You don't have to outrun the bear...

Philip Morgan

When I lived at the Oregon coast, bear sightings were not uncommon.Our neighbors two houses down had picked a box of pears that they were going to can the next day. In the meantime, the pears were sitting on the back porch.Their son was spending the weekend with them in in their studio building, which had no bathroom. Around 2am he opened the door to the studio on the way to use the bathroom and felt something pushing back against the door.Half asleep, he pushed harder to open the door and was shocked to see a small black bear--freshly-eaten pear flesh dripping from its mouth--looking just as astonished.Contrary to what you'll see on the Fox show When Animals Attack, most animals like bears would rather be left alone, and will leave rather than fight.Even so, there's that story about two hikers in the woods.Two hikers are out hiking. All of a sudden, a bear starts chasing them.They climb a tree, but the bear starts climbing up the tree after them. The first hiker gets his sneakers out of his knapsack and starts putting them on.The second hiker says, "What are you doing?"The first responds, "I figure when the bear gets close to us, we'll have to jump down and make a run for it."The second says, "Are you crazy? Don’t you know you can't outrun a bear?The first guy says, "I don't have to outrun the bear... I only have to outrun you!"As a self-employed software developer you need to outrun several threats:

  1. Commodification, which lowers the perceived value of your services and puts downward pressure on the demand and the rates you can charge.
  2. Ineffective marketing, which is a challenge because doing marketing right seems like it will take significant time away from working "in" your business.
  3. Single points of failure in your revenue model, the most common of which is to be hired only to build things to a spec and not to also lower risk, advise on the spec or the larger strategy, architect solutions, or transfer skills.

My Positioning Mentoring Program turned a year old in June, 2016. Since that time I've worked extremely closely with 34 businesses like yours to help them discover, validate, and build the online marketing funnel they need to dominate a profitable market position.I've also been hired by other freelancer training programs to be their in-house positioning expert, and in that capacity I have worked with hundreds of freelancers on their positioning challenges.And I've lost count of how many TPM readers I've helped via email.As you can imagine, I've learned a thing or two about the common stumbling blocks RE: positioning and marketing for self-employed software devs. :)I've baked much of that information into the update to the original version of The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms.However, there are cases where a more guided, step-by-step approach works better than a book. You know you're one of these cases if you have more than a few un-read e-books sitting in a folder on your computer's drive that you're going to get to one of these days and you never do.Or if you understand the whole idea of positioning but would like more of a process for applying it to your business.Or if you would like more accountability than a book provides.Or if you would join my mentoring program but the cost has been holding you back.If that's you, I'm working on building an online course on positioning specifically for self-employed software developers.I'm meeting with the best instructional designer I know to start the process tomorrow.If you're at all interested, check out the course here: /positioning-course/ Talk to you soon,-P

If your dev shop got fewer than 10 leads last week, you need to take this free email course -->