… spoke with a potential coaching client.


Coaching can be hard to describe, so when we were finishing up, I offered to connect her with a few people in similar situations that I’d worked with in the past.

She said, “Thanks, but I don’t need that. I’ve been reading your newsletter for years. I already know you.”

Bear in mind that in the 9 years she’s been on my list (I looked her up), and up until she contacted me last week to talk about working together, we had had a total of two email interactions, neither of which I had any memory of.

Staying in front of people over and over again over time is about more than just visibility – it’s about building trust.

If you’re selling a professional service, trust is the name of the game.


… am in need of a handyman.


We want to put a storm door on the front of our house and it will require some carpentry prep work (as in, way beyond the scope of my abilities).

So we’ve been asking friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Here’s what we didn’t do:

  • Try and figure out which handyman out there has the absolute best qualifications (we need “good enough,” not “best who has ever lived”).
  • Search the Google.

People like us – solos and very small professional service firms – get clients from word of mouth: the people who know the people we know.

Maybe you need to focus your marketing on knowing more people.


… received a follow-up call from Verizon.


A guy came to my office yesterday to fix my phone line, which was dead.

He was great. On time, friendly, knowledgeable. He had it back working in half an hour.

Today’s call was a “courtesy call,” to see how the service had been.

One problem: The call was completely automated. They wanted me to answer a prerecorded list of questions.

In other words, they don’t think it’s worth their time to assign a live person to the conversation, but they expect me to participate.

Our big competitors necessarily focus on scale, uniformity and cost reduction. Along the way, the “courtesy” part becomes anything but.

That’s how we beat them.


… have a new profile photo on LinkedIn.


I was very happy with my old photo (particularly given how little the photographer had to work with), but it was starting to look like my younger brother.

Authenticity is an important part of your positioning as a Likeable Expert.

Is it time to update your photo?


P.S. You can check out the new photo here, if you dare.


… had a difficult discussion with a designer.


We’re working together on my new client’s newsletter (she works for them).

She thinks in pictures.

I think in words.

What made it difficult was not so much that we disagreed, it was that we didn’t have a common language (neither one of us knew what the other was talking about).

I think we finally figured it out, but it wasn’t easy.

It was a good reminder that not everybody sees the world through the same lens.