July 28th, 2011
by Dan Gold
Kathy Bernard has always been great at landing a job. She knows how to set up a resume to get in the door and she’s always knocked the interview out of the park. However, a couple of years ago while looking for work, Kathy kept running into an obstacle: More and more employers expected social media experience, including blogging and social networks. This was an area Kathy was not well versed in. So, Kathy sat down and took a look at her problem and how she could fix it. She took one of her biggest strengths, her knowledge and expertise with job hunting, and created Get A Job! Tips blog. This allowed her to get the experience she needed in the changing job market while being able to help others! Kathy Bernard has shared her secrets, coached others in their job hunting techniques, and she now offers webinars, workshops, luncheons, and so much more!
Wild Web Women had the great apportunity to interview Kathy, and here’s what she had to share.
Why did you choose your current career and how did you get started?
I started www.getajobtips.com because of a weakness. I am a corporate communicator in my day job and all the job openings I saw when I was unemployed two years ago wanted blogging and social networking experience. So I started the blog specifically to learn how to blog and promote it on social networking. I selected the topic of job search help because I was always tenaciously good at finding work and like to share my secrets.
As far as utilizing social media tools to communicate your business to your clients, what are challenges and benefits to your business?
The challenges of social networking are that there are so many ways to communicate your message and it is all so fleeting and sometimes complicated. You can exhaust yourself and your network just trying to get the word out. On the other hand, tools like LinkedIn make it possible to help people far and wide without incurring expenses.
What are valuable mistakes you have made regarding online marketing and what have you learned from these past setbacks?
Oh, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Learning to blog was challenging for me. Broken HTML code can drive me bonkers. I’ve also messed up copying the link address a time or two. I’ve learned to budget more time, not just to write the blog post message, but to post it and promote it well. You also have to spend lots of time learning new technologies to best communicate your message.
Do you have a personal mantra that you would like to share with other Web Marketing Therapy readers?
My favorite mantra is to “Embrace the stupid.” It’s easy to dismiss other people’s ideas or a company’s traditional ways of doing business because they seems dumb on the surface, but usually they have a point and if you listen, you might just find a germ of an idea that can lead to a breakthrough.
What is fun and difficult about working as a sole “wild web” entrepreneur?
The fun part is “meeting” and helping people from all over the world. The difficult part is that I am trying to help people while working a full-time job and I often feel overwhelmed and ill equipped because I am not technologically savvy. But then I get an email from someone I’ve helped and it keeps me trying to help despite my limitations and the expectations that are pressed upon me by my day job and family commitments.
As far as dealing with competition in your line of work: do you pay special attention to their marketing strategies and adjust yours to stay ahead OR do you mostly focus on your individual marketing plan without worrying too much about your competitors?
I don’t really worry about or even think of others helping job seekers as competition. I just want to help people and I figure I have a different perspective from others so there is room for us all.
Being a successful professional embodies being an excellent marketer (so that people know your name and service!), how do you reach out to your wide range of customers to build a trusting relationship?
I always try to be positive, supportive and respectful. Job seekers come from all different abilities and backgrounds. Some haven’t had to look for a job in 20 years and the whole prospect is terrifying for them, others are in desperate situations. I want them to know that I will try to help no matter what circumstance led to their unemployment or what they are going through in their job search.
Do you utilize both traditional PR and new PR? What is the ratio of your web marketing to traditional marketing (print ads, local newspapers…etc)? l newspapers…etc)?
I only use free options such as social networking to promote www.getajobtips.com because I, for the most part, try to help people for free.
Business-wise, where do you see yourself in ten years?
I’d like to offer affordable structured job search help to new college grads and newly unemployed people. It seems to me that job search help is a very scattered process now. People have to search for the answers they need or luck upon a blog post or web site for the answers they need. It’s hit or miss and a lot of people struggle in longer-than-necessary job searches because they don’t know that simple fixes could help them land the job they want.
If you are a Wild Web Woman who would like to be featured, or if you want to recommend a woman for us to feature, get in touch and let us know about her!