When I first started my business, I offered everything. I mean, I offered web design, email marketing, brand design, one-off logo design, content creation for social media, copywriting, social media management— you name it. I didn’t have a clear idea of what exactly I wanted to offer my clients when I first started my design business, so I decided I should offer everything they might need, to “up my chances of getting more clients”. And that’s the worst thing you can do for your business, in my opinion. Here’s why you need to be simplifying your offer(s) and niche down.
You can focus on being the best at a few things, rather than mediocre at everything
You might think if you offer everything, and you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re increasing your chances of signing more clients. And that couldn’t be further from the truth… Why? There are a few reasons. One of them is that you’re gonna end up being mediocre at everything you offer if you aren’t focusing your efforts on improving your skill set and expanding your knowledge on one or just a few services. I wasn’t that great at email marketing at that point, and I had no plans to dive in and start learning anything, but I wanted to make sure I had it on my list of services in case someone needed it. I really didn’t enjoy social media management but I knew it was a high-ticket service that I could offer, and I had experience in that. I did know that I was truly passionate about web design and designing beautiful branding for amazing businesses. So I started focusing my efforts on those two services the most.
You won’t end up getting burnt out
Hear me out— there are full-service marketing agencies out there that are killing it, and they offer all kinds of creative services, from social media management to web design, to brand design, to public relations, and so much more. But it’s SO much easier to be a full-service agency when you have multiple employees that can share that workload and have their own specialties in those different areas. When you’re just one person, and you’re trying to be everything to everyone, you’re gonna get burnt out quickly. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I was focusing on too many things at once, and trying to appease everyone, and that didn’t serve me, my company’s mission, the growth of my business, or my clients well at all.
I finally realized that if I decided to focus my efforts on what creative services I was truly passionate about, and that I was the very best at, I could become even more successful than I could imagine. I’m here to tell you that it is 100% okay to have a specialty or a few specialties and focus on honing your skills and knowledge in those areas. You do not have to appeal to everyone. You aren’t chocolate, you aren’t iced coffee— you’ll never appeal to every single person. And that’s perfectly fine. You don’t see Pizza Hut trying to sell BBQ sandwiches to appeal to people who like BBQ, just so they can make a sale, do you? Of course not. They’re good at pizza, so that’s what they’re focused on perfecting. They’re in business to serve pizza lovers, not BBQ lovers. This is where knowing your ideal client or customers comes in and is so valuable to the direction of your business and what you offer.
You can be the expert in your field, thus able to charge more for your services
If I was still worried about focusing on trying to be a jack of all trades, I wouldn’t have the time to spend on expanding my knowledge and improving my skills in web design, SEO, and branding. Since I made the decision to quit offering a laundry list of services and started focusing on my three main offers, I’ve been able to take specific courses geared toward branding and graphic design. I’ve been able to spend more time learning more code for websites and how to create stunning websites backed by strategy, and SEO. I’ve been able to immerse myself into the deep, dark hole that is SEO (which is no easy feat, I might add), to the point where I can now refer to myself as an SEO expert. How am I able to do this? Because I simplified my offers and focused on dialing those in. I focused on being the best I can possibly be in these areas so that I could raise my prices. If I hadn’t done any of this, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as I am now, and I couldn’t have the ability to charge my current prices because I’d be doing a much more mediocre job.
You can better serve your audience and your customers and clients
One thing I found to be a little more difficult when I hadn’t yet simplified my offers, was trying to create helpful content for my audience on social media… I had no clue what to post about because I wasn’t the expert in any of those areas at that time, and I couldn’t narrow my content ideas down to a reasonable number of topics in order to keep my audience engaged and not confused as to what I did for a living. I would be like, “do I post about email marketing? I don’t even know what to post about that! Do I post about web design? I just posted social media marketing tips yesterday, this might confuse some people.” I would look at other designers’ pages, who had already simplified their offers, and their audience was much more engaged with their content, because everything they posted resonated with their audience, and it pertained to a few topics that they were already experts in, proving that they could help them solve their business problems that had to do with web or brand design. Simple as that. I thought wow, they’re so consistent with their content because they are keeping their topics focused around what they do best, and they’re able to dive deeper into this handful of topics.
It’s so much easier for you to get found by people who are looking for what exactly you do
Being an SEO expert, I know that getting your business found in search engine results online means that you need to really double down on what your offers are, and ensure you’re using keywords that specifically relate to what you do, and who you serve. If you’re offering way too many things, it’s hard to fit keywords pertaining to everything into your little meta description box— those descriptions don’t need to be very long, or it hurts your SEO! You want to pack a punch by keeping them short and sweet and using keywords that relate to your industry and your services— which is tricky when you offer way too many things and you’re a little all over the place. Google takes that as a red flag in a sense, and won’t know who they need to push your website out to in the search results! Or take your Instagram name for example… Not your Instagram @ handle, but your name in the same section. Instagram is becoming more and more SEO conscious, and that little spot where your name goes is almost like a meta title in a sense. When someone searches “brand designer” on Instagram, and your name is “Angel | Brand Designer” IG’s algorithm picks that up, and you’ll show up in those search results! And if you’re offering branding, web design, SEO, email marketing, content creation, social media management, coaching, and 10 other services, it’s hard to be brief about who you are, and what you want people to find you under, you know what I mean? You only have so many characters in that little name slot!
I hope this inspired you if you’re currently getting burnt out, or overwhelmed trying to be everything to everyone. I was nervous about taking the hatchet to my long list of services, but it’s the best decision I could’ve made for my business, I promise you. When you get clear about WHO you are, WHO you serve, and WHAT you do better than the competition, you can then start to thrive in your business. This is true for any service provider… Even restaurants. If you’re offering a menu with 30+ menu items, it will overwhelm your guests and they will have a hard time deciding what they want to eat. Not to mention the headache the kitchen will have, causing them to be less efficient. Whereas, if you have a menu with 10 items, not only does it make it easier for them to take action, but it’s cutting down costs for you as far as how much you’re spending on excess ingredients, the kitchen runs smoothly, and it makes for a more simplified, straight forward process in your business.
If you ever wanna chat about business or need help with simplifying your offers in your own business, I would love to help you. If you’re local, let’s meet for coffee or lunch! Or wine! I’m down for whatever! I love meeting with other driven business owners and talking business! Talk soon!