When you go to hire a professional, would you rather have someone who is good at many things or the best at the one you need?
If I were in a motorcycle accident with a tractor-trailer, I would look for an attorney who specializes in auto injury. Better yet, I would find an attorney who has represented motorcyclists many times before with success. I would not seek out the attorney who practices every area of law.
When someone needs a service, they will be most trusting with an expert that has solved a similar problem many times before.
Early in my career, my thinking was to take on any design project I came across. I would advertise logo design, website design, print work and any type of design that someone needed.
I felt like there was always so much to learn and so much to practice. Web technology and best practices seemed to change every day.
With some great advice from a mentor, I realized that I would never be the best at everything and I needed to narrow my focus.
After determining where I can bring the most value to my clients, I decided to narrow my focus to designing brand identities. Websites will be out of date in a few short years, but investing in a strong brand identity will last years and years. More specifically, I decided to pursue restaurant brand identity design as my primary focus.
I have noticed a few nice side effects of a more narrowed focus…
1. Fewer Competitors
When you offer everything you’re competing with everybody.
When I started to read and learn more about the importance of finding your niche and becoming the very best at one thing, several things began to happen. First, I noticed that my competition was virtually eliminated. The more you can drill down your niche the less other companies will be trying to offer what you offer. When I offered websites, logos, print, etc., I was competing with nearly every agency in the world.
Once I determined to only focus on brand identity, my competition was cut to a fraction of what was there before. Once I decided to market myself toward restaurant and food brand identity, the number was again cut down to a tiny fraction of the brand identity competition. There are only a handful of companies that are trying to do exactly what I’m doing.
2. More Partners
Narrow your focus and your competitors can become partners.
By eliminating the thousands of agencies that were former competitors, there are now many potential partners. I have found that there are many companies with complementary services to a similar client that now can refer me as a partner, where before I would’ve been competition. This aspect has led to the greatest amount of growth. Once you come together with other people who specialize in different skills in the same industry, you can each provide the one thing you’re best at.
3. Rapid Improvement
Practice one thing for 100 hours instead of 100 things for one hour.
Because I eliminated the other things that were dividing my attention, I am now able to learn and practice so much more on my area of focus. Before, I could never stay up on all of the latest practices and methods, but now I don’t have to. I can read every book ever written on brand identity design. I can stay up on restaurant trends and tips to give me the most power to add value.
With a narrow focus, you can practice and improve at a much faster rate.
4. Higher value to your client
The biggest upside in narrowing your focus is that you can bring so much more value to your client. Because I’m studying and learning a specific service for a specific industry, I can get better and faster at solving the problems. I understand the needs of the client more quickly. I have dealt with this problem before, so there is much less of a learning curve on each new project.
While you’re eliminating a lot of potential clients through finding your niche, you are also making yourself so much more valuable to the clients that you are seeking.
In this modern age of, we need more specialists. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, or marketer, or anything else, consider if these benefits would apply in your situation.