Friday, June 26, 2009

saywow certificate 6x8

saywow certificate 6x8
Originally uploaded by vickie_smith

While I'm busy conducting my job search, I've also been freelancing as a marketing consultant - helping small businesses bring clarity to their marketing communications and developing their marketing plans. I am most happy when I can help people figure out their AUDIENCES or markets and who they now do business with and who they want to do business with, by identifying their unique VALUE they bring. THEN I can MARKET it! :)

UNTIL I get a job in a marketing department for a small to mid-sized company, with the UNIQUE skill set of a Project Management Professional!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"You Talkin To Me?" - 5 Tips on Social Media Marketing DeNiro Style!

Need help with getting your audience's attention? Picture DeNiro as your audience He’s DARING you to speak to him.
How can you meet the DARE of a potential customer or maybe a recruiter, who might not “get” your message? Well, first you’ve got to get someone to listen!

Here are 5 tips Social Media Marketing - before you try to shout out your promotional message in this giant “cluttersphere!"

1. Know who you’re talkin’ to!

I know that the audience I’m trying to reach with this blog post has an interest in marketing and definitely social media.
Who would want to buy what you’re selling? Businesses? Consumers? What kind? Do they live in a certain area, or is your business on the internet?
Or, who would want to hire you - recruiters? A hiring manager?
There might be some cross-over, but you should have an idea of who you are targeting - demographics (i.e. where they live, ages, etc.) and psychographics (lifestyle - do they watch TV? Listen to radio? Are they sports fans? Etc.) Then you can answer the next question.

2. Why should I listen?

If I don’t know what’s in it for me, why am I going to listen? Does DeNiro really look like he wants to listen or like he wants to get right down to business?!
Your audience wants to know what’s in it for them - where's the VALUE?
Where’s the exchange?
What do you have that I can’t get somewhere else? Or maybe I can, but the value relates to $.
Maybe it’s because you’re ALL over the social media circuit, right? And you’ve got this major brand that is established - and I want YOU!
Look to see what others out there like you are doing, and figure out why you are UNIQUE.
So, before you meet your audience in a dark alley, you’ve got 1 second to tell them why they need to listen.

3. Value up FRONT!

Tell them why they should listen right away, without an intro. Go right for the jugular!
Do you think DeNiro has time for you to get to the point?
For example, do you think a 30 second ad, or better yet, a 140 character message, is going to tell you a life story before getting to the point that really brought you together in the first place?
Think of taking a test with one of those saga paragraph questions (had quite a few on the PMP exam!). A good strategy to tackle them was to go to the END of the question first. Then you know just what to look for!
I always try to get to the point right away in writing content for my client’s marketing campaigns.
Again, think DeNiro!
Think in terms of YOU. Instead of telling someone why you’re doing something, tell me what I’m going to get out of it FIRST.
Cause I’m really busy.

4. And ACTION!

Don't forget to not only tell your audience what value you bring to the plate, but what do you want them to do! You have a goal, right?

In Taxidriver, DeNiro pretty much wants to take action right away…

You’ve told me the value you bring to the plate, you GOT me listening, now what?? Figure out if it's a phone number or an e-mail you want to get for more info, so there's a CONVERSION to being a customer!

5. Fits like a glove!

Think of WHERE your message is being heard, so you don’t end up saying “HELLLOOOO Is this thing on?”!
Before your social media marketing message is sent, think of where you are. Does the conversation FIT?
If you on Twitter, maybe you use hashtags, or are onto keywords, so people searching for them can find you.
Are you on LinkedIn? Then you probably are involved in some discussions as part of a GROUP you joined, where the conversation fits.
Are you commenting on articles, and getting involved in multiple social media marketing efforts?
Just remember not only that DeNiro wants to know Why You Talkin To Him, but it BETTER fit like a glove (Speaking of O.J. Simpson - now there’s a guy who’s not only got time, but he’s doin’ time…but I digress)
Crafting a message is just that - doing your homework to have the most impact when you speak to your audience! Think DeNiro!

It took YEARS of experience and education in marketing to get an audience’s attention! Maybe I can help YOU. If you need help, reach out to me, and if I can, I’ll be more than happy to help you.

So, always think of DeNiro as your audience DARING you - “You Talkin To Me?”

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make ‘em Say WOW! - Marketing To an Audience and Delivering Value

Today, I had a revelation. I spent the day soul-searching, building my story and “brand” so that I could position myself out in the flooded job market. YOU, yes you, need to at some point have a positioning statement to either get hired, or maybe to provide a product or service. If you’re reading this now, whether you realize it or not, it was through marketing efforts that we are having this exchange. Using social media, I called out to you, either on twitter, LinkedIn, or maybe it was good old Google search. I’m not sure how, but I’m glad you’re here!!

Who am I? I’m a marketing professional and certified PMP. I’m also a former jazz vocalist and bandleader. I am passionate about projects that focus on marketing to targeted audiences to deliver value. I make ‘em say WOW!

How? I will share that secret with YOU.

I found success through my unique understanding of three critical factors: Marketing, Audience and Value. These are so interrelated in a project that if one is missing, the project will not be successful. Now I will help YOU market yourself to an audience to deliver value, so that YOU can be heard!


Let’s back up for a second and make sure we understand what the heck marketing is in the first place! All that schooling and a Master’s degree, and I can pretty much break it down for you like this:
Marketing is promoting your brand to get some kind of exchange to happen. The exchange can be money or time. Social Media is an outlet of exchange – we are marketing ourselves. (And at times, in 140 characters or less!) But to market yourself, you need to first establish your brand.
Brand is how people recognize you, and what makes YOU unique - Kind of like your trademark or footprint! I doubt we’d leave the same footprint - We aren’t in the same shoes, right? (For a fun look at branding, see my previous post on “Dude, Where’s My Brand”) To find your brand you need to do Research.

Research for self-marketing is two-fold : 1) Introspective. Try this: Just sit with a pad and a pen in a comfortable location that inspires YOU. And figure out your story - In all that you have done, is there a common thread that ties it all together? I bet there is something unique to YOU. Think of EVERY job you’ve ever tackled and write it down so that you can unleash a common thread. If you need help on this, talk to a career coach (I was lucky to have connected with Barbara Fuller, whose patience, questions and listening was breakthrough) 2) Audience. You need to understand who your audience is, what they value and where they are. Once you understand the value of what you are marketing and who your audience is, you need the vehicle to get your message to the market through Advertising.

Advertising Guess what - if you’re using social media, advertising can be FREE. It won’t cost you a dime, just TIME. But don’t worry - more tools pop up every day so that you can build your tool kit to automate the process and save you TIME. There are people out there who really want to share, if you’ll only find them. Just look.

In doing my “inner research”, I realized that audiences have always been my passion - discovering what the value is to them, developing the message to reach them, so that we could have a deeper conversation. Whether it was with audience members at my performances, or marketing to organizations who are in the BUSINESS of audience engagement, my BRAND always involved marketing, audience and value.


So what WAS your decision to stop by my site? Believe it or not, you are now part of an audience. And I want to help you DECODE an audience, and realize that each one is very unique. There are other audiences happening right now. I love being on the pulse of what makes an audience tick. It’s fascinating to uncover the secrets of “Why we buy.” Did you ever consider why we all drive not only different car brands, but different models? I haven’t met anyone as “logical” as Mr. Spock yet and I know there’s a lot of emotion, values and personality involved in most purchase decisions. Or we’d all be driving the same car. And eatin’ the saaaaame food.

My marketing edge is looking into consumer behavior and uncovering what motivates an audience. I am very fortunate that my mom encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit at an early age, and since then I have been tuning in to the needs of my audiences.

At the age of 12, I had my first successful business venture. Care to see a SURPRISING photo I found? I set up an iced tea stand in front of my house, when a film crew was hard at work filming a movie on my block - Brighton Beach Memoirs. I noticed the film crew was drenched, as it was really hot, and my product provided a real VALUE. I developed relationships with each crew member that stopped off to buy a cup, and offered a free cup of popcorn with a purchase. My next door neighbor was unsuccessful in trying to cut into my market share with his soda stand. Why? I had already established brand loyalty with my audience, and continued to enjoy a regular customer base until the crew was finished shooting.

YOU have an audience waiting for you, and you just have to set up your own iced tea stand with your own added-value popcorn!
How did I have an edge in building audiences, having a conversation and developing meaningful relationships? By realizing that each audience makes its own choices based on…


Value has become such an ingrained part of our vocabulary, I wanted to go back a step and look for a definition. There were quite a few. In fact I found definitions relating to music and color. But pretty much, do you realize that value relates to EXCHANGABILITY?

There are four factors in value, and it is VERY unique based on your audience’s needs. There has to be some type of EXCHANGE, whether it’s money or time, for something that one considers DESIRABLE. It should be USEFUL, and it has to be RELEVANT for both parties.

Here’s an example of how I applied these four VALUE factors: As a former jazz vocalist/band leader, I enjoyed a successful career. I wore many hats, including a performer hat when presenting myself to listening audiences, and a business hat when presenting myself to audience venues as a medium to reach those listeners. Because I customized my marketing communications to make them RELEVANT, DESIRABLE and USEFUL for each individual audience, there was an Exchange (e.g. my performance for their time or an opportunity to expand my market.

It probably wouldn’t have been very valuable for your use of TIME to just read a story about ME. My career has been built on projects that MARKET a clear message to develop audiences through finding VALUE. I needed to understanding what my brand was, who the target AUDIENCE need was, and researching if it would be worth someone’s time and money!

Let’s continue the conversation. Please post a comment so that I can learn what you find valuable or what questions you may have. In return, I hope I’ve helped you in finding what value you can bring to an audience and how to market it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dude, Where's My Brand? The Mug Root Beer Story

Building your brand is NOT easy – it seems as though I’m refining my story every day, and especially after this weekend’s PMINJ Career Seminar – a common thread seemed to appear that I didn’t realize so clearly from my career background.  But you’ve got to build the STORY first.

So you’re working on your pitch for a job search?  Well, look at what goes into building a brand mascot.  I learned about this case study in my graduate Management course at MSU.  And when I was looking for an analogy to get to the “ROOT” of the problem…it became quite clear to me that “ROOT BEER” was how I would share it with you.

You only see “Dog,” Mug rootbeer’s mascot, but to make his image crystal clear, a lot of planning went into helping use him to build a brand.  Pepsi enlisted Character to develop the identity.  I think one of the most valuable statements in the article is “…Critters – if properly conceived and presented – can help make an emotional bond with consumers , a goal particularly prized in these days of disaffection and disconnection.” Imagine that – people are disconnected…  How can we help them form an emotional bond?  BUILD THE STORY.  That’s how I see a connection with a job search.

In my own career, I found that performing on stage, your audience only sees the tip of the ice berg, and not what goes into building the story behind the scenes, or planning the event.

I hope you find this story as relevant as I do for your job search, as I am in right now – looking for a job in project management as a new PMP.  And with a background in marketing, what better way to make an analogy than through a story about branding one cool “Dog,” – from one pretty cool “Cat.”

Posted via email from vickie_smith's posterous

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Using Twitter and Facebook to Find a Job

Using Twitter and Facebook to Find a Job

Found this great post on twitter today, actually. Thank u @Twitjobsearch! Now back to updating all my social media profile info!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

7 tips to help you use social media in your job search

So, my next project is underway – the job search. With lots of new candidates that hit the street when school finished, I know that the economy is picking up, but how can we leverage social media to help us in our search? We’re all in this together, so if I can help you in anyway, please give me a shout, and I’ll see if I can help.

1. Tweetdeck – Once I grabbed hold of this dashboard for my twitter experience, valuable info I searched for and wanted to receive poured in. Connections were made, direct messages and replies could be seen immediately (whereas, I was seeing them days later)! I even have a daily search now for project management jobs in NJ…which leads me to…

2. FREE LinkedIn white paper by Rita Ashley on heightening your social media experience with this powerful tool. It’s an easy to read step by step guide, with screen shots, what’s to lose? Click here

3. Search engines – Pretty standard sites that everyone should be using, click here for a pretty comprehensive list.

4. People to follow on twitter - @jobangels (and read the story…), @jobshouts – also do a search for relevant hashtags

5. Ask people to connect on your other accounts – I shoot a tweet out every so often to ask people if they’d like to link in – but don’t forget include IN with the link, or you’ll send a broken link out to the world once you shorten the url. I’ve had that genius moment….

6. Work on continuously improving your pitch (or if you’re on twitter, is it a “twitch?”). I guess it’s like progressive elaboration in Project Management, without changing the scope!

7. Building your network - you never know how people are connected, and all it takes it one. And make it easy, with a hyperlink…Since I’m signing off for now, back to the job search, here is mine – over and out for now…
Vickie Smith-Siculiano, PMP
Experience in marketing, communications & business development
My Blog:

P.S. - I would love to hear any tips *you* have. Drop me a line or post a comment here...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My PMP certificate has arrived...Months of hard work and the project is complete!

Just had to post this certificate that I've waited months for...35 hours of study, a grueling application process, and now it is done. All that for a piece of paper! Must be a valuable one...we shall soon see - now back to job hunting, my next project!