What do Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, BMW, Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, Disney and MacDonald’s have in common?
They all feature in the top 20 most trusted brands, worldwide.
Consumers buy from them because they know exactly what they get. Each company is known, liked and trusted. Trust that has taken years (and in the case of Coke, well over a century) to earn and maintain.
Every one of these companies has an enviable reputation for quality, reliability and delivering on their promises. And consumers know that when things go wrong, as they inevitably do, the brands will stand by their promises and fix whatever the issues are.
Now, all of these examples are multi-billion dollar entities. They spend fortunes positioning themselves and getting their message out to their market. And they know that to keep their pre-eminence, they must continue to market to both new audiences as well as their traditional base.
Now, that’s all very well for the big players. But what if you’re a small business trying to compete in a specialised area? You may be a Financial Planner, Accountant, Solicitor, IT Service Provider, Professional Photographer or even a Plumber. You don’t have the resources to fling at blanket advertising, hoping some mud will stick to the wall.
The short answer is you cannot be a generalist.
You must specialise and become a trusted advisor to people looking for your particular product or service.
Why? Four reasons…
- Being a specialist allows you to target a narrow band of people who want/need your service and will pay handsomely for your solutions.
- You can create a marketing message that speaks directly to them. You must explain exactly who they are (so they qualify themselves in or out), why they should come to you and what it is you can do for them. BENEFITS, BENEFITS, BENEFITS… to them!
- You won’t waste time with people who aren’t interested. i.e. You rapidly qualify them out!
- You’re seen as the Trusted Advisor – a partner helping your clients achieve their goals. Someone your clients turn to for advice, knowing that you always have their best interest at heart.
Here are some examples of professionals we’ve helped specialise…
John Walker has been a Certified Financial Planner for over 20 years. However, Financial Planning can be perceived as a commodity. With growing competition he needed to differentiate himself.
We realised he has extensive experience in the realm of Aged Care – the myriad issues and traps people moving into aged care could fall into. Everything from paying too much to losing their Centrelink benefits.
He now promotes himself as a specialist in this area which has brought him a steady stream of new clients looking for his specialist advice. In addition, specialising has created new referral sources from Aged Care Providers.
Shukri Barbara specialises in Property Tax. A registered public accountant and tax agent, he moved from generalist to specialist. Specialising allows him to differentiate himself from other accountants who provide a general tax compliance service. And it makes him really easy to find on Google – type in property tax accountant and he comes up number 1.
Victor Kumar from the Right Property Group is a buyer’s agent with a difference. Unlike a general property buyer who will help you find a residential property to live in, Victor only deals in residential investment properties.
Victor and his team specialise in certain geographical areas, have extensive links to agents and thoroughly understand their marketplace.
They help you locate and negotiate investment properties at below market prices, then educate you on how to build and manage a strong and balanced property portfolio that produces real income with a mix of exceptional yields and high growth.
I could go on with lots more examples from our client list, but I’m sure you get the idea.
In every case above, specialising narrowly defines their audience which means they attract clients who want their advice in this narrow area and are willing to pay well for it.
Now some of you might think, “But what about all the other people out there I’d be missing out on?”
Frankly, the minute you try and be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to no one.
Being a specialist allows you to directly target a specific audience. An audience where you completely understand their pain, frustrations, wants and desires. An audience that when you get your message right and explain in detail what you can do for them, will look to you for solutions to their problems and ignore your competitors.
If you’re a generalist wanting to specialise and get more good quality clients, we will work with you to develop your USP, specialisation and craft your message in a way that resonates with your target audience compelling them to call you.
And if you’re already a specialist, but can’t get your message out into the right hands, we can help too.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 to book in.
Till next week.
Rashid & Barbara.