Focus and visibility

Spear. Needle. Niche. Beachhead. These are the words used to describe how a narrow focus leads to leverage in our efforts to earn visibility for our work. They all describe going narrow, small, and focused to increase impact. It’s easier to narrow the area over which we apply force than it is for solopreneurs to increase the amount of force. Impact = Force / Area That’s one way to think about the reason why narrow focus increases impact. Another is in terms of relevance. Potential Relevance = Homogeneity of Audience Focus is necessary to create relevance, and relevance is the …

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Owned visibility infrastructure

You can ride astride a platform to gain visibility. You can rent infrastructure from which to earn visibility. Or… you can build that infrastructure yourself and own[1] it. Owned visibility infrastructure includes: An authoritative website An email list A community Event(s) “Owning” an idea We like owned visibility infrastructure primarily because we are more free from intervening algorithms, and things like an email list or a community are relatively portable from one service provider to another. These benefits come at a cost, of course. It’s tradeoffs and turtles all the way down. It takes time, effort, and skill to build …

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Rented and owned visibility infrastructure

The easiest way to earn visibility is to latch onto a platform right before it explodes in popularity. This approach to earning visibility comes with the serious risk of a forced evolution from innovative to efficient business unless the platform remains an open-ish system. Many of us would prefer to avoid this risk. We have options! We can rent or build our own infrastructure for visibility. Renting visibility infrastructure is different than riding astride a platform. Platforms eventually seek to commoditize their complements, and if you are a vendor within the platform ecosystem, you are a complement to the platform. …

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I was on a podcast!!!!!

Apparently I like to wait to promote my own podcast guest appearances juuuuuuust long enough to forget exactly what I actually covered. It was apparently something about specialization beachheads, but I probably also spoke about other topics, like working in public and brand marketing for consultants, that I’m currently interested in. Alastair McDermott was a delightful interviewer and host. Check it out: Link: https://marketingforconsultants.com/mfcs1e07-find-your-strategic-beachhead/ -P

Writing publicly

Back in late April, a list member wrote with this question: You write a lot about the act of writing in public. So far I have tried to write daily and had progress there but I do it privatley. I find that I have tendecy for procrastination about doing stuff in public. Do you have any advice on this issue you can share? There’s a TEI member named Philip Poots who used TEI to boot himself out of the exact same writing-but-not-publishing situation. I asked Philip if he would respond to this question, and he graciously agreed. Everything below the …

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Upcoming Indie Experts events

I want to invite you to some upcoming Indie Experts community events. Presenting is a wonderful forcing function for clarity of thought. It’s an opportunity to fire up that intellectual fractional distillery and draw out the high-octane parts of your thinking. So, I invite folks who are part of TEI or the Indie Experts community to practice the art of the presentation. This Friday at 11am Mountain time, Guillaume Wiatr will do that. Guillaume is reconfiguring his business around a new diagnostic framework and a public workshop offering. He will practice his pitch for these two things in front of …

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The king gets hungry

Marketing is earning visibility and trust, and the easiest way to earn visibility is to latch onto a platform right before it explodes in popularity. A platform can be: A business process framework (i.e., EOS, 3HAG, Six Sigma, Agile, Lean, TDD) A programming language (i.e., Python, Ruby, C#) A software framework (i.e., React, VueJS, Laravel) An actual platform you can build stuff on (i.e., AWS, Linux, Windows, Salesforce, Drupal, WordPress) (Platforms can also be a way to get a message to an audience, but that’s not the kind of platform I’m talking about here.) A platform is a “thing”; it …

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Quintile A buyers

Urgency attracts urgency. Most of us get motivated to learn how to “do marketing” after it’s too late to do it the right way, so we pursue Quintile A buyers using direct response marketing. Metaphorically, we’re the first little pig, building marketing the cheap and fast way, out of straw. Let’s imagine that a long-term study of companies that buy indie consulting services finds an average “dwell time” of 4 years between first becoming aware of an indie consultant and hiring that consultant. The distribution, however, is a pretty low, broad bell curve, and so there are lots of outlier …

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Visibility and trust

The primary error I made in the first version of what is now The Positioning Manual for Indie Consultants was to portray specialization as a standalone superpower, divorced and free of any kind of interdependence on context. Nevertheless, the book inspired folks to specialize, and that transformed some businesses for the better. And, to be fair, 6 years ago when I wrote that book, I had more ideals and enthusiasm than experience, and so I didn’t really understand how specialization integrates with the full context the indie consultant occupies. The Positioning Manual for Indie Consultants begins with three important points: …

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The thing about books

I recently finished writing a book. Those of you who have been loitering around my little corner of the Internet for a while know this. I have whined endlessly about the rewrite of The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms to this email list. 🙂 You may not know, however, that I also published that book. You see, that’s the thing about books. If you stop after you finish the writing, nobody ever sees it. You — or somebody — has to do the publishing part too. And then you have to do the part I’m doing now, which is telling …

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