I am a Reinvention Specialist. In reinventing my own career many times and through assisting others in developing their personal brand, I have come to realize that specialists make more money than general practitioners. No matter the specialty, the more narrow your expertise; the more in demand you’ll be.
Cable TV is all about specializing. There’s the Food Network, the History Channel, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and Comedy Central. There are shopping channels, religion channels, women’s channels like Lifetime, and kids-only networks like Nickelodeon. The broadcast networks that appeal to the masses are beginning to get it that they have to somehow differentiate themselves too. BEING A GENERALIST IS VERY OLD NEWS.
It’s the same in my “category” of brand marketing. There are a lot of brand strategists out there, but by specializing in entertainment, and specifically in the reinvention of TV networks, I’ve created a niche that’s attracted top clients and commanded superior fees.
We assume someone who’s gotten their MBA has fundamental business skills, but what’s more important is their particular area of expertise. Doctors specialize as oncologists, pediatricians, or psychiatrists. Lawyers come in a variety of flavors: personal injury, criminal, patent, corporate. Some people say that if you read seven books on any one subject, you’re an expert.
Your area of expertise—your specialty—doesn’t have to be an art or science. It may be a factor of your personality. You might be someone who develops a reputation as a skilled listener. You might be a researcher with an expertise in the Hispanic market, or a screenwriter specializing in romantic comedy.
It’s time to clarify your specialty to ensure your success in 2011. To begin, take out a pad and paper and follow these four powerful steps:
Step 1: Recall What You’ve Been Praised For
In order to reveal your true value and potential in business and life, you need to consider what makes you unique. Spend a moment to ponder how you have been praised. Think of the praise your parents; friends, teachers, bosses and colleagues have given you. List five common praises you have received.
Step 2: Identify Your Talents and Strengths
What do you do really well? Some examples of personal attributes prized in the workplace include being a team player, reliable and tech savvy, a relationship builder, a deal-maker. Using this list to stimulate your ideas, list five words that describe your strengths and talents.
Step 3: Think About How You Want To Be Known
Out of the five key talents and strengths you listed previously, which one would you like to develop as a specialty and why? Or is there something else? Make sure that the specialty you chose sets you apart from the pack and is something that is absolutely needed now.
Step 4: Write Your Specialty Statement
What’s your specialty and what is its primary benefit to others? For example: “I want to be known as a creative problem solver whose ideas propel our company’s business forward.”
Research, study and develop your specialty and then declare yourself an expert in your niche. The more you define yourself as the expert in your category, the more others will perceive you that way and the more money you’ll earn.
Robin Fisher Roffer is a reinvention and personal branding specialist. She is the author of Make A Name For Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs To Create A Personal Brand Strategy For Success and The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You’re The Only One Like You. She’s also CEO, Big Fish Marketing, Inc. bigfishmarketing.com