Jan
10

… read about a new bus route in Michigan.

 

Apparently, there will soon be a direct connection between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

If you said, “Who cares?”, that is precisely my point. I don’t, and you probably don’t either.

But, for some small segment of the population, it’s the most important piece of news they’ll hear all day.

The urge to write something that everybody will care about is strong.

But it’s a misguided approach. There are few topics that qualify.

Instead, figure out who your perfect potential client is and write to them.

The narrower your focus, the smaller your audience … but the more intense the interest.

As long as you’ve got enough of the right people paying attention, you’ve got a viable business.

Jan
9

… have set up my tracking sheet for the first half of the year.

 

It’s an Excel spreadsheet that I print and keep on my desk (my old school apologizes to your new school).

Each column is a marketing task (e.g., networking coffee, newsletter publication, outbound email).

Each row represents one of 26 weeks in the first half of the year.

That’s how I track my marketing activity, to make sure I’m always doing things to maintain and grow my business.

Notice that I’m not tracking results here, things like revenue or new clients. I’m only tracking the actions I take.

Why? Because I have complete control over my activity; I don’t over the results.

I’ve learned that as long as I keep filling the spreadsheet, the results take care of themselves.

Jan
2

… well, OK, this started yesterday.

 

Anyway, yesterday, I got a LinkedIn invite from a financial planner. I said OK and we connected.

Today I received a four-paragraph message from him inviting me to discuss my financial needs and goals.

In other words, “Hi, would you like to dance? And by the way, would you marry me?”

Connections are not the same as relationships – those take time.

But it’s worth the wait, since those people, over time, come to know you and trust you.

So, how about it? Would you marry me?

Dec
2

… received a new pair of glasses in the mail.

 

I ordered them online from Warby Parker.

The process was simple … answer a few questions about head width, gender, and design, and I was presented with about a dozen options.

I also considered ordering from a site called EyeBuyDirect. Their glasses were less expensive and I had about 100 frames to choose from.

I got five minutes into it and went back to Warby. To me, it felt like too much effort.

When you offer your services as pre-developed packages, you are simplifying the buying process for prospective clients.

When you don’t, and even if you are providing more choice at a lower price, you are asking them do a lot of mental work before moving forward.

Or, in my case, walking away.

Nov
14

… sat next to a client in a meeting.

 

It was a small, “CEO Roundtable,” in which she is a member and I was invited to speak.

At one point, she said very nice things about the work I do. And then, with a bit of a chuckle, described me as “quirky.”

I couldn’t have been happier – that pretty much sums up my brand aspiration.

Of course, some people hate quirky. That’s fine – they are not the people I want to work with.

If all you’re selling is expertise, you are easily replaced.

If you sprinkle it with something authentically you, there are bound to be fewer substitutes.