May
26

… heard an old song on the radio.

 

It was, “Don’t you forget about me,” by Simple Minds.

I changed the station (as anyone but the members of Simple Minds would), and the same song was playing on another station at the same time!

Hearing an old song played on the radio is a nonevent.

Hearing an old song played on two different stations at the exact same time is certainly worth mentioning.

Likewise, when it comes to the content you create – your newsletter, podcast, blog, webinars, etc. – your facts are not that unusual compared to what other experts in your field might say.

The differentiator – the thing that makes people put down their coffee and pay attention – is you and your unique style, approach and personal stories.

Because while those things may not be the point of what you’re saying, without them, you’re just one more song on the radio.

May
13

… read an article about cruise lines.

 

It was from an old issue of Inc. Magazine.

Nestled among the gushing words about Viking River Cruises’ bright future were stats like this:

“Passenger boardings have been growing annually for 25 years.”

“Thirty million people took a cruise in 2019, compared with 19 million in 2010.”

Actually, it wasn’t that old an issue of Inc.: March/April 2020.

The bigger the operation, and the more people necessarily involved, the longer the lead time required to get anything done.

I have no idea when that article was actually written, but it sure wasn’t this morning.

When you create and distribute content, always try and write about what’s happening right now. Your large company competitors will hate you for it and your readers will notice the difference.

Right now I am drinking coffee…

May
7

… began work with an old client.

 

I haven’t spoken to her in at least five years. I haven’t seen her in person in at least ten.

But a couple of weeks ago she got in touch because she needed help with something I could do: rewrite her web site.

Lots of people write web sites. And even though I am better at this than any other human, living or dead, I’m pretty sure that’s not why she called me.

It’s because she’s been receiving my newsletter all this time. I was an obvious, top of mind choice.

If you want inbound work to come your way with no more effort than picking up the phone, you need two things: a phone and a systematic way of staying in touch with everyone you know.

If that’s not a central element of your marketing, what is?

May
4

… am thankful for backup.

 

This morning, when I sat down to work on a client project, I discovered that I had overwritten my notes from a 90-minute phone call the other day with another, unrelated file.

Uh oh.

Fortunately, I back up everything with both Carbonite and Dropboxboth of which allow you to view and restore previous versions of saved files (I have two backup services in case one of my backups needs a backup).

I also have a spare computer in my office, in case my primary machine is lost, stolen or accidentally sat upon by a rhino (don’t laugh, it happens).

If you sell a professional service, you’re in the information business.

So while it’s true that all this backup stuff costs money, going back to a client and saying “oops,” costs more.

Apr
29

… did not record a video.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, six of these posts have been in video format instead of all text as they have been since the first was published in 2013.

Some people really like the videos. Others politely asked me to stop doing it.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

  • Video is harder to do. These text posts take me about 15 minutes from start to finish. Video takes about an hour.
  • Video reaches fewer people. My typical open rate for these posts is around 55%. Of those who open, however, only about 30% click to watch the video. That means my (extraordinary) insights reach far fewer people.
  • Video is more compelling. Among those who watch the videos, I see more shares, more interaction, more new sign-ups.
  • Nobody likes change. I was unhappy when Taylor Swift stopped being country. I think the resistance is natural, especially if readers like what they’ve been receiving.
  • Other people don’t have the answer. I don’t know how much video I will do in the future; as you can see, it’s a mixed bag of pros and cons. But I’m doing my best to ignore the comments, as well-meaning and sincere as they are.

    In my experience, especially when it comes to trying new things, the best guide is your own intuition.