"Buycott" Your Way Into a New Job
My husband was talking to his old friend Bingo the other day, who said he was out of work but trying to get a sales job at a local car dealership. We suggested that he try and get the dealership's attention by organizing a "buycott" -- the opposite of a boycott, so they'd see how fabulous he could be at cleverly improving their sales.
Buycotts have been successfully staged for products and services as diverse as goods manufactured in Israel to Whole Foods supermarkets. They involve encouraging people to buy from, rather than to shun certain businesses. People have organized buycotts in support of companies whose environmental and social policies they support, so why not try organizing one for a company that you'd like to support you? If you want to work for them, I'm assuming that you support and admire their products and policies, so get the word out.
How to Organize a Buycott
Post positive product reviews of your targeted company. Make sure your reviews are insightful and well-written, and post them on websites where the items are offered. Bingo would want to post make and model specific reviews on Edmunds.com, for example. Amazon.com, Buy.com and ehealthinsurance.com are all great sites for reviews, depending on what field interests you.
Zero in. On a local level, go to the websites that give information on commerce in your community, and publish glowing reviews of the particular business and its employees. Make sure you sign your real name, and not some cutsie pseudonym. These community directory sites can be found with a simple web search, or via your favorite local TV station or radio station website.
Become an interested and enthusiastic customer. A friend of mine who was a fabulous cook decided she would like part time work at a gourmet kitchen store called Sur le Table. Although they didn't have any openings when she began her campaign to get a job there, she started frequenting the store, getting to know employees by asking astute questions, and sometimes purchasing small, inexpensive items like spices or measuring spoons. She also talked up their products to all her friends who admired her cooking, and told them to mention her name when they went in to make purchases. Within a month, the manager stopped her on one of her regular visits, told her an employee would soon be leaving, and asked if she'd be interested in the position.
Blog about the service or product. Use its name frequently, encourage others to buy or partake, and link to its site from your blog. Surely you have your own blog, yes? If not, it's easy enough to start one for free. The more you write about a certain subject and link out to other websites, the more likely your blog will be to come up when someone does a web search for the business you're targeting. This is especially effective with individuals and local businesses. For example, if our friend Bingo blogs about what a great experience he had at Jabberwocky Ford and Joe Jabberwocky comes across that blog when he's idly Googling himself or Bingo, you can bet he'll perk right up when Bingo walks in for an interview. Not only will he feel that Bingo understands his business's many virtues, but he'll think Bingo is a super savvy social networker -- one he'd like to have on his staff.
If you truly believe in the service or project, organizing a buycott will not seem insincere or disingenuous. These days, you have to get a leg up any way you can. One caution, however: Buycotts do not need to involve picket signs, virtual or otherwise. Don't diss the competition--you might find them recruiting you as well.
Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.