Everyone is looking for someone who can bring data.

I’m about to talk briefly about book publishing but this applies across many different industries.

Book publishers are looking for someone who can say, I’ve written 10 articles about this topic. The highest viewed article pulled in 10,000 readers, the lowest viewed pulled in 8,500, the average viewers is 9,550. I’d like to turn these articles into a book, and I also have 15,000 people in an email list ready to advertise to the book to, 75% of them read my email list every week.

Those numbers provide the book publisher with data. Hard data. The kind that can be used to start to build models on whether they will get a return on their money from publishing your book. They know their costs. They can use your data to predict a number of purchases from your list alone. How many of those people are likely to tell their friends. Whether that will be enough to reach the best sellers lists which then have additional data about how many books those titles usually sell.

If all you’ve done is written a book, good luck getting it published. Without a following they are taking a guess, and it’s much safer to go with someone who isn’t making them guess.

Moving away from the book publishing example, when you are selling to a company or applying to a job. People are looking for someone who can give them the data they need to move forward in an area they were stalled out before. When you’re not getting responses, you haven’t done enough up front. You haven’t put in the effort. This is effort may take years in order to get the data being sought. That’s good. That makes it valuable and not something a competitor will be able to produce on a whim.

Focus on data that a customer can use to remove uncertainty and you may get them to move from where they are today in grid-lock, to paying attention.