I’m always advising creative entrepreneurs to specialize: to do fewer types of work, offer less variety, get more specific about who you serve, and pour all your energy into mastering one thing. And I get it: That sounds kind of risky!
But here are 6 different reasons why focusing on just one offering can actually be way better for your customers, your sanity, and your bottom line.
1. Because the less you focus on, the better and more efficient you’ll get at what’s left.
It takes time and mental energy to switch between tasks. Fewer offerings = less time and energy wasted switching between them, and MORE time and energy spent mastering the tasks you do want to focus on.
2. Because you can build a reputation as an expert in one thing.
As creative business owners, we think about our own stuff all the time. We assume it’s obvious what our business is all about, and we even worry that our message is coming across as redundant.
But the truth is, most people need to hear the same message over and over before it even begins to sink in. So even though talking about one thing all the time may seem repetitive to you, it’s actually a great way to capture the attention of your busy prospects, whose attention is often divided between many different influences. Make it easy for them to build a strong association with you by not diluting your message with endless offerings.
3. Because it’s easier to manage the rest of your business when your offerings are streamlined.
Fewer different types of expenses to add up, fewer different vendors to work with, fewer workflows to manage. Even if you’re doing more business in general, streamlining your products and services will help simplify the back end of your business and help you stay just a little more sane. : )
4. Because it’s easier to expand your offerings when you’re already doing one thing well.
This builds off of the previous reasons: Once you’ve learned how to deliver one product / service with excellence and consistency, adding another is easier. For one thing, you can apply many of the same principles and systems to your new products that you took the time to refine with your first, and for another, it’s easier to launch something new when it’s the only thing you’re focusing on at that time.
5. Because learning a topic, service, process, or product in depth is a competitive advantage.
In this noisy, quantity-over-quantity online world, hardly anyone takes the time to do this. If you’re always thinking about your one thing, you’ll be the first one to find a way to improve it for your customers.
6. Because it’s more profitable, and usually more generous, to double down on your most successful offering than it is to spread your attention across things you’re average at.
If you’re a lifestyle blogger whose fashion posts never get as much attention as your home decor posts, you’d be better off focusing on home decor.
The thing you see the most success with — whether it’s a certain topic, product, service, or media platform — that’s the thing people are telling you that you have a knack for. There’s nothing wrong with covering other topics too! They’re just not your superpower.
Your superpower is the thing no one else does quite like you, and therefore the thing people need most from you in particular. It’s usually also the thing you’re fastest at, find the easiest, and can earn the most money doing. When you think of it this way, narrowing down your offerings isn’t nearly as scary as giving up all that potential profit and influence in order to spread your attention across more time-consuming, less effective offerings!
So what’s the verdict: Have I convinced you to specialize? Do you have any ideas about how you could specialize in your business, or will this be something you’ll have to think about?