Greetings from the “Big Bend” area of Texas. The RV is parked in Lajitas, a small town that is a stone’s throw from the Mexican border and where we will be enjoying good internet and warm temps for the first half of winter. Open and honest, I love this life!
I hope you found our last conversation about the power of belonging to a group to be useful and inspires you to start/join a group if you are not already in one. Sure, you can go it alone. But why would you want to? Aren’t there more important/fun things you want to do?
On to this week. The most persistent hurdle (excuse) to practice development success that I hear is, “I don’t know how to do that.” You learn about a great idea from a colleague, you sit down to do it, and you realize you don’t know where to start. Well, this is how you do it.
And if you’re new to the blog, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Just a reminder that all of my past newsletters are available on my blog. And if you are looking for something that I previously wrote or recorded in the past, you can type some keywords into the blog’s search box and find the relevant post.
So let’s set the stage.
Someone advises you to take a specific practice development action.
Say they have the idea for you to create an industry newsletter.
No one else in your niche is doing it.
You enjoy writing and are good at it.
The newsletter will make you stand out to your audience of leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources.
You are excited.
But first, you need a way to distribute the newsletter.
To do that, you need names and email addresses of people to send it to.
To do that, you need a place where people can sign up to receive it.
To do that, you’re told you need a lead magnet to induce people to give you their name and email address.
And then it hits you.
You want to write the newsletter.
The source for the newsletter idea made it sound easy.
But you’ve not done it before, and now you’re mired in the steps to get there.
And you aren’t even sure where to start.
But you want to do it because you know it would propel your practice forward.
Here are five options I suggest to my coaching clients for getting their practice development projects completed. They are ordered from least time/effort to most.
#1 – Hire someone.
That’s right … my first idea is that YOU don’t do it.
And here is why.
Strategic Coach teaches a concept called Unique Ability. Imagine a shooting target with concentric rings. The outermost ring is filled with stuff you are INCOMPETENT at. Things that, when you do them, lead to stress, frustration, conflict, and failure.
The next ring in is filled with stuff you are COMPETENT at. Things that are mostly repetitive and cause you anxiety because you have to do them frequently and, when you do, you still only meet minimum quality standards.
The next ring in is filled with stuff you are EXCELLENT at. Things that require your superior skills and that you have a great reputation for doing. But you have no passion for doing them.
The target bullseye is your UNIQUE ABILITY. Things you do that demonstrate your superior ability and, when you do them, other people take notice. Things that energize you and you keep getting better when you do them.
Now let’s assume that writing the newsletter is your Unique Ability. All of the other stuff – the lead magnet, the capturing of the names and email addresses, and the actual distribution – fall into those various outer target rings.
Want to get that email list started? A search I did on Fiverr produced a MailChimp expert who will create your email sign-up form, autoresponder, and newsletter template for $50.
Want to offer your subscribers a lead magnet in return for their email address? On Upwork, I found someone who will format your content into a 20-page ebook for just $100.
And oh yeah, the Fiverr and Upwork people are top-rated by those who have hired them in the past.
#2 – Watch a YouTube video.
YouTube literally has millions of instructional videos that you can easily search. And not only will you hear someone tell you how to do it via their audio narrative, they will demonstrate how to do it via their video recording. And the videos are free.
#3 – Crowdsource answers to your questions.
Whatever you need to do by way of practice development, some colleague of yours has likely already done it. So hit up someone you already know.
If you can’t think of anyone in your circle, post your questions on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Ask: “What’s a good platform for creating and managing my email list?” or “What kind of lead magnet have you had success with?” Within a day or two, you’ll get practical advice (and related links) from others who’ve been down the road you’re on.
#4 – Take an online course.
From MIT and Harvard to Thinkific and Udemy, online course options and subjects abound and can be found with a simple Google search. Want to write a white paper to educate your prospects on the advantages of working with a professional like you? Udemy currently has two classes on how to write a white paper that cost $10.99 each and take two hours or less.
#5 – Read a book on the subject.
The upside of books is that they are easy to find and inexpensive to purchase. The downside is that reading a book can take hours and, unlike video, likely only offer text-based learning.
Information and implementation are two different things. Even if you take copious notes in options 2, 3, 4, and 5, nothing is going to change until you implement. And I can almost guarantee that’s where you’ll get stuck … and that’s why I recommend option 1!
In real life
When I needed to convert my videos from raw iPhone footage to finished YouTube productions, I thought about doing it myself. Then I came to my senses.
So I found someone on Upwork who does this for me. I’ve done 30 videos to date … he charges me $15 per video (he originally wanted $10 but I insisted on $15) … that’s a total of $450 I’ve spent so far.
The end result:
- I did not have to figure it out and learn how to get better at it. All of my videos have been professionally done from day 1.
- My opportunity cost is my hourly billing rate. If I had chosen to do this myself, it likely would have taken me hours and thousands of dollars in otherwise billable time to figure it out.
- It’s done. Meaning, once I figured out how many moving parts there were in my vidoe project, I might have given up before I had one video to show for it.
Because “I don’t know how to do that.”
Now, you know.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you like my blog, please recommend it to a colleague.
– If you want to get a sense of how well your practice is working for you, get a Practice Self Assessment.