This morning, at precisely 10:41 am, I looked at my list of client deadlines and realized that there was nothing that needed to be worked on at the moment.
My answer is always the same: Keep moving.
Reach out to people you’ve fallen out of touch with. Update the copy on your web site. Read and post some updates on LinkedIn.
When you have a job, you spend a lot of time responding to what comes at you.
When you work for yourself, it’s up to you to make things happen.
The more you do to stay active, the more good things come your way.
Yesterday, I received an email with a link for joining.
It wasn’t a very intuitive process, but I figured it out and found my way to the “waiting room.”
That’s where, while waiting for my doctor to arrive, I was invited to watch a short video with specific, step-by-step instructions on how to log in.
That’s right. The instructions on how to log in were only available once you were logged in.
As an added bonus, the “reminder email” for this morning’s call arrived three minutes after the meeting began.
Here’s the point: You need to test your own processes from the outside in to make sure they work as expected. Sign up for your own newsletter, send a message through your web site contact form, try to schedule a meeting using your calendar app.
It’s just what the doctor ordered.
I love his books (Moneyball, The Big Short, etc.) and I’ve always liked him when he is a guest on other people’s programs.
But the more I listened to his podcast, the more I got to know him, personally.
And for reasons that are unclear even to me, I just don’t like him.
Revealing personal information, personality, and point of view cuts two ways: some people will like you less; some people will like you more.
Michael Lewis doesn’t need me; he’s got plenty of other listeners.
And guess what? You don’t need the people who will like you less when they know you more. All that matters are the people on the “more” side of the equation.
That’s because those people are the ones who become clients. Share more and watch what happens.
They want to talk “right away, today if possible.”
The problem is, I’ve got a bunch of things I promised to existing clients for today.
I could probably push the client deadlines off a day, and I’m sure they would all be fine.
But when it comes to this kind of choice, I live by a simple rule: clients eat first.
No matter how big a potential opportunity is, if you make the people who are already paying you your first priority, they tend to stick around for a long time.
The request came from an existing client.
Once you begin work, your marketing ceases to matter. Now you are judged almost entirely on the work itself.
So while I spend most of my time as a marketing advisor telling professionals that capability is not a good differentiator (because until I hire you, I can’t tell how good you are), that applies to potential clients, not existing ones.
Once you are hired, how good you are is about the only thing that matters.
Which means that the more you can build your business around the things you are truly, exceptionally, way-better-than-everyone-else-at (not just a grab bag of things that you can reasonably claim to do), the more happy clients and inbound additional work you’ll have.