Forget the Resume; Use Content Marketing To Find a Job

It’s a difficult time for entrepreneurs. Every day appears to convey information of layoffs from one other notable tech firm.  

I do know a number of individuals who’ve been laid off from content material jobs not too long ago. I additionally understand how discouraging and disturbing that feels. 

In November 2008, I learn a weblog submit from David Meerman Scott referred to as Downsized? Fired? Here Are the New Rules of Finding a Job. A month later, I used to be laid off f(together with greater than 10% of the firm) as a results of the 2008 monetary disaster.  

When I acquired house that day, I instantly reread David’s submit. 

I can distill the takeaway into two sentences:  

Want to search out a new job? Stop pondering like a product advertiser and begin pondering like a writer. 

Looking for a job? Think like a publisher, not a product advertiser, advises @DMScott via @DShiao @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

David relayed the story of Heather Hamilton, then a recruiting govt at Microsoft. She didn’t use standard strategies for sourcing and hiring candidates. Instead, she searched the internet for potential workers. As David concluded, “So if you’re not publishing, you won’t be found by Microsoft.” 

Thus, I started to show my job loss into a content material advertising journey to create a private model.

Launching a weblog

Prior to the layoff, I helped to plan and execute digital occasions for the tech sector. I labored with purchasers like HP, Oracle, and CA Technologies on large-scale occasions that attracted hundreds of attendees. These corporations noticed digital occasions as the subsequent period of on-line lead technology.

The day after my layoff, I created a weblog on WordPress – It’s All Virtual. My first submit was 2009: The Year We Go Virtual.

The day after @DShiao was laid off in 2008, he started a blog about his industry. @CMIContent #PersonalBranding Click To Tweet

As luck would have it, I discovered a new job instantly. A vendor of my earlier employer employed me as a shopper providers govt to work on their purchasers’ digital occasions and function an trade evangelist.

Making an impression

I emailed my new boss a hyperlink to that first submit. He replied, “Dennis, I shared this with our team. We knew you had experience with virtual events, but we had no idea you knew this much. We are so impressed.”

I saved running a blog. During the first months, a reader requested to talk. In the name, he stated, “You know, in last week’s post, you shared some ideas about virtual events that really got me thinking.”

My inside voice stated, “Wow! Not only did he read my post, but it’s helping him plan virtual events at his company.”

The constructive reinforcement gave me the inspiration and need to proceed writing.

I discovered a constant publishing schedule for my weblog was important. I printed one submit a week from 2009 to 2012. I wrote the submit in a Microsoft Word doc, staged it in WordPress, and scheduled it to be printed the subsequent morning. In parallel, I wrote weblog articles about digital occasions on my employer’s web site.

Creating a consistent publishing schedule for a #blog is essential, says @DShiao via @CMIContent. #PersonalBranding Click To Tweet

The weekly cadence of publishing helped me set up myself as an skilled on digital occasions. I used to be invited to writer visitor articles and communicate at trade conferences. I assembled posts into PDF guides and even self-published a ebook, Generate Sales Leads With Virtual Events.

I might see the fruit of David Meerman Scott’s recommendation to be a “publisher of information.”

What I might have finished in a different way once I began the private weblog:

Taking to social media

During my time as a digital occasions blogger, I found a neighborhood of occasion planners and assembly professionals on Twitter. We adopted one another and used Twitter to share concepts and content material. 

Twitter was as soon as the most necessary social community for my private model. I used to converse about advertising there usually, and the conversations with different entrepreneurs elevated my private model.

Since Twitter’s administration modified in late 2022, I tweet a lot much less. My account stays energetic, however I plan to spend extra time on LinkedIn. (I’m additionally prioritizing old school social media – assembly individuals for in-person chats over espresso). 

But you may adapt the course of I adopted to construct my Twitter model to different platforms.  

Start with a mission assertion

I developed a mission assertion for my Twitter presence:

I need to share attention-grabbing content material about advertising whereas displaying those that I don’t take life too critically. I need individuals to think about me as helpful and fascinating. My final aim is to fulfill new individuals and discover attention-grabbing content material.

Here’s a template I developed from that mission assertion:

I need to [ACTIVITY] whereas [BALANCED BY]. I need individuals to think about me as [ADJECTIVE] and [ADJECTIVE]. My final aim is to [GOAL].

Be a part of the dialog

In the early days, I considered Twitter as a distribution channel, a place to share my newest weblog submit.

I developed my strategy to deal with Twitter as an always-on, international dialog – it’s extra rewarding to work together with others on social than to easily share hyperlinks.

I additionally kept away from overpromoting my firm and content material. You acquire extra respect and appreciation by generously sharing different individuals’s content material.

To gain more respect on @Twitter, refrain from overpromoting your company and #content, says @DShiao via @CMIContent. #PersonalBranding Click To Tweet

I additionally participated in Twitter chats – a scheduled time when an viewers gathers and follows the identical hashtag. Some have visitor audio system. Others have a matter or query round which the chat is constructed. Either means, they provide you a chance to share your experience in entrance of a captive viewers.

In content material advertising, two fashionable chats are Erika Heald’s #ContentChat (Mondays) and CMI’s #CMWorld (the first Tuesday of the month).

What I might have finished in a different way in my early Twitter days:

  • Followed others extra as they adopted me
  • Focused much less on sharing hyperlinks to content material
  • Engaged extra with customers
  • Obsessed much less over the sequence of tweets in my profile
  • Had extra enjoyable

Starting a advertising meetup

In 2015, I launched a advertising meetup. My aim was easy – to convey collectively entrepreneurs to be taught from one another. I went to and created the San Mateo B2B Bloggers Meetup.

At this time, I used to be working for a B2B software program firm, and my boss let me use the workplace after hours to host the gathering.

Based on enter from members, I broadened our mission, altering the title to Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup. In-person gatherings observe the identical format: half-hour of networking and pizza, adopted by a 60-minute skilled presentation.

In March 2020, we shifted to 30-minute on-line meetups over Zoom (co-organizer Rich Schwerin named these “Zooms at Noon”). We’ve held greater than 90 on-line conferences since then, attracting attendees from throughout the world.   

We’ve featured in-person presenters from Marketo, Demandbase, VMware, SiriusDecisions, and Flipboard. We’ve had particular visits from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi.

While our members take pleasure in the studying alternatives, the connections and neighborhood are what they cherish the most. I’ve seen individuals discover new jobs, land new purchasers, and develop shut friendships. And I attribute 9 of my 20 consulting purchasers to the meetup.

What I want I had finished once I began a meetup:

  • Asked for assist earlier – I did all the things on my own in the starting
  • Asked presenters to advertise the meetup to their networks
  • Experimented extra with paid promoting
  • Gained extra monetary flexibility by promoting extra sponsorships

Sending an electronic mail publication

When I assumed I would expertise a second layoff, I launched an electronic mail publication. I appreciated the concept of constructing an electronic mail record, an viewers with whom I might share my ideas and experience.

I additionally wished to advertise our upcoming meetups additional. The Meetup platform permits me to ship a message to the group; nonetheless, the system doesn’t present me with electronic mail addresses. I created a free account on Mailchimp and referred to as my publication Content Corner. I requested meetup members in the event that they wished to subscribe and manually added them to the record.

The publication comes out each different Friday and consists of these sections:

  • Introduction
  • Around the Corner (curated content material)
  • Next Meetup
  • Twitter Corner (one Twitter person function)
  • Podcast Corner
  • In Your Corner (an attention-grabbing article not associated to advertising)

I take nice pleasure in uncovering attention-grabbing articles that others would discover useful. I’ve turn out to be fairly selective. Instead of publishing a laundry record of content material, Around the Corner has just one or two choices. For every decide, I write a number of paragraphs to convey why I included it.

While designed to tell, educate, and typically entertain my subscribers, the Content Corner publication additionally options many elements of my model, from my writing and perspective to my style and experience.

It’s a fabulous automobile for amplifying my private model. When one shopper was pondering of hiring me, this electronic mail publication clinched the deal. I’ve helped a few purchasers create electronic mail newsletters. Seeing my private publication in motion helped them perceive how I would assist.

What I might have finished in a different way once I began the publication:

  • Focused on high quality over amount with curated content material
  • Hired a graphic designer to assist with the emblem and HTML template
  • Found extra methods to develop my subscriber record

It’s time to work in your private model

In the 14 years since, I’ve actively and purposefully managed my private model. It’s not a one-time, spring-cleaning form of factor. For me, it’s ingrained in nearly all the things I do on-line: publishing articles, organizing meetups, tweeting with others, sending my electronic mail publication, and many others.

Managing your personal brand is not a one-time, spring cleaning sort of thing, says @DShiao via @CMIContent. #PersonalBranding Click To Tweet

In my full-time roles, my private model gave me extra visibility in my trade and made me more practical at my job. Now that I’m a advertising guide, my private model makes it straightforward for brand spanking new purchasers to search out me. It’s content material advertising for me, and it really works.

Updated Jan. 23, 2023

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute