I'm going to get personal for a minute here. In this job market, it's important to understand what value you bring to potential employers, and to always be iterating on your personal value propositions.
Given the guest lecture series I give at Tufts and Boston University bi-annually, I thought it would be a helpful exercise to look at my background and distill how I would approach the marketing of "me." Hopefully you can take some of these items and see how this framework might apply to your next role.
Who Am I?
Ashley (Osgood) McManus is an experienced marketing professional with a track record of driving growth for startups and established businesses. As a VP of Marketing, Ashley brings a unique set of skills and qualities that can help a tech startup CEO take their company to the next level.
Here are some reasons why a tech startup CEO might want to hire Ashley as their remote VP of marketing:
1- Proven Track Record
Ashley has a proven track record of success in marketing. She has worked with companies in a variety of industries, from SaaS and eCommerce to consumer products and health and wellness. She has consistently delivered results, helping companies increase their revenue, drive more traffic to their websites, and build strong brands. A startup CEO can feel confident in Ashley's ability to create and execute marketing strategies that will help their company grow.
2 - Experience with Startups
Ashley has experience working with startups and understands the unique challenges that they face. She knows how to work with limited budgets and resources to create effective marketing campaigns that deliver results. She also understands the importance of agility and adaptability in a startup environment, and can help a CEO pivot their marketing strategy as needed.
3 - Strong Leadership Skills
As a remote VP of Marketing, Ashley will need to work closely with a team of marketers and other professionals. She has strong leadership skills and can motivate and inspire a team to achieve their goals. She is also an effective communicator, able to clearly and concisely convey complex ideas and strategies to stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
On a personal note, becoming a mom has been one of the greatest leadership challenges: if you can get 2 children, ages 6 and 3, up and ready by yourself in the morning and dropped off to school (especially if they do not want to go), this is the demonstrates the epitome of leadership, negotiation and persuasive skills!
4 - Strategic Thinker
Ashley is a strategic thinker who can help a CEO develop and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy. She can identify new market opportunities and create campaigns that target specific customer segments. She is also skilled at analyzing data and using insights to optimize campaigns and improve ROI and identify where marketing has the most impact.
5 - Creative Problem Solver
Startups often face unique challenges that require creative solutions. Ashley is a creative problem solver who can think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to help a startup overcome obstacles. She can also help a CEO develop a strong brand identity and create marketing campaigns that stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Overall, Ashley McManus brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and strategic thinking to the role of remote VP of Marketing. Her track record of success, experience with startups, and strong leadership and communication skills make her an excellent choice for a tech startup CEO looking to take their company's marketing to the next level.
Interested in learning more? Let's talk.
If you know someone who was recently laid off, it's one thing to feel bad for them. Its another to offer to help.
Not only can you offer to put them in touch with your network, or someone you know is hiring - but if you worked closely with the person, one way you can really help them is to write a LinkedIn recommendation highlighting their strengths to help them get their next role.
If you find yourself staring at a blank screen - especially if you aren't a writer to begin with - this can be intimidating. Here are the steps that I follow, and it does take a little bit of time - but it's worth it. So I'll walk you through it:
1 - Set the stage: how did you work together?
This just provides a bit of context on how you know this person and how you worked together: think of it as an introduction before you dive right into how awesome they are. Did they report to you? How did you work together? Did you collaborate on a specific project? How long did you know them or work together for?
2 - Ask them what you would like them to highlight
It's perfectly valid to ask the person what specifically they'd like you to highlight. If they asked you to write the recommendation, see what they'd like you to focus on...for example, if they had a sales role but want to transition to more of a customer service position, stress their skill in dealing with clients using examples. As part of this, ask if there are 3-5 bullets they'd like you to focus on as something you can reference while writing your recommendation. That way, you have some guidance on what to write, and you know you are writing something that will be helpful to them. Everyone wins :)
3 - Add a personal touch
I like to end each recommendation with a personal note: sometimes it is an opportunity to show potential employers their personality a bit, which is always difficult to understand especially when determining a cultural fit. Something like, "on a personal note, Sam has a great sense of humor and I have really enjoyed working with him every day. He would make a great asset to any organization" This gives them a feel-good compliment while adding a more human layer to their qualifications.
The Bottom Line
It's important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, and the best thing you can do for a coworker who has lost their job is to offer to write a recommendation for them. It doesn't have to be a book, but should be a thoughtful few sentences to help position them favorably for their next position.
After writing a recent post on what to do if you get laid off, I thought it would be helpful to expand on what you should be doing with your LinkedIn profile. So whether you are currently looking for your next job or are happily employed, here are some tips everyone can apply to their LinkedIn profile presence.
1 - Work on while employed, not just while you are looking
Don't neglect your LinkedIn profile if you are not looking for a new job. This should be an asset of yours that should be updated regularly. Execute a great project? Update your profile, and link to it so you can reference it later, or show off your work to future employers. Did you run some metrics for the quarter and you saw some favorable improvements? Add a bulllet to your current role description sharing how you helped increase leads, revenue, etc. x% over whatever time period. These types of activities are all so much easier to do as they happen instead of months or years later, when trying to remember your greatest accomplishments so you can talk about them today.
2 - Ask for recommendations.
I'm always looking for opportunities to get fresh LinkedIn recommendations - both from people I work with directly, but also those in different departments and levels. All of this demonstrates my ability to work cross-functionally, which is a real strength regardless of your position.
That being said, it can be intimidating for people to start from scratch - so don't just blast people with open-ended LinkedIn recommendation requests: often you may not get a response. In your request, I would provide bullets on what you'd like them to focus on - which should contain keywords describing your expertise. For example, ask them to describe your role in a recent project you worked together on, or stress your leadership skills if you are looking to move up in your next role, etc. Not only is this a lot easier for people to do, but it provides some validating content on what you want to be known for.
3 - Customize your URL
This sounds like a basic one, but you are able to customize your LinkedIn URL. It's so much easier to share a link that is your profile name, instead of a bunch of numbers. Depending on when you read this, the instructions may change: but today, if you are on your LinkedIn profile page, the top right has an option to "Edit Public Profile & URL" where you can customize the text. Mine is simply www.linkedin.com/in/ashleyosgood which is my maiden name (there are a LOT of Ashley McManus, and I want to stand out!)
4 - Invest in a professional headshot
Please, please don't use that photo of you from a wedding. Yes you look amazing, but you also need to look clean and professional. Either invest in a professional headshot or get a friend to take one up close with a simple backdrop, zoomed in and cropped at the shoulder.
Think about how you want to be portrayed: what vibe do you want to give off? Hair up or down? Glasses? Clothes? Accessories? How can you portray your creativity in you headshot? All things to consider.
5 - Brevity is your friend
Similar to resumes, we don't need gobs of text to describe your roles, summary and focus areas. Think about keywords again and get to the point: how can you bring value to an organization? Why would someone hire you? What tone can you use to attract the company you want?
The Bottom Line
LinkedIn is a huge source for hiring managers, recruiters and other roles at your future employer. Put your best foot forward and give your profile some love today, or schedule some time over the next few weeks on your calendar to make some updates. Think about who you can ask to recommend you, and make sure you file away the action item to update your profile with links whenever you accomplish something great, so you will be able easily reference this in the future.
I'm a motivated, self-starting marketer and working mom looking to make a difference in the world - one story at a time.
Let's get you set up for success!
Have a podcast? Let's talk.