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⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Waterfalls" Edition (#106)

⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "Waterfalls" Edition (#106)
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd • Issue #106 • View online
My mission: move the conversation around employer brand forward.

Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
In this issue
  • What are we marketing?
  • Are you being brave?
  • What’s a brand?
  • Why do you want what you want?
The big idea
There’s a truly amazing book by Steven Pressfield called No One Wants To Read Your Shit.
(Pressfield wrote the similarly epic The War of Art and Do the Work, and established the idea that when you do creative work of any kind, there is a monster called “resistance” that will do almost anything to keep you from working. The War of Art was described by Seth Godin as “why didn’t anyone tell me this book existed?!” to set the pedigree, so to speak. Read them!)
Pressfield says that he learned most of the lessons that turned into No One Wants from his almost ten years writing ad copy within an agency. He says that understanding that no one actually wants to read your book, your ad, watch your video, see your Tik Tok, smell your candles, look around your shop (etc) is the first step to being a creative professional.
No one cares that you slaved away at that poem (article, ad, photo, painting, et al) for hours. No one cares that you think it’s your best work. They are busy and at no time in their day did they think, “I wonder if there’s an interesting poem out there?” No one wakes up wanting what you’re producing.
And that’s a good thing. That’s the first obstacle you need to overcome: create work good enough to the reader/viewer/customer that it is worth stopping what they are doing, changing their plans, and reading your shit. Getting people to become interested in your work is the crucible that creates great work.
But our world has no such crucible.
When Pressfield wrote No One Wants, he was thinking about your ad, your book, your blog post: no one wants to read it. It is not necessary to sustaining life or keeping your family safe. They are creative works, and thus do not have any inherent demand. No one is begging you to write more stuff.
But, we work in a space where what we sell is 100% life-sustaining. Getting a job is how we feed and house ourselves and our families and everyone already knows that. Everyone knows what a job is. Everyone already knows they need one (if you agree, talk to a graduating senior who is realizing that college is over and they need to FIND A JOB!!! That’s real panic).
You can write the absolute WORST job posting in the world and people still apply. There’s no real reason to create good marketing because… people still buy your product!
This might explain why 80% of recruiters and employer brand professions (i.e. people who spend massive chunks of their lives on LinkedIn and should absolutely know better) still write “we’re hiring” posting. They see a hundred of these posts themselves and ignore them. But when the time comes to share a job, they say the same. It’s so common, that when someone actually posts something different, it’s all we talk about for a week!
Why? Because it doesn’t matter! People already want jobs, so we aren’t really marketing jobs.
And this is where good branding matters. You don’t market the product, you market the differences. Why is the project manager role at WasteManagement different from the one at SpaceX? Why is the C# developer job at Chase different from the one at Pepsico? Everyone says they are a great place to work. Everyone says they have great people. Fine. That means the real work happens in the gaps, in the differences, no matter how small or subtle they might feel.
That’s why I’m always harping on about being different, embracing what makes you (actually) unique, and not being afraid to talk about it and even highlight it.
You will face resistance from HR and TA and maybe even Comms and Marketing. But that’s what the job is: to create and show off what makes your company, team or job different.
7 habits for laying the foundation for business bravery
Quick! Do you know your company’s values?
Are You Really a “Brand”?
5 things to do between now and Hallowe’en to improve your employer brand
Employer Brand Strategy for Startups
The number one reason white men give for not getting involved with diversity and inclusion
Why Every Executive Should Be Focusing on Culture Change Now
Round Seventeen: I can feel it coming...
Turning Employees & Suppliers into Advocates
Why you want what you want
The ultimate guide to social commerce -
Why Leaders Must Understand the Importance of #EmployerBranding
Quick hits
Inside the fortune cookie
The secret to success is doing the stuff other people won’t do & doing it for a really long time. - John Jantsch
Thanks, everyone!
Reminder: The more people at your org who read my books, the better your job will get! (They’re free!!!)
There are now more than 900 links in the link archive. And as always, when you reply to this email I will read your questions and comments. Is there any article I should be commenting on? A book? A podcast? Is there something you what to know? How can I help? Just reply to this email and it comes directly to me.
Cheers and thanks!
-James Ellis (LinkedIn | Twitter | Podcast | Articles)
Where the subject line came from:
Wendy & Lisa - Waterfall (Video)
Wendy & Lisa - Waterfall (Video)
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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