I think I have a problem with over-asking for advice.
To my women’s entrepreneurship group: “I can’t figure out what to specialize in. What do you think?”
To my mastermind group: “Do you think specializing is a good idea?”
To my co-workers: “I’m pretty sure I’ll figure out this specializing thing. Right?”
To anyone who will listen or has their mouth full and can’t tell me to stop: “So what do you think about me specializing my web agency???”
But, guys. I think I’m done. It’s time for me to stop asking for advice, because I know what I need to do.
We are going to specialize in an industry vertical.
Wait, what’s an industry vertical?
When I say industry vertical, I mean specializing in working for businesses in the same industry.
Here are a few examples I’ve already disqualified for various reasons, but they are all good examples of industry verticals:
- Specialized physicians
- Mortgage companies
- Real estate agents
- Accounting firms
- Law firms
While I won’t be choosing one of those verticals, that should at least give you an idea of what I mean.
But an industry vertical sounds so specific and boring!
I know. Everyone I’ve asked for advice has been trying to instead steer me toward focusing on something more general, like a focus on “service based businesses” or a “dream customer profile.”
I really think an industry vertical is such a stronger, more compelling offering to to the target client. Here are a few reasons why.
Reasons I’m Focusing on an Industry Vertical
To Understand The Client’s Business and Target Customer Inside and Out
If we’re going to be experts at serving a certain type of client, I want to be able to say:
- “I know how your business works.”
- “I know how your buyer buys.”
- “I know how your buyer searches the internet to find your service.”
- “I know what has already worked in the past for businesses just like yours.”
I know I can only make those claims if we do repeated work within a certain industry. Experience will give us insider knowledge we can use to constantly improve our services.
To Create Specific Content that is Compelling for my Target
I’m tired of our articles and advice being boring and general.
If you were a dentist, tell me which article would be more compelling to you:
- What To Choose for your Facebook Cover Photo
- 5 Great Facebook Cover Photo Ideas for Dentists
I’ll go ahead and guess that you’d be more likely to click and read the article that was specific to you.
If I can give my target client information about exactly what their type of business should do, that’s incredibly helpful advice.
I’m expecting that content marketing around a specific industry is so much more likely to be followed, because our target audience will always know that our advice applies to them.
I Want to See the World Through My Customer’s Lens
What is important to my clients? What should they be talking about online? What news will affect their business?
I want to see the world the way they do.
First, I constantly read articles and learn about different marketing tactics. I’d love to immediately start thinking about how those could work for all of my clients.
Second, I don’t want to miss opportunities for them. I bet if I worked solely for dentists, I’d know exactly when National Smile Day is, and I could provide advice on how they could promote it. Working across industries, it’s harder for me to provide such specific advice and follow all of the important marketing opportunities.
(the above three reasons are what I mentioned in my video, but here is another)
A Clear Industry Target Makes Referrals Easier
Right now, people know that I do “web design,” which actually isn’t very clear. If they hear someone say, “Hey, I need a web designer,” they might refer me (which is great, and thankfully does happen).
But—I really believe that the more specific you get about who you work with, the easier it is for your contacts to refer you.
If I met someone and told them “I work on digital marketing for dentists,” it’s easy for them to say “Hey, my sister-in-law is a dentist. I’ll introduce you.”
I expect that targeting an industry vertical will be more memorable and help us to get more referrals.
So no more asking for advice on different types of specialization. I’ve got this, and I now just need to find the right vertical.