I was recently interviewed by RainToday on the subject of (big surprise) business development. One of my recommendations was to develop an industry niche so you can position your experience as highly relevant to a smaller audience (which is much more marketable than being slightly relevant to a broad one). This seems counter-intuitive to many – after all, the larger your prospective client base, the more likely you will run into someone who wants to engage you, right?
Afraid not. Here’s why:
The more specialized you are, the less commoditized you become, and the more memorable you are to your network of referral sources.
A niche also helps you focus your marketing. A generalist cannot possibly market to all of her prospective clients. But if you choose a specific industry, you will find that the contacts, conferences, and trade associations that connect you to appropriate opportunities shrink to a manageable size.
I go into more detail on the topic of niches, mentors, and reverse-engineering your goals during the interview. Click here to listen to the podcast.