit of not really expecting or wanting to.


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