The recent surprising release of Beyoncé’s record album directly to iTunes without any fanfare or hype was a game changer. Fans were able to buy it at midnight, like a love note directly sent to them from their diva. This one act made her more approachable and real to her fans which landed her on top of the charts again. On iTunes, fans have to download the entire album, not just a few singles. Beyoncé has achieved a bold move, skipping the middle man, announcing the release on Instagram and accessing her fan base of eight million directly.
What does this mean for us mere mortals? Beyoncé has now changed the formula for success in her business. How can you change your approach? Few of us have a fan base of eight million followers, but we certainly work hard at acquiring contacts and connections at LinkedIn and Facebook. We’ve discussed in the past the relative futility of applying endlessly to positions online at job boards knowing it’s like sending your resume down a ‘black hole’ with little hope of a response. So here is an example worth paying attention to. Crowd-source your job search, get others involved even if it is just to ask them who do they know that you might want to speak to. While you’re having this conversation, and it can be by text or email, you’re also sharing good-naturedly about your efforts, the latest activities/accomplishments you’ve been involved in or even some new research/article/book you’ve been thinking about.
Invite them in to your dilemma. It doesn’t mean you make them responsible. You just want to share with them what you’re up to in a meaningful way that engages their interest. You want them on your side, like Beyoncé’s fans. That means you have to do something to deserve that loyalty. You may not be able to light up a stage with your voice and your dance moves, but you can brighten their thoughts with your intellect, your generosity, your novel approach to everyday challenges. Every contact, colleague, friend is a potential fan. Have you thanked them for their support? Have you offered to help them with something they might be facing, even if it’s free consulting time? Giving away a little of your expertise can go a long way towards garnering their reciprocal contribution. Don’t forget that Beyonce worked many years going to singing competitions and contest to achieve the superstardom she now possesses. It takes time and sustained effort to build a career and a following.
But don’t get discouraged, if there is anything we can take away from Ms. Knowles' success is the way she was able to completely alter the way her message reaches her public. So start thinking about how you can change things up for your personal brand. One way is to adapt a completely new approach, the one page job proposal which is an alternative to the tired old resume. As transitioning executives debate with themselves on whether a three page resume can tell their story, along comes a new way to get yourself in front of the hiring manager: a one page job proposal. This method requires that you propose to a company, showing them what you can do for them in the space of one page. The appeal is that it is short, cuts through the resume verbiage clutter, and targets exactly what they need allowing you to showcase your creativity. It’s brilliant and could be the way us folks down here on the ground get to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the job seeking pack. You’re going to have to do some homework and target the proposal to exactly what you think the company may need, but you should have been doing that anyway. It may be hard work, but it displays your ability to internalize what they need. So, go for it, you might just Beyoncé-up your career!