How I Used Inbound Marketing to Find a Job in a Recession

Dan Zarrella
Dan Zarrella



Inbound marketing, of course, is the idea that the marketing of the future is not interruption. Outbound marketing says you buy commercials or print ads and interrupt content that your target audience is interested in, inbound marketing says you should actually be creating content that your audience will be interested in . I've been a fan of that idea since before I knew of the term "inbound marketing", so when I was laid off in the beginning of December, it was natural that I would leverage that concept to find my next job.

I was lucky enough in December to have had an existing personal brand, I had an established blog , a couple thousand followers on Twitter , a few speaking gigs under my belt and a little over a hundred connections on LinkedIn . I also had a pretty unique positioning strategy, labeling myself the social media and viral marketing scientist. So I wasn't starting from zero that morning I was told I no longer had a job .

Outbound or interruption personal marketing would have told me that I could rest on my laurels while I had a job and then just start spamming every HR person, recruiter and email address I could find with my resume and cover letter. In a booming economy this might have worked, but in the new economy it won't. There are plenty of other qualified candidates out of a job and doing the same old school things to find a new one . Inbound marketing teaches us that we have to give before we get, we have to become magnets to attract the right kind of attention.

That first month I did a few things that ended up helping my job search. I posted a handful of times on Twitter that I was looking for a job and that led to a few leads (in both @ replies and DMs). I also started building a few tools that I didn't have a time to when I was gainfully employed and those tools (The ReTweet Mapper and TweetBacks/TweetSuite ) accelerated the growth of my personal brand, garnering me mentions on top industry blogs, and more followers and LinkedIn connections. Rather than trying to interrupt people in my space with advertisements about myself, I created things that people wanted to use and let them come to me .

Once I had this increased personal brand awareness, I was able to start leveraging social media to target specific companies I thought would be cool places to work . As a result of one of my earlier tweets about looking for work, someone DM'd me to mention that HubSpot was hiring. I knew I was following a few people from the company, so I tweeted asking who worked there and was almost immediately greeted by a few employees pointing me in Mike Volpe's ( @mvolpe ) direction. I went through the normal resume submission process outlined by the website and @ messaged Mike, mentioning my interest in working for HubSpot.

Outbound marketing would dictacte that I stop and wait after I submitted my resume, but instead I followed through with a multi-touch strategy. Using Twitter I was able to make personal connections not only with my potential boss, but also a few of the people I've come to be working alongside of .

I'm not sure of the exact proceedure Mike took when reviewing my resume, but I know that he ran my site and my Twitter account through their respective graders and saw that I had fairly high scores for both. I also imagine that the 9 recommendations from coworkers and clients I had listed on my LinkedIn page functioned as sort of social media references . I came in for a few interviews and the rest is history, I have an awesome job at a cool company and I have my personal brand and social media prescence to thank for it.

After starting to work at HubSpot my personal brand was such that industry blog ReadWriteWeb thought that my new job was big enough news to feature not only on their new jobwire site , but also on their homepage .

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