I appreciate any referrals you send my way; advising self-employed software developers on how to specialize their business and generate their own leads is how I make my living.

If you’re curious about who would make an ideal referral and how to refer someone to me, read on. This page was written to give you helpful, specific instructions on how to refer someone you know.

“Who should I refer to you?”

My ideal clients are self-employed software developers or owners of small dev shops who would like to specialize their services or learn how to generate leads so they don't have to depend on luck or referrals alone.

I also sometimes work with other self-employed service providers (designers, copywriters, marketers) on those same two issues: specialization and lead generation.

What problems can Philip help with?

My ideal clients are looking for help with one or more of the following:

  • Using specialization as a way to increase profitability
  • Using specialization to attract better clients and projects
  • Breaking through a business stagnation or revenue plateau by focusing on more profitable clients and projects
  • Learning how to generate leads for their services
  • Breaking free from a reliance on referrals and repeat business
  • Uncertainty about how best to specialize
  • Too many specialization options with little clarity about which will be most profitable, sustainable, or fast-acting
  • Uncertainty about how to talk about your specialized services in your website, email marketing, or content marketing
  • Lack of experience or know-how in lead generation
  • Uncertainty about how to develop a focused, sustainable lead generation practice
  • Rate ceiling because of commoditization or overseas competition; revenue plateau because scaling horizontally by adding staff has not worked well

How does Philip help his clients?

I provide 3 kinds of advisory services:

  1. A group mentoring program. Ideal for someone with ~6 hours/week available to work on specialization or lead generation issues. Emphasizes DIY and self-learning.
  2. A highly structured 3-month group program called Specialization School. Ideal for someone who wants a "concierge" market research experience where all the gruntwork is done for you, and you get freed up to focus on the parts of the process that help you decide how to specialize.
  3. I also work 1 on 1 with people on specialization and/or lead generation. This service is ideal for larger businesses, more complex specialization situations, or people who want to move as quickly as possible through the process of specializing or building a lead generation practice.

In addition to these services, I have two books (The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms and Specializing Without Failure), a course (The Positioning Course), and other useful resources available on this site.

“How do I know who I should refer to you?”

There are two ways you could connect me with a great potential client:

The first would involve you doing deep research on your network in order to send me only the best-qualified referrals. Potentially hours of you trawling through LinkedIn or other networks, lots of work and deep thinking from you.

I don't like this one bit. It puts all the work on you, and that feels pretty crappy to me.

The second method would be for me to set you up with an email you could copy/paste and send to anyone you know who is a self-employed software developer. No real research required; very little effort required on your end.

You are risking your "social capital" when you connect me with someone, so the email would have to make you look good to the people you connecting me with. It would also need to be easily ignored by people who aren't a good fit for my services while being very compelling to those who are a good fit.

I think I've created something that fits those requirements below.

Please Use This Low-Risk, Low-Effort Referral Email

You can send this email to any self-employed software developer you know. It offers value while making no unflattering assumptions about them or creating any kind of awkward obligation. It's low-risk and low-effort for you. 🙂

Just copy and paste the email below, substituting the recipient's name and other relevant bits (highlighted with bold font). Then send the email off to anyone you’ve identified.

Hi [Name],

I have no idea if you need more clients or better clients for your software development business, but if you do I wanted to tell you about Philip Morgan.

Philip is a specialization advisor for self-employed software developers and small dev shops. He also helps his clients with lead generation.

Obviously he wrote this email; I'm just copy-pasting it. 🙂 I thought it was worth passing along to you for 2 reasons:

1) Plenty of really great software developers go through feast-famine cycles, and specializing is one way to fix that problem. Philip has a lot of great information on how to specialize without failure.

2) Philip has a code you can use to get his newest guide on specialization for free, and who doesn't like free stuff? Seriously though, if you're considering specializing your marketing or services (or just curious about how it works), this guide will help lower the risk of that change in your business.

If you go to, click to buy the book, and then use the code SWFREFERRAL100 when you check out, you'll get his guide on specializing for free.

If you'd like to check out Philip's service offerings, is the best place to start.

Looking forward to hearing how the conversation goes!

[Your name]

Thank You

Referrals are a critical component of my business—they’re a big part of how I make my living. I really appreciate you taking the time to connect me with 2–3 (or more!) of your colleagues, customers, or friends. And if there’s anyone I can refer to you, just let me know know and I’ll see who in my network is a match for your business.

All the best,

– Philip