My journey started off a bit different than most.
Six and a half years ago I decided to get sober. In my newfound sobriety, I started writing a blog. I didn’t tell anyone about it—I just started writing. It was an outlet of sorts, a way to express myself without anyone listening. That blog changed my life.
Through my writing, I started connecting the dots between content creation and online marketing. I discovered that if you write with emotion and tell great stories, people begin to relate to your brand and your message. That blog became the website Sober Nation, which provides community, support and resources for rehab to anyone looking for help for addiction.
It was from there that I truly developed the skill set to become a thriving business owner. Through the success of the website, I noticed that people in my field would start asking me questions about how to grow their own websites. Most of the people worked in the drug rehabilitation industry, and all of them wanted my help.
That’s when it hit me.
At the time, I had been putting a lot of thought into creating my own online agency. I was reluctant because I would see PR firms and SEO companies all throughout Boca Raton where I live. While I felt that all of these companies were probably average at best, I asked myself, what could I do that was different?
I needed to specialize!
That’s when it all began.
The Power of Specializing in a Specific Skill Set
Specializing in an industry gives you a particular client to approach. It gives you a specific selling point as to why your agency is the perfect match for a business.
You can see the power of this approach when closing deals. If business owners are looking to spend money, it’s probably because they have to fix a problem. We call this a pain point.
Let’s say you are a marketing company in the e-commerce industry and that you specialize in selling t-shirts. Your specialty instantly separates you from most of your competition. A t-shirt company isn’t going to hire a marketing company because they want more Facebook likes. They are hiring a marketing company because they need to sell more shirts!
Luckily for them, t-shirts are exactly what you sell. Why would they need to look anywhere else?
In my case, I decided to build an online marketing company that specializes in internet marketing for addiction treatment centers and other behavior-related facilities.
Addiction treatment became our niche, but there are millions of niche markets out there.
Specializing Sharpens the Blade
Let’s be clear.
This approach is about much more than coming up with a crafty sales pitch. In any business, you will need to provide a great product or a great service in order to sustain real growth.
In order to produce quality work, you need to know what you’re doing. You need to be good at it, and you need to deliver results.
Nothing will help you deliver results like studying a specific craft, day in and day out.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with the rule of 10,000 hours, in which Malcom Gladwell brilliantly documents what it takes to truly become a “master” of a skill. Becoming a master of a trade is better than being a jack of all trades.
So I ask you, why would you want to be okay at a broad skill when you could be excellent at a specific skill? Being the absolute best at one particular industry is infinitely better then being pretty good at a broad industry.
This principle is why chefs specialize in a certain culinary style. It’s why physicists specialize in a certain field and why athletes specialize in a certain sport. Perfecting your craft will always yield the best results.
Keep this focus and develop acute study habits pertaining to one specific skill set or industry. If you do so, it is inevitable that you will become a master in your field. Every moment you work, you will be honing your skills.
If you want to make the best cuts, you need the sharpest blade.
Specializing Instantly Eliminates Competition
There is a big bad world out there. Life can be cruel and ruthless, and managing to get ahead in business is a challenge in itself.
No matter what your industry or business model, you will have to deal with competition. There is always someone coming up on your heels.
Competition is healthy and provides for a stable economy, but it also makes it tough to stay ahead of the game.
What if instead of going up against everyone, you only had to compete with a few?
That’s exactly what specializing will do for you. Since you are only focused on a specific niche, there will not be nearly as many people fighting against you for new business. You can be actively involved in one community of people, and you can also know that all the relationships you make through networking are relevant to what your end goals are.
The people you have lunch with, the conferences you attend, and the websites you reach out to will all be directly in line with your business model. This aspect of specializing has worked wonders for me and has kept the revenue streams coming.
In Conclusion – You Need to Find Your Tribe
I’m a practical man. When I started down this path, I was worried that specializing in a specific field would pigeonhole my company. But I realized that mindset is nothing more than a scarcity complex. Since deciding to select a niche, we have also created a resource site for local detox centers, and I even started my own sober clothing line. These results all stemmed from a decision to specialize.
We have succeeded because we are passionate about what we do. If you decide to specialize in an industry that doesn’t interest you, your work will reflect your attitude. Running your own marketing firm is a lot of hard work. I’ve spent many a Friday night working (in fact that’s what I am doing right this second) while all of my friends are out having fun.
The reason I can have such a high level of commitment is because my passion for this industry and the people in it is stronger than my desire to goof off. Without that focus and motivation, it is very difficult to succeed.
I am not the type to say “follow your passion.” Many people have gone broke by diving head first into their passions. I would suggest you keep your eyes open for opportunities, and when you find one, try to find an angle that allows you to fit your passion into it.
When you discover such an opportunity, you will surround yourself with like-minded people, you will make money, and best of all, you will love what you do.
Not a lot of people get to say that.
Latest posts by Tim Stoddart (see all)
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