6 replies
The Jack of All Skills... Gets Killed

A few years back there was a housing crisis over here in Dublin.

Because of this, there were less houses being built, which meant there were less jobs available for all tradespeople (plumbers, plasterers, brick layers and carpenters).

My friend Bobby, is a Plasterer who struggled to get consistent work, even though he is very good at what he does. With fewer houses being built, there were more tradespeople for less jobs, and so, a lot of people struggled to get work. Bobby included.

Now, Bobby was, and still is, a great Plasterer with many different skills... like all Plasterers have.

He can do interior work, exterior work, dashing, cornerstones, patching, and what have you. In fact, all good plasterers need to be adept at all these skills. It's not so different than an online Marketer claiming to be an expert product creator, email marketer and traffic expert, right?

Anyway, Bobby came to me for advice. So I told him his best option would be to pick just ONE of the many skills he has, and advertise his services to specific people wanting work done in that ONE area.

Of course, he fought me on this in the beginning, because he wrongly assumed that he would get even less work if he narrowed his market.

Not the case.

It rarely ever is.

I told him to pick just ONE skill and advertise himself as the expert in that specific category.

He chose cornerstones.

Now, while all Plasterers can do cornerstone work, none of them were advertising themselves as cornerstone experts.

The question is: If you yourself wanted someone to do cornerstone work for you, and all Plasterers are capable of doing the job, but ONE person calls himself the cornerstone expert, who do you choose to do the job?

There's only ONE option for you to choose, isn't there?

"Yes Declan, there is", is the right answer to that question.

You choose the person, or product, or service that is DIRECTLY and SPECIFICALLY related to the EXACT problem you have.

Bobby's business took off.

And here's the best part: Once he was hired to do cornerstones for his clients, he then had the window of opportunity to offer all the other services and skills he was also proficient with.

That's how you stand out like a hard-on in a nudist camp and become the ONLY option ahead of others who offer a multitude of options.


Now, as I said, all Plasterers could have done the cornerstone work for these clients, but it was Bobby who made the claim that he was the expert on that particular skill.

Later on, I told him to put out individual and separate ads for all the other skills he was an expert in.

Think about that?

Rather than Bobby saying, "hey, I'm a master Plasterer who can do interior work, exterior work, patching, cornerstones and dashing" ... and creating ONE ad to fit all skills, he instead could have created 5 different ads, targeting 5 different people, with 5 different problems... and become the go-to guy (the perceived specialist) for each separate skill.

Cool, eh?

Or... he could just have done what every other plaster did, and advertise himself as a Plasterer, and went out of business.

One of those strategies implies you are a specialist, while the other implies that you are a generalist.

Guess who can charge higher prices for their services?

In the end, Bobby was always fully booked; he had no desire to expand his business any further. But, he could if he wanted to, and easily so.

Are you getting how powerful this is?

Look, did Bobby have to change ANYTHING about his services as a Plasterer?

No. Not one thing.

All he changed was his message.

That's how you put your marketing, and therefore your business, on steroids.

Something to think about at least.

Hope it helps.

#advertising #conversions #digital marketing #marketing #offline marketing #put #quick #steroids #tip
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  • Profile picture of the author naviown
    Yes, very true. We always want to offer many things because we think that this way we will get many clients/customers, but as OP says it's not the case. It's much better to be an expert on one thing and target people who need this specific thing.

    We IM'ers know a lot of stuff like email marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, facebook ads and so on, but if you ask yourself what you know the best and are an expert on a specific job, you won't have an answer.

    Best would be to concentrate on let's say email list building and be an expert and offer some services related to list building.

    Good read, OP !
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by Declan O Flaherty View Post

    That's how you put your marketing, and therefore your business, on steroids.
    This is Tony Robbins' signature method...
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    • Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

      This is Tony Robbins' signature method...


      Never heard Tony Robbins say or do that before.
      Strong Men and Women put themselves in harms way
      for the freedoms weak people give away for safety
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  • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
    Great read. Great story. Thanks for sharing. That makes a lot of sense. I've seen a lot of people market themselves or call themselves an Internet Marketer, implying they can do any kind of marketing for anything online. The irony for many in being an internet marketer is that they can sell a product better than they can sell or market themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Marshall
    OK, this looks like great advice. However, let's say that yo are offering a service like website building or offering hosting. How would you specialize in that area?

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    • Originally Posted by John Marshall View Post

      OK, this looks like great advice. However, let's say that yo are offering a service like website building or offering hosting. How would you specialize in that area?


      Hi John,

      The point is to focus your message.

      Toyota known for reliability.

      FedEx known for overnight delivery.

      Volvo known for safety.

      Domino's known for speed.

      ONE thing.

      Bobby, my friend, focused on Cornerstones.

      He could have chosen any one of his skills to focus on. He could have focused on them ALL.

      He chose ONE.

      Your service may have many benefits for your prospects. And any one of those benefits could be important to them. In fact, they may want ALL of those benefits, right?

      However, if you were to sit down and list out all those benefits (problems, really) how many could you come up with?

      5? 10? 20?

      Out of those, which are most important to your prospects?

      If you can't find ONE that's most important, then make it up yourself.

      What we're after, is to have a much more focused message.

      Sure, focusing on just ONE problem, ONE outcome, ONE solution... seems like you'll lose a lot of people who want one of the other benefits, and that's what my mate Bobby thought too.

      However, that just might be what you need to separate your message from your competitors.

      It might be just what you need to enter the conversation in the mind of "specific" individuals who regard that ONE benefit higher than the rest.

      Your service doesn't change, just your message.

      Bobby wasn't just a cornerstone expert.

      He was a dashing expert. A skimming expert. He could do interior work. Exterior work.

      He chose to focus his message on cornerstones, ahead of all the other skills he could have helped people with.

      You get me?

      I don't know your market, I'm afraid, but it's worth it for you to dig a little deeper into.

      Toyota are known for reliable. I guarantee they sell just as many cars today, to people who aren't specifically looking for reliable.

      Domino's are known for speed. I bet you there are many people these days who could buy their pizza from ANY company and get it just as fast as Domino's. However, they still choose domino's.

      Your marketing message is to get them in, and then later you can woo them with all the other great shit you can help them with.

      Here's another approach: Discover (uncover?) the ONE thing that separates YOUR product/service from your competitors, and go deep with that.
      Strong Men and Women put themselves in harms way
      for the freedoms weak people give away for safety
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