How can I become more specific in my area of expertise to make a stronger impact?
I work with a number of multimedia and social media venues for the purpose of making a difference in the community. I want to develop a focus of my area of expertise, in order to have a stronger impact on the multimedia society and culture. Right now, I'm concerned my offerings are to broad to do what I want to do. How can I narrow these down without affecting my business?
Thank you all for taking an interest in my question. You have really encouraged me, and given me excellent answers. As a result, I was able to define for myself what it is I want to achieve with my outreach, and as a result of this discussion, I am approaching being a "Friend" with greater intensity. This has been very rewarding for me. Again, thank you.
If you want success in the multiple and social media venues you need to create time to learn the ups and downs of the business to make an impact. Learn in stages in order to be more effective .
If your concerns are that your offerings are too broad and that narrowing them might affect / harm your business then I would suggest the following.
1. Make a list of all your offerings and how much they bring to your business
2. Evaluate what are your strengths
3. Decide which offerings you want to narrow to
4. Does your strengths match those offerings? If not make a development plan
5. Take a look at the offerings you want to "get rid of". How much of your business depends on them? Will you be able to compensate the loss? Are there some offerings that you should have no matter that you'd rather get rid of them?
6. Make the final list of offerings and focus on them
First things first. Pick up a paper and a pen and write all the services that you are offering right now and next to each service, you need to point the number of clients and the amount of business that you achieved.
Do you the 80/20 rule? It´s a rule that follow since i start my business 15 years ago, and it means that 20% of your clients should be responsible for 80% of your billing.
In the end, you will be able to see the clients and type of projects that are more profitable.
Please let me know if you need any more help.
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A few suggestions:
1. Play to your strengths. If you have had success in specific areas, use these as focus areas for your business.
2. Build a support network for these specific success areas. Who are the clients that you have successfully completed work for? Get specific reviews from these happy customers and use them as a basis for selling your specialty and expertise.
3. If you are looking to still build your business foundation, figure out where you can get experience to back your claims - even if this is voluntary work. Business grows after there is proof that the business works.
4. If you have a group of happy customers, ask them where they see the strength in your business...look for trends in this positive feedback and leverage that angle.
Hi there hippie leftover :)
This is a two part question in my mind. The first part involves your experience and talent in the field. Only time, experience, and success can help you with that.
The second part is informing your clients that you have expertise in this narrow field. For that, you might consider writing a book. That book could then become a calling card that you leave behind to help build your reputation with that client, a more narrowly focused reputation. More importantly, your book informs that client why your narrow focus on one aspect of SM is important and worth paying for. I'm thinking most clients are not going to understand your narrow focus on just one thing in this field.
In today's indie author climate, you can take your goal from concept (the idea in your brain) all the way through to completion (published and visible on e.g. Amazon and ibooks). Depending on budget and desire, it can be done on a shoestring by you or third partied out to authoring and publishing consultants. Note: Stay away from vanity presses.
On a smaller scale, is a "white paper" covering the same issue set. This is pretty much a book, except it may be shorter and it usually lives as a pdf download or a pdf attachment to email.
I don't know if you can narrow down your offering without affecting your business, but you can DEFINITELY narrow down your offering and affect your business in a very positive way.
The anathema to a great brand is trying to be all things to all people. So you must choose how to market yourself, and that will inevitably mean letting things go. It can be painful, but if you don't do it, you'll end up with a diluted and ineffective value proposition.
Now, here's an important caveat that will make this easier to swallow: in terms of what you provide to your customers at the end of the day, you may well end up tapping into your vast array of available services / products / expertise. And down the road, you may (and should) make changes to your marketing focus as a result of what you learn in practice.
But in terms of what you focus on in your marketing efforts, you must make choices: ditch some things, hone in on others, and get focused. If you don't do this, I wouldn't bother making the effort to brand yourself, because your message won't be effective.
So, how to choose? Start by asking 3 questions:
1. What do you want to accomplish in your business?
2. What is your offering? (At this stage, it might be a long list.)
3. Who is your audience?
Now, work your way back up the list: Ask yourself what aspects of your offering are most likely to appeal to the audience you're trying to target, and why. Then, consider whether or not selling these products / services is going to help you achieve your goals.
Repeat until you've got #2 down to 3 or items of less.
Now, it's time to look at your market landscape, consider how you can differentiate from the competition, and tweak your offering as necessary. Then, on to messaging. (It'll be a breeze once you've worked through this process.)
I think you will have to take on your specific area of focus into a specific segment outside or lightly involved with your business, in one hand you have your business on the other hand you have what appears to be a passion or an area of personal focus. So to break it down:
1) You cannot harm your business, cutting down in your offers or service level would carry some risk.
2) You feel a need to develop a vocational activity.
The good news is that they are still using the same skill set for both, so just consider that many designers and creatives do this often, by having for instances an illustrator's day job and sideline job or hobby in teaching/lecturing. It would be a lot harder if you were in opposing fields for your activities. I wouldn't overthink it until you feel that you are overwhelmed, at which stage you have several options like delegating some work or entering collaborations to reduce your work load.
Define who your ideal client is and define exactly what problem it is you solve. That in and of itself may help you niche down a bit better than you already have.
What do you offer? What differentiates you from the competition? Who's your target market?