🎧 Strap on your headphones for bonus music and sound-effects. This column is better heard.
I’ve been thinking about promoting myself on social media 🤢. I know.
But I write this column, so I’m definitely into the concept of minor-league fame. Where I falter is creating content that reaches. I stumbled across a guy who posts on social media for a living.
He teaches people how to grow their following, and ipso facto, their businesses.
And let’s put aside the fact that someone who grows their audience for a living is both promoting his business and doing his job at the same time; if your success were directly related to how many likes you got, you too would marry your LinkedIn profile.
The guy’s high-level plan to grow a 100,000-large audience is effectively this:
Post a long read weekly
Post two times a day
And target a microniche audience
You read that right: micro-niche.
It’s not enough to write about obscure toy trends from the 90s, you need to target readers who owned a rare Quackers The Duck Beanie Baby, and who suffer from early-onset Myocarditis; this is, and don’t be fooled, a highly-lucrative affinity group.
Despite the mockery, I see the value in his approach. Find people you can write to, have them follow you around the Internet, and then sell them stuff that solves their unique micro-niche problems.
In some cases, this strategy will work because people in affinity groups can experience common issues.
For example, suffering from Myocarditis is a problem solved with medical treatment, and selling your old duck-shaped stuffed animal can earn you the quick cash you need to pay for those treatments – I’m happy to help you do that, and I’m calling my service Quacks for Carditis.
But here’s the rub: affinity groups may not share a common affinity-based problem, let alone one you can solve. And when they do share a unique struggle, it may be so unique to them that your business model is handcuffed to your genetically-modified test-tube niche.
Finally, to find a microniche for which you may provide value, you really need to be a part of a group that you understand – and for me, there is none. Aside from my family and close friends, I’m an affinity group of one.
I don’t hang out with writers, coders, actors, marketers, or other Stanleys. I don’t have a niche or microniche affinity, I just have me: a nanoniche. But I can experience problems, solve those problems, and hope others find those solutions valuable. So here’s a problem I’m trying to solve.
While working at Shrimpy, I was provided with a corporate Google account. This account became an addition to my personal Google account and Office 365 account.
As you may know, each of these accounts comes with a calendar. As part of my job, I provided my availability to coworkers so they could schedule meetings with me. But my corporate calendar had no awareness of my other calendars.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem because most people clear their 9-to-5 working schedule for, well, work.
But remote work environments enable employees to blend their personal and professional lives, which leaves the old system of 9-to-5 openness a little broken.
When asked to meet at such and such time, I checked multiple calendars before confirming – and I still got it wrong. Being aware of and providing your actual availability to others is now a meaningful challenge remote professionals face.
I am solving that challenge with a baby product I’m calling Clarity.
Clarity’s mission is to be the best (ha ha ha) way for remote professionals to know and share their actual availability.
Clarity will help you synchronize events from one calendar to another, between two accounts (Google, Office 365), within the same account, or any combination thereof.
This enables you to build a master calendar that knows about every playdate, every workout, and every upcoming meeting-that-could’ve-been-an-email, providing once and for all, a clear view of your actual schedule.
See what I did there? I’m so clear-ver. 🤢
And since Clarity sounds like a brand new drug, I am obligated to list the side effects — cue pleasant music and b-roll of a middle-aged woman going about her day smiling at flowers, a book, and a book about flowers.
Side-effects of Clarity may include:
Wasting less time flipping through your calendars
A significant reduction in double-bookings
And saying, ‘I can do 10 AM,’ and actually meaning it
⚠ Clarity is not recommended for women who are nursing, pregnant, or expect to become pregnant – they should ask their doctor about our leading baby-safe product: Sorry, I Can’t Make It.
If you’re interested in Clarity, I would love to keep you updated – follow me on LinkedIn for updates as I post my progress.
And yes, you did just read the very first self-promotion on The Mmm…Letter – (sniffles) these newsletters grow up so fast.