Command Higher Fees & Get Better Clients With Alastair McDermott

Command Higher Fees & Get Better Clients With Alastair McDermott

Is Your Content Too General And Bland?

I was trying to do things like plan a podcast and blog posts and I realized that I was having a lot of difficulty even though I loved writing and I loved podcasts.

I was having a lot of difficulty in actually creating the content and it seemed really bland.

I realized that there were some problems here and one of those problems was that I wasn’t niched down anywhere near enough.

I wasn’t specialized. I was trying to create this content and I had such a broad range of clients. One of my clients was a mining company and one was a dentist. Another client was a retirement planning organization. I even had a client that was a magician for children’s birthday parties.

I was spread way too thin.

I was trying to create this content but you can’t become an authority when you are so broadly spread out.

You Need To Niche Down Hard!

That was my first insight into the idea that I needed to niche down and specialize. Figuring that part out unlocked a lot of the rest of it for me.

The Journey To Authority

This is what I call the journey to authority.

This person has gone through four stages.

Novice To Generalist Expert

Everybody starts out as a novice of some kind. You might be really really smart but you don’t have a lot of experience. When you start out, one of the most important things to do is to have this winding path where you get this broad experience so you get to figure out what you like doing and what you’re good at. I have this winding road going from novice to where you become this expert.

At this point most people are these generalist experts and they do have a weakly defined niche like might say, “I’m a marketer”.

It’s not really that niched down. You might for example  say “I’m a management consultant” but you don’t really have any kind of deep specialization.

Skilled But Invisible

When you get to be a generalist you have very low visibility but you’re very good at what you do. An awful lot of people are in this place. I call them invisible experts.

You don’t have external visibility so you don’t get a lot of inbound leads because people don’t really see you. So it’s only through those networking and word-of-mouth connections that you actually get business and most people actually choose to stay here.

Moving Beyond Referrals

I did a research project where I surveyed over a thousand consultants in the business management consulting field and most consultants. Most of them stay as a generalist and they get better at doing referrals.

There is another path which is to become a recognized authority in your field.

The advantage of doing that is that you start to get more inbound leads. You start to get people coming to you and seeing you because you’ve got this higher visibility.

You’re recognized as an authority. People know who you are, come to you pre-sold.

It’s much easier to work with them.

Sometimes when you get a referral, it’s a weak referral. You still have to pitch to the person. 

No More Pitching

You don’t have to do that when you get inbound leads as an authority. You’re able to charge a premium. If you build your authority enough you can actually change your business model to become more IP based where you’re creating courses and things like that so you can work at a bigger scale.

A Recognized Authority In Your Field

There’s loads of things that you can do when you become an authority but the key part is that phrase the recognized authority in their field.

There’s no such thing as an authority who’s a complete generalist. Every authority who has become an authority has gone through a process of specializing and niching down.

I know that it might seem like there are some exceptions to that but if you dig down into those exceptions you’ll find out that they actually started out by specializing in something.

That’s the really hard part, the specialization.

Turning Away The “Wrong” People

When you decide to specialize and niche down you have to choose something. You’re turning away everything else. That really scares the crap out of people. In the end you find that the right people get attracted to you in much larger numbers.