Pushing your boundaries

Pushing boundariesI recently attended a seminar all about creating an empire. The speaker was Sarah Wilson. You may have heard of her, she is an Australian media icon. Long story short she has moved from the editor at Cosmopolitan Australia to entrepreneur starting with blogs, ebooks and more recently print books. Sarah Wilson claims that she didn’t aim for any of this to happen it just went that way.

During question time a lady put her hand up and explained her situation…wedding blogger with over 600,000 followers… she then proceeded to ask when did Sarah know that she should be monetising her blog. Sarah’s response was you should know that when you reach impressive followers like yourself you should do something about it.

This answer got me thinking. How many people could do great things and just haven’t realised it? An article on BRW about women to watch quoted a 21 year old entrepreneur saying “If I had the idea now, I don’t think I’d do it in the same way because your attitude to risk changes.” Is this the reason why as people get older instead of taking the career change they had been thinking about or those new jobs they are not sure they will succeed in, they settle into a job they know they can do?

You will have seen the movie Yes Man, an employee of Virgin Active in London had been teaching Sam (Richard Bransons son) tennis when he received a phone call from Sam asking if he wanted to teach in Mecca. Sam at the time was sat in his car with rain beating down on him in central London. He thought why not Mecca will not be this bad. It wasn’t Mecca that Sam had been talking about but Necker. Necker is Richard Bransons private island in the British Virgin Islands. This tennis coach in central London then ended up spending 2 years in paradise in what he called the best tennis coaching job in the world. All he did was say yes to an opportunity that could have seen him in the heart of a Muslim Mecca.

The point I guess I am trying to make is what have you said yes to recently? Have you taken a leap of faith at work? Have you tried to move out of the role that you are stuck in? Perhaps it is time you pushed outside of your comfort zone and reached for a job that you could shine and excel in. Why don’t you contact a Quay Appointments Consultant today and see what opportunities might be waiting for you.

Posted in Holiday Season Tips

Improving your LinkedIn Profile


As part of creating the “You” brand you should focus heavily on your LinkedIn profile. To give you an idea of how big LinkedIn has now become it has 300million members internationally. 6million of these are in Australia and just 4 years ago this was only 1million. A completed LinkedIn profile will always be the first thing that comes up on a Google search of yourself. It can be the difference between getting the interview at your dream job and not getting the interview. Henny O’Brien the Talent Market Strategist at LinkedIn was recruited via LinkedIn. An Inmail sent to Henny asked if she would go for a coffee to discuss her options. She started at LinkedIn 6 weeks later.

If this doesn’t make you want to sort your profile I am not sure what will. It sure made me think twice about what my profile was saying about me. So how do you make your profile stand out?

I recently attended an evening with Henny and Tara Commerford the Head of Communications at LinkedIn who went into detail about how to improve your profile.


–          Make sure that you have a professional photograph on your profile.

–          Include a summary of at least 40 words, this should be an over view of your career but you also need to include how you stand out from others. Remember it is the first paragraph that people are really going to read.

–          When writing your job titles, the title you give does not have to be your official job title. Henny’s title is “Sourcing great talent at LinkedIn” it means that when people are searching if the key words are in that title you are more likely to come up. Your job title could be obscure and not necessarily match what you actually do.

–          Include volunteer experience or causes if you have any. This will make you stand out from another person that has a similar profile to yourself and will also set your LinkedIn profile apart from your Resume.

–          Follow groups on LinkedIn and make sure you are active, like and share interesting news feeds.

–          Follow influencers that are in your industry, you don’t need to know them to follow them and find out what they are talking about. People like Richard Branson, James Caan, Arianna Huffington all have interesting posts to follow.

–          Add rich media to your profile. If you have any videos or presentations that you can post add them, these will make your profile stand out in comparison to others.

–          Don’t be afraid to show the company culture within which you work. If you are doing something interesting in the office let LinkedIn know about it and get your colleagues to get involved in liking and commenting on the post.

–          Blog, if you have something interesting to say, say it. You will create yourself as an industry leader, people may want to know what you are saying.

–          Ask previous employees and colleagues for recommendations and endorsements. It may feel awkward but those recommendations and endorsements from previous working history will help you in the future.


Remember you are creating your professional brand, this is not something that only job seekers do, this is something that will help you network within your industry and call on the experts that you meet at networking events in the future for help, advise or just a chat. 

Posted in Holiday Season Tips

7 tips to the perfect Skype interview

skypeThe technological world is fast moving into every part of our lives including interviews. A Skype interview should be viewed with the same importance as a face to face interview. Here are 7 things to remember when preparing for your skype interview.


1. Make sure your Skype account is interview appropriate

Most people have a Skype account and have done for many years sexy_legs is not an appropriate Skype name for an interview, neither is a picture of you in a bikini on your holidays. Make sure you amend everything to give a professional approach to your interview before you send out your contact request for your future employer.

2. Reseach, research, research

You are not going into the office which makes research even more crucial. Check the company website, facebook and twitter accounts. You are not only looking for information about the company and their daily activities but also the culture within the company. The culture will help you decide what to wear and give you an idea of what type of candidates the company will be looking for.

3. Prepare your surroundings

Make sure that where you have decided to conduct the interview is appropriate. Check the lighting and make sure there are no tatty posters on the walls or unmade bed in the background. You are aiming for a clean and professional. The good thing about Skype is you can have notes. Write important questions on post it notes and stick them to your screen. Make sure your parents/roommates know you are in an interview.

4. Prepare your technology

Make sure the sound is set up, the microphone is turned on and the camera is facing the right way. Close all other programs during the interview there is nothing more distracting than a Facebook message flashing up on your page. Make sure that the computer is set up so that you can look into the webcam and not the screen, this may need practice as it doesn’t tend to come natural.

5. Make sure you are ready for your scheduled time.

Don’t call first, you are expected to be on Skype on time but the interviewer will call you. If they haven’t called within 10 minutes write to them and ask if you have got the correct time.

6. During the Interview

Smile, it is easy to forget when you are talking to a computer screen that you still need to smile. Hang a silly picture behind your computer if that helps. Sit up straight, you may be at home but you are still on show. Dress head to toe, you want to feel professional and if you have to get up to fix your computer or get an extra piece of paper you do not want that awkward moment when you can’t move. Wait for the interviewer to finish talking, do not interrupt. There can be time delays and they miss important things you have to say.

7. After the interview

Make sure you thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you.

Posted in Holiday Season Tips

How much does it really cost to recruit the perfect candidate?

recruitment imageI am sure it has been discussed hundreds of times within your organisation on how to reach the perfect candidate. Is it someone that currently works for your competitor? Is it someone that you can promote internally? Is it someone looking for a change of career?

There is no one stop shop that will tell you where to start. It is something that each organisation has to figure out for themselves.

Cost Per Hire

A good place to start is to work out the CPH (Cost per Hire). Think about what you would normally spend to recruit an employee:

–          Advertising fees

–          Job Posting fees

–          Travel expenses

–          Relocation fees

–          Internal recruiter costs

–          Administrative costs

Each should be easy to quantify; work out the yearly costs for your internal recruiter and administrator and divide that by how many people you employ per year. Think about if you outlay this amount per candidate and still cannot find the right candidate? What do you do then? Do you still turn to an external recruiter?

Time to Fill

The next thing to think about is the Time to Fill (TTF) a role. If the position is vacant for some time then this can have an impact on your organisation, after all you a looking for a new employee for a reason either to fill a new need in the business or to replace and existing staff member. Every day that the position is not filled can cost you. Finding the right candidate can be hard work especially if it is a specialist role. An external recruiter would already have a pool of candidates they would be able to draw on to make sure the TTF is as short as possible.

Culture Fit

Finding a new employee that can do everything that you need to be done is hard. Finding someone that can do everything you need to be done and fit in with the company is even harder. As an Internal recruiter you should be able to give a good outline of the company culture, you know the people and the atmosphere that is created on a day to day basis but are you biased? Have you been working at the company so long that you see a blurred view? You may love the fact that everyone works really hard and then goes home, a candidate might want more of a work life balance. Would it help to have an external source understand your company? Once they understand you and the company they can objectively talk about the culture within the company perhaps finding someone that suits the company in a way you had never thought.

Recruiting the wrong person

What happens if you do all this and within a week or even three months the candidate leaves the position? You have to start all over again. People leave positions for many different reasons, can be another job, can be the culture or the work itself. With an external recruiter you have a guarantee that if the person leaves, the recruitment company will find you a new candidate.

Think before you act

With all this said, it is important to consider all the points. Each organisation is different and the way you recruit a new employee will reflect on the type of candidate you attract and the chances that the employee will stay long term at the company.


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Branding yourself for your next interview

Look at getting a job like you look at a business venture. It is all about the way you market yourself. Think about the process from start to finish. The start of the process is not your resume or your cover letter. The start is your marketing.

When was the last time you looked at your LinkedIn account? This is your online resume that recruiters and employers look at as soon as they receive your resume. Make sure this is up to date, current and highlights your USP (Unique Selling Point). Sell yourself like you are a unique branded product. You have to know what your unique characteristics are, what sets you apart from your competitors? Highlight your passion and dedication to your industry particularly if you take the time outside of work to study and network within the industry.

Once LinkedIn is sorted, google yourself and see what comes up. You don’t want those awful pictures from the weekend showing up on the internet to a future employer. Make sure your Facebook profile is private and just yours. Restrict your profile to your friends only.

Have a look at your Twitter account, who are you following and how does that represent you? Anyone can look at your profile and people will make snap judgements on what they see.

Once you have got the interview, this is the next step in your personal marketing strategy. Research the company and the job before attending the interview. You want the interviewer to know you have taken the time to research about the organisation. Think about not what the company can do for you but what you could do for the company. Think about your previous role and how you affected the bottom line in your department. Make sure you can give anecdotes and specific instances. Come back to your USP and think about your unique characteristics.

Remember that it is everyone that you come in to contact with that can affect the decision the interviewer may make. The receptionist and even concierge may be asked for their opinion of the way you acted and handled yourself.

Arrive at the interview early with your CV and even a business card. You can get business cards printed cheaply online and this would make you stand out from any other candidate they may have seen.

Think about how you come across when you sit, talk and communicate with your interviewer. It all leaves an impression. Think constantly about your USP and how to ensure your marketing yourself in the right way.

Remember throughout the whole process you are creating a brand. It is you they will want over anyone else because you have the unique skills, you will have created a package and the organisation is investing into the whole brand you have created not just a list of previous roles you have completed on your resume.

Posted in Useful Skills

Lying on you resume…how far does it really get you?

ImageFor those of you that have not been following the news, Myer recently sacked their star recruit. One week ago Myer were boasting about their new recruit who was supposedly the former managing director and VP of Inditex group which is the Spanish company that own fashion brand Zara. Myer were so impressed with Andrew Flanagan’s previous accomplishments he was hired as the group general manager of strategy and business development but was fired on the first day of his employment. Myer had not completed their reference checks and after their boasting, they were quietly informed that Andrew Flanagan had never worked for Inditex group and they had no idea of who he was.

This is not the first time an incident of this nature has occurred. In 2012 Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson was fired for falsifying his education on his resume. He had claimed that he had a bachelor’s degree in both accounting and computer science when in fact he only had a degree in accounting. It was discussed at the time about how Thompson may have fabricated his education when he first started his career but with the rise of social media and the internet things like this are being picked up on that would have not been picked up on in the past.

The consequences for falsifying your resume can be worse than get fired from the job. In 2002 John Davy was jailed for 3 months in New Zealand for falsifying his resume to secure the role of Chief Executive of Mauri Television Service. Davy had lied about his position at British Columbia Security’s Commission and at Middle East Round Table for International Affairs both organisations denied knowing Davy at all. He also falsified his education claiming to have an MBA from the Ashland School of Business at Denver State University which was later found to have been purchased from the internet.

After looking online about what other people had been saying about lying on your resume I read differing reviews some even going as far as

“Once you’ve “updated” your resume, give a second look. Is it compelling? Will it help you get the career you want? If not, go back and add whatever you need because when it comes to getting the interview, you only have one shot to make a first — albeit fictitious — impression.” Robert Pagliarini

Other websites and blogs actually said

“And really, why even get the piece of paper? Why not just write down the name of that piece of paper? Can you spell a school correctly? That’s basically good enough. Hiring managers are very busy people — that’s why they’re hiring, funnily enough. Calling a school and asking about some English degree is very rarely done. If you’re really worried about this, make up the name of a school in a place that looks like it’d be expensive to call.” Chris Bucholz

In today’s modern world of technology and social media it only takes a couple of minutes for an employer to check your credentials. A survey by Employment Office found that over 80% of employers believe that candidates are lying.

“Our clients trust that we will provide them with the best candidate and that all the information we pass to them will be correct. Lying in this current climate is not worth it, we have many ways of checking your credentials and it is our job to give our client the best possible candidate.” Winsome Bernard

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Profiling Tools in Recruitment

Can your company afford the cost of recruiting the wrong person?

Trevor O’Sullivan goes into detail in the attached article about choosing the right candidate and how you should do this.

Article 10 – Profiling Tools in Recruitment NEW

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Gen Y at Work: Rewarding the Global Generation

On Tuesday 11th February, Mark McCrindle had presented a piece on Managing Generations at Work, which reinforced the fact that there are strong trait variations between the generations at work and how to manage the variations.

In addition to a fantastic session on the day, Mark and his team have provided the attendees with resources found on the McCrindle blog and online library.  Here is a very interesting article found on their blog.


Gen Y at Work: Rewarding the Global Generation

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Generation Y is the most educated, entertained and materially endowed generation in history, with a novel perspective on work that makes attracting, engaging and training them a challenge for employers to get right. High turnover rates among the emerging generations have posed questions around remuneration and how much is right to engage this flighty cohort.

The global outlook of Generation Y and their desire to travel, fused with their focus on lifestyle and priority focus on work-life balance give insights into how managers can best engage with them. Remuneration remains a key factor in the equation, but it is just one of many retention factors, and by no means the primary one.

Getting remuneration right:
a critical issue

Even in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, the attraction and retention of good staff is still a key issue and a growing one as we face growing labour demand in a recovering economy and declining labour supply with an ageing demography.

The ageing of populations and with that, workforces is a challenge across many developed countries. The median age in Japan, Germany and Italy is 44; in France and the UK it is around 40, and in Australia and the United States it is hovering around 37. In Australia we are approaching the point of “peak labour” – where there will be more full time employees retiring from the workforce than there will be younger people entering it. Indeed Australia’s population is growing by more than 300,000 per annum however the increase in the working age population is less than half of this.

Therefore filling skills shortages, ensuring talent recruitment is taking place, dealing with leadership succession, and developing young staff are all essential functions for managers wishing to “future proof” their businesses.

Adding to this strain of attracting employees are the retention challenges faced by many employers, with Generation Y leading the revolution of job churning and career changing. In Australia, our annual turnover rate of 15 per cent per annum means that the medium length of time people stay in their roles is three years and four months. If this trend continues throughout the worklife of Generation Y, they will have 17 different employers and five separate careers during their lifetime (that’s allowing for Gen Y workers entering the workforce at 19-20 and finishing work at 79-80 years of age). In this climate, it’s not only the recruitment and retention that is important, but also re-recruitment. Keeping in contact with departing talented workers has proved very useful for many managers who have been able to re-employ members of this boomerang generation.

Attracting the new generations

Generation Y don’t seek a job as much as they seek an opportunity. They have multiple expectations of an organisation. It isn’t just the job description, but the workplace culture, the variety, fun, training, management style, and flexibility that drives them. In light of this, it is not enough to focus only on financial benefits as a tool of attraction and retention.

We have conducted many studies of young job seekers, we have surveyed thousands of working Australians and conducted dozens of focus groups and interviews with Generation Y investigating the employment factors which attract and retain them and the results of the different studies concur: the size of the employer and or the recognition of the employer brand did not define an employer of choice but rather the job opportunity and challenge, varied role and career pathway, workplace culture, lifestyle benefits, management style, and work-life balance. These were factors often offered by small employers and non-profit organisations, not just larger corporates. Interestingly, salary alone wasn’t the main drawcard, and out of the many interviews remuneration was mentioned less than these non-monetary factors and rewards.

Moving past traditional incentives: retaining Generation Y

Generation Y has grown up in a world where everything is incentivised. Customer loyalty is bought with frequent buyer programs, points, or discounts. And accordingly, so is employee loyalty. By understanding and meeting their needs, motivating through relevant reward and recognition strategies, better retention can be achieved.

Flexibility to study, travel and achieve work-life balance is a basic expectation of new job seekers.

Flexibility to study

Generation Y is the most formally educated generation in history – a title they are set to keep long term with many predicted to return to formal study multiple times in their lifetime. Indeed, the 21st century life is rarely linear and sequential. Life stages were once clearly defined, starting with education, followed by work and perhaps after a career change or two, retirement. Today, the education phase extends well into adulthood, and throughout the work life. The multiple career paths taken by Generation Y will lead them to retrain several times, with an increasing likelihood to take their careers overseas. Flexibility to study is therefore crucial for this cohort.

Flexibility to travel

Having grown up in culturally diverse landscape, where 1 in 4 Australians were overseas-born, it is no surprise that Generation Y is globally connected. New technology and social media allows them to network with friends around the globe, while cheap travel allows them to travel overseas not just interstate.

With a focus on lifestyle rather than just wealth accrual, Generation Y is spending more time living at home, delaying some of the traditional benchmarks of adulthood such as buying their first home, marrying, or starting a family. Nearly 1 in 4 Australians (23%) aged between 20-34 continue to live in the parental home. Of these, nearly half have moved out and returned again with most (52%) lasting less than two years before returning home. For the majority of these, their decision to move back in is often financially motivated.

Flexibility and work life balance

Workers today look to have multiple needs met at work. Of course, working is about achieving task outcomes and receiving financial rewards, but for Gen Y it is also about fun, social connection, training, personal development, greater fulfilment and even environmental sustainability. A job for Gen Y is more than just delivering a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. They have an expectation that it will also help them achieve social, training, and lifestyle goals as well.

Gen Y employees need to feel that their jobs are equipping them for the future, that they are being invested in and valued. The increase in workplace ping pong tables, lunchrooms equipped with coffee machines and sandwich makers, and work meetings held in the local cafe highlight the recognition of staff wellbeing, team engagement and activity-based working in achieving better retention and commitment. The favour is likely to be returned as well – with the advent of technology Generation Y is likely to be found checking their work emails frequently out of hours, as well as working on the weekends as well.

It is self evident that every business, team and brand is just one generation away from extinction. Only by recruiting and engaging with the next generation of employees will we maintain an innovative outlook, a relevant workplace culture and a future proof organisation. Oh, and it will probably be a dynamic and fun place to work too.

End Article****

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14 tips to mitigate end-of-year function risks

Last year around this time, we posted a blog which is directly related to the end of year party season.  We do, however, feel that this issue will not disappear anytime soon.  So we’re bringing the post back!

Here are 14 tips to mitigate risk at your celebrations found from the HR Daily website.

14 tips to mitigate end-of-year function risks

15 November 2012 7:26am

Speech time at the work Christmas party is a good opportunity for employers to pause the flow of alcohol and help prevent incidents arising from excessive consumption, says the Australian Drug Foundation’s head of workplace services, Phillip Collins.

He suggests not serving alcohol while formal proceedings are conducted to allow people to eat more food and drink water, which will reduce their alcohol intake.

The Australian Drug Foundation has developed a checklist, as part of its Good Hosts program, which helps HR professionals and employers plan work events that avoid alcohol-related harm and corporate embarrassment.

Employers should follow all of the steps in the checklist to ensure a fun event that isn’t too focused on alcohol, Collins says.

The first step is to implement an early intervention strategy to prevent incidents occurring at an event, he says.

If someone at an event is consuming more alcohol than everyone else, employers should have a procedure in place to identify the risk and how to handle it, and consider ways to “mitigate any risks in the future”.

For example, increasing the amount of water provided to the person, table or group could be beneficial. Employees should also know who the person responsible for the event is.

This is “absolutely critical”, he says, so that if something happens at the event, there is someone to turn to who will have an action plan.

Employers should also control the flow of alcohol, bearing in mind how they have served alcohol at previous events and whether it was successful, Collins says.

“So historically it could have been you [had] alcohol in a big ice bin and people [could] simply go and grab what they want, or there could be an arrangement on the table.”

Requiring employees to go to the bar to get a drink can help reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, he says.

Alcohol should not be the focus of the night, and instead the event should focus on entertainment, such as speeches or having arcade games at the venue.

Employers should consider whether some of the people attending the social event are non-drinkers, and “engage them in activities where they can actually enjoy themselves without having to… think they need to have alcohol to have fun”, Collins says.

To avoid rapid consumption of alcohol, an event should not have any kind of drinking games, he adds.

Further, employers should avoid placing an emphasis on alcohol consumption, for example by not promoting “drink until dawn” on a communication flyer or having alcoholic-based lucky door prizes.

Employees must know when to leave the venue and how they are getting home, and employers should make them aware of this before the event, “as opposed to on the night”.

Employees should be advised of the event’s start and end time, and whether public transport is available, or if taxis will be provided, Collins says.

Further, if someone at the event consumes a lot of alcohol and is evicted from the premises, “companies must have a policy in place to ensure that that person does get home safely”, he says.

This safe transport policy should require the employer to place the evicted person in a taxi, give clear directions to the taxi driver to take the person directly home, and pay for that trip.

Depending on the length of the event, substantial food should be served regularly to help prevent intoxication. Collins says food should be available within an hour of the bar opening.

It is also important for employers to cater for the diversity of their workforce, so that all employees who might be drinking alcohol can “have that food intake to balance everything out”.

Employers should ensure they have an adequate number of security guards for the event, and that those security guards know the employer’s requirements.

They should be briefed on: the number of people attending the event; the employer’s alcohol policies; how and what people are being served; who’s in charge; and how to take an evicted person out of the venue, Collins says.

“Having security guards there is not only to stop people coming in that shouldn’t be there, but also to ensure that the [employer’s expectations] are actually met,” he says.

Lastly, after an event has taken place, employers should debrief about the event, and discuss what they did right, what they did wrong, what they can do in the future, and document it for next time.

Managers should set the standard

According to Mills Oakley partner Luke Connolly, the biggest mistake employers make when planning end-of-year and other functions is failing to communicate to managers the importance of modelling desired behaviours on the night.

“Management themselves don’t lead by example. They tend to forget who they are and who they’re representing, thereby creating a culture of partying that breaches a number of standards that ought apply at these type of events,” he told HR Daily.

“Ultimately managers need to lead by example. It’s management that the junior staff will look at on the night, to see how they’re behaving. And how they behave will dictate how juniors think they can behave – it becomes a cultural lead by example thing.”

In general, he says, employers tend not to take a highly disciplined approach to Christmas parties, in communicating to employees “what they’re really for, and that is to celebrate the year as opposed to getting as drunk and wild as you can”.

Employers should communicate to employees before the event what the expected behaviours are, and what won’t be tolerated, he says.

“It’s about setting those boundaries and culture prior to the event, and making sure that management live and breathe those cultural boundaries. By not doing that, and by everyone throwing their hats in the air and kicking off their shoes and going berserk, they put themselves at huge risk.”

Posted in Holiday Season Tips

Follower Frenzy

Paul Jones, of Magneto Communications has just released another eye-opening blog post.  It talks about how people automatically look to their surroundings to gain cues for actions during times of uncertainty.

Click here to visit the article source

For those that don’t like clicking away, here is the article

How to leverage social proof (consensus)

Follower Frenzy, or Social Proof?

This is the third in a six-part series on influence and persuasion, loosely based on Dr Robert Cialdini’s work

If you’re writing a proposal or pitching a new approach or idea, this concept is central to you getting a YES.

The idea? Your readers are sheep. Well, they (like all of us) can act like sheep when making decisions.

Ever catch yourself checking what others are doing when you’re uncertain about your situation? We all take cues from others about whether to eat chicken with fingers or a fork, how fast to drive, and how to dress at work.
This is Social Proof in action.
How much more ‘sold’ are you on an Amazon book when you see hundreds of others have ‘rated’ it highly? ‘All those people can’t be wrong!’ (you think).
And the more similar your ‘reference’ is to your reader, the better. For example, a banker’s testimonial will sway an accountant more than one from a plumber. See how Salesforce does this.
Humans, especially time-poor ones in business, love shortcuts; they often react based on only partial evidence. Naturally that means it’s not always right; blockbuster hits, for instance, are more luck than anything else, and if everyone else is selling their shares, you may be smarter to think rationally before selling yours.

Still, knowing the triggers can help you maximise your influence. Here are my thoughts on leveraging social proof in your writing:

  1. Testimonials. Ask for them straight after you’ve worked for clients, and include them in your marketing. But keep them short (edit them for brevity and ask your client to approve the change).
  2. Case studies and success stories. Especially powerful when you include the specific, measured results you achieved. Keep these short, too.
  3. Big names. These have big impact, so highlight well-known and respectable companies who’ve used your business. When possible, use their logo, not just their name.
  4. Big crowds. Don’t be shy about sharing that you have 40,000 Twitter followers or subscribers to your blog.
  5. Big profile. Have you or your business been in the media (for the right reasons)? Let readers know.
  6. Visuals. Pictures of your typical target audience enjoying your product/service will reassure your clients they’re in the right crowd. Likewise, if you’re pitching to the big end of town, ensure your graphic design and branding is top quality.
‘Paul, STOP! These are too sales-oriented. I just write “normal” business documents.’ Think again. You can adapt most of these tips to your situation.

For example, if you’re convincing your boss to buy System X, your ‘testimonial’ could be mentioning informally the fact that Jack, in IT, used System X at his last company, and loved it. Be creative when applying these.

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