The micro-milestones of traction

A Positioning Accelerator Program participant recently asked a variation of the following:

How long will it take this positioning work to pay off?

The answer, of course, is 212.917 days.

😉 I’m kidding. Here’s how I actually answered this question.

I talked about the usual path to traction. There are several “micro-milestones” you’ll see along the way, especially if you do what I think you should do and focus on building an email list as the core of your marketing to potential clients.

1: The first question from a list subscriber

Usually the first micro-milestone on the road to traction is a question from a list subscriber.

This feels amazing, and indicates that you’re sending emails that at least part of your list is reading and valuing.

2: The first 2-figure product sale

You do have a 2-figure (priced from $1 to $99) product, don’t you?

If you don’t, I’d make building one a high priority. Not higher priority than building a list, but make building a 2-figure product next on your TODO list after doing something to start building a list of relevant, high-quality subscribers.


Because it puts you in a completely separate category from other freelancers. It demonstrates that you have so much value to offer that some of it can be packaged up into a product that’s worth real money. In some cases, it makes a perfect screening mechanism for potential clients.

3: The first spontaneous services inquiry

Imagine sending an email to your list and getting the following reply:

Can we hire you to help us with this? What’s the first step on that?

It feels incredible the first time this happens, and it indicates that your positioning and your marketing are creating a strong value proposition for prospective clients.

4: Predictability

When all the stuff above starts happening regularly, your life really starts to change because you have an element of predictability in your marketing. You know what works to attract people onto your email list, you know what works to encourage them to buy a 2-figure product, and you know what works to interest them in your more expensive services.

It takes time to get this kind of marketing traction, but it is possible.

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

Want to stop competing against every other developer?

"This is by far the most valuable email I have ever received from an email list." - Timothy Voice