Small Business Marketing: Specialize or Generalize?


There have been many great points raised on both sides of this discussion. In order to make a final decision, we must look at how the business world is moving and at the purchasing patterns of the consumers who will be utilizing your services.

The Internet has changed the way people look for services (personal and professional). For example:
If you do a search in Yahoo for a Personal Coach you will get 1.4 million matches.
If you refine your search to Personal Life Coach you will get 760,000 matches.
If you refine your search to Personal Career Coach you will get below matches.
If you refine your search to Weight Loss Coach you will get 80,000 matches.
(search result numbers are subject to change)

Once you have selected the area of specialization you are interested in, you can then drill down into the results by location or other qualifying factors. As we are spending more and more time online, our patterns are shifting and adapting to more effectively navigate the over-abundance of information available. Web users know that in order to avoid a list of millions of possible matches, they must be more specific in their requests.

Generalizing - The Benefits:
As a generalist you aren't limited in the type of clients that you can work with. Everyone is pressed for time; having one coach who can handle all aspects of your goals (personally and professionally) as opposed to multiple resources each with a unique area of focus would be of certain benefit.

Generalizing - The Challenge:
The trade off is assumed to be that if you are a generalist in all things you are not an expert in any of them or at least in most of them. To state that one individual can work on any aspect of any business and/or in any area of a person's life and still achieve success is unlikely and may be interpreted as unrealistic or exaggerated on the part of your potential clients.

Specializing - The Benefits:
As a specialist you can attract a client based on his unique needs then share the wide range of additional areas you can bring benefit too. Each person wants the best for themselves and they perceive their situation to be completely unique. Specializing places you in front of the right client at the right time.

Specializing - The Challenge:
Initial pool from which you can draw clients is potentially smaller (but more refined), your copy must be more targeted, and you may be vulnerable to economic swings in specific market segments.

The concept of moving towards a more specific or niche approach to positioning and promoting your practice is becoming the standard in business. Building an environment that allows you receive the benefits of being positioned under Specialist and Generalist is one of the foundations of www.ldurandconsulting.com

Have a successful day! Leslie Durand, Marketing Coach and Emarketing Specialist

Leslie brings over 10 years experience in new media marketing to every project and a unique coaching approach to every client relationship. www.ldurandconsulting.com

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