Finding the right people to join your growing online business is not easy. But, with a little effort, you can create a compelling offer that does not require you to spend a lot.
Many people are becoming more selective in how they approach their career. For an online business this can be a challenge, especially if you want to attract the right people for your business.
And while it will take some effort, if you craft your company story in the right way, you may find you won’t have to spend a lot to hire them. As a business owner it is important to remember that some of the best people you want to attract will make their decision NOT based on the salary you provide, but on how well you can help them achieve their personal goals.
So if you are looking to hire more people, or just want to create the right environment for future hires, then this episode will help you.
In this episode we interview Kathryn Minshew from TheMuse.com to take a deep dive into the ways that businesses of any size can stand out from their peers and bring in the right talent to help grow their business.
In this 35-minute episode, Sean Jackson, Jessica Frick, and Kathryn Minshew discuss the key components of recruiting talent, including …
- How unique you have to be to stand out
- Why younger workers are more discriminating in the jobs they pursue
- Why corporate culture is more than just a slogan and is essential in finding the right people
- Tips and tactics you can use right now to improve your online recruiting efforts
- Finally, our question for the week – Should you be overly obsessive about competitive research?
Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below …
The Show Notes
- If you’re ready to see for yourself why over 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — swing by StudioPress.com for all the details
- Check out TheMuse.com guide for employers, Employer Branding 101
- Jessica’s favorite tool for online adverting competitive research, SpyFu
- Follow Sean on Twitter
- Follow Jessica on Twitter
How to Recruit the Best Talent for Your Online Business
Voiceover: Rainmaker FM.
You’re listening to The Digital Entrepreneur, the show for folks who want to discover smarter ways to create and sell profitable digital goods and services.
Sean Jackson: Welcome to The Digital Entrepreneur everyone. I’m your host, Sean Jackson, and I’m joined as always by the illuminating Jessica Frick. Jessica, how are you today?
Jessica Frick: I’m illuminated, Sean. How the Jackson are you?
Sean Jackson: I am well, as always. We left the last episode with the question of the week, which I think is perfect when thinking of you.
How weird is too weird when it comes to standing out, when it comes to your unique selling proposition, and when it comes to really crafting that special mojo that is you and your organization?
Jess, what do you say? How weird is too weird?
How Unique You Have to Be to Stand Out
Jessica Frick: I think you can be as weird as you want to be. But I think there’s certain levels of weird that are appropriate for certain situations. I mean, you don’t want to let your full freak flag fly in a client pitch.
Sean Jackson: Right.
Jessica Frick: You know, just maybe a little freak. Wear something a little weird, or maybe make a joke that somebody would have to catch.
But when it comes to recruiting, you can be super weird. I think that that would actually help you find an employee or a staffer that might not otherwise come. Just because they resonate with you, and they’re like, “Oh, my God. They get me.”
Sean Jackson: I think you’re right. I think you can be unique.
And being unique means being yourself on your best day, but truly being yourself. Not trying to be something that you are not.
I mean, if you looked at me — me dying my hair pink does not go with my persona, okay? It just doesn’t.
Jessica Frick: No.
Sean Jackson: I would stand out, to be certain. But there would definitely be a disconnect, and I wouldn’t be able to carry it off. And so I do think you’re right.
I think you do have to be unique and different and really something that is memorable and remarkable. I think you don’t want to be boring. You do want to stand out, but you don’t have to be something that you are not.
And I think it goes to the core set of values that you believe in yourself and the people that you want to attract. The people that you want around you — be it the audience that you’re trying to build online, be it the customers that you’re trying to sell to, or being, as you pointed out, the employees or the contractors inside your organization, right?
Jessica Frick: Absolutely. If you just disappear into the background, you’re going to just be part of the background noise. And if you’re selling an ebook or if you’re creating a new membership organization, the more people feel at home with you, the more they’re able to trust you.
Sean Jackson: Yeah, and they look forward to seeing you.
I mean, let’s face it: There’s a lot of boring people out there. The more that you can infuse your work with the unique characteristics of what you do and what makes you special — and really clearly articulate it. That’s what I really think it comes down to, is that you have to really know what it is about you and what you stand for and clearly articulate it so that it becomes a compelling part of your messaging.
Because it is okay to discriminate against people who are not sharing in the values that you share when you’re trying to build an organization. If you have certain values and you are clear about articulating them, there will be others that will be derisive of those values, that will be dismissive of it, and may not find any value in it. And you know what, Jess? That’s okay.
Jessica Frick: It is. I think though a lot of people don’t necessarily need permission to get weird. But I think that there’s a lot of us who were perhaps freaky kids, getting called out weirdo in the playground. And it was a bad thing then.
But now it’s an asset. And it takes some guts to make those first steps and be more you than who you think they want you to be. Little by little, you can get as weird as you want to be.
Sean Jackson: There you go.
I think this really comes to a head when we start talking about building up an organization. That by identifying, articulating, and really understanding what makes it unique about the organization you’re creating, which really centers on the solopreneur to start with and then expands and grows from those they bring around. It’s very important from the onset to understand those unique qualities to attract the right people, and that’s a little bit about what today’s show is.
We do have a very special guest on who is going to talk to us about how to create up that right type of organization. Be it a standard office or be a remote workforce, how to articulate that culture, how to attract the new type of talent that is out there, that is very discerning in the type of jobs they are looking for. And really understanding that, by being better at understanding yourself, it may not only save you money in the long run but actually help facilitate your growth.
Jessica Frick: Yes.
Sean Jackson: I know.
When we get back from this break, we will be talking to Kathryn Minshew, the author of The New Rules of Work, about how you can build an organization that attracts the best people. Stay tuned.
The Digital Entrepreneur is brought to you by the all-new StudioPress Sites, a turnkey solution that combines the ease of an all-in-one website builder with the flexible power of WordPress. It’s perfect for bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers, as well as those selling physical goods, digital downloads, and membership programs.
If you’re ready to take your WordPress site to the next level, see for yourself why over 200,000 website owners trust StudioPress. Go to Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress right now.
Welcome back from the break, everyone. Jessica, it is time for our interview this week. Whom do we have?
Jessica Frick: This week we have a very special guest, Kathryn Minshew. She is the CEO and founder of the TheMuse.com, which is a career platform used by 50-plus million millennials to find a job, learn professional skills, or advance in their career, and by hundreds of companies looking to hire or grow their employer brand.
Kathryn is also a Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review contributor. She’s spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on Today and CNN, and she’s been named to SmartCEO’s Future 50 and Inc.’s 35 Under 35.
Most importantly, of recent news Kathryn is co-author of the forthcoming book The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook to Navigating Your Career. We’re very excited to have her today. Kathryn, thank you so much for joining us.
Kathryn Minshew: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
Sean Jackson: Kathryn, I want to get into this because I figure I’m going to take a giant leap here, okay? I think you’re probably an expert in career management as well as helping companies figure out how to attract the right people. Would you say that’s a true statement?
Kathryn Minshew: I think it’s fair enough, but it is definitely an unintentional expertise. I like to joke that I started this business because I needed the advice, and I’ve ended up gaining so much more than I ever expected.
Sean Jackson: See? It helps when you’ve been there, right?
Kathryn Minshew: Exactly.
Sean Jackson: Let’s get into this a little bit.
The Muse, by the way, is a beautiful site. Congratulations to you on your success and obviously the valuable information you have there.
Given who our audience is, I want to talk a little bit about where you are seeing the trend now for people in the workplace. Because obviously our audience are the people that do the hiring. But I think, before you can hire anyone, you need to know what is that pool of talent out there. What are they expecting, and what are they looking for?
So talk to us a little bit about the modern worker today and the person that’s looking to manage their career.
Why Younger Workers Are More Discriminating in the Jobs They Pursue
Kathryn Minshew: Absolutely. One of the big things that has differentiated The Muse and I think our community is that the people that we cater to are often thinking about work in a fundamentally different way from perhaps 10, 20 years ago. And there’s a number of differences, but just a couple at the high level.
One is that candidates are becoming more like consumers. So it’s no longer enough for a company to post up a job description and say, “Walk right this way, come through my interview process, and maybe at the end I’ll tell you if you get an offer.”
Instead, candidates are taking more power and they’re saying, “Well, why this job? Why this company? What is it that will happen to me if I join you? What will I learn? Who will I work with? What will my day-to-day be like?”
They’re becoming much more informed and discerning consumers, and companies are reacting to that by changing their entire recruiting process. The investment in employer brand, the candidate experience that someone has as they’re going through your application interview process. All of that.
Secondly, the types of things that people are looking for, as I mentioned, it’s less about the sort of flashy perks or simply just, “Oh, you have a job? I want a job.” That is definitely going the way of the dinosaur.
We’re seeing a lot of people focus on the people, purpose, and path. So “Who will I be working with?” The purpose being the overall goal, mission of the company. “What is the point? What is the ultimate reason we’re all here together?”
And then path is opportunities for growth and development. This has never been more important, because career paths are less linear. And so as individuals realize they need to develop skills that will take them where they want to go in their career, they’re looking to employers to say, “What experiences that will help me develop those skills can you provide, and how will you help me grow?”
Sean Jackson: So it really comes down to the fact that people who are looking for a job now are not just looking for a job. They’re looking for something a lot more.
They’re becoming, I would say, much more discerning about the opportunities that they would like to pursue. Would you say that’s an accurate statement?
Kathryn Minshew: Exactly. It’s completely true, and it’s changing the entire way that employers are thinking about attracting those people.
Sean Jackson: Got you. Let’s talk about that a little bit.
Because, obviously, if you have a supply of people out there that are much more discerning, that are much more discriminating — looking for the 3 Ps, as you mentioned out there. How as either a solopreneur looking to scale up or an established business, where maybe I’m doing a lot of my work with people who are not necessarily in an office, how should I be thinking about company culture and trying to appeal to this more discriminating audience out there?
Why Corporate Culture Is More Than Just a Slogan and Is Essential in Finding the Right People
Kathryn Minshew: I think the first mistake that a lot of people make is thinking that there’s some sort of generic best culture or attractive culture that exists that they should emulate. Instead, the most successful people figure out what it is that they already have to offer.
So, what’s authentic to the opportunity, to their business. Whether it’s a one-person solo shop looking for a number two or someone else to help out or a much larger and more established business.
There’s a lot of ways to do this, but one thing that I find really helpful is, if you are in a position where you already have existing employees, you can actually get some of your best recruiting content by asking them, “What made you take this job? What drew you to this opportunity?” You can gather and sort of capture some really interesting content about what already brings people to your open roles from the people who’ve done it.
Frankly, if you’re a solo entrepreneur or you’re looking for your first, second, third person and you’re very small, that’s an opportunity in and of itself. There are people out there who are specifically drawn to and excited by that sort of thing, and so I would put that front and center when you’re recruiting.
I’d say first you have to figure out what is it that sets you apart. What are those unique identifiers that might make someone say, “Yeah, that’s what I want to do.” Then secondly you’ve got to make sure you get those in front of the right people. Whether that’s making sure they’re on your career site, if you’re at the stage where you have a career site, making sure that your existing employees or your network is sort of informed and empowered to be able to spread the word.
And then the simple job description. I think the days when you can just post Looking for a sales person or a software engineer and get a bunch of great people in the door, those days are numbered. And the best job descriptions have a section, not just what do I want from this candidate or what are the qualifications, but also what we can offer you. Why would you want this role?
It’s incredible, this sort of uptick you can see in applications and then conversion from people who look at your job description to actually apply when you write the right things and you really think about the person reading it as you’re creating that.
Sean Jackson: Of course, there’s a value when you do this as a company or a solopreneur, because it forces you to really think about the people that would fit well with you.
I think that’s the other side of it, that too often businesses that are growing especially are like, “We just need bodies in the door. If they can spell their name properly and, you know, I can check off on the resume the things that I think are important, bring them in.”
I think that does a disservice as the company and organization grows, because you’re not sitting there putting in the right mix of people into the organization.
Kathryn Minshew: Exactly. Everyone who’s worked on a team knows the impact of having somebody who’s just the wrong person for that team.
Now, it doesn’t mean they’re not a great person. They may be wonderful. Frankly, they can be very difficult. It’s more about the fit and do their preferred ways of working, their priorities, their core values as a professional align with what the company or the team needs. I think that’s so important for people to keep in mind when they’re hiring.
It’s interesting, because one of the most popular exercises in the book, in The New Rules of Work, is from the candidate’s perspective. It’s helping people look at their career values, essentially, and we have a long list in the book.
Someone who’s seeking creativity, flexibility, autonomy — they’re going to be looking for very different opportunities. And, frankly, a very different employee motivated in very different ways, from someone who might be seeking stability, compensation, the ability to move up in a very predictable fashion, prestige.
There are a lot of different work values. And so for an individual candidate, there’s a lot of utility in understanding what really motivates you at the end of the day. For a company, I think it can be so helpful to make sure that when you’re bringing somebody in, that their values are aligned with what you can provide.
Because, frankly, if you bring someone in under I don’t want to say false pretenses, but I think everyone’s familiar with that situation where a company sort of oversells itself and what it’s offering. That’s not going to end up well for anybody. Best case, you’ll have someone who leaves after a short period of time. Worst case, you could have someone who’s a long-term part of your team but ultimately is a bit toxic.
Sean Jackson: That’s important that you go into this. And it’s kind of funny, because to me it sounds like marketing your company to the people that are going to help you build your company. And do those things that we as online marketers would normally do both to attract an audience but also to attract an audience of potential employees.
That to me makes a ton of sense, because every organization is different. And the better way that you articulate that, the more clearly you articulate that, the better the results will be both in building the customer base as well as building the employee base. It’s generally the same type of rules.
I want to go in though, because one of the things when you were talking about all this, what kept on coming into my mind was the fact that the better that you can clearly articulate the core values, unique proposition, the type of person that would fit with your organization — there is a monetary side to that.
Correct if I’m wrong, but sometimes I would take less pay to be with the right organization. Where pay, sometimes where I get it in the extreme, is only to compensate for the fact that I don’t really want to work there, but they’re going to pay me so much to be there.
So talk a little bit about the role of paying and the whole salary side when it comes to these very discerning potential employees.
Kathryn Minshew: Absolutely. You’re spot on. The business impact is real. And I can give you a million examples, but just two that come to mind.
The first is, as you said, in how much you have to pay people to join the team. There’s a great statistic, and I don’t have it on hand right now, but it’s something like the average person would accept 19% lower salary to join a company that they were really excited about or where they felt like it was a good fit, compared to a company that did not have an employer brand or a positive association that resonated with them.
Right then and there, that’s been shown now by data. I would say it’s very true, in my personal experience. And we have over 600 companies on The Muse. We hear it from them as well.
When you find someone who is excited … For them, first of all, it’s more about joining a tribe or a community and being part of what you do and less about, “Well, this other opportunity is paying me $15,000 more, so thanks so much. Sorry.”
On the attraction front, it certainly has a business impact in terms of whether you can attract great people at sort of a normal market rate or, frankly, if you’re a growing company, sometimes even below market, versus whether you really have to overpay to convince people to come. That’s sort of number one.
Second is retention. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this, where somebody, a great employee, will get that offer from a big business. I’ve heard recently about a situation that happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s a star employee. They had a friend in their network reach out and ultimately made that person an offer for I think it was something like $100,000 more in base salary.
It was a massive difference. Of course, this person thought about it and agonized, because that is a major lifestyle change. The original company could go up by a tiny amount, but not even close to that jump. And ultimately the person decided to stay, and part of that was that they believed in the culture, the experience, the place that they were.
I think that for leaders, it’s funny to me, and I don’t want to be … I’ll try and keep this really nice, but leaders have always been saying, “Oh, our people. The people are the most important thing.” But when you look at people’s actions, in fact, they often don’t act in a way that indicates that their people are the most important thing. And yet how does anything get done in your organization? It’s your employees, your team.
The more that you can both invest in those people, treat them well, but also, again, as we were talking about, making sure that you have something unique to offer and that you’re really being thoughtful about the employee experience. I believe that’s going to be more and more critical to both attracting but also keeping great people. Because information asymmetry is going away, and those great people are going to find somewhere that does value them if they’re not valued at your business.
Sean Jackson: Let’s talk a little bit. Being the finance guy, I love the financial side of the employee equation and especially nonfinancial incentives.
So I am here, I’m trying to grow my business. I am looking and following the advice that you give about really articulating what makes us unique, what really drives us to attract people who are inspired and want to join that tribe, if you will. But part of it is going to be pay. The other part are going to be the incentives that I put in to both retain and to encourage. Both, there’s financial and nonfinancial.
Let’s talk a little bit about that as I’m crafting up my package. Because I’ve got a great story, I’ve clearly articulated it. I’ve got a pay that may or may not be above market. But that’s not the only thing in the equation.
What is it that as an organization I need to start thinking about as far as incentives, as part of this discussion with potential hires, as well as current people I’ve got in my shop already?
Tips and Tactics You Can Use Right Now to Improve Your Online Recruiting Efforts
Kathryn Minshew: Exactly. I think this is a great point, because when people think about attracting — as you said, there’s a lot of incentives and a lot of benefits and things that employees are looking for. Some of them are financial, but a lot of them are not.
I will say, I’m going to go through a couple of different examples. Not every example is right for every company. And this goes back to figuring out your specific, unique value proposition essentially, for lack of better words, as an employer. So don’t feel like you’ve got to do all of these.
For example, some organizations have been incredibly successful in investing in things like flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, bringing children into the office. We actually have a baby-at-work policy at The Muse for infants that are under six months old that’s been very successful. And that’s been tremendous in terms of both people with small children feeling welcome and feeling excited about the company, but also, I think, we’ve seen retention benefits across the board.
We also see that there are companies that will take a strong focus on investing and learning and growth. I was talking about this earlier, but that there are ways to do this that both have a financial and a nonfinancial impact. Financially, obviously, companies that can provide formal training, that can send their employees to conferences or other external learning opportunities. That’s obviously a huge draw for a lot of people that are thinking about building skills and experiences in their career.
Nonfinancially, I think there are also some really interesting opportunities. Whether it’s giving people the chance to rotate into a different department, pick up a new skill, work with someone that’s in a different field or different part of the business to, again, see more about what they do. These sorts of things can be really big draws for people, and I think that it pays to be creative.
I’ll give another quick example. When The Muse was very small, we didn’t have a lot of budget for anything. In fact, the business now is over 130 full-time employees. But the first two years, we were three, and then five, and then seven, and grew very slowly.
But a couple of things we did that people have since told me really made the difference: One was I really got to know what motivated each person and did my best to provide that. Now, you can’t do that as easily at a hundred people, but you can at three, at five, at seven. And it’s incredible.
I’ll give you a silly example, but one of our early team members, our kind of lead marketer, was just a huge basketball fan. I happened, two months after I learned that, to get an invite to an event where I think Allen Iverson was speaking and I couldn’t go. And so I reached out and I said, “Can I send somebody from my team?” And I sent Elliott, and it was this huge, exciting thing for him. And I think he appreciated that I remembered.
We also would, because we were very small, we would approach conferences and say, “We can’t afford to pay your ticket price, but can we do X, Y, Z or promote you on our social channels in advance and send somebody for free?” A lot of conferences would say yes, and so we were able to get professional development opportunities for the team without investing a huge amount of money.
I can talk more. I think it’s really useful for people to think about all of the additional incentives. But whether it’s professional development and growth, is it flexibility and work life integration, is it upgraded software and tools and the type of things they’ll be using in their day-to-day?
People are motivated in very diverse ways and, frankly, that’s a great thing for the world. But as an employer, and especially as someone who’s leading a small team, you have a unique opportunity to really understand people on an individual level and then help give them the thing that’s going to most specifically motivate and excite them. And I think that it’s very, very powerful.
Sean Jackson: I want to end our conversation, because if you’ve ever read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, it was interesting how the protagonist in the story went from running their own shop, to going back to work, to again coming through the trials and tribulations in the story.
And I think a lot of online entrepreneurs at some point will see failure, and it’s sad but it’s true. Talk to us a little bit about, “Look, I’ve been running my own online shop for a while, okay? And it’s not going as well, or I may need to augment my income by getting a permanent job.”
Talk to us a little bit about coming back from that solopreneur world and re-entering the marketplace. Of course, in Silicon Valley, you see this all the time. I would do my startup, and when it doesn’t work, somebody go gets a job.
Talk to us a little bit about re-entering the workforce from that solopreneur or very, very small business environment.
Kathryn Minshew: Firstly, I think from a mindset perspective, the most successful people are ones that realized they have developed some incredibly valuable skills as a solopreneur. And that going back into a more traditional workforce doesn’t necessarily mean that they are sort of giving up on that path.
In fact, it’s an opportunity to see how another business does things. Polish the types of skills that you would get at a larger organization versus a small one, and ultimately go back if you want into being a solo entrepreneur in the future, armed with more. I think looking at it that way can be really helpful.
Secondly, I think that there’s no rule book that says you have to go get a job doing what you were doing before you were a solo entrepreneur. And sometimes people think that, because they’re like, “Well, this is what I’m qualified to do.”
But one of the things about The New Rules of Work — and this is a premise that TheMuse.com is built on and that the book is honestly built on as well — is that your career is determined by the skills you have and whether you can adequately convey those to new people. It’s not necessarily a line of experience or a degree or a credential.
I think this is incredible news for solo entrepreneurs, because you tend to have picked up a tremendous number of skills in what you do day in and day out. And so this is where I think writing out a cover letter … I mean, actually before that even, a statement: What is it that you do well? What could you bring to an organization? It’s obviously very tempting to focus on the functional things.
For example, let’s say you’re pro digital marketer, but you’ve also probably had experienced wrangling complex projects, or dealing with certain financials, or understanding a business from three different sides. Because you’ve been doing it. And so thinking a bit more broadly.
Another exercise we recommended in the book is talking to a few folks who know you well about, What would you say my strengths are. What do you feel like I’m excellent at? What could I bring to a new organization? Because people will see things in you that you take for granted in yourself, and those can sometimes be the most powerful.
Then I would frankly lay those out on a list. Firstly, it’s just great to regain your confidence. It can be the basis for updating your resume or your cover letters, and it can be a good cheat sheet before you go into an interview, making sure that you kind of harken back to examples of the skills that you possess. Because that is ultimately what’s going to make that transition more smooth.
Sean Jackson: Kathryn Minshew, thank you so much for being on the show. The name of the book is The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career. We truly appreciate you joining us and sharing your insight.
Kathryn Minshew: Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it.
Sean Jackson: Hey, everyone. This is Sean Jackson, the host of The Digital Entrepreneur. And I want to ask you a simple question: What is your business framework for selling digital goods online?
Now if the question perplexes you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most people don’t realize that the most successful digital entrepreneurs have a framework or general process for creating and selling their digital goods in the online space. And one of the best free resources is Digital Commerce Academy.
Digital Commerce Academy combines online learning with case studies and webinars created by people who make a living selling digital goods online. And the best part is that this material is free when you register.
Are you interested in joining? Well, I’ll make it easy for you. If you’re listening to this show on your phone and are in the continental United States, I want you to send a text message to 313131 with the keyword DIGITS. When you send that text message, we will send you a link to the registration form right to your phone.
Are you outside the United States? Don’t worry. Just send us an email to digits@rainmaker.FM.
Either way, we’ll send you a link to the registration forms so that you can sign up for free for Digital Commerce Academy. As a special bonus, we will also subscribe you to our newsletter when you text or email us so that you can stay informed with the latest insights from the show. Don’t worry, we respect your privacy, and we will not share your email or phone number. And you can easily unsubscribe at any time.
If you want to start building or improving your framework for selling digital goods online, then please send a text to 313131 with the keyword DIGITS. Or send us an email at digits@rainmaker.FM. You won’t be disappointed.
Welcome back from the break. Now it’s time for our recommendations, Jess. And I’ve got one that is directly applicable to our guest today, but it’s not her book.
Jessica Frick: What is it, John?
Sean Jackson: It so happens that on her site, in addition to the book that they’re promoting at TheMuse.com, they also have this ebook called Employer Branding 101. And it’s an ebook, it’s a download. Go ahead and take a moment to go to TheMuse.com/employers, with an S, and download the book.
Because here’s why: I think much of our audience are online marketers. They understand the art of communicating, inspiring people to act. And, of course, whether it’s an audience that you’re looking to turn into customers or potential employees that you’re looking to hire, this type of understanding of branding is something I think our audience would get right off the bat. And to know that they already have the skill, this book I think would help reinforce it.
So go to TheMuse.com/employers and download her Employer Branding 101 book. That’s my recommendation.
Jessica Frick: That’s a great recommendation. Mine is completely the other way, though.
Sean Jackson: Uh-oh.
Jessica Frick: I’ve been thinking a lot about research lately, as far as keywords and ads in the online space. And I want to recommend SpyFu. You can learn about them. It’s SpyFu.com.
What SpyFu excels at is competitive research. So you can actually type in competitors websites and find out exactly what they’re doing online to give you a better idea on what you should be doing, might consider doing, or what you might want to stay away from.
Sean Jackson: Okay. So SpyFu.com. Definitely well known and absolutely somewhat devious, if you will. But not really, because it’s all information that is out there.
SpyFu.com is Jess’ recommendation. Alrighty, I like that.
Jessica Frick: You know, Sean, you said devious. And that makes me think more about the question that I wanted to ask next week, if you will indulge me.
Sean Jackson: I will.
Finally, Sean and Jessica s Question for the Week: Should You Be Overly Obsessive About Competitive Research?
Jessica Frick: My question is, should you be doing competitive research? Should you be paying attention to what your competitors are doing at all, or is that going to distract you?
Sean Jackson: Ooh, good question. What say you?
Jessica Frick: I think you have to. I think if you don’t know what your competitors are doing, even if you think you don’t have a competitor, I think you should at least know what other people who are in similar spaces are doing so that you can better create that unique selling proposition and really kill it.
Sean Jackson: Well, I will take the counter side of that argument and say that if you focus too much on what your competitors are doing, you may not be focusing enough on what you should be doing.
Jessica Frick: I can see how that would be there. This is a genuine question. I think it could go either way.
Sean Jackson: I think it could, and we will find out how it evolves and our conclusion on the next episode of The Digital Entrepreneur. Take care, everyone.
Jessica Frick: Thanks for listening.