Jack or Jill of All Trades, Master of Some?

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It’s very tempting when marketing and selling your services, to respond to a prospective client with “yeah, we can do that” to whatever they request.   And of course it’s extremely valuable to have a broad – and strong – skill set.

However there’s a serious downside to overreaching your true capabilities, and in fact, a missed opportunity to position yourself as unique and memorable.

We’re all familiar with specialists in certain fields: medicine, law, finance, etc…  But when it comes to other fields, such as marketing, sales, publishing, even technology, we may assume that being a generalist is our best bet because we can attract the largest pool of prospects.


Here are two reasons why it’s critical to understand your strongest offering, and how to reach those customers who will benefit from it most.

1. We live in a macro world, but what our clients need is on a micro scale.  What I mean, is that we are simultaneously bombarded from all sides with data, information, media, and other ‘digital noise’, and we’re supposed to incorporate it all into our world view and approach to life and business.  But when it comes to actual results, we must take very specific, micro actions to create real opportunities.

For example, you know your business needs a social media presence in order to be relevant and to communicate with current and prospective customers.  Your first thought might be that you have to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, and whatever platform is coming down the pike next, so that you don’t miss anyone.   But the fact is that your social media efforts and resources should only be focused on the platforms where your audience’s attention is directed.  Are you in a very visual, experiential field like architecture or design?  Then a visual platform, like Instagram is going to provide much more value to your audience and ultimately you, than other options.

Your marketing consultant should be able to guide to you the most relevant tools to showcase your specific offering, to the right audience – and make the best use of your budget.

2.There is an ever increasing number of digital agencies, social media experts, and marketing consultants vying for your business every day.  But do each of them understand your business equally? Can they all deliver the same results at the end of the day? Among the most experienced and credible digital marketers, they may all be able to help you reach a certain level of success.  However it’s the person or agency who truly understands your specific industry, its quirks and nuances, who will be able to take you beyond that.  Because not only must they understand how your business functions, how your industry ‘behaves’ and what they do in the digital space.  They must also understand who you’re targeting, and why, to create the most high-impact digital campaign for your business.

Another example: you’re a private chef and your specialty is creating whole foods-based family meals. Would you pitch your business the national fast food franchisee association? Or would you pursue a client who wants to eat processed food all day long?  Of course not, that’s not who is ultimately going to retain your services.  You would look for opportunities to reach busy professionals with families, in your geographic area, with a certain level of income, who have a demonstrated interest in health, wellness, and fine cooking.   All that can be achieved with a digital marketing strategist who understands the very specific details of your offering AND your audience.

This approach should be used when you’re looking for service providers of any sort, as well as when you’re looking to offer your services to others.  Find out where your prospects congregate online, what issues matter to them, and give them valuable content to show them your expertise about their needs.

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