Written for Distinct Digital, digital marketing for recruitment agencies.
Have you ever seen the motivational memes floating around on LinkedIn that say stuff like ‘run with the wolves’ or ‘surround yourself with lions to become a lion’? Well what if your recruitment agency was actually an animal?
We researched the psychology and habits of hundreds of different animals in order to draw accurate and relatable comparisons to the way your recruitment agency operates. This takes into account your approach to things like social media, online marketing and content.
So we’re not giving out ego massages here. We’re not telling everyone they’re a lion or a wolf. We might even call you a carp. These are simply truths about animals that we’ve found to be accurate metaphors for business.
No-one can accuse you of half-heartedness. No-one can associate your type with laziness or fear or poor time-management.
You’ve got a spring in your stop-at-nothing step and a destination in your mind’s eye. You take a leap, you land on your paws, already preparing for the next one.
But with all that leaping, and all those destinations in mind, you’ve neglected one thing.
Sociability perhaps isn’t something you’ve really thought about addressing. Well, you’ve thought about it, of course you have, but quickly hopped on to something higher up your priority list.
‘I’m social by nature,’ you tell yourself. ‘That will do for now.’
But what’s sort of happened while you’ve been busy hopping between your million other tasks is that the ‘now’ has extended into months, even years, when you think about it.
Your social nature isn’t doing its job at promoting your recruitment agency.
The frustrating thing is all this twisting, turning task-hopping, you’ve quickly become clued up and confident on practices that a social network would be inclined to prick their (much smaller) ears to.
No-one will ever hear you if you don’t speak out.
So find a mouthpiece. Find someone who knows your industry, someone who can listen to your story, someone who can extract #whatmakesyou Distinct – and do it time-efficiently for you.
Find someone that knows the social media rabbit hole well. Don’t jump in blind.
Why is your head in the sand? It’s not really that you’re wanting the world to go away, is it?
Like the other animals, you’ve been searching on the ground for a while now. They seem to be sourcing what they need to survive, and you thought following the pattern would do the same for you. You were right, of course, I mean look at you now – you’re surviving.
But you always knew, that you shouldn’t be at their level – and instead of putting work into figuring out where you’re supposed to be, you took the easy option and buried your head in the sand instead.
Having your head buried, feeling that cool sand against your face, makes for a safe place. Under the ground, nobody can see you, nobody can interact with you, and whatever anyone’s saying about you, you don’t have to hear it.
After a while though, it gets a little lonely, especially because you can still hear sounds of life above ground. All that time you’ve spent with your head down has actually produced some thoughtful analyses, that actually, might do you some good to share. Not only might it allow others to learn who you are and what you do, but it will establish you as a reputable source of content.
It’s time to take the leap.
Lift your head. Let the sand fall off of your face. Let your eyes open and adjust to the light. Stop surviving at ground level and use #whatmakesyou Distinct. You’ve got strong legs to stand on and your neck has the potential to rise far above all the other creatures. From there you’re in prime position to deliver your message.
Now all you’ve got to do is deliver it.
‘It could be worse,’ you reason with yourself. ‘At least they’re not making fun of me. They can’t, can they, when they don’t know my name.’
Each and every morning you force yourself into the mainstream.
‘Morning, all,’ you say, ‘I hope you have a nice day.’ But nobody ever responds.
At lunchtime you reckon you’re onto a winner because you’ve got a cool lunch. A photographical lunch – and the others seem to love photographs. So you take a snap and display it for all to see, ‘This is my lunch,’ you say, ‘what are you guys having?’
But there’s no engagement. And it’s not because of your internet signal.
In the afternoon, you post a GIF, in the evening you post another with double the desperation and half the heart. Then another picture, this time of your tea.
‘Night, everyone,’ you duly announce before retreating to your riverbed.
You don’t sleep, of course. Soliloquizing salmon monopolize your mind. What do they have that you don’t? You’re so friendly, so approachable, so polite.
What are you supposed to do, when ‘creative’ just isn’t who you are?
In not being heard, you’ve spent a lot of time listening and watching. None of the others have binocular, wide-angle vision, so you’re positive that they don’t know this talent pool nearly as well. There really is an awful lot of value to #whatmakesyou Distinct.
So talk to someone about it, talk to a communicator who’s creative and knows ways to get heard. Unload on them your thoughts, let them be re-designed and redistributed into content the others will long to listen to.
Stop selling yourself down the river; you belong in the conversation.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Strong, confident and fast.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
You’re on it. Your method of communication is tried, tested and successful.
Tap, tap, tap on the keyboard.
But then, the tapping stops.
You’ve said now what you’ve wanted to say. You’ve communicated the social messages that have been building up since the last flurry of phraseology, too. So what now?
Well you bow out, of course. There’s no point in chatting for the sake of chatting when you don’t know what else to say, and your to-do list is crying out for you, eager to be fed with your attention.
So you leave your social media for now. Halfway through your to-do list, a social post idea with that magical combination of professionalism and wit comes to you. You titter to yourself and make a mental note to send that out later.
The next day something else comes to you. Something clever and thought-provoking that you know could spark engagement with those who engage with your tapping. You can put it out next to that one from yesterday… But what was that one, again? Oh well, you’ll think of it soon enough, for now you can get on with other things. Besides, a few comments like that on social media don’t really have anything to bringing food back to the nest (do they?)
A busy week means your Twitter tapping temporarily terminates. An even busier week follows, and the thought leaves your reinforced skull entirely.
Your penchant for sporadicity is brilliant for multi-tasking in the day to day running of your agency; nobody can fault the way you switch and switch again from calls to flying between meetings, but your social presence does suffer.
So do what you do best: recruit. Get a company who know exactly #whatmakesyou Distinct, a company that can pin down your witty and professional brand voice and be there for your audience when you can’t.
Let them sing your birdsong from the rooftops, regularly and consistently.
Slow and steady wins the race. That’s what you tell yourself over and over like a mantra as you watch the others socially speed ahead with punchy personality profiles and easily accumulated engagement.
You post too, of course you do. You understand the importance of social media, even if you don’t understand how to navigate it.
New jobs promptly plod on to your feed, not too much to clog it, but once an hour, on the hour. It’s sustainable. It’s consistent. And that’s what you are, at the end of the day. It’s not an inaccurate reflection.
A creature of habit – professional habit – but your tried and tested professional words with your tried and tested professional tone don’t translate into success online.
The others, you notice, upload pictures, quirky quotations, news and blog posts. They have these voices that are miles apart from you and everything you publically put out. How do they conjure these distinct voices from thin air?
Nobody seems to understand that your thick shell is filled with nerve endings and that when you hear whispers in your direction that sound an awful lot like ‘formal’ and ‘awkward’; you can’t just retract into yourself and choose ignorance.
Idea sharing, inspiration, answering your question of ‘but aren’t digital marketing and advertising the same thing?’ – the things you really do need a network for, you’re not getting. That boat left with you still in the shallows a while back.
What you really need is another method of transportation. One that will pick you up and let you accelerate forwards on its back. One that will bring you up to speed with the others, and on the way help you to talk about exactly #whatmakesyou Distinct.
Give yourself the opportunity to really come out of your shell.