I’ve written before about my confusion in understanding the balance between niching and consulting.
Okay a quick rundown of why they are so different:
Niching requires you focus specifically on one specialty.
Consulting requires you to learn a broad amount of skills.
I actually wrote in my journal:
“If I’m a consultant I’m suppose to know a variety of techniques to deliver results to my client. But I do video production and that’s a technical skill. So should I learn consulting then? Or should I focus on niching and getting my craft to the top 99 percentile of my niche? Since we are implementers, we aren’t directly solving a client’s problems, we just produce content. We’re content producers".
I’m understanding this differently now.
Yes, to succeed in business you need to be a consultant. But you don’t need to make your money from consulting. You can make your money from your craft or technical skill. Meaning, you should constantly provide value, solve your client’s problems, learn new ways to solve client’s problems, suggest ideas for improvement, recommend next steps, and if you have the time, learn new technical skills that could help solve their problems.
But you don’t need to generate revenue from this. You don’t need to sell yourself as a consultant. You make money from your craft. Me, I should suggest an advertising plan and promotion steps and a strategy that includes using Wistia and Leadpages to capture leads -- but I sell them only the video. Your craft is what you deliver the client after you make a sale, consulting is what you do always.
We can almost all agree that niching is crucial in marketing and distinguishing your brand. While it’s important in sales to niche your business, it’s also important to frame yourself as adviser: someone who has the ability to pick from a variety of tools to solve a client’s problem.
Niching and advising seems to be two opposite things, which is confusing. Should I focus on having a wide knowledgebase or a specific skillset?
Personally, I think the answer to that question is to have a specific skillset and niche your abilities. But where I think many of us go wrong is that we get caught up in that niche, and we start to build, not only our business identities, but our personal identities in that niche.
As I niche, my business will become the video production house that produces lifestyle web commercials for tech gadgets, and I should promote myself as so. But I have to remember that this is my marketing strategy so I don’t get sucked into believing that this is all that I am, and become limited to this role.
This applies in the overall sense that we should be open to new projects and ventures. I’m not a web commercial director, I’m a creative, and I’m open to and confident about all creative projects.
## Warning: This is a long post with some longer-than-usual paragraphs, and less headings than normally. This is to keep unserious people from reading. I know it looks like an intimidating read if you just glance down (DON'T!!) - but just start reading and you'll get there in a few minutes... Uh, so, anyway... If you really want to create an income online, you might find this interesting. After 5 (almost 6) years in the game, this is my perspective, and some thoughts on what I'd do if I were to start all over again.) ##
Out of all the people who want to make money doing what they love, they generally fall into two categories, and should strategize accordingly. No one-size-fits-all “follow your passion” biz plan.
The problem with the first category is that you need an entirely different skillset to make money than to perform in your existing field of expertise.
Being able to write a book or paint a portrait or sing a song, is not the same skillset as being able to sell a book, get someone to pay for a portrait or sell out a concert.
It’s an entirely different skillset. Business skills. Marketing skills.