I’ve written before about the benefits of being narrow (read Lynda Falkenstein’s classic, Nichecraft for a complete "how to" guide). And although I’ve long been convinced of the wisdom of staking out a small subject area and becoming its leading expert, I continue to find additional benefits.
Here’s one I’ve only recently become aware of: choice.
When I first began working as a consultant in 2000, I felt as if my prospective clients were the ones doing the choosing. After all, there were thousands of marketing consultants running around offering their services, and it seemed as if the clients had all the power.
Today, I focus on one thing — Electronic newsletters for professional services companies. What I’ve realized, and partly as a result of my narrow niche, is that I now have most of the choosing power.
Think about it. I’ve got an almost unlimited number of professional service clients to choose from. Each one of them, on the other hand, has relatively few E-Newsletter experts (a handful in the entire world?) who can do the job right. When it comes to deciding whether or not we work together, it’s much, much easier for me to walk away and find another client then it is for one of them to walk away and find another expert.
If choice is power, narrowing what you offer is the path.