Behind-the-scenes advice for busy solo professionals courtesy of Michael Katz, Blue Penguin Development

  • From…

    … a colleague thanking me for connecting her with another colleague who she just hired.

    … a guy I worked with 20+ years ago who invited me to have lunch after I sent him a message last week on LinkedIn.

    … a guy who saw my LinkedIn post two weeks ago and was inquiring about working together.

    … a guy I played basketball with for 15 years who has since moved away, and was responding to my “hello” from six months ago.

    … a woman responding to a comment I made about her newsletter last week.

    If, as I do, you rely on “staying in touch” as a marketing strategy, there will be weeks where it feels like nobody is listening. But then, suddenly, it all comes back in a rush.

    It’s unpredictable and random, but over time, it always works to bring in business. Just keep stirring the pot.

  • It’s from a guy who shows up there from time to time with a simple schtick: 

    He goes up to people on the beach who are in terrific physical shape and asks them what their workout routine is.

    I know. I can’t believe he hasn’t found me yet either. But here’s what I’ve noticed about these conversations, all of which relates to the way you market your business:

    #1. Everyone has a routine.

    I have yet to see any of these people respond with anything like, “Oh, I don’t know. Just living life I guess.”

    Instead, every single one of them has an approach they can clearly articulate and that they do regularly.

    #2. Everyone’s routine is different.

    Some emphasize body-weight exercises. Some are distance runners. Some swear by the gym.

    The guy on today’s post claimed to exercise four hours every day … but he eats as much of whatever he wants, including a nightly dessert.

    All to say that the “what” doesn’t really matter. It’s the commitment to an approach that makes the difference. 

    Solo professional marketing is very similar. 

    There’s no silver bullet, and it doesn’t really matter what you choose to do. 

    So long as you have a something(s) and a commitment to doing it regularly, 

    Enjoy your dessert.

  • I’ve had the same template for 10+ years so it seemed like a good time to give that and the associated web site a fresh look.

    Chances are, you didn’t notice. Chances are even greater that you don’t care.

    And that, my content-producing friend, is the point.

    Your readers, listeners, presentation attendees, and the vast majority of your children have little interest in your latest achievement.

    So while it’s fine to let them know when you launch the web site, publish the book, win the award, etc., just keep in mind that the more you shift the balance of what you share from what matters to them to what matters to you, the more quickly they will stop paying attention.

    (Photos of my recent vacation and what I had for lunch yesterday coming your way tomorrow.)

  • It said they were making updates to “Creator Mode,” a LinkedIn functionality which, among other things, allows users to publish newsletters on their platform.

    Fortunately, none of the changes will affect this capability.

    But what if they did? 

    What if they started charging for it, or limited the word count on an article, or decided that bald and exceedingly good-looking men named Michael were prohibited from ever using it (unlikely)?

    If the use of this tool – or any tool on any social platform – were central to your business, you’d suddenly have a BIG problem.

    That’s why I like email. Nobody owns it, nobody wakes up one day and decides to change the rules.

    Which means if you use email as your primary business marketing tool, you are never at risk of an unfortunate “update.”

  • That’s correct. Wired Magazine, the archetype of what it means to be digital, publishes a print magazine several (six?) times a year.

    It’s surprising. It would be like if the “Luddite Newsletter” was only available on TikTok.

    But the surprise – something that doesn’t fit – is what makes it interesting. It’s more or less what makes the punchline in a joke work.

    Too much surprise and you muddy your brand and confuse people. Once in a while and you get their attention.