(Semi) weekly insights from us about…

expertise-driven marketing principles, strategies, and examples.

  • Insights extracted from our research and work within the niche-expertise-driven consulting market.
  • Breakdowns and analysis of noteworthy lead generation approaches we find interesting, effective, and worthy of study.
  • Thoughts on the intersection of positioning, marketing strategy, and copywriting for experts with services that require nuance to explain.
Our most recent emails
scale checking

Don’t check the scale

About a week ago I threw out an impromptu list of mistakes that often derail new lead gen projects. One of them was: A lack of patience for seeing it through and objectively analyzing the result, regardless of whether or …

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wip bad

WIP bad

On Wednesday we established the perspicacious fact that no value is realized until your work gets shipped. And that the more projects you start prior to shipping the work you’ve already started, the more waste you generate. As WIP (Work-in-Progress) …

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the logistics of logistics

The logistics of logistics

Joe Lynch is a specialist. I like specialists 🙂 Especially specialists with 3-word domain names (okay his is four… but I’ll overlook “the” for the moment). Joe runs The Logistics of Logistics, and he helps transportation and logistics salespeople sell …

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no value until done ship

No value until it’s done

One of the very first things I learned (experientially, I might add) about project management… Is that all projects gain entropy as the project progresses. And seemingly exponentially as you approach the launch date. I’d start off each project with …

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laying brick liston comments

Laying brick > Catching lightning in a bottle

A few weeks ago, Liston Witherill walked us through the mechanics of his LinkedIn video that generated 200,000 views: “The holy grail of almost all marketing and business is ‘How can I build something that just keeps feeding me?’ I …

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lead gen mistakes the office

A list of lead gen mistakes

One thing we all do, as the unrelenting optimists that we are, is place our focus on this question: “How do I ensure that this goes right?” A question we often don’t ask is: “How would I ensure that this …

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find out value

How do I find out what they value?

In response to Tuesday’s email, list member Stephen Kuenzli, founder of Qualimente writes: “My question to you is: How do I find out what they value? “Just” ask? Part of me is terrified to ask that question, and part of …

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hidden value treasure

More on hidden value

So the other thing that happens when you uncover the true-yet-hidden value embedded in your service… Is that now you have something worth talking about. A problem to solve or an opportunity to capitalize on that you can put your …

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where value lies

Principle: Meet them where the value lies

From a recent client conversation: “A client referral is a slam dunk… but new prospects drag out forever.” You didn’t say that, but you very well could have. Let’s talk about why. You have clients who are thrilled with your …

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risk really risky grass

Is risk really risky?

On Friday I had a conversation with a firm owner over dinner, and we meandered our way around to talking about careers and risk. Then he said (paraphrased) the thing that every independent I know (barring the 1% of 1% …

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marketing mismatch monologue

More marketing mismatch monologue

People who are playing the generalist volume game are (naturally) more likely to appear in your feed, search, and inbox. As a result, that’s the game that we all see being played. But that’s almost never the game that we …

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things email list swanson

A list of things an email list is for

You know that thing that happens when you sit down to work… And get so wrapped up in one particular aspect of a project that you look up, it’s 5:47pm, and you’re like: Okay, where am I right now? Yea …

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go to the station

Go to the station.

The train will appear. Thank you Steven Pressfield, for this esoteric one-liner that blew my mind yesterday. Sometimes you need to research and understand the problem. Sometimes you need to strategize and plan. But sometimes, what you need is a …

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what you see correlation

When what you see is not what you get

Yesterday I highlighted the survivorship bias that comes along with goal setting. Which is a manifestation of the broader problem we have of conflating correlation and causation. Take, for example, the almost perfect correlation (r=0.947) between per capita cheese consumption …

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winners losers goals feature

Winners and losers have the same goals

James Clear loves systems. James Clear is my kinda guy. And he has one of the best takes I’ve seen on the function of goals and systems… and the mistakes we make in conflating the two, in his book Atomic …

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what do you do

What do you do that no one else can claim to do?

On Tuesday, I had a conversation with a client… And we came upon this question: “What do you do that no one else can claim to do?” It’s a way of separating out a meaningful differentiator that we can build …

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research outreach details part2 thumb

Custom (Yet Scalable) Market Research Outreach: The Details, Part 2

Okay, here’s Part 2 of the dive-into-the-weeds details of the research outreach email campaign I’m sending. Yesterday’s Part 1 video covered cohort setup (how I selected, cleaned, and organized the first group of prospects). Today’s video covers: How I’ve built …

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research outreach details part1 thumb

Custom (Yet Scalable) Market Research Outreach: The Details, Part 1

Last week, after I outlined how I’m conducting the interview outreach for my lead generation research project, I received a few questions asking for additional details. So I decided to record some more of the nitty-gritty as I’m going about …

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social media works photo

I never thought social media would “work” (and that was dumb)

My wife captures beautiful moments on camera for young families. And over the weekend we were chatting about how to make more time for her to book photography sessions now that our youngest is out of the scream-bloody-murder-when-mommy-leaves-the-room phase. Along …

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three words lead generation feature

The three words that matter (for lead generation)

If I could only use three words… Within the lead generation roadmapping sessions I conduct with new clients. Those three words would be: Patience, focus, and consistency. Patience: Financially, so that you maintain leverage Psychologically, so that you don’t come …

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