Be the toothpaste, or for that matter any consumer product. If we take a lesson from the playbook of Colgate-Palmolive or P&G, we discover that they have perfected the art of creating an impression in the consumer’s mind. Once the impression is there, buying their toothpaste is easy.

It’s a marketing truism that you must make 7 impressions on a consumer before they notice your brand

This newsletter will provide you with tips on how to create 7 impressions in the mind of people you wish to get in front of because they work in your target company and can help you.

The Assumed Backstory

Let’s assume I wish to work at Stripe, but I know no one in the company. I went to the University of Maryland, and I worked at Bank of America and a few smaller companies. I wish to find a job in FP&A or a related area within finance. I am in my 40s, and my network consists mostly of other professionals my age in traditional finance, not the sexy FinTech world. The fact pattern is:

  • Position in FP&A or something similar at Stripe
  • Mid 40’s with no network, and I know no one at the company
  • Graduated from the University of MD and spent time working for Bank of America

 

Impression #1

If you search LinkedIn for the number of University of MD alumni that currently work at Stripe, you will find about 60, almost all living in the US. These are alumni that could have graduated 10 years before you or 5 years after. If you search for the number of current Stripe employees that worked for Bank of America at some point in the past, you will find about 50.

That’s a total of 100 touchpoints in the company you can leverage even though you don’t know any of them. 2 went to the University of MD and used to work for Bank of America. I correct myself: 98 potential touchpoints. You could also filter by those who work in finance to be a little more targeted. Of course, everyone touches finance so even if you find someone in operations, etc. they can also be helpful.

My suggestion is to:

  • Invite all 100 to connect with you on LinkedIn
  • Spread out the invitations over 2 weeks to avoid the LinkedIn police
  • Always use a note to your invitation and let them know you both share the same school or former employer

 

Impression #1 is complete

Impression #2

Within 24 hours of the person, let’s call her Anika (I was in love with Anika T. in 2nd grade) accepting your invitation, you send her a LinkedIn message that you are exploring opportunities at Stripe, and you would appreciate some guidance.

You then send every person who connected with you the same message (customize the message and use the contact’s name).

If Anika does not respond:

  • Send her an email since you now have her personal email (most likely) since most LinkedIn users enable 1st connections to see their personal email; or
  • Send her a message to her professional email address
  • What, you don’t know it? Try the first initial last name, or first name last name at stripe.com; you get the picture

 

To be fair, all these touchpoints still count as 1 touchpoint. No cheating allowed.

Impression #2 is complete

Impression #3

If she responds to you, then set up the logistics for the call

 

  • Don’t say “Would you be available next week for the call?”
  • Also, don’t say “Would you be available next Tuesday at 4:55 pm? ”
  • Try a middle-of-the-road request (assume today is Monday): “Would you be available for a call Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.”
  • You give them a 2-day window, 2 days from now.

 

Impression #3 is complete

Impression #4

Have the call. What to talk about and what not to talk about is beyond the scope of this newsletter since I can’t give away all my secrets. Suffice it to say do your homework and ask smart questions.

 

 

Impression #4 is complete

Impression #5

Send your thank-you note and be specific.

 

  • Do not say “Thanks Anika for giving me some advice on Stripe. I found the conversation really helpful.”
  • Try something more specific to show her you actually paid attention “Thanks, Anika for your advice that Stripe really cares about their employees give the 30-day vacation policy, 5 company paid for mental health visits, and a 20% discount to major fitness chains.”

 

Impression #5 is complete

Impression #6, 7, 8

Does Anika post on LinkedIn? Let’s assume for now that she does. Every week check her profile and you will see her postings.

When she posts anything, check it out and do the following:

  • Like the post – LinkedIn will send her a message.
  • Comment on the post – LinkedIn will send her a message.
  • Don’t just comment, ask an intelligent question
  • She will most likely respond with an answer

 

3 more impressions in the bag

Substitute Impression #6, 7, 8

Let’s say Anika does not post. Ok, no cheating here (I save that for my taxes). Do the following

 

  • Every month, email her something of value (like an article you read that she would be interested in) and remind her you are interested in the company.
  • Ask her a question in the email that encourages her to respond
  • Switch from LinkedIn to email or vice versa
  • Repeat every 3 weeks

 

You have now created 8 impressions and have established a cadence with Anika. If you continue to stay top of mind, she will most likely think of you when she hears about an opening. Does it take work, yes! Will it get you a job, yes!

Summary

I don’t do summaries. Go back and please read my newsletter which I spent quality time writing. If you have skipped down here looking for the easy way out, I curse your family. I curse your friends, and I course your neighbors. From what song or movie is that reference?

 

Layoffs season is coming. Join my workshop to prepare yourself.