Empowering the Freelance Economy

How to market yourself after a career break

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By Shona Chambers, Marketing Consultant, Shona Chambers Marketing

Career breaks that start out short term can end up lasting much longer, for all kinds of reasons.

Maybe you’ve been busy raising a family, been made redundant or come out the other side of a long illness or accident. Whatever your circumstances you’ll be asking yourself: How and where do I even start marketing myself? And how do I get my head around all the latest social media tools and career platforms?

A lot may have changed since you were fully engaged in the working world.

What absolutely hasn’t changed and won’t anytime soon, is the need to show you are knowledgeable. You can so this by catching up and understanding the issues of the day. Then with that information in hand, combine your knowledge and skills to help a target client with their biggest problem.

Here are three suggestions to start the process:

Look out for public speaking opportunities

One of the easiest ways to show off your knowledge and experience is by speaking to people, either one to one or in a group. A great way to do this is to find online groups that will accept guest speakers.

Check Facebook groups in your niche, many will allow you to go live to give a short useful talk to their members. There are also many business communities online that offer members masterclasses and may be looking for guest experts. 

Another good option is to find networking organisations that hold member events. They always need speakers whether in person or online. 

Take an example from the TED talks everyone loves so much. Craft a short talk (20 mins or less) that you can give repeatedly, that showcases your expertise on a particular topic.

One of the best business speaker examples is ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek

[In a nutshell, Sinek explains that you should start marketing yourself by knowing “why” you are doing what you are doing: what’s your purpose? Once you can entice people with that purpose, the how you do what you do and what you do tells a much more compelling story.]

Volunteer to be a guest on a podcast

Do you listen to podcasts? They can be very entertaining and educational. There are now podcasts for literally every niche you can think of.

If you have a business topic that you can talk about, why not profile that area and see what shows exist?

Look at your podcast App, and then check your subject area. 

If you have friends or industry contacts that run podcasts why not start by asking them for tips or to be a guest?

As a podcast guest you’ll be speaking between 15 minutes to an hour, so think carefully about your topic and the issues of the day that you can add to your knowledge.

PR still works

If you want to be seen by new employers while also attracting the attention of your peers, then finding PR opportunities can open many doors.

You can use Twitter to check for opportunities available every day by using the hashtag #journorequest or #prrequest. Journalists are always keen to speak to people relevant to their latest article.

Be proactive too, why not write a thought piece on LinkedIn where you respond to an issue of the day? Make sure to use the right hashtags, too. LinkedIn will feature platform users in their trending news articles which can be great for the right kind of attention. 

Consider the publications your ideal customer or client reads on and offline and consider how to pitch your ideas and solutions to their problems.

With a bit of research, networking, and gumption, you will find your feet again.  

Shona Chambers Marketing

Shona Chambers
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