In the book The Win Without Pitching Manifesto, Blair Enns refers to the first of twelve steps to succeed in the creative industry with ”we will specialize”.
The author highlights how the power of the relationship between client and business can be overturned by this first and essential step: define a business niche.
Choosing a focus reduces competition. Options allow clients to dictate the price and terms of engagement. By specializing we claim expertise and differentiate ourself from others.
The author doesn’t hide that choosing a business niche and focusing our services is a practice that requires way more time and energy than being just another generic company. He does point out though that all the required effort is going to payout on the long term.
Be an expert in your business niche
We are hired as experts and not for our services. That allows us to guide the engagement and to take control of the process.
Reduce the alternatives
Focusing reduces the competition, we will be serving a very specific niche which has a problem that our services can address.
In a very competitive market businesses are chosen on the price of their services. Gaining and claiming expertise in a specific field to a defined target allows us to be hired not based on the price but on the quality of the service we can provide to our chosen niche.
Mass advertising, or branding, is a marketing strategy that works mainly for huge brands. It doesn’t target a specific niche, but “everyone” and it aims to increase brand popularity and broadcast the company message.
A small or medium company has a limited budget and using this kind of approach would be like shooting arrows in a dense fog hoping to hit someone, as Allan Dib effectively states in The 1-Page Marketing Plan.
That’s why narrowing our target market as much as possible makes our online investments more profitable, as we are crafting a service, a message and expertise for a specific niche that we specifically target with our online campaigns.
Our expertise in a specific field will keep increasing. We are not generalist any more. We chose a specific segment of the audience to address and we focus our attention on a few services to help this niche.
Our knowledge on those specific services will keep broadening and it will way faster than before. we are focusing our work, study and attention on a very narrow range of dedicated services.
Offer a better service
A direct consequence of your deeper understanding, experience and knowledge in a narrower field of action is a better service for your clients. You’re not a generalist and you’re not offering a wide range of services. The services you do offer are high-quality ones specifically thought for your target market and they’ll get better and better in time thanks to the focused effort and gained experience.
By addressing the issues of a restricted group of users you would create a community of people that shares the same kind of challenges. You will build a relationship with them, as your main objective would be to solve the problems that they have related to your area of expertise. It will create a sense of trust that will make you as their point of reference in your field.
Specializing should be the starting point for everyone that is setting up a new business or that is evaluating a new marketing strategy for their current one.
Narrowing the effort to a target market will make our activities more effective and it will allow us to reach better results with fewer focused campaigns and tactics.