May
13

… read an article about cruise lines.

 

It was from an old issue of Inc. Magazine.

Nestled among the gushing words about Viking River Cruises’ bright future were stats like this:

“Passenger boardings have been growing annually for 25 years.”

“Thirty million people took a cruise in 2019, compared with 19 million in 2010.”

Actually, it wasn’t that old an issue of Inc.: March/April 2020.

The bigger the operation, and the more people necessarily involved, the longer the lead time required to get anything done.

I have no idea when that article was actually written, but it sure wasn’t this morning.

When you create and distribute content, always try and write about what’s happening right now. Your large company competitors will hate you for it and your readers will notice the difference.

Right now I am drinking coffee…

May
7

… began work with an old client.

 

I haven’t spoken to her in at least five years. I haven’t seen her in person in at least ten.

But a couple of weeks ago she got in touch because she needed help with something I could do: rewrite her web site.

Lots of people write web sites. And even though I am better at this than any other human, living or dead, I’m pretty sure that’s not why she called me.

It’s because she’s been receiving my newsletter all this time. I was an obvious, top of mind choice.

If you want inbound work to come your way with no more effort than picking up the phone, you need two things: a phone and a systematic way of staying in touch with everyone you know.

If that’s not a central element of your marketing, what is?

May
4

… am thankful for backup.

 

This morning, when I sat down to work on a client project, I discovered that I had overwritten my notes from a 90-minute phone call the other day with another, unrelated file.

Uh oh.

Fortunately, I back up everything with both Carbonite and Dropboxboth of which allow you to view and restore previous versions of saved files (I have two backup services in case one of my backups needs a backup).

I also have a spare computer in my office, in case my primary machine is lost, stolen or accidentally sat upon by a rhino (don’t laugh, it happens).

If you sell a professional service, you’re in the information business.

So while it’s true that all this backup stuff costs money, going back to a client and saying “oops,” costs more.

Apr
29

… did not record a video.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, six of these posts have been in video format instead of all text as they have been since the first was published in 2013.

Some people really like the videos. Others politely asked me to stop doing it.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

  • Video is harder to do. These text posts take me about 15 minutes from start to finish. Video takes about an hour.
  • Video reaches fewer people. My typical open rate for these posts is around 55%. Of those who open, however, only about 30% click to watch the video. That means my (extraordinary) insights reach far fewer people.
  • Video is more compelling. Among those who watch the videos, I see more shares, more interaction, more new sign-ups.
  • Nobody likes change. I was unhappy when Taylor Swift stopped being country. I think the resistance is natural, especially if readers like what they’ve been receiving.
  • Other people don’t have the answer. I don’t know how much video I will do in the future; as you can see, it’s a mixed bag of pros and cons. But I’m doing my best to ignore the comments, as well-meaning and sincere as they are.

    In my experience, especially when it comes to trying new things, the best guide is your own intuition.

Apr
23

… lost some newsletter subscribers.

 

That’s because I sent an email this morning promoting my webinar tomorrow.

Some people asked to be removed from my list. Permanently.

But, sitting right next to those people in my inbox were registrations for the same webinar.

So, who’s right?

Nobody. Different people are at different places and it changes over time (even the Beatles have ex-groupies).

You can either work to not annoy the people who have one foot out the door, or you can work to help the people who want more of you.

Which way are you leaning?