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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

ANNOUNCING - Jim Stroud 2.0

Effectively immediately, "The BizDev 101 Blog" will be discontinued and after this week, no new content will be posted there. In its place is "Jim Stroud 2.0," a new blog that will continue its focus on innovative sourcing strategies. It will also broaden its scope to include Jim Stroud's rants on the recruiting industry and business development tips for Search Firms. Furthermore, Jim Stroud 2.0 will provide commentary on Web 2.0, innovations in business and market strategy.
Here is an explanation of what you will find in each category of Jim Stroud 2.0.

BizDev 101
*Offers business development tips for search firms

Bizzy
*Dicusses innovations in business and market strategy

Digability
*Offers innovative sourcing strategies for recruiters.

Life With Bill
*Personal posts discussing Jim Stroud's experiences as a (happy)Microsoft employee

Manifestos
*Calls to action

Recruiting Rants
*Discussions on what is wrong (and sometimes right) about the recruiting industry

Shameless Self-promotion
* Announcements citing Jim Stroud in the media

Web 2.0
*Discussing the new wave of dot-coms hitting the market

Visit Jim Stroud 2.0 now and subscribe:
http://www.blogcharm.com/jimstroud

Monday, October 10, 2005

Recruiting With Fonzie

Okay, I'll admit it, once upon a time I wanted to be Arthur Fonzerelli. And I bet somewhere inside every male recruiter is that same innate desire. Consider this, what was "The Fonze" most known for? Yes, it was being "cool." And what did he do with his cool?

Attract women.

Lots of women.

And once he had them, he was able to whisper sweet nothings in their receptive ears. Very cool-a-mundo...

Now in a previous life, I worked in a searchfirm sourcing tech and exec talent for start-ups. (Some called it "The Dot-Com Era;" I remember it more as "The Age of Acquarius.") Part of my gig was to "dial-for-dollars" where I would call into a company and recruit key personnel or drum up business. I must admit however, working the phone was not my most favorite thing. I preferred shmoozing in person and surfing the web for intel and I was very good at that, but somehow I knew something was missing from my recruiting strategy. It was not until I was flipping the channels one late night that I found the solution in slick hair, leather jacket and a slight tap no jukebox could refuse. Nickelodeon was playing a marathon of the vintage Happy Days comedy series and each episode focused on Fonzie.

I noticed something about Fonzie. He never chased after women. They always came to him and once they arrived (Ayyy...) it was an opportunity to spend time with Mr. Cool himself. Maybe it was because I was half-asleep or maybe it was the cold pizza and chicken I just ate, but Fonzie shouted something through the television.

"Ay-yo Jim!" Fonzie said.

"Hey Fonzie, Ayyy!!!"I replied with my thumbs up.

"Don't do that."

"Sorry."

"You know what Jim?" Fonzie said as he pushed back his hair with a thin comb. "You should recruit like I do."

"Ummm... okay. How do I do that?"

"Don't chase after talent, but get the talent to chase after you."

"Ummm... okay. How do I do that?"

Well, he told me and after I repeated it back to him for clarity, he replied with "Exact-a-mundo."

"Thanks Fonzie," I said. "I will."

And then he faded back into the screen, a faint "Ayyy!" echoed in the room. Or maybe it was te reurn on tv. Either way, I had a new strategy to play out back then and now one to share with you as well.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

1. Look through your rolodex, resume database or network of contacts and find three experts in the same field. It does not matter what industry they serve, just as long as it is a field you recruit for. Ask them to participate in a forum discussion. Explain that by presenting their expertise, they are both promoting themselves and increasing their perceived market value. In this way, you may be able to secure their assistance for free.

2. Set up a conference call with your three experts and plan on discussing a controversial topic related to the industry they serve. Plan on managing the forum by playing the friendly host that keeps the chatter alive.

3. Promote your conference call to people in your database, rolodex and network. (Ask them to spread the word to their peers.) Send notice to Association leaders who operate in the industry being discussed. Explain to all concerned that they will be listening to experts pontificate ad nauseum and that they will be able to forward questions in advance to the conference.

4. Create a webform that collects contact information and some relevant data such as: Employer, Job Title, Industry Interests, Etc.

5. Have the call for say... umm... an hour (Not too long, not too short, just right.) and maybe 15 minutes more for Q &A. Oh! Be sure to record the conference call as well.

6. Follow-up after the call with an email and/or phone call. Let them know that there is a link available for downloading the conference call in its entirety. Keep the link active for a short time, maybe 3 days or so. Afterwards, announce its availability on your website but grant access only to those who fill out a form. Of course, you will follow-up on each one.

So how is this recruiting like Fonzie?

By creating relevant content that people want to hear, you are attractiing talent to you. Of course, once you have them, you have a receptive audience that you can whisper sweet nothings too. For example, "What do you think of the call? We are planning new calls in the future, what topics would interest you the most? By the way, I happen to be recruiting for people who operate in this space. Can you refer someone to me?"

"Sounds intriguing Jim," you say, "and a bit expensive."

"Not at all," I reply. "Let's do the numbers."

Expense #1: Conference Call set-up
Cost: Free
**With Free Conference you can manage a call for up to 100 people for 3 hours for free.

Expense #2: Recording the Conference Call.
Cost: $38.94 with Teletool 2000
**Simply connect this tool to your phone and computer and record away. Easy installation.

Expense #3: Web form for collecting data.
Cost: $19.95 (monthly); 1st 30 days are free with List Builder

TOTAL: Approximately $60.00

So if the price is right, what's stopping you from trying this idea out? As far as recruiting and/or business development goes, this strategy could very well be the route to some "Happy Days" of your own.


P.S. If you really like this type of thing, do yourself a favor and pick up Seth Godin's Permission Marketing. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, September 26, 2005

FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL

Subscribe to these free newsletters! They regularly report companies that have received funding and the amounts (strike while the wallet is hot!). Below are those that I know although your research should reveal many others.

NATIONALLY

Venture Reporter
http://www.venturereporter.net

Venture Wire:
http://www.venturewire.com

SOUTHEAST

Southeast Tech Wire
http://www.southeasttechwire.com

Techlinks
http://www.techlinks.net

NEW YORK

Tri-State Tech Wire
http://tristatetechwire.com

BAY AREA
Bay Area Tech Wire
http://www.bayareatechwire.com

DC AREA

Potomac Tech Wire
http://potomactechwire.com

NEW ENGLAND

New England Tech Wire
http://newenglandtechwire.com

The Best Business Is New Business

If you are reading this in Atlanta, then pick up a copy of The Atlanta Business Chronicle (a VERY good business paper) and turn to the section titled, “On The Record.” They list, at least at the time of writing, a GOLDMINE for business developers. If you check their “New Businesses” section, then you will see a listing of new and renewed city business licenses filed with each municipality. In addition to this you also get information on new corporations, real estate transactions-commercial and lease transactions. Isn’t that great! No? Do I hear the sound of crickets chirping in your office?

Okay, for those who don’t get this right away…

You want a jump-start on all the other Searchfirms competing for the same jobs, right? Why not introduce yourself to companies that are just setting up business? Get in on the ground floor and pitch your services before they even think about posting a “help-wanted” sign. And not only that! The Atlanta Business Chronicle also lists lease transactions submitted by Atlanta Brokers that are 2,000 square feet or more. If you happen to see a really large transaction of square feet take place, you should say to yourself, “Self, looks like a big company is planning to move in over there. I better avail myself to the leasing agent and see if I can get an inside scoop on who it is and maybe, land myself a new client.”

But wait, you say you live outside my beloved city of Atlanta. Not to worry, the type of information that the Atlanta Business Chronicle publishes is PUBLIC INFORMATION and as such, readily accessible with minimal effort. All you have to do is go to your local municipality where government records are kept and request a list/copy of the recent licensees who have acquired a business license. The price you pay will be determined by the cost of copies you decide to make. Some companies CHARGE BIG BUCKS to neatly format and resell to you something that you can get yourself for the cost of a few copies.

Ahhh… you did not know that, did you?

What About The News That’s Not Fit To Print?

Do you ever wonder how newspapers get their news? Reporters play a big part, as well as national news syndicates like Associated Press. But don’t forget about the unsung hero represented in the press release. Whenever a company wants publicity for its product or for the company as a whole, they send out a statement to newspapers, magazines, etc. Not every one of these media outlets print the release, but the chance that they have the publication is pretty high and like sales, it’s a numbers game.

There are places online to search for press releases that have been published and those that are in limbo somewhere. When reading these releases, “mine” them for leads.

Some examples:

· Take notice of people who were recently promoted because if there is no successor listed, hmmm… there may be an opening there. If the person was recruited into Company X from Company Y, then there may still be an opening at Company Y from which the promotee just came.

· You also want to check what company is moving into your town and opening a facility. Not every employee is going to move with a company, so there are bound to be some empty slots to fill. Conversely, the same is true when a company leaves your town.

· If a company receives funding to expand their product line (or business in general) then chances are they may have money to spend on your service. It’s a good bet that if they have gone public that “happy days” may be there for you as well.

· Whenever a new CEO is named, be sure to call into that company. New management always brings change and although a CEO may bring his own team on board, not every team member may follow. You never know, so it’s always good to look. If you like this idea, be sure to subscribe to “Leaders On The Move” to get updates on major personnel changes in corporate America. (http://www.executiveselect.com). Hmmm… How nice would it be to send a congratulatory letter to a new CEO? Such could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

One of the better things about press releases is that they are time-sensitive. If you are lucky enough to get a hot release before a newspaper prints it, then you have a good jump ahead of the competition. What follows are a few websites to get you started.

Press Release Search Engines

· http://prnewswire.com/home.shtml
· http://www.ereleases.com/
· http://www.businesswire.com/
· http://www.prweb.com/

The Fine Art Of Backscratching

For the benefit of those who do not have 4 year-olds who worship a purple dinosaur named "Barney," the end theme for his TV show is "I love you and you love me. We're a happy family…" If you hear this song more than once it will infect your subconscious and cause you to sing it ad nauseum at home, at work, or in elevators while people point and whisper. Even though the song is simple, the principle is very beneficial when applied to hunting down big business.

To multiply your efforts, cover more ground and appear in front of more companies than you thought possible, you need to retain the services of a small sales force. As any sales guru will tell you, it's all about the numbers! You have to get the word out about you and a trained sales force will do just that.

But wait a minute! I hear you thinking to yourself, "Hey Jim, get a clue! I'm just getting started with my own agency! Or, if I had a massive sales force in place producing for me, why would I be reading this blog?” To that I would reply, "So what?" Not having a budget to pay a sales force to source job leads for you is no excuse not to have one. I dare say that you have it well within your means to run a sizeable organization without the necessity of money or spectacular credentials of any kind. Let me prove it to you in steps A, B and C.


STEP A: List non-competitive partners

How many businesses operate on the periphery of your business? Let’s take a quick, general inventory.

• Leasing agents

• Office supply

• Salesmen of products relevant to the niche you service

• Searchfirms that serve a different niche than yours

• The guy that delivers water to your office

I thought of 5 off the top of my head, but I am sure that you could think of many more. List all of the non-competitive enterprises that work along side you. Create a fact sheet detailing the people you know who deal in the businesses you have written down. Once your list is complete, put a checkmark or a star next to those businesses you spend money with.

STEP B: Cooperative Economics

Okay, now you are going to call everyone on your list, but you are going to start with those you have check marked. When you pay your bill to these businesses, along with your check, submit a lead of some kind that would benefit them in some way. Follow-up with them a week later to see if it produced a positive result and if not (or if so) tell them that you enjoy working with them. Furthermore, as you come across other business topics of interest, forward them as well (at no charge!). They will be appreciative of the favor and will try to return it as soon as they can, which is the outcome that you desire. After all, what businessperson would not want to stay connected with someone who helps his or her business? Of equal importance is taking note of their hobbies and interests and doing likewise.

STEP C: The Big Payback

When someone from your network brings you a lead, reward him or her with a thank you related to a hobby. For example, if the referring party is an Atlanta Falcon "Dirty Bird" fanatic, send him or her an article about a favorite player, or maybe a subscription to Sports Illustrated. If the referring party is a fan of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, send a commemorative cup. If he or she likes dogs, then maybe a monogrammed pooper-scooper. The better the lead turns out for you, the bigger the gift!

The long and short of this tactic is that you are building a rapport through association. Giving gifts to people in your network related to something that they like, cements good feelings between you and them. Every time they use whatever item/ information you send them, subconsciously they are on your "payroll", a working wheel in your trained sales force, so to speak. Again, whatever they give you, you must reciprocate with something else as soon as possible. You want the "Christmas" effect of, "Wow! I gave them a really good lead and they know I love chicken. I wonder how many stuffed Chik-Fil-A cows I can expect now?"

Your workforce of business lead generators will work well for you as long as you remember to spread the love. Get it? I hope so, as I am now moving on to something else. "I love you. You love me. We're a happy family…" Arrrrgggghhhh...now it's in my head again!

Stop The Presses!


How many contacts and/or resumes do you have at your disposal? Here is a nifty idea that could pay big dividends in the long run (consistency is the key). One thing I have noticed about several agencies is the old resumes “a la carte” approach where an agency takes 10+ resumes, condense them into very brief biographies of acronyms and then send them out to current and prospective customers (I have done this myself in a former life). This technique works well if there is an immediate need, but what if there is not? I’ll tell you… The recipients will see it as spam and hit the delete button (ouch! - another harsh reality of life). What you need is a way around the delete button, a way to stay on your potential client’s radar screen for at least a while longer than your competition.

Fortunately, I know such a way…

· For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that you recruit security experts for companies who hate hackers. No doubt you have interviewed quite a few techies in your day. Why not ask your candidates to write a review on security products. Ask them to be brutally honest with their opinions and the reasons why they feel that way.

· After you have compiled this information, create a mini newsletter featuring the comments made by your candidates. Give each candidate a nickname or resume ID number.

· Hype in your “Security Product Review” newsletter that you are a search firm that specializes in staffing elite security talent.

Now, to whom do you send this newsletter? You send it to companies who have a need for such products! Invite them to send a rebuttal to the comments made and use it as a bridge into their respective companies.

Are you in love with that idea? Hopefully you are, but if not I have another one for you. Actually I think I like this one better. Instead of publishing a product commentary, create a weekly newsletter pointing to the best articles and news stories online about your niche.

Let me give you an example…

A couple of years ago I stumbled across an email newsletter called DAVENETICS that spotlights the technology industry in the United States. It is a GREAT newsletter that eventually morphed into a wider coverage of political news events and pop culture. It has since brached off into several blogs such as NEXTDRAFT and ELECTABLOG I highly recommend you check this guy out.

http://www.davenetics.com


Anyway, in the beginning Davenetics was a collection of tiny commentaries of stories that Dave Pell (the publisher) found online. For example, if he read an article about Compaq laying off a significant number of people, he would title his comments “Compaq drops the axe”. He would add a witticism akin to, “Is Compaq trying to live up to the sound of its name by reducing the size of its workers (Compact? Get it?)? You decide” (okay, his would actually be funny). And at the conclusion of that comment would be a link pointing to the article itself.

Pretty simple, hun’h? I think it is genius personified. Davenetics produces relevant content to people interested in technology. His subscriber base grew to well over 35,000 in a short period of time and these are steady readers (myself included). Now at anytime he could put out a request with his newsletter that says, “I Recruit Tech” and a short bio of his skills. Chances are with 35,000 plus subscribers all operating in his field of interest, there are bound to be quite a few business leads there.

Another example of this technique is The Southeast Tech Wire. The Southeast Tech Wire is (more or less) a collection of links to other news stories on the web and somewhere in the presentation is a short advertisement. This approach requires low maintenance, it’s easy to implement and is something you should be considering for your business. Check them out online:

http://southeasttechwire.com.

A Constant State of Sell


It may be a harsh and cruel thing to say, but nonetheless it is a true saying. In the business of recruiting, you’re only as good as you give. No matter the name on the door, a customer will stay a customer based on the results you produce. So it goes without saying that you must ALWAYS produce and to do that you must always remain in a state of sell. What do I mean by that? Every action from the day you decide to go into business must revolve around the selling of your services.

Recruiting is a people-intensive occupation. You must connect with as many people as possible and brand your service in their minds so effectively, that your name becomes synonymous with recruiting. Let’s do a little word association shall we? When you hear Billy Graham, you think of faith (or at least church). I say Colonel Sanders and you say chicken. Bill Gates brings computers to mind and so on. Despite the diversity of their achievements, they have each made their name synonymous with their trade. You should do the same thing! How? Glad you asked!

Here is a list of what you can do!

A. Create a business card with a picture of your face and a catch phrase. Have on the business card a short, simple, memorable phrase that identifies you and what you do. For example, when I was on the hunt all of my cards said: “Jim Stroud, I recruit therefore I am.” It also helped that my face was on the card (remembering me was easier since people had a face to go with a name versus the other business cards they collected).

B. Cellphone/Voicemail marketing is simple, cheap and effective. When people called me I responded with a commercial. Instead of just saying “hello,” I answered, “Jim Stroud, I recruit therefore I am.” If they get my voicemail, I not only repeat my catch phrase but also add how they can visit my website at www.jimstroud.com and/or email me at: jimstroud@jimstroud.com.

C. A Vanity Domain is a crucial step as well. When you set up an Internet presence for your business. Buy 2 domains - the first domain could read XYZ Staffing and list the services you provide. The second domain would be your name and should automatically redirect to your XYZ Staffing domain. Keep in mind that more people will remember your name moreso than the enterprise you represent, especially when you are just starting out. For example, which is more famous, Harpo Entertainment or its owner, “Oprah Winfrey”? By constantly promoting your name you begin to exist beyond a corporate structure and are recognized as an identifiable person, a celebrity if you will. And once you become a celebrity, everyone wants to know you then (smile).

D. Contact your contacts and let them know what you are doing! Send everyone you know an email and then follow-up with a phone call afterwards. If you get a voicemail, that’s okay... Say your tagline, “This is Jim Stroud and I recruit therefore I am. Just calling to touch base, blah, blah, blah...”

E. Introduce yourself by your tagline. For example, at networking events, parties and supermarket checkout lines I introduced myself as “Hi! I’m Jim Stroud and I recruit therefore I am.” How is that for a conversation starter? Whenever people heard me say that, I always got a reaction as it subconsciously prodded people to reveal their occupations to me. More importantly, doing so initiated a connection.

F. Meet the press on every occasion. Do you remember “The Clever Rule of 3” from the last chapter? In most magazines (if not all) there is a comments section. Comment on an article but in a sly way. Mention how the article is significant to your business and what you do. It does not have to be a long response, but it does have to be interesting on some level (keep in mind that comments are chosen from amongst several other letters that are sent in). At the very end of your comment BE SURE to add your name and tagline.

Here is an example to inspire you:

Dear Wireless Professional Magazine,

I read with great interest your article “802.11x is the future!” As a recruiter of Wireless professionals, I often hear how this protocol will shape communications for years to come. Your article was dead on target!

Jim Stroud, I recruit therefore I am.

jimstroud@xyzstaffing.com

Okay, so it’s not Shakespeare, but it does not have to be. It only needs to get in print and be seen by other Wireless Professionals who will either solicit your service or become potential candidates for you.

Is this all you do to get your name out into the market? Certainly not, but hopefully it inspired some marketing creativity within you. The idea of it all is to become a memorable personality, just like any other star in Hollywood.

The Clever Rule Of Three

The best parties are the ones where everyone is having a good time. Everyone is loving the food, the music, the ambience... The atmosphere is contagious because everyone is enjoying being together and despite all the differences, that party brought everyone together (at least for a night). How does this tie into recruiting? Glad you asked...

Once you brand yourself as the recruiter for the wireless industry (for argument’s sake), stay in contact with your “audience.” Cater to their “vibe” as it were and exist (at least during office hours) in a total state of “wirelessness.” Speak the lingo of wireless, know the players of wireless, and interact with wireless technologies so that you “live” wireless. Am I trying to turn you into a hippy? Yes, and you should be one for your industry. Why? Consider this...

A very good friend of mine is a DJ par excellence and only plays what he calls, “good music.” What is good music to him is determined by his emotional and intellectual response to whatever hits his turntable. When approached by record companies’ representatives to play their CD, they must present themselves as people who love music as deeply as he does. If they do not, he perceives them as “pretenders” and does not give them serious consideration. If you are recruiting wireless professionals, you must exhibit a passion for wireless that is evident to those you recruit and for whom you recruit. To do so will separate you from those “pretenders” who only want money, versus those few “good recruiters” who share a passion for wireless. As a result, you are the one they “connect with” and in party terms you are the “cool one” and not one of the bashful wallflowers in suspenders and glasses trying to get a dance.

Okay, so you get the idea but are a little fuzzy on the tactical. No biggie, I have the cure for what ails you and its called The Clever Rule of 3. If you would like to hear it, here it goes:

A. Subscribe to 3 magazines that pertain to your industry and read them religiously. Make sure that they are a fair representation of what is happening now. Chances are they can help you figure out future trends.

B. Buy 3 best-selling books that target your industry; highlight interesting quotes from industry leaders and commit them to memory. Use them when interviewing a potential hire, shmoozing a client or networking among peers. Nothing shouts “Industry Authority” more than someone quoting the gurus of a particular space (trust me).

C. Select 3 things about your industry on which to harp. Good or bad, it does not matter. As long as you can prattle on about something in your industry, this will communicate “passion.” Consider too the negative side - if you bore someone silly with your knowledge at least they will remember you as an expert in your industry (albeit a dull one).

Links to Industry Media Resources

MagPortal
http://www.magportal.com/

World Biz Media
http://www.worldbizmedia.com/

Professional & Technical Trade Publications
http://www.mcgraw-hill-sales.com/

Magazines.com
http://www.magazines.com/

All You Can Read
http://www.allyoucanread.com/

Open Directory Project
http://dmoz.org/Business/Resources/News_and_Media/Magazines/

Sell to those willing to buy

So let’s imagine that you are a Staffing Agency or Search Firm (to-may-toe/ toe mot-toe) struggling to get along or just getting started in the marketplace. The competition is fierce and the clients seem few and far between but fortunately, you are reading this clever collection of business development tips.

(Insert the theme to the 70’s TV show, “Kung Fu” and imagine a bald-headed, Kung Fu fighting Shaolin monk imparting sacred knowledge to you.) “In order to have a prosperous recruiting business grasshopper, you must sell your services to those that are willing to buy.”

“And how do I find potential clients open to retaining my services, old wise master?” you ask. “And how can I get ahead of my competition that is feverishly trying to find the clients I am so diligently seeking?”

Although I am not a Shaolin Monk (nor do I play one on TV), I will attempt to answer this question with my own bit of wisdom.

Research is the short answer but since I am writing a short course, here is the extended reply:

For argument’s sake, I will assume that you are an IT recruiter - pretty rough since right now a huge chunk of technical projects are being shipped overseas. Tough break if you have X number of consultants on the bench. Maybe its time to quit recruiting altogether… and maybe not?

Consider this…

Information Technology was all the rave during the Dot-Com era, but it is a new day now and recruiting nurses is the buzz. However, that is not the only game in town. Or is it? For the answer to that, let’s trot down to the Department of Labor (DOL) and put your hard earned tax dollars to work. Besides administrating unemployment benefits, the DOL monitors the labor market nationwide, statewide and locally. Why not do a bit of poking around to see what industry is the most viable in your neighborhood and beyond.

Ah! I sense that some of your eyes are glazing over, so let me give an example for clarity’s sake. I am in Atlanta, GA, so I visit the Ga. Department of Labor’s website in search of business.

This is what I see:



Right away I notice a link that says “Workforce Professionals.” (See the arrow?) I click it.



Right away I notice that there is a lot of good info to exploit. However, my eye zooms in on the #1 most frequently asked question: “What are the fastest growing occupations in Georgia?” So of course, I click that too.


I skim through a quick paragraph of info and see, “Six of the 20 fastest growing jobs are related to health services and five are related to computer technology.” I click the “Georgia Occupational Trends In Brief” link and a nice little report pops up with data substantiating their claim. How nice of Uncle Sam to do such due dilligence for me (and you - wink).

Should I rest satisfied with only this knowledge? Nope! I also want to check out the “Georgia Economic Indicators, Monthly Report” to see which industries have the money to pay me now and “Georgia Regional Occupational Trends” to see where in the state my services are most needed.

Let’s say I read all of this information and figure that the WIRELESS industry is going to explode in the coming months. Knowing this, I can position myself as a supplier of talent to the Wireless industry. I better get started right away before everyone else catches on (wink).

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The Department of Labor is a good beginning, but it’s not the only spot for this kind of thing. Have you ever heard of “The Dismal Scientist?” Bookmark this website! It’s a keeper.
http://www.economy.com/dismal/

Visit the Census Bureau Economic Programs
which monitors what sectors are hot and which are not.
http://www.census.gov/econ/www/

Check out the Economics Statistics Briefing Room! This is what the President reads when he considers the state of the union!
http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/employment.html

The friendly folks at Briefing.com will keep you current with their live market analysis.
http://www.briefing.com/FreeServices/

Okay, what if you are feeling a bit too antsy? What if after reading all of that you say to yourself, “Self, you are just too lazy to do all of that research, act on it and stay current on all of that stuff.” To that I would say, there are any number of tools designed to motivate you. Anything that helps you put the hours in to make the best strategic move might prove very worthwhile. However, if you were still unwilling, I would bring to your attention Plan B.

Plan B is to conduct a survey of old clients (if you have any) and those you would love to be your clients to gather data more directly. I can imagine the bewilderment in some of your eyes, so let me give you a play-by-play.

Scenario #1 – No clients at all

1. There are plenty of websites in cyberspace to which writers may submit their work. They are called “Free Content” sites and they generally operate as a place where online magazines can get free articles for publishing. (Take a peek at this link for example: http://www.ideamarketers.com/). Whether or not you are a great writer is irrelevant to utilizing this technique.

2. Contact the Gatekeepers and explain that you are writing an article (which you are) on industry trends. Ask Gatekeeper if you could forward a questionnaire for the purpose of routing it to specific workers/management (see the example at the end of this chapter).

3. Hopefully the gatekeeper will forward the questionnaire. Make sure that your questionnaire requests that all answers be emailed to you. (This of course creates a link for future contact that will enable you to follow-up after your article is completed. Who knows what can happen then?)

Scenario #2 – Old Clients

This is easy. Just call your old contacts, see where they are, ask them for their forecasts for the next quarter and begin preparing now. No gimmick needed when you already have an “in” to exploit.

SAMPLE SURVEY
Name:

Job Title:

What are your job functions?

Do you anticipate hiring in the next quarter?

If yes, in what areas?

What do you think will be the future of your industry in the coming months?

Thank you for your answers! Your response will be added to a survey of employers that serve your industry. By submitting your opinion, you will automatically receive notification of this survey’s results. Please send your comments to: John Q. via email to: Recruiter@recruitersrus.com
BIZDEV 101:
A mini-blog course on business development for searchfirms, headhunters, staffing agencies, contingency firms, retained searchfirms and independent recruiters.


BIZDEV 101 LESSONS
ANNOUNCING - Jim Stroud 2.0
Recruiting With Fonzie
FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL
The Best Business Is New Business
What About The News That’s Not Fit To Print?
The Fine Art Of Backscratching
Stop The Presses!
A Constant State of Sell
The Clever Rule Of Three
Sell to those willing to buy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Who is Jim Stroud?

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