Last updated on September 16th, 2022 at 10:23 pm

When’s the last time someone made you do a double-take? Like, stop in your tracks and rewind a bit to fully digest what’s happening in front of you?

When you’re busy, you live in a constant state of “swiping left” on opportunities in life to avoid being sucked into a situation that could derail you from your goals.

But, when someone has the ability to make you stop, you should pay attention to what they’re doing. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

We recently received a video submission alongside a resume for a role we were trying to fill at Teachable and it was enough of a differentiator to get the right candidate in the door for an interview. An extra 30 minutes of work to complete a 5 minute video led to an interview, which led to a new job.

Bing. Bang. Boom. Just like that.

So, it got me thinking. Where are there other interesting stories like this? I scroll through TikTok mindlessly, hoping someone grabs my attention in the first 0.3 seconds (yep… less than a second) to pull me into their world. But, what about instances in real life?

I found this story by Jeremy Somers on how he was able to get the founders, hiring managers, and senior talent of his dream jobs to respond to him within 30 minutes of “hacking” their feed on Instagram.

After submitting for a Creative Director position at each of Refinery29, MeUndies, Huckleberry, and Fram clothing and hearing nothing back (despite be “overqualified” and “a perfect fit for each company”), Jeremy decided he needed to bring his creativity to them… by infiltrating the personal Instagram feeds of each of the representatives at each company he had hoped to chat with.

So, what did he do exactly? He structured his cover letter for each into an Instagram feed grid, tagging each person he was hoping to get the attention of, while dropping in examples of his work that were relevant for the job he wanted.

source: Medium

The grid was masterful and took hours to complete (get the template here). The reason this worked so well is because of the thought and work that made it feel personal.

But, how did he get their attention?

He searched for every person he was hoping to meet on LinkedIn and then found their personal Instagram handles. With that information, he tagged each (as well as the brand itself) within stories, posts, and the account itself. He then let them know exactly what he was hoping to get out of this.

Whether it’s for a job or for the attention of a potential customer or anything in between, we’re all looking for an edge in an increasingly competitive market. In a world where it’s commonplace to just ‘copy+paste’ someone else’s ideas, you’d be oftentimes be better off leaning into something new, even if it runs the risk of not working. Who knows, next time I could be writing about how you are able to get anyone’s attention in 20 minutes.

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