Monday, January 27, 2014

How To Transition Into A Career In Marketing

A few months ago, a friend introduced me to one of his friends to talk about marketing. He was thinking about transitioning into marketing after working in the public sector on a political campaign. We had a great chat. A couple of days ago he reached back out to let me know he had 4 job offers, two of which were in marketing. I was really curious how he did it, since it's usually pretty tough to transition into marketing, let alone from the public sector. We talked again and I got the details. I then reached out to a few other people I know that have made successful transitions and thought I'd compile the key takeaways from those conversations below. Enjoy! (Disclaimer, this will be heavily slanted towards tech marketing companies and roles)

1. Develop hard marketing skills. My friend with the job offers got Google Analytics certified. He said it was usually the first thing he was asked about in marketing job interviews. Another friend recommended learning how to drive traffic to a site or how to do A/B tests. Check out this blog post or watch the video below from my good friend Wendy Greco to learn how you could team up with a mentor to learn hard analytical skills by helping non-profits.

2. Get out there. Consistently those that successfully transitioned had talked to 15 plus people in marketing to learn about their jobs and get advice. My friend's job offers all came from friends of friends. Leverage the power of your 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn. If you are currently working, talk to as many people in your marketing department as possible. If you can attend, industry conferences are a great way to meet tons of people.

3. Practice marketing on yourself. Great marketers can market themselves. If the 1st page of search results for your name is mostly your 5k run times from 10 years ago, change it. Start a blog to practice your content marketing skills. Don't let any of your social profiles be lame. Here are a bunch of tips on how you can brand yourself online.

A blank profile picture

4. Do projects on the side to get experience. See if you can do some side projects with the marketing department of your current company. Ask your friend that owns a small business if you can manager their social media presence. Getting any experience will make the world of difference.

5. Focus. Have specific job roles in mind that you are tailoring your experience and resume to fit. Just saying I want a "marketing job" is too vague for other people to really be able to help you.
A few examples of marketing job titles

6. Connect the dots. You need to get a good story down so it makes sense to people why you want to get into marketing. My classmate Luke Ray recommends something like "During my job at X, I realized I cared a lot about the customer and the messaging we were using...."

The most common theme was just start marketing. Good luck in your transition! Please share any other tips that you have found useful in the comments.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

3 Reasons Why You Should Have a LinkedIn Profile In All The Languages You Speak

I read a few months ago that 64% of LinkedIn members are international. I'm fluent in English, Spanish and conversational in Portuguese, but up until recently I only had a profile in English. After realizing that most people on LinkedIn are not in the U.S., I finally caught the vision on why creating LinkedIn profiles in all the languages you speak is important. Here are my top three reasons.

1. Opportunities, opportunities, opportunities- If you're interested in doing business in another language, creating a profile makes it easier for opportunities to find you. Don't limit your international exposure on LinkedIn to people who speak just English. Within a few weeks of adding a profile in Spanish, I saw a noticeable increase in views to my profile from Spanish speaking countries.

2. It's easy- Check out this article about the steps to set it up, it's not complicated. It could be time consuming to translate your entire profile, so as a first step, I recommend translating your headline and a quick summary. Here are examples below.

Screen Shot of a LinkedIn Profile Headline in Spanish

Example of a LinkedIn Profile Summary In Spanish

3. Actions speak louder that words- It's easy to say you speak another language, but having a profile in that language goes a long way to show that you are serious about doing business in that language. Also, it proves that you can actually write in that language.

An example of a LinkedIn Language Profile Selector

I learned Spanish in non-business context, so while I’m fluent and comfortable, my business vocabulary is not that strong. Make sure to have someone proofread what you write in another language, especially if you're not a native speaker. Hope this helps you get motivated to create a profile in another language.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Key To Getting Someone To Reply To Your Email

Make it easy to reply to. I know that sounds really simple, but trust me on this one. Our natural tendencies are often to write emails that are difficult to respond to. Research suggests that 70% of email is spam. People are so inundated with email, that if it is not easy to reply to, the odds of it getting ignored or read later increase dramatically. Below are a few tips to help you make it so any email you write is easy to reply to.

1. Only ask one question- If there are five questions in your email, imagine how much time it will take for a reader to type out a response to all of those different questions. The reader is going to get overwhelmed. You'll get responses more often with one question.

2. Keep it short- I know you want to explain every detail of why you are emailing someone, but if they open an email and it's two pages, the odds are pretty good they won't read most of it, let alone reply.

3. Make it relevant- Explain as succinctly as possible why what you're talking about is important or relevant to that person.

4. Clear email subject- 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. During my internship this summer, my boss called me out on this. I sent him an email with the subject of just "question". He explained that he can more effectively respond to emails when it has a clear subject line. For example, if the email subject makes it clear that the email is about a meeting we are having an in hour, it lets him know I need a fast response with out having to read the body of the email. 

If before you start typing away at that next email you ask yourself, "how do I make this email easy to respond to?", you're bound to get more responses to your emails.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

LinkedIn Basics For MBA Students

I often get asked what tips I have for students just starting to use LinkedIn or wanting to leverage it more effectively to help them find a job. The first thing I always say is to remember that the majority of the time employers will Google you when they are evaluating you as a candidate. Not only that, but professionals are very likely to look you up on LinkedIn before they meet with you. This has become so frequent that LinkedIn has really transformed into your reputation, not just a online resume. It is a one stop shop for someone that wants to find professional information about you. I strongly recommend that you at least follow these basic guidelines for your LinkedIn profile.

1. Use a professional picture- A picture of just you, that clearly shows your face, in attire that represents the dress standards of your industry, or the industry you'd like to be in.

2. Put your work experience up your profile- Add any work experience that is relevant to your goals and make sure their is enough information that people can easily understand what it was you actually did.

3. Create a custom URL- This creates a shorter URL for your profile that will be easier to share and will improve the ranking of your profile in Google search results. Click here to learn how to set it up.

4. Do not connect with people you do not know- LinkedIn should be a online reflection of real relationships, do not connect with people that you do not know.

5. When you add a connection, send them a personal message- When you add someone as a connection, it gives you the option to send them a personal message. Take the chance to reconnect.

Below I've embedded a 10 minute long video that goes into more detail. My classmate Elizabeth Hilton interviewed me for the Marriott MBA Today show, which is a student run program where BYU MBA students do interviews with different people about topics relevant to our MBA students.

If you're ready for some advanced tips check out this post, Advanced LinkedIn Tips For MBA Students

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

10 Ways Students Can Use The Holiday Break To Get Ahead In The Job Search

To say I really enjoyed the holiday break after my first semester of business school last year would be an understatement. I basically moon walked out of my last final. Nothing is sweeter than a long holiday break after a fall semester. While this is your chance to relax and spend time with family and friends, it is also a great time to get a leg up on your search for a full time job or internship. Below is a presentation I created that explains 10 ways students can use the holiday break to get ahead in the job search.
Explains to students how to use holiday break to find a job

The Value Of A Positive Attitude At Work

I've spent some time recently thinking about the role of a positive attitude in the workplace. I started doing some research and came across a great article from Dr. Marla Gottschalk explaining that a positive attitude at work has a clear positive relationship to "job satisfaction, organizational commitment and psychological well-being." She also gave some encouragement for those who struggle, saying that these skills can "be developed and strengthened."

My first semester of business school we had a leadership class as part of our core curriculum. For one assignment I was required to develop a leadership concept and build a model to help people develop that concept. I chose positive leadership. I've embedded the 5ish minute long presentation below. I hope that if you struggle with a positive attitude in the work place, this will help you.  If you have any feedback on the presentation, please give it in the comments. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What It Is Like To Be A MBA Intern At LinkedIn

I spent my summer internship during business school working for LinkedIn as a Product Marketer. I had a fantastic experience and have accepted a full time offer to return as a Product Marketing Manager in their Sales Solutions business. I've been doing a lot of informational interviews about my experience for friends, classmates and friends of friends. Below are the things that I usually highlight about my experience. 

1. LinkedIn is serious about their culture and values. It's not just something written on the wall. Read this interview of our CEO Jeff Weiner to understand his take on it. Also, over the summer I heard one of our sales people explain the "members first" value to a potential customer as a response to why we would not do some of the things they would have liked us to do. If sales people are explaining our values on sales calls, it's the real deal. 

2. Innovation is alive and well at LinkedIn. Read this article from Wired magazine to understand some of the programs that LinkedIn has put in place to encourage innovation among their employees. I watched the INcubator finals first hand and saw Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner green-light some great innovative projects from all over the company. 

3. Interns are well integrated into the company and a lot of thought is put into the internship program. Interns are invited to everything, including the all hands every two weeks with the CEO and other senior leaders. I felt welcome at any company event. Jeff Weiner and Reid Hoffman both spent time with the interns. The marketing group had an offsite in Monterrey for a week and all the marketing interns were invited. I even participated in the wellness program and got some awesome swag. There were also plenty of fun intern only activities, a cruise in San Francisco bay, sushi making competition and many others.

4. Talent is important to LinkedIn. I was invited to give a personal presentation explaining what I did over the summer to LinkedIn's CMO Nick Besbeas my last week. It was just Nick, myself and my manager. A busy CMO taking 30 minutes for a 1x1 with each intern in marketing, that meant a lot. I can't think of a better place to learn and grow after business school 

I hope this helps you understand a bit about what it's like to intern at LinkedIn. I wrote for LinkedIn's corporate blog a post about how I got my internship. Click here to see it. 

Lastly, I brought my GoPro camera out to California for the summer and took some footage at work. I made a quick 90 second video about what it's like to be an MBA intern at LinkedIn, enjoy!