Third prelaunch email out today!

Weighty issues with publishingI’ve just dispatched the third email leading up to the book launch. Here’s a taste of its content: 12 precepts for your freelance business… or you can see the whole email here.

  1. Business is about making money. Money isn’t everything—but this book is about increasing your income, so money is its subject. If you’re not making money, you’re not in business.
  2. You earn money by delivering value. Money isn’t a goal, but a result. Value, when delivered to a business, helps that business become more successful. Value is what businesses pay for.
  3. You deliver value with your head and hands. The knowledge in your head turns into business value through your hands, whether you’re bashing on a keyboard or shaping steel in a skyscraper. All trades are manual trades, including rocket science and brain surgery.
  4. Your head and hands can be multiplied with tools. If you want holes in the ground, a digger is better than a shovel is better than a teaspoon. The right tools let you leverage your expertise and increase your capacity.
  5. The same multiplier applies to finding customers. Marketing is a numbers game; it’s easier to find one customer among 1,000 than 5. Focussed use of search engines, websites, and social networks can find large numbers of potential customers for reasonable effort.
  6. Customers exist in a world of abundance. Today’s tools open up your business offer to a vast network of customers. No market is small; no niche is narrow. In a global economy worth hundreds of trillions of dollars, there is a sizeable market for what you do, whatever it is.
  7. Dealing with abundance needs tight focus. The millions upon millions of people to work for out there range from square pegs to round ‘holes, from bottom-barrel to top-dollar. A broad market needs a narrow approach: your job is not to find customers, but to find the right
  8. Tight focus leads to repeat customers. The right customers are those for whom you deliver value over time. It’s six times harder to acquire a customer than retain one you’ve got. Customers who come back let you add greater value as you learn their needs, deepening your relationship.
  9. Repeat customers let you plan for the future. Consistent income from several customers lets you invest resources, grow your revenues, and develop practices and processes that save time. Repeat customers are the only customers that matter.
  10. Planning leads to good habits. Building a list of 1,000 customers is a big job if done all at once, but far easier if spread over 100 days. The right habits, applied over time, deliver big outcomes. And that comes from planning ahead.
  11. Good habits come from good data. Improvement isn’t a line but a loop. Only by looking at the outcomes of what you’ve done can you make the right decisions about what to do next. Over time, all those informed improvements have a great effect.
  12. Good data can be small data. When combined with your intuition, it doesn’t take much to tell you what worked and what went wrong. Look at the outliers and edge cases for clues, and use the insights to improve your practices. This is how your business makes money.

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