Captain’s log, stardate 20170913
Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 13th, 2017
When I’m in NYC, I almost always see at least one guy running around on a street corner jamming discount sale flyers into the unwilling hands of annoyed people who happen to be walking by.
I get stressed out as I approach “flyer dude”. I avert my eyes. I try maneuver so that some other poor sap is in between me and flyer dude. I desperately want to avoid the uncomfortable social interaction.
If I end up with a flyer in my hand, I feel burdened. I want to discard the flyer at my earliest opportunity. I’d love to throw it crumpled to the street in defiance but that’d be littering and I don’t do that.
Now what? Put it in my pocket and be reminded of my discomfort later when I rediscover it? Cross the street to the garbage can outside the diner? Keep it in my hand until I happen by a recycle bin that’s not out of my way?
I’ve been accosted. My train of thought has been derailed. An unwanted series of decisions has been thrust upon me. I’m indignant and annoyed.
You might believe that doing outreach will turn you into flyer dude.
And if you indiscriminately send impersonal and irrelevant junk to every email address you can scrape off the web, you’d be right.
But that’s not outreach. That’s spamming.
I see my outreach efforts as more like planting a garden. I plant the right seeds in the right soil in the right way and under the right conditions.
This requires that I do some research. That I get some education. Not a lot, but some.
You can do the same thing.
Research your market. Discover their pains. Articulate your value proposition. And then send some helpful messages.
If the seed takes root, you’ll both eventually enjoy the fruit.