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

had my oil changed.


I love the feeling of driving out of the mechanic’s parking lot after an oil change. It’s like, for that moment, everything about the car has been set back to “perfect.”

Of course, it’s an illusion. All they did was change the oil and replace the filter; they didn’t look at the rest of the car and who knows what else may need work.

But illusions matter to humans, especially when it comes to marketing, a discipline that has never been about describing reality.

What illusions are you putting out there?

Was your web site professionally designed… creating the illusion that you and the work you do is similarly top shelf? Or does it look like your 12-year-old nephew put it together?

Are you using a “real” email domain (… creating the illusion that you are in it for the long haul? Or are you using a Gmail or Yahoo account to do business, suggesting that you were laid off yesterday and are just dabbling?

Do you have several hundred connections and a professional photo on LinkedIn… creating the illusion that you are a player? Or do you have five connections and a picture with someone’s hand draped over your shoulder and the rest of them cropped out?

Do you have to be smart, capable, credentialed, and experienced to succeed as an independent professional? Absolutely.

But if you look like you’re none of those things, you may never get the chance to show me.