Behind-the-scenes advice for busy solo professionals courtesy of Michael Katz, Blue Penguin Development

  • Last year, I helped organize a social event for a networking group I’ve been involved with.

    Today, the group leader emailed to ask if I would be interested in doing it again.

    One problem: I have not been a member of that group for nearly a year!

    I don’t blame him for not noticing my absence from the monthly meetings. Each Zoom call has more than 100 attendees and it’s hard to notice what isn’t there.

    But it served as a pretty good reminder that most people are too busy with their own things to pay attention to you or yours.

    Which means that if you hope to keep the word-of-mouth machine working, you need to keep finding ways to stay in touch: developing content, posting on social, attending live events, etc.

  • He was lamenting the fact that while the officiant is the only required professional at a wedding, they are by far the lowest paid, compared to DJs, photographers, etc.

    He may be right. But trying to convince people that they should value us or what we offer more highly than they already do is an uphill, into the wind, mostly losing battle.

    It’s much easier to sell what people already believe they want.

    Which means we have two options:

    1. Figure out what your target audience wants and offer that.
    2. Come to terms with the fact that you are doing something you love and consider important, even if it doesn’t earn you much money.

    You get to choose and either is fine.

  • In addition to thanking me for my recent donation, they told me exactly where my donation was going.

    Okay, I don’t mean they gave me somebody’s name.

    But they did say, “…your blood donation was sent to Concord Hospital in Laconia, NH to help a patient in need.”

    That’s very smart. Knowing the specifics of my donation grabs my attention and makes me feel much more connected to the Red Cross and the overall purpose of donating blood.

    The same applies to your writing and presentations. Specifics – names, places, activities – are what make things interesting.

    Don’t just share information; share real stories about the people who are involved!

  • They arrived within minutes of each other.

    Both came from people I had never heard of.


    One referenced a person we know in common.

    One wanted to connect and help with my “continued business success.”

    So, which person do you think is trying to start a relationship, and which person do you think is going to contact me within the next few days and try to sell me something?

    I’m all about growing your business.

    But if you take the time to first build a relationship, you’ll find that the selling part works way better!

  • Besides being a friend, he’s been handling my life insurance for more than 20 years.

    Last quarter, I forgot to make a payment (uh oh).

    I’ve heard that if you miss even a single payment, insurance companies will sometimes cancel policies. So I texted him to ask what to do.

    He made a call, told me exactly what steps to take, and it’s all back on track.

    A lot of the value we provide to clients is our quick and easy availability – it’s about WAY more than just competency.

    So, do you hide behind technology, assistants, and more (barriers) in the name of efficiency?

    Or, do you make it easy for clients (and prospects, for that matter) to get in touch (bridges)?