Heather R. Huhman, founder & president of Come Recommended, has nearly a decade of public relations and marketing experience, specializing in media relations, content marketing, and social media. She is also a well-recognized career expert, an experienced hiring manager, and someone who has been in nearly every employment situation imaginable. Heather is the author of, Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (Happy About, 2011) and also has multiple e-books under her belt.
Additionally, she has been recognized by CNN/CareerBuilder for the past two years as a ‘top job tweeter you should be following,’ included in Monster.com’s ‘The Monster 11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Search,’ and is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council.
Come Recommended, LLC, is a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers.
MO: The unemployment rate is high and there are a lot of job seekers out there. Is there any specific advice you’d give people out there who are currently seeking a job?
Heather: In today’s competitive job market, it’s vital to be proactive. This means a few things: cleaning up your online presence, making connections with industry professionals online and offline, and creating a professional brand for yourself. You have to stand out among other candidates with the same education and experience, which can be challenging – but if you know how your skills and experience can benefit a company, you’ll be a step ahead in the hiring process.
MO: Just a year ago you were a professional networking site for entry level pros and employers who also offered coaching services. Last year you made content marketing & digital PR your focus. How has this changed your role and how has Come Recommended evolved due to this big change?
Heather: We’ve grown tremendously since making the change from a professional networking site to a content marketing agency. Since we’ve since brought on a number of new clients, I’ve been spending a lot more time hiring new people to bring onto our team. I’ve also taken on the role of new business development – reaching out to potential clients to encourage them to use our services to reach their intended audiences.
MO: You say that you become an extension of your client’s company when you work for them. How hard it is to adapt to a new work culture with each new contract? Is it hard to encourage the client to view you as an extension of their already established team?
Heather: In the beginning, it certainly takes some time to detail exactly how we’ll be working together and formulate a plan to accomplish each task. However, we use three collaborative tools that help us stay in regular contact with clients and receive timely feedback: Skype, Google Docs, and Glasscubes.
Many of our clients are early-stage startups with only a few employees, so they’re open to our assistance with content marketing since their current team doesn’t have the time or resources to do it themselves.
MO: How are you able to offer your clients unlimited access to your services for a set amount? You must have a pretty dedicated team in order to be so available to each and every client on an unlimited basis.
Heather: For the most part, we follow a marketing plan each month listing each strategy and tactic we plan to implement. However, we don’t want our clients to feel like the plan has to be the end-all be-all; many of them have other ideas that pop up throughout the month and we do our best to accommodate these as they come up.
MO: What’s the most rewarding part of being a Career Expert?
Heather: I never had anyone guide me through my entry-level career, so I enjoy being able to help job seekers navigate the difficult application and hiring process. I hope that through my blog posts, podcasts, webinars, and other content I can be that much-needed guide for struggling job seekers – and, ultimately, help them land a job that they love.
MO: What would your advice be to a new company who is looking for increased visibility on the web? What are the fastest ways to get seen?
Heather: Blogging and guest blogging are both great ways to increase your visibility online. Blogging is great for search engine optimization (SEO) for your company website, along with being a primary way to engage your clients or customers. Guest blogging – writing for another industry blog – can introduce the organization’s leadership to other industry thought leaders — and gain customers from the outlet’s existing community of readers.
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