… received an email from a financial planner.


It was a woman I met at a business event back in the summer.

She asked if we could meet to talk about my “financial needs.” No pressure, no obligation, no cost, etc.

I said, “Thanks, we are all set.”

Here’s the weakness in her approach: She has a solution and she’s walking around hoping to find someone with a problem. Right now.

There’s nothing improper about that, it’s just that at any given time, most of us are not in the market for most things. And so her offer – no matter how valuable and risk-free – has no value to me.

That’s why newsletters, blogs, podcasts and other content-publishing strategies are so effective: they remove timing from the equation.

They are simply (frankly) an excuse for staying in front of potential clients and referral sources today and into the future, building trust and comfort with you and your approach along the way.

Now, people raise their hand when they are ready, instead of you relying on finding a “hot prospect” at just the right time.

P.S. If you need help with a newsletter, please get in touch … today, tomorrow, next year, whenever. I’ll be here when you are ready.


… am thinking about yesterday.


I attended a networking meeting of about 40 people.

The speaker, visiting from the west coast, had us move our chairs into the middle of the room, so we were sitting in a big circle.

Let me just say, few things freak out a bunch of stodgy New Englanders faster than forcing us out behind the safety of conference room tables.

But it changed the energy instantly. People were much more engaged and attentive, even before she began her presentation.

Content may be king, but format isn’t far behind.


… have been married for 30 years.


In a row.

To the same woman.

(Between you and me, had I known it was going to last this long, I would have brought more snacks.)

That’s 10,950 days.

The interesting thing is that one at a time, they don’t add up to much.

It’s only when you string them together that they count for something.

Solo and small business marketing is the same way: It’s never the big event that matters. It’s lots of little things, every day, that make a difference.


… did not win the Nobel prize in medicine.


I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

Instead, I was overlooked (again) for what I consider to be a technicality: the award only goes to “medical professionals.”

That’s okay, though.

World-wide fame is not the goal of small firm professional services marketing.

Our goal, rather, is to become “famous” among the people we already know.

Find a way to stay in touch with this group, first.

Then feel free to focus on the rest of the world.


… have three questions for you:


  1. Do you have a tagline for your business?
  2. Can you remember what it is without looking?
  3. Can you remember anybody else’s without looking?

Catchy taglines and phrases are fine; they don’t do any harm. But for tiny professional service firms and solos like us, they don’t matter much.


Because that’s not how word of mouth works.

Rather, it happens when another person (not you) tells somebody else about the work you do. In most cases, you are not even in the room.

And since none of us can remember anybody else’s fancy phrase (maybe not even our own), the “game” is to say something incredibly simple and memorable.

“I help single women with their taxes and finances.”

“I help adult children find assisted living communities for their parents.”

“I help kids with a learning difference choose the best college.”

None of these are impressive and all of them are oversimplifications.

But if you want your name to pop out of somebody’s mouth the next time one of their friends or colleagues shares a need, that’s your only option.