There’s the old adage that an expert knows more and more about less and less until they know absolutely everything about nothing.
But your expertise is exactly the key to making it easier for people to send you referrals.
When you’re specific about what you do, people can easily think of a particular person they can introduce you to.
For example: if you help people with marketing, well, a lot of people do that.
That’s not differentiating, and it’s not memorable.
How do you stand out?
And before you start spouting off about your “responsiveness,” or your “listening skills,” or your “working hard to identify each customers individual needs,” the answer is much, much simpler that any of that – and it has to be because most of the people you’re competing with can claim exactly those same attributes.
So what sets you apart?
What sets you apart are your client successes.
Because no one has worked with your clients the way you do.
And if that feels too specific, that’s good!
Because helping people with marketing doesn’t make you unique.
…helping a lawyer set up a LinkedIn account… or
…helping Pristine Landscaping get started on Facebook… or
…helping a mail order shoe company with a direct mail campaign…
Now people know what you do.
And, more importantly, they have a lawyer, landscaper, and someone who works at a shoe company in mind.
There’s a good reason this is such a challenging part of talking about what we do.
It’s because we’re taught in school that generalists are smart.
I remember my daughters coming home from 2nd grade proud of their assignment – they were shown a tiger, a lion, and a cat, and they correctly labelled them all as “felines.”
But that’s not the way networking works.
Nobody calls it a “feline tamer.”
And it’s not “feline-nip.”
So any time you find yourself searching for the phrase that describes a bunch of your work, that’s the best time to back up and pick one specific thing to talk about.
In school we learn to generalize.
In marketing we learn to be specific.