Our last umbrella met with an untimely death during a recent windstorm.
I bought the umbrella from Overstock, an online everything store that sends me an email every … single … day.
The last email of theirs I opened was on May 28th. Today, with “replacement umbrella” on my mind, I opened another.
Timing is a critical element in selling anything, whether that’s an umbrella or a professional service.
Until I have a problem that needs solving, it doesn’t matter how compelling your service, how attractive your price, how wonderful your web site, or anything else – I’m not listening.
If you can find a way to stay in front of people over and over again – publishing a newsletter, joining a networking group, sending stay in touch emails, volunteering in industry associations, etc. – you have a good chance of being top of mind whenever the next windstorm hits.
The question came from a newish client, one who had been referred to me, originally, by our mutual friend, Victoria.
“Our site needs some refreshed copy and I have new products coming to market where we need snappy copy writing. She [Victoria] suggested that you are the best writer she knows, and that I ask if you are interested, knowing you are likely to turn me down to stay focused on blogs and newsletter content. But I thought I’d ask…”
Here’s the thing to notice:
Despite the fact that I am known for newsletter/blog content (so much so that my client assumes that’s all I do), it doesn’t preclude people from asking you to do other, related things – or you, from doing them.
Having a niche is a front door – it brings people to you. But, by having one, it doesn’t mean that’s the only work you’ll ever do.
So, what are you known for?
She asked, “How do you write so well, so consistently?”
The answer, of course, is that I use a special keyboard.
But the truth is, I don’t write well in general.
I write a particular type of thing well: short, conversational, useful, information-based content for professional service providers. In practice, that tends to mean newsletters and web sites.
I don’t write books, white papers, speeches, direct response copy, social media posts, manifestos, operating instructions, food labels, or a hundred other things that I’m probably not even aware of.
Here’s why it matters: the more you can sell what you are naturally, uncannily, matchlessly good at, the more happy clients you’ll have, the more money you’ll make, the more satisfaction you’ll feel, and the easier all of it will be.
It opened with “Hello Everyone!”
And then, throughout, it continued speaking as if there were a group of people, all together, reading.
Emails are read individually – from the perspective of the reader, there is no “everyone.”
If you want your newslettter, blog, ransom note, etc., to feel personal (hint: you do), write to one, not many.
Apparently, the Nobel Committee found my coronavirus vaccine recommendations “childish and largely incoherent.”
No surprise there – when you run your own business, the times when you are “officially recognized” are few and far between.
There is no independent body determining who should get the promotion, who deserves an A+ on the project, who’s a leading expert, or who is worthy of the prize.
Which means that if you are waiting for someone to tell you that you’re good enough, you’ll be waiting a long time.
Better to decide that it’s already true and get to work!