How To Succeed As A New Business Person?


So you want to be an agency Rock and Roll star?

Work on New Business. If you win, you will have pats on the back, promotions, and smiles from everyone until it ends.

If you aren’t making it rain then everything changes as fast as a game of Red Light, Green Light.

New Business is a hard road my friends. Van Morrison has a song called Philosopher’s Road where he sings about turning Lead into Gold.

That pretty much summarizes what New Business is all about.  Turning lead into Gold. Simple as that. As difficult as that. Continue reading

Are Agencies And Clients Competitors?


In the New Normal, absolutely true.

The sand boxes changed long ago.

Somebody sent me an article recently from the Harvard Business Review.

It was called six reasons why marketing is moving in-house.

It contained the usual suspects.

Agencies are slow.

Agencies are stuck on advertising.

Then the bullet to the heart. Are agencies attracting the best digital marketing talent?

In the New Normal, clients and digital agencies are often doing the same thing on opposite sides of the street.

Managing websites, SEO, PPC, Social Media, E Commerce, etc. etc. etc. Continue reading

News From the New Normal: #2


In case you missed it the New Normal was created by a unique convergence. Like many changes do. The first iPhone was launched on June 29th, 2007, Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15th, 2008 as social media platforms became mainstream. The big bang happened and the world changed forever.

I got a LinkedIn invite from somebody I didn’t know the other day. I get a fair number of those and like connecting. She had worked for a large company in OC. You have all heard of them. Publically traded. She had a great title and experience so I readily accepted.

I followed up with a note saying how did we connect? Was it a blog or did I reach out? I try to follow up on LinkedIn invites.  What do you do?

She said that she was part of a large lay-off at her company. Continue reading

Poor Career Advice For Young People.


I got a couple of emails recently. Both had graduated from the same school decades apart.  One introduced to me a young man who had recently graduated and was looking for a job.

A solid networking strategy is to reach out to your Alumni.  I went to the University of Western Ontario which is a long way from where I sit in Orange County, CA.  Yet I can do a LinkedIn search and plug in my zip code and the school name and over 100 people who went to Western pop up. Continue reading

Job Hunting In Today’s Ad World.


I have been doing a lot of recruiting and talent sourcing these days.  Another way to leverage my network. Still hunting and connecting which I love to do but in another way.

The ad world has changed a lot and at the same time some stayed the same. One thing that has changed is that if there is financial pain at an agency the cuts are deep.  Even Junior people lose their jobs. Companies don’t even wait to Friday to let people go.   In the past youth were sheltered and protected more.  That has changed.  And yet young people receive very little advice on how to build a career in the New Normal.  Trust me the era of the Mad Men is long gone.

That is why everyone in an agency has to be ready for change.  I have written a couple of blogs on the subject called Are You Ready to Get Fired and Why Ad People Need to Market Themselves Better.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the agencies don’t hire for themselves; they hire for their clients. It may even be more important these days.  That means they look at your resume and LinkedIn profile with the brain scan of “What will the client think?”  “Can I merchandise them to the client?”  “What experience can I sell?”  Nobody is taking career chances these days.  Close in horse shoes doesn’t even get points these days.  Your horseshoe needs to be wrapped around the pole.

This means that first and foremost you need to focus on your experience.  Some resumes are chock full of job duties but have limited category experience and brand names that the reader knows. You won’t be there to explain your experience to them.  Think of doing a human search on your resume.  I am going to be scanning for job title and keywords like healthcare or whatever.  I am not going to be searching managed budgets and timelines.  Of course you did that but that is not what catches my eye.  I can’t sell duties initially; but I can sell brands and experience.

You see in the New Normal getting a job at every level is like going through the eye of the needle.  You have to expand the eye of that needle by making yourself most marketable.

The same thing applies to your LinkedIn profile.  It’s all about the keywords.  It is all about how searchable you are.  Job hunting is about being found.  It is about pull not push.  You get pull if you push out the right key words.

I also see LinkedIn profiles that are almost sterile.  As arid as the desert the person will be going through if they happen to lose their jobs.  No time to have a strong LinkedIn profile?  You may enter a land where you have too much time on your hands.

I have had many great bosses during my career. Boy they were smart.  One great talent master at JWT taught me this.

It is all about the brands that you worked on.  The bigger the brand the more marketable you were.

Here is how I apply brand to careers today.  I worked with my friend at JWT.  That is a big brand.  Ten years of working at JWT in Toronto and Chicago has given me a halo event to today. The average size of an agency in the U.S. is seven people so not everyone gets to work at a multinational agency

However I have met people in many small agency markets that are working on great brands. Make sure those brand names scream out on your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Include logos of those brands on your resume.  Make yourself easy to be sold.  You will take care of the rest.

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Watch Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find A Job

Why Agencies Shouldn’t Respond to Client RRP’s

Does Cold Calling Work?