May
22

… received an email from my local library.

 

It was letting me know that the Kindle book I had reserved was ready.

The “From” line was: C/W MARS

The “Subject” line was: C/W MARS digital hold automatically borrowed

I nearly deleted it, thinking it was spam.

If you work in the library, of course, words like “C/W MARS” and “digital hold” make perfect sense. You use them every day.

If you don’t, however, and you’re just a book-borrowing private citizen quickly scanning emails to see what can be ignored, they don’t.

Are you clear who your audience is before you begin writing?

May
8

… have run out of teenage children.

 

My youngest child, Jonathan, turns twenty.

I’m happy to say, I didn’t miss any of it.

Parents nights, family dinners, endless sporting events. I was there for everything.

Not because I’m such a wonderful parent (although I am exceptionally good looking).

But because I had the freedom, as a business owner, to shape things however I wanted.

When you work for yourself, and in the daily struggle to keep the wheels turning, it’s easy to forget how much choice we have compared to the “jobbed.”

Today, I am remembering.

May
1

… scared away a prospect.

 

Two weeks ago, her initial email asked about my fees.

I said (as I always do): “There’s a lot of ‘it depends’ in the answer.”

So I wrote back with a bunch of questions.

She sort of answered them in her reply, a couple of days later.

So I asked a bunch more.

It’s been a week now and I’ve not heard back. I doubt that I ever will.

Asking lots of questions is a great way to filter inquiries.

The people who are for real love the fact that you are digging in and trying to help them identify problem(s) and talk about how you might fix them. They are eager to respond to your questions.

The people who aren’t are generally just window shopping or simply curious; they have no intention of buying anything.

Ask lots of questions.

It impresses the good prospects and scares away the tire-kickers.

Apr
18

… checked my “broken links” report.

 

It’s a report generated automatically by my WordPress web site. It notifies me of any links on my site that no longer work.

Every month there are about 20 of them on the list.

Nearly all are links to the web sites of people who have previously commented on my blog and whose sites are no longer active (i.e., the links are broken).

In most cases, it’s solos or small firms that are out of business.

There’s no shame in that. It’s not easy making it all work.

But if you’re still at it, even if things are not exactly as you’d like, you are already “successful.”

It doesn’t hurt to remember that every once in a while.

Apr
17

… am reviewing some statistics.

 

It turns out that the open rate for this blog/newsletter is literally twice that of my “primary” blog/newsletter.

I’m guessing it’s because this one is much shorter.

So does the favorable open rate suggest I should ditch the other and just do this one?

I don’t think so.

The problem with this one (and with social media overall) is that it’s not long enough for me to dig in deep on a topic or reveal much about who I am personally, both of which I believe are important in establishing yourself as a likeable expert.

Which leads to getting hired. Which, after all, is the point of all this.

What do you think?