Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"I'm a Website Developer for Left-handed, Blue-eyed Texas Dentists Who Walk With A Limp" - The Epidemic of Over-Niching

The internet is full of "marketing experts" telling business owners to niche down! niche down!

You can become a big fish who owns a little pond.

Well, this is good if you want to provide a commodity service.  But, if you want to Think Big, and be a real, innovative thought leader who provides expert advice to the leaders in your industry, then you need a different model.

If a left-handed, blue-eyed dentist (with a limp) was my client, was serious about success, and wanted to hire the above web designer for anything than basic commodity work, I'd tell him to run away fast!

That specialist is a one-trick pony.  He won't be able to provide you with innovative, cutting-edge strategy, because he or she has no exposure.

You don't want to be a content expert, and now more and more about less and less.  You want to have wider exposure, so you can bring insights from one field to another.

This doesn't mean you become a jack-of-all-trades either.

This means that you need to specialize in a process, not content.  My mentor, Alan Weiss, has a mantra: "generalize and thrive", and recommends specializing in a set of general results—not specialized methodology.

A good example would be an expert French chef, Italian chef, and Chinese chef.  They each run world-renown restaurants, and all offer chicken dishes.  Now, suppose that you knew how to locate, select, and buy the best chicken in any market.  You could consult with all of them and improve their business—even though they know more about their content than you.

You can't teach them French, Italian, or Chinese cooking, but you can improve the quality of their chicken.  That is the power of a process expert.