Jun
7

… had a conversation about newsletters.

 

It was with a consultant, somebody who is thinking of launching one.

He said he planned to, “Send 6 or 8 a year.”

I made two suggestions:

1. Send more frequently.

With all the noise out there today, you need to be in front of people at least monthly to break through.

2. Make a real commitment.

There’s a big difference between saying, “I plan to go to the gym a couple of times a week,” and, “I will go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 AM.”

One is a hope. The other is an actual plan.

It’s the same with a newsletter. If you don’t commit to a specific schedule (first Tuesday, third Friday, whatever), you’ll push it out of the way as soon as something more urgent comes up.

If you’re going to launch a newsletter, commit to doing it monthly for one year. Then feel free to assess the value!

May
30

… sent an email to a bookkeeper.

 

He was referred by a friend. She told me he works alone, which is what I’m looking for.

I received an immediate response!

Unfortunately, it was an automated email.

It was six paragraphs and 414 words long.

It came with a required, 32-question survey. (Excellent, I love homework!)

Needless to say, I’m moving on.

Big companies need to triage and filter inbound requests. The volume of these requires it.

It’s understandable, but bureaucracy is not a benefit to prospects; it’s an obstacle.

Try not to build one unless absolutely necessary.

May
22

… received an email from my local library.

 

It was letting me know that the Kindle book I had reserved was ready.

The “From” line was: C/W MARS

The “Subject” line was: C/W MARS digital hold automatically borrowed

I nearly deleted it, thinking it was spam.

If you work in the library, of course, words like “C/W MARS” and “digital hold” make perfect sense. You use them every day.

If you don’t, however, and you’re just a book-borrowing private citizen quickly scanning emails to see what can be ignored, they don’t.

Are you clear who your audience is before you begin writing?

May
8

… have run out of teenage children.

 

My youngest child, Jonathan, turns twenty.

I’m happy to say, I didn’t miss any of it.

Parents nights, family dinners, endless sporting events. I was there for everything.

Not because I’m such a wonderful parent (although I am exceptionally good looking).

But because I had the freedom, as a business owner, to shape things however I wanted.

When you work for yourself, and in the daily struggle to keep the wheels turning, it’s easy to forget how much choice we have compared to the “jobbed.”

Today, I am remembering.

May
1

… scared away a prospect.

 

Two weeks ago, her initial email asked about my fees.

I said (as I always do): “There’s a lot of ‘it depends’ in the answer.”

So I wrote back with a bunch of questions.

She sort of answered them in her reply, a couple of days later.

So I asked a bunch more.

It’s been a week now and I’ve not heard back. I doubt that I ever will.

Asking lots of questions is a great way to filter inquiries.

The people who are for real love the fact that you are digging in and trying to help them identify problem(s) and talk about how you might fix them. They are eager to respond to your questions.

The people who aren’t are generally just window shopping or simply curious; they have no intention of buying anything.

Ask lots of questions.

It impresses the good prospects and scares away the tire-kickers.