April 22, 2018

You now have ESP

Do you have a client (past, present, or hopefully future) who reads the Tech Bits column of the New York Times every week? Or subscribes to the Stratechery mailing list? Or listens to NPR’s All Tech Considered podcast?

Great! You now have ESP.

Once you know where your clients get their news, you can follow the same streams looking for items that are both potentially relevant to their business AND related to your area of expertise. When you spot one of these articles, forward the link to them with a brief summary of how you think it might be relevant.

For example, there might be a regulatory change coming that you know will affect their online store, or a new buzzword technology that you think they might be seduced by but is actually empty hype, or a consumer trend that might represent a big opportunity for them.

Creating these personalized summaries is a great way to:

But what if you don’t know where your clients get their news?

it’s usually not too hard to find out. Either they share links to articles in social media, or they’ll mention an article they read while you’re all waiting for a meeting to start, or they’ll discuss a favorite news podcast at an after hours event, or they’ll post a link in the #watercooler channel in the company Slack.

Even if you can’t figure out where your clients get their news, it’s a safe bet that they are exposed to news about Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon because any time any of those companies do anything remotely interesting, it shows up all over the mainstream news.

If you do advisory work for clients (or would like to), you could set yourself apart from the vast majority of consultants simply by taking notes on the keynote presentations from any big events like Google I/O, Apple’s iOS Developer conference, Amazon’s AWS re:invent conference, Facebook’s F8 developer conference, and individually summarizing the relevant bits for your clients.

Current examples of tech news from or related to these four companies that would potentially be useful to clients of all sorts:

Probably not all of these categories of news represent an overlap between your area of expertise and something relevant to your ideal clients. But I’d be willing to bet that at least a couple of them are.

Give it a try for a week or so and see if you don’t find yourself stumbling across mainstream news articles that you can quickly summarize/explain/contextualize for your ideal clients.

Send them out and see what happens.



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