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Want to take your career to the next level? Ask a Career Coach!

Welcome to the AARP Online Community! Now through September 15th, we are joined by Career Coach John Tarnoff. Please ask your questions by reply post below--all are encouraged to particpate!

Have you thought about shifting into a new career or are you ready to accelerate your current career to the next level? Career Coach John Tarnoff us here to help.  Ask him how to navigate toward your next career move or how shift into your dream job. Start now charting the career path of your dreams!

 

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I'm going back to school for a MS in biotechnology. I currently am a Fitness Director at a health club. I'm concentrating on management within the biotechnology degree since I have managed my own business for over 20 years and currently help in managing the club I work at. I'd like to work in management in a biotechnology company like Fitbit or something similar, but I worry about being accepted at my age which will be 52 when I graduate. Are my fears justified and what can I do to be more viable?

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Thanks, @PeterM347935 -

 

I think it's great that you're going for an advanced degree in your field.  This will certainly give you greater authority for the work that you're looking to do.

 

The key question shouldn't be the kind of company you want to work for, it's the job you want to do, and more specficially the value proposition that you bring to the table.

 

Yes, as an older worker, you are going to have a more difficult time because the hiring process overall is focused on younger people (see earlier posts in this thread for more on that injustice!). 

 

But you bring so much more to the table than mere "job qualifications." With your 3 decades (I'm assuming) in your field, plus this new degree, you should have a pretty good sense of what exactly you would like to do at this stage in your career.  I would start there.  Figure out the "Peter LLC" angle that you want to focus on.  What problems do you like to solve in the work that you do?  How does the degree enhance your ability to do that work?  What additional (perhaps more refined or more technical) problems will the degree qualify you to solve?

 

Start with you, and your value proposition, and then look for companies who are struggling with the problems you solve.  It may or may not be a company like Fitbit.  But in the process of finding the company where you're eventually going to land, you should by all means check out the top companies you're interested in and build connections there.  Again, these connections will be based on the value proposition you're "selling."  You may meet people at these top companies (either through LinkedIn, or at conferences, networking events etc.) who say "I like what you do, but we don't have any need for that right now.  However, I want to introduce you to my friend at Company X who might be interested."

 

As you can see from my earlier replies in this thread, I'm a big believer in your network as the way to build traction and find your eventual berth.  At this age, "fit" is vital.  Employers want it, and you don't want to go to work for a company that sounds good on paper, but where the culture is actually toxic, or you're stuck in a position that only uses 20% of your potential.  You're too old to take a back seat or get mired in useless power politics just because you want to be at a "marquee" company.  Find the place where you can do the work you want to do and work with people who understand you , support you, and where your success is their success.  Or you could be consulting to a handful of innovative startups in your field, doing leading-edge work, building your reputation as a problem solver.  Your phone will be ringing off the hook (as we used to say).  

 

Bottom line, if there's a need/market for what you do, and you have a clear and consistent message around that value proposition, it doesn't matter how old you are because you're filling a real need and driving bottom-line results.

 

Let me know if this makes sense, and if you have any other questions!

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Contributor

Excellent feedback John! You made me look at stuff differently and I feel a lot more empowered now with that advice! Thanks!

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Yay! Glad it resonated! Wishing you the best of luck @PeterM347935. Keep in touch with me via LinkedIn or my website https://johntarnoff.com

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Hi, John -- I'm 62 years old and lost my job in PR/Communications in December because I asked my boss for a meeting to discuss a title change and reclassification of my job. I apply for job after job -- I have more than 30 years of progressive Public Relations experience, but don't get inteviews. I had my resume and cover letter reviewed and paid to have it revamped through the AARP recommended vendor. It came back with numerous errors and typos, so I corrected everything and I am using their version for applications. Still no nibbles. 

I'm into my 9th month of unemployment and need a job quickly. Any suggestions for me? I have worked in both the for- and non-profit sectors, including health care and cultural institutions.

Thanks, Rebecca.

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Career Coach


@RebeccaA376184 wrote:

Hi, John -- I'm 62 years old and lost my job in PR/Communications in December because I asked my boss for a meeting to discuss a title change and reclassification of my job. I apply for job after job -- I have more than 30 years of progressive Public Relations experience, but don't get inteviews. I had my resume and cover letter reviewed and paid to have it revamped through the AARP recommended vendor. It came back with numerous errors and typos, so I corrected everything and I am using their version for applications. Still no nibbles. 

I'm into my 9th month of unemployment and need a job quickly. Any suggestions for me? I have worked in both the for- and non-profit sectors, including health care and cultural institutions.

Thanks, Rebecca.


 

Thanks @RebeccaA376184 

 

I wish we had connected nine months ago.  Unfortunately, you are in a situation that many people find themselves in who are older, have been let go, and go about thinking they can apply to jobs the traditional way.  As you have discovered, it no longer works.

 

Resumes no longer get you an interview.  They are necessary as a record of your past achievements, but employers are focused on hiring younger, cheaper, more malleable candidates.  This is the unfortunate, ageist truth.

 

You also have too much experience for most of the jobs that get posted. This is true in any industry.  The bar has been raised for older workers. Employers glaze over when contemplating hiring someone older.  This is a cultural bias issue that we're not going to fix in this conversation, or in the next few years.  It's changing, but none of us has enough time to wait.

 

First, as I've recommended in earlier replies, your LinkedIn profile has to be thoroughly up to date.  This is where everyone goes to learn about you if they think you may be someone of interest.  

 

Second, what is your specialty?  There has to be a niche industry you covered, or a specific talent you have in the PR field.  You have to decide what PR/Comms issue (notice I said issue, not issues) you are the best at handling, and focus your job search on companies who are engaged in that area - or who need someone in that area.  Adopt the mindset of a consultant looking to provide value to a client, not that of an employee looking for a job.

 

Use LinkedIn to target the agencies or Comms divisions of the companies you resonate with, and think could be in your sweet spot in terms of the work that you do.  Find all of the professionals you've worked with over the years and invite them to connect on LinkedIn and see who they know (these would be your "2nd" level connections on LI).  Start networking amongst your 1st and 2nd level connections to find open positions, as well as conferences, events and meetups that you could attend to build your network and find out about openings.

 

It's all about "who you know," particularly in a field like PR/Comms which is so much about personal connection and interaction.

 

In the interim, I would also look for opportunities to volunteer your services to high profile non-profits where you can do good work, make new connections, but also have something to crow about.  That way it looks like you're continuing to work.  

 

Back to LinkedIn, NEVER put something in your headline like "seeking employment" or "seeking new position"  That is anathema to recruiters.  Everyone is looking for you to be actively engaged in your work (hence the recommendation that you volunteer).

 

I wish I had a short term solution for you, but at the end of the day, the only viable sort term solution is a well-established network that you can turn to for information and leads.  Hopefully some of these suggestions can help you reinvigorate your efforts. 

 

Best of luck in making this work. You have lots to offer and should be out there doing great work.  Keep at it, use some of these tips, and I have a feeling the next nine months will be a lot more successful!

 

 

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Hi John, I feel like I am at somewhat of a career crossroads. I have been with my current company for approaching 25 years and it has been filled with ups and downs, but generally a mainly safe job which allowed an opportunity and flexibility to raise my kids stress free while earning what I thought was a good salary.

 

My youngest child will be headed to college this fall. There are changes in my workplace and my role and I'll admit, I return home from work pretty sad every day. I have tons of soft skills and high EQ, and lots of ideas for ways I would like to pivot my next career path.  I feel like I must prepare now for what is likely my last decade in the hustle/bustle of work heading into retirement. Actually, career coaching or counseling is among those areas.

 

My challenge - I can't seem to really put it all together.  I have an opportunity to take individual courses and even obtain a degree at a discounted price via my part-time adjunct work. I just don't know if there's ROI in spending money to take classes on something that I can monetize in the short term or invest in another degree long term if neither will lead to a career transition heading into retirement. I just don't know how long I can feel stuck in my current situation. I just feel like I'm all over the place with things I would like and possibly can do, but when I look at my paycheck and responsibilities, I realize, I can't start at the bottom in terms of salary.

Robin Harvey
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@r882285h wrote:

Hi John, I feel like I am at somewhat of a career crossroads. I have been with my current company for approaching 25 years and it has been filled with ups and downs, but generally a mainly safe job which allowed an opportunity and flexibility to raise my kids stress free while earning what I thought was a good salary.

 

My youngest child will be headed to college this fall. There are changes in my workplace and my role and I'll admit, I return home from work pretty sad every day. I have tons of soft skills and high EQ, and lots of ideas for ways I would like to pivot my next career path.  I feel like I must prepare now for what is likely my last decade in the hustle/bustle of work heading into retirement. Actually, career coaching or counseling is among those areas.

 

My challenge - I can't seem to really put it all together.  I have an opportunity to take individual courses and even obtain a degree at a discounted price via my part-time adjunct work. I just don't know if there's ROI in spending money to take classes on something that I can monetize in the short term or invest in another degree long term if neither will lead to a career transition heading into retirement. I just don't know how long I can feel stuck in my current situation. I just feel like I'm all over the place with things I would like and possibly can do, but when I look at my paycheck and responsibilities, I realize, I can't start at the bottom in terms of salary.


 

Thanks @r882285h -

 

You are at a very common crossroads, these days.  It is really a second mid-life crisis, but one that is very specifically focused on work, and the premise and promise of a second-act career.

 

I would caution you on the pursuit of an additional degree or certification, unless there is a very specific role/career you are pursuing that requires it (e.g. software coding, HR management).  You mentioned coaching, and yes, there are certainly coaching credentials offered all over the place, but very few with credibility and history (e.g. the International Coaching Federation - ICF).  And it depends what kind of coaching you plan on going into.

 

If you like the business/industry you're in, but just are feeling stale in your specific role, or not on board with the direction the company or culture are going in, you might look at ways of starting a consulting practice that grows out of your current role, or addresses an adjacent problem or solution that needs handling - something that current clients/customers are experiencing but having a hard time figuring out.  With your experience and savvy, you could package up that solution or set of solutions and market  them to your existing rolodex.

 

If you're tired of your business and are really looking to slingshot your way into something new, this will require some research and deep reflection on your part.  I talk about this extensively in my book, as it is really a big step.  The big caveat about making this big a leap is to really determine if you motivation is a genuine readiness to open to and embrace something really new and more authentic to who you are - or a reaction against your dissatisfaction with your current situation.  You may need to take a good long vacation to reflect on this question before you decide on your course of action.

 

Creating a side gig while you are still in your well-paying job is an option if you have an idea that lends itself to a small business or an online business.  Consider one or more experiments, or potential partners if you and a trusted (and I mean trusted) colleague or  friend have an idea.

 

Taking a pay cut is a concern, although I don't think you'll wind up having to go back to square one.  One thing I recommend to people who are in a stale situation in their longstanding job is to also try to refresh that job.  This will help you to feel better about going into work, likely extend your viability there from management's POV, and possibly unleash new ideas that could actually renew your positive feelings about the job (I've had this happen with clients in the past).  What you don't want is to get let go before you've fully figured out your own bridge to the next thing.

 

Talk to your manager or HR, or someone you think is already in your corner about how you could do more to create/provide value to the company.  Just showing that kind of initiative might surprise them, even if it feels to you like the last thing you want to offer (because you're so down on your job).  And it might surprise you to find that they're open to working with you.  If your initiative totally falls on deaf ears or hits a wall, then you know that your days are numbered and you should immediately start making exit plans, including thinking about all these new ideas, but also hitting the tradtional job search.

 

In any event, you have to make sure your LinkedIn is thoroughly up to date, engaging, and accurately captures who you are, why you're motivated to do what you love doing, and connects to professionals in your industry and potential recruiters on topics of current concern.  See an earlier reply for some ideas on how to deal with the LI profile.

 

Best wishes for a successful second act!

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After 30 years in various customer experience management roles I would love to become a consultant in the same field for either distribution or consumer products manufacturing where I spent most of my career. Any advice on how to start?  Contacts?  Website?  Networking?  Jodi 

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@js97637592 wrote:

After 30 years in various customer experience management roles I would love to become a consultant in the same field for either distribution or consumer products manufacturing where I spent most of my career. Any advice on how to start?  Contacts?  Website?  Networking?  Jodi 


 

Thanks, Jodi!

 

Yes, all of the above (contacts, website, networking).

 

You're actually going about this exactly the right way.  But: in my view you have to be painfully specific and niched in the consulting service/solution you're selling. If you're not crystal clear on this, take the time to research your market.  Talk to former colleagues about what their biggest pain points are. Look at where the industry is headed. Don't think about this exclusively in terms of what you did or what you think you'd like to do, or what you think the market is.  Formulate your value proposition based on your research and your interactions. Be data driven: your clients certainly will be. You might find also that your former employer(s) are your most accessible clients.

 

Use your LinkedIn profile - especially the About section - to create a narrative for your new business.  Identify yourself as someone inspired and driven to create the value you're pitching - and explain the "why" of it (borne most likely out of your decades of experience). Highlight some specific past successes that demonstrate your expertise, and then conclude with your vision for the industry going forward and how you're going to make an impact.

 

Each job in your Experience section should be bulleted to support that narrative and paint a convincing picture for prospective readers/clients. 

 

Then start prospecting and using your existing connections to reach new ones.  Target companies and managers who have the issue you solve for.

 

Go for it!

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Newbie

Hello

Is this a private or public forum? Will my questions and your answers printed here?

Thank you!
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Hi @CathyP369159

 

Yes, this is a public forum.

 

 

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I've been a successful studio musician for many years. My industry has changed and people who do what I've done have largely been eliminated. I have related skill sets that I've tried to follow up on but the entire industry is in a deep slump and funding for new projects has dried up. So I'm looking around at what else I might do, and I've applied for a couple of jobs at colleges in music-related technology roles. Beyond that I really haven't got a clue how to move on, and where or how to look for a new career. I've never done anything other than music performance and music recording since graduating from college.

 

Thank you.

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@SethG683703 wrote:

I've been a successful studio musician for many years. My industry has changed and people who do what I've done have largely been eliminated. I have related skill sets that I've tried to follow up on but the entire industry is in a deep slump and funding for new projects has dried up. So I'm looking around at what else I might do, and I've applied for a couple of jobs at colleges in music-related technology roles. Beyond that I really haven't got a clue how to move on, and where or how to look for a new career. I've never done anything other than music performance and music recording since graduating from college.

 

Thank you.


Thanks for your question @SethG683703.  As someone who comes out of the entertainment industry, I completely get your situation.

 

I have no easy answer for you in terms of what you're going to wind up doing (or should be doing).

 

However, I believe that there is a process you can engage in that will get you there.

 

I work with a five-step model.

 

First step is to reframe any ideas around who you, what you're capable of, and what limitations exist.  You may have been a music professional, but if you look back at your years in the biz, I'll bet there are strategic and managerial skills that you've learned.  Managing a creative enterprise, including your own career, booking gigs, touring, recording, managing studio time etc. is a very entrepreneurial background.    I suggest you start a brief daily journal to capture your thoughts, ideas, anxieties, fears, brainstorms and anything that comes up that might trigger some inspiration

 

Second step is to reach out to your trusted friends and advisors and do deep dive on their perception of you and what you could/should be doing.  Go for the tough love from people who care about you and aren't afraid to ruffle your feathers.  But don't take bad advice either.  The more people you talk to, you'll see themes emerge that might be helpful in giving you direction.

 

Third step is to look back on all of the mistakes you've made, bridges you've burned, injustices that were done to you etc. etc. and forgive them all.  You've got to be emotionally willing to start from square-one and not let any old baggage stand in your way of going for something new.

 

Fourth is to actually plan out one or more scenarios of what this next step could be.  Want to start a small business?  Should it be standalone or a maybe a franchise?  Consult for music industry companies?  What kind of service could you provide to manufacturers (e.g.)?  Play it out on paper.  Ask around.  What resources do you need?  How much time and money will it take to launch? 

 

Fifth is to connect with and build your network.  Ideally, you've got something specific to pitch, but you can also use your network (as in the second step above) to connect with people to clarify your direction.  The more people you meet and talk with, the more you'll be able to refine your pitch, determine whether there really is a need for the product or service you're providing, who your actual customer is, and how you're going to start closing deals or get hired.

 

Obviously, this is a really quick rundown of a much longer process (3 -6 mos).  It's all laid out in much more detail in my book, Boomer Reinvention.  Let me know if you have more questions!

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Contributor

Thank you, John. Much to think about.

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Hello,

 

I will be 56 this November and have made my career as an executive assistant to C level executives.

 

I am considering moving to be near my son and his family and would like to understand how I can go for a management position.

 

After 30 some years, I think I bring alot of management level skill sets

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@aramorra wrote:

Hello,

 

I will be 56 this November and have made my career as an executive assistant to C level executives.

 

I am considering moving to be near my son and his family and would like to understand how I can go for a management position.

 

After 30 some years, I think I bring alot of management level skill sets


Thanks for your question @aramorra-

 

You indeed have lots to offer and it sounds like you're making a smart lifestyle decision to be making the move.

 

I would approach this from a couple of angles.

 

First, think of yourself as an entrepreneur, not an employee.  Yes, you could find a job in an admin capacity, but you'll also find a lot of bias against older workers, and you'll hear a lot of "shouldn't you be retiring by now?" questions.

 

If you see yourself as an entrepreneur, you'll need to figure out the actual "product" that you're selling.  With all of your experience, it could be that you drill down on the industry you were involved with, look at the kind of organizational, infrastructure, or business process expertise you have, and come up with a service that addresses key problems that companies have.

 

You could find yourself attracting multiple clients who want you to help them organize, re-organize, or otherwise sort out problems on a sort-term basis (e.g. 1 - 6 months).  Or you could find a company that needs you to do the same thing in-house and you get hired on as an employee.

 

Be open to working either way (1099 or W2).  The important thing to do is to always think of yourself as a consultant providing value to a client, not an employee working under the direction of a manager.

 

Yes, you can work across a wide range of disciplines and industries, for any number of managers (after all, you've worked for C-suite execs).  But the more specific and niched you make your "pitch," the easier it will be for people with that need to hire you - and hire you quickly.

 

Why compete with (younger, less-experienced) people across a broad, undefined jobs market when you can market yourself as a valuable and unique expert?

 

One other angle is to look at the Virtual Assistant market, and research the online services that  provide VAs to small business owners (mostly online, but also brick/mortar).  With your background, and if you're tech-friendly, you might find opportunity in that role that can give you a lot of time flexibility.

 

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@JohnTarnoff I need help with search terms for the various job sites such as Indeed or Zip Recruiter. I am looking for the types of jobs where I would go out to the customer and train them and support them in their product use.  What would be the title of such a position? 

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@SchoolAdmin wrote:

@JohnTarnoff I need help with search terms for the various job sites such as Indeed or Zip Recruiter. I am looking for the types of jobs where I would go out to the customer and train them and support them in their product use.  What would be the title of such a position? 


 

Thanks for your question @SchoolAdmin!

 

I would expect that "trainer," "product demo," "training," "product support," "customer training" are the basic search terms you would use to find such job postings.

 

More to the point for me is: what is your actual field of expertise that someone would hire you for?  Don't be a "jack of all trades" and represent yourself as someone with the ability to train anyone on anything.  That's not going to fly.  You need to already be a specific, niched solution to what your employer needs.

 

Have a clear sense of your value proposition before you start searching for open positions, and be able to clearly state what that is.

 

All the best

 

John

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My value is classroom experience in all levels of K-12 education.  I also have served as a site administrator as well as the district office.  My specialized training for CTO helps me understand the big purchase vision in terms of legal requirements and hoop.  Therefore, "I get it": I understand the challenges and the doubt prevalent with schools, and educators.  I also can talk as "one of them" as teachers often feel that sales people and trainers are outsiders and don't understand the realistic situation in the classroom.

 

What I don't know is how to convey that to employers.

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@SchoolAdmin wrote:

My value is classroom experience in all levels of K-12 education.  I also have served as a site administrator as well as the district office.  My specialized training for CTO helps me understand the big purchase vision in terms of legal requirements and hoop.  Therefore, "I get it": I understand the challenges and the doubt prevalent with schools, and educators.  I also can talk as "one of them" as teachers often feel that sales people and trainers are outsiders and don't understand the realistic situation in the classroom.

 

What I don't know is how to convey that to employers.


Thanks so much for drilling down -

 

So your target market is, if I'm getting this right, school districts - as well as perhaps individual private schools? - implementing curriculum and technology.  When you say "specialized training for CTO.." are you referring to chief technology officers, or is this another acronym?

 

Your LinkedIn profile, in the "About" section is the place to state this clearly.  People usually miss the importance of the About section.  It's not a summary of past jobs/accomplishments.  It's a place to state the "why" of what you do, plus a few highlights of "how" you have made a difference in doing it, plus an aspirational "where" you are looking to take this talent of yours going forward.

 

You already have the seeds of this in the paragraph you just wrote to me.  So I would recommend looking at revising your LinkedIn accordingly and using the 2000 characters available in the about section to fully flesh out your value proposition in your area.

 

As to jobs specifically, I would not wait for job openings to be posted.  Sure, you can always search on keywords and things will come up.  But I would be more pro-active and identify the companies that provide these services to your target market.  Network your way (through LinkedIn and through your own network) to the decision-makers at those providers and develop relationships there.

 

Give them a reason to connect with you by analyzing the gaps or opportunities in your market, and coming up with solutions to address them.  In your outreach to these providers, you're not "looking for a job," you're "doing research" about what's going on in the market and looking to get their take.

 

Develop relationships as a fellow professional and as a thought leader (after all these years, and your significant experience, you've earned it!) - not as as a "supplicant" with your hand out trying to land a job.

 

Your relationships, and the respect that you develop based on the insights that you offer, are what will lead you to the kind of job you're seeking - whether directly, or through referrals.

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Career Coach

Hi, Everyone!

It's a pleasure to be here on the AARP forum to support you in extending and reinventing your career.

 

More and more of us are delaying retirement.  This makes more and more sense at a time when people are living longer and need more savings to support them in their longer lives.  But we also are a more engaged generation and want to stay active and involved in work - which provides great satisfaction and also keeps us healthy!

 

But the big problem that we're having is  convincing employers to keep us around!  According to a recent ProPublica/Urban Institute study, 56% of all employed people over 50 will be forced out of their jobs one way or another.

 

That's a staggering figure...

 

My prescription is to stop chasing job openings and to start chasing professional relationships.  Your network is your number one career asset.  85% of jobs are filled through referrals, NOT through job applications.  So you need to tap into your existing network and build new connections.

 

I'm sure we'll be talking more about this over the next six weeks!  

 

Tell me your story and I'll do my best to give you some actionable advice.

 

John

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Newbie

I have written a published 4 children's books in the past. I have always loved writing. I am in the process of writing a novel. I feel it is extremely good. I need advise on what is the best direction to go with publishing and how do I get attention with low funds available to me. 

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Thanks for your question @LindaW330912 

 

You're leading into a very specific area and a very lengthy topic!

 

As a self-published author, I can tell you that the upside of self-publishing can certainly outweigh going the traditional publishing route.

 

However, it is a very technical process, and does involve you as the author driving the marketing of your book or books.

 

Were your previous books self-published?  That will help me give you better advice on your novel.

 

What stage are you at right now?  Do you have an editor you're working with? Do you have up to $10,000 available to fund the various publishing steps?

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks, for sharing your insights @JohnTarnoff. Great way to kick this off. We're glad to have you in the AARP Online Community for the next six weeks!

 

For those who would like to ask a question, please do so by reply post. Thank you!

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Hello John, After retiring as a successful chiropractor due to disability, I have developed a 6 week consulting program for people 35-65 with chronic persistent back or neck pain. I wish to market and coach primarily online. I am motivated to do this because of the ongoing opioid crisis and the fact  that with my program people can minimize/eliminate chronic pain without additional pills, surgery or even doctors. 

My roadblocks are tech related. I have hired various coaches/freelancers but my progress is slow this last 18 months. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance!

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Career Coach

Thanks, @tw38214439  - What a great idea for an online information-based business!  I'm a bit of geek when it comes to this stuff, so I would love to hear more about exactly where you are challenged and where the roadblocks have occurred.

 

Indeed, there are so many options, and a lot of snake-oil out there. You do need to become somewhat tech-savvy in order to pull this off.  It's possible to hire people to execute on your plan, but you have to understand how this stuff works in order to know what you actually need, and how to manage them.  But it's not rocket science!  It is possible to master it - and at any age!

 

What I'm gathering about this whole process (and this is in my own content-marketing evolution as well) is that you have to start as a thought leader and build your authority, and grow the business from there.  Maybe this has been your approach, but for what it's worth (and for the benefit of others reading this thread), you have to start with your blog and start building your email list. You have to be posting regularly (weekly) on your blog and spreading your posts and views on social media (i.e. sharing articles to support your POV). You have to be engaged in the community that already exists around your business and your solution.

 

Is your 6-week program a 1:1 program that you deliver via videoconference (e.g. Zoom) - or perhaps a group program where you're coaching multiple people online simultaneously? Is it an online video course that you record as mini lectures with supporting exercises?  

 

Do you have free content that you're giving away as an incentive for someone to join your list - perhaps a "teaser" version of your course, or some stand-alone exercises they can do to see the benefits of your approach?

 

I'm priming the pump of this conversation to get a better sense from you of where you are in the process.  I'm looking forward to hearing more!

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Hi John, Sorry, I replied to the wrong email in answer to your questions. I hired my first coach who was all about FB ads to begin the funnel (FB ad-Free webinar-Application-Free phone call w me to determine if they are a good fit).Within this are a ton of apps cobbled together which drives me nuts (Clickfunnels is the main one but also OnceHub, Vimeo,Aweber, among others) but I am slowly progressing. I was inspired with this strategy as I didn't have to cultivate an organic online tribe.... you buy them through ads. I was delayed a year because really complicated apps of Kajabi and Everwebinar with the FB ads manager didn't work well for me. I "launched" several times but the duct tape didn't hold the apps together, hence Clickfunnels. I must admit to occcasionally losing heart over the last 18 months before beginning again. What keeps me going is the fact that so many peoples lives depend on me providing this information and expertise. So badly needed!

My 6 week program is 1:1(30 minute weekly coaching on the phone) and goup (once weekly Zoom sessions). All curriculum content is evergreen online as well as lifetime access to the private FB group for Q&A.

My content is based on best practices, my personalparticipation in 250,000K patient interactions, my own history and extensive research in drug-free pain treatment including my second book on natural health "Feet, Fork and Fun: How To Fail Your Way To Fitness". The approach is cutting edge thought and action on three fronts: physical ("Feet" or exercise), chemical ("Fork" or nutrition) and most importantly emotional ("Fun" or headspace).

Since I will initially buy clients with online ads I have not done much w platform building however I just started a blog (The Spine Sherpa). Any additional advice would be much appreciated. Best Regards, Dr. Tim Warren

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Career Coach

Thanks, Tim - @tw38214439 

 

Well, you've certainly picked a very high-end way to go.  All of the tools work well, but they are expensive (esp. Clickfunnels), but they do work.  My only concern is that you're investing in the big guns before you have the audience or the proof-of-concept for your program.  Better to start smaller and cheaper and develop your audience, find out through direct feedback what they actually need, want, and like.  Paid ads can deliver these people to you, but unless you've nurtured them with your content and engagement, you're going to get a really low conversion.

 

If I'm understanding you correctly, your ads are selling your program, not signing people up to your list.  From my understanding of digital marketing, that's risky.  

 

I get that you are indeed an expert in your field, and that can go a long way towards driving conversion.  But that also depends on your price point.  Testimonials are also key, so if you don't have credible clients who've been through your training, you're likely going to lose conversions.

 

I can't stress how important your content marketing is to this process (blogging, articles, interviews, social engagement).  You have be perceived as an expert not only by your b.g., but by the content and detailed information that people can get from you that supports your program.  It's the premise that you have to basically give away a large proportion of your content to persuade people that the remaining 20% (or whatever) has got to be worth the hundreds of dollars you're asking them to spend.

 

Wishing you all the best with this!

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Career Coach

Getting turned down for the jobs you're applying for?

Worse yet, can't even get called in for an interview?

Afraid you're stuck on the job search hamster wheel forever?

 

doran-erickson-508459-unsplash.jpgStop what you're doing and consider that going freelance may be you best strategy.  Take everything you've learned in your life-long career, including the skills, the wisdom, the insight (that can only come from experience), and put it to work in a specific, targeted way for a bunch of clients, not just one single employer.

 

Of course there are challenges to going from an employee mindset to a freelance mindset.

 

Check out my recent blog post on this subject: https://johntarnoff.com/freelance-101-how-to-start-your-second-act/

 

Let me know what you think?

Already made the transition to the freelance lifestyle?  Share your experience and your tips and tricks to help others successfully follow in your footsteps!

 

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