Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How To Brand Yourself By Specializing

As Entrepreneurs and business owners, sometimes we want to be everything to everyone.  This can be dangerous, because if we do it all, we really do not specialize in anything.  Remember the expression, "jack of all trades, but master of none"?  There is something to that and I have experienced it personally.  When I left the corporate world, I tried my hand at several things in hopes that I would be able to help anyone that I came in contact with.  I was working a fitness business, consulting for a credit repair firm, and marketing for an seo company.  My thought process was, if someone needed help in those areas, I could be a one stop shop. This turned out to be counter productive because I had no identity, therefore I was not top of mind when it came to health, credit, or marketing.  This is when I decided that I needed to specialize in one of these areas to achieve maximum success.  In this article I hope to show you how branding yourself as an expert in a specialized area can lead to more referrals. Especially in social media.  Here are 3 ways you can brand yourself.

1. Create or pick a niche that separates you:  I know a mortgage broker named John Snell that is great at what he does.  He receives several referrals for divorcees due to the way he has branded him self.  He specializes in working with individuals that have gone through a divorce. He will obviously help someone that is single or happily married, but he has created a niche to where those in his network think of ONLY him if they ever hear the word divorce.  He has narrowed his market, but he has a very specific market that keeps his name on your mind when you hear certain buzzwords.  There are thousands of mortgage brokers, but he'll stand out for this reason.

2. Pick a city and dominate it:  This conflicts with the normal entrepreneur mindset I know, but hear me out here.  If we market to a specific city or two, we have a better chance of being the go-to guy or gal in that city. If we try to cover the entire metroplex or state, we are then the small fish in the big pond.  Plus this saves on gas if you travel to your clients.  Regardless of the industry, imagine if you helped every single person in your city.  Those numbers would be staggering!

3. Include your specialty in your social profiles:  This basically recaps 1 and 2.  Let's take a realtor for example.  We know that realtors help consumers buy and sell homes.  That's a given, but if a realtor really wants to attract referrals, they will specialize in a certain area (buy or sell, residential or commercial).  I often see social media profiles stating everything that a person does and it does not trigger an exact person to connect them with.  The best thing a realtor could do in their profile (for example) is state that they specialize in helping individuals in Allen, TX sell their homes (again, just an example).  Now of course they can help someone in a different city purchase a home as well, but they will be known as the go to realtor in Allen for selling homes and get a steady stream of those referrals.  This will also help when people search for you or your niche online (ex: searching for a realtor in allen, tx).

In today's business, it's important to carve out a specific niche that we can be known for so we can separate ourselves from the masses. The way I see it, trying to be everything to everyone is similar to trying to chase 2 rabbits. Of course we want plenty of business, but think of it like this:  We can either get tons of bait and go out in a huge lake where there are tons of fish in hopes to catch some...or we can have some fish in a small bucket, use no bait and just reach in and grab them with our hands.  Less fish? Maybe, but very little effort involved when done correctly.

I hope this helps when it comes to how to market and brand yourself.  Please feel free to comment below and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.  Good luck in your marketing efforts!


mary Binford Salmon said...

Great tips! I'm an Aflac agent. There are hundreds of us in the metroplex. I'm going to use your tip for concentrating in one or two cities. I want to be th go to Aflac agent for McKinney!

mary Binford Salmon said...

Thanks for the tips! As an Aflac agent, I am one of hundreds in the metroplex. I will use your tip to focus my customer base in the McKinney area so I will be known as the Aflac rep for McKinney! Thanks!

Mario Wilson said...

I think that's a great plan Mary! I am glad you found value in the post!

TheRealJelvir said...

This is a real good read!