Remember that old research project thing I was going on about a few weeks back.
Yup, still trucking along… I’ve just made a few adjustments to make it a bit more sustainable and less labor-intensive.
Long story short, I switched to a survey-first approach (using a version of this methodology) that lowers the bar on the initial commitment required to contribute.
I’m then following on for exploratory interviews to expose the “good stuff” hiding underneath those survey responses.
(By the way, here’s the link if you’re willing to contribute 5 minutes of your time.)
One thing I keep getting back from said survey, is when I ask, “How do you currently acquire new clients?” is something to the effect of:
I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t quite believe you.
Which is why the interview process is important.
Because underneath those responses have been things like:
On the surface, this could be interpreted as “word of mouth.”
But no not really, right?
In fact, this firm is actually practicing a form of “content marketing.” It’s just not something they’re publicizing outside of a small network within this organization.
So that’s why this segment from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work struck a chord:
I bet you can guess what his suggestion is…
And it is my suspicion that this same thing happens during the “word of mouth” and “networking” process.
Because what else would you be talking to these people about?
This is why when people ask whether “email works,” or whether it would be worth it to start a newsletter…
I have to do a mental reboot before speaking to prevent myself from saying something rude.
It’s not the medium, per se.
Yes, an email program is inherently more scalable, efficient, and robust… but it’s what you do with it that makes that determines success or failure.
It’s why the team at Waste Consultants is making an important decision.
To share what they’re doing.
To share what’s going on in their world.
And to provide a service to their market outside of what their clients pay them for…
So that one day they have a direct pipeline to an audience that supports their objectives and feeds back into what they do.
Should you share your work?
Should you spend the time and effort to publish?
Should you invest in something besides “spreading the good word?”
I’ll just let those questions hang in the air for a moment.