One of the favorite parts of my work is waking people up to the real, concrete opportunities around them.
When you are pursuing a job, or trying to grow your business, it can feel totally overwhelming to imagine how you will ever find the people who want what you are selling.
Your situation may be:
- You have a new book and want to find people who will buy it
- You have discovered the perfect next step in your career, but don’t know who is hiring
- You have found your perfect consulting niche, but don’t know how to describe your services in a way that will attract ideal clients
- You want to kick up your speaking business, but don’t know which groups to pitch your talks to
- You want to expand your company into new markets, and are looking for influential connectors who will help you spread the word
This is where Google comes in
Whenever I have conversations with people in the above scenarios (which is every day), I can never keep my mouse away from the search bar.
Let’s take the first scenario: you have a new book, and want to find people who will buy it.
Client: The book is about social media marketing for small business owners
Me: Any kind of small business owner?
Client: I would like to start with small business owners in the Atlanta area, since that is where I live
Me: (Opening up a new tab on my browser
(Googling “Small business marketing associations Atlanta”)
To which I find the following results:
Do you see how this super simple search leads to a goldmine of potential watering holes to share and speak about your book?
- Networking associations
This was just the very first page of search results for my very first search term. Imagine if I had spent another 10 minutes doing a bit more digging?
Blindingly obvious, right?
I know what you are thinking — “Seriously Pam, are you really teaching us how to Google? Who doesn’t know how to do that?”
You probably want to send me to Let me Google that for you, a site to send people who ask you obvious questions (or post on Facebook) that they could clearly Google themselves (What is the capital of Maine? What temperature is ideal to bake a turkey? What is the weather forecast in San Francisco this week?).
Not so fast, smart aleck.
Common sense is rarely common practice.
What we don’t know about search is a lot
(Bonus points to those of you who got the Moonstruck reference)
Dr. Daniel Russell is a researcher for Google who has a Google a day search challenge and a blog devoted to search research. I go bananas over this stuff — understanding the nuances of search will unlock multiple opportunities in your work life.
Which leads me to ask you:
Have you Googled for answers about your own work challenge?
If you did, congratulations! You have all the opportunities you need.
If you haven’t, here is my recommendation:
Your 30 minute Strategic Googling experiment
- Define the opportunity you are looking for (“more speaking engagements,” “a job in Ashland, Oregon,” “remote writing gigs”)
- Narrow your search with some particulars (“more speaking engagements for parenting organizations on the West Coast,” “a prep cook job in Ashland, Oregon,” “remote technical writing freelance gigs”)
- Choose a Google search term (“parenting organizations on the west coast,” “cooking jobs in Ashland, Oregon,” “freelance technical writing jobs”)
- Note the categories of results that come up such as “Companies” “Associations” “Conferences” “Competitors”
- Create a spreadsheet with the above categories
- Pull the links that look interesting and plop them in your spreadsheet noting the appropriate category they fit into
- Repeat with different search terms
- Add to your spreadsheet
My guess is that after spending 30 focused minutes doing this, you will have a truckload more concrete ideas and opportunities than when you started.
Imagine if you did this for 30 minutes every day this week?
Then spent the following week categorizing the data into “hot,” “warm” and “cold” opportunities?
Then spent the week after that developing your outreach plan to connect with the hot opportunities to pitch yourself or your company?
I bet that in 30 days your dance card would be filled with all kinds of great opportunities.
It doesn’t have to be complicated
Opportunities abound. They will be awarded to the people who take the time to find them, then place themselves squarely and strategically in their path.