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Bust Out. What’s your Blue Ocean Strategy?

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blue ocean strategy The more time I spend in entrepreneurial circles, I’ve noticed a big mistake that many of us are making. When it comes to networking and hanging out online, we tend to flock to our own kind.

For  support and the occasional referral, I’m a huge advocate of the value this offers, but for building your business, we usually aren’t doing ourselves any favours.

Hello, comfort zone. The more time you spend there…the less action you are going to see in your business.  Stating the obvious, I know. But stick with me for a minute.

Wondering why you aren’t bringing in new business? Could it be that you are a writer hanging in groups full of writers and you are only guest posting on blogs that writers read?

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

I’m looking at you coaches, marketers and designers too. Guilty as charged. (Myself included.)

Ever had that moment in a group where you are excited that someone mentions your name…but then you read the thread and 10 other people in a similar line of work have been recommended? No matter how awesome you are it’s pretty anti-climatic. 

So, what’s a smart and savvy entrepreneur to do? Get out of dodge and find places where you can truly be the expert.  Wouldn’t you rather be the go-to web designer for wineries and breweries instead of grinding out any job you can get by swimming in the sea of many?

What’s Your Blue Ocean?

If you took Marie Forleo’s B-School, you are totally nodding along as the Blue Ocean Strategy is something that she covers in the first week. If you aren’t familiar with this concept, the idea is that for you to truly stand out you need to create your own blue ocean, otherwise you’ll be grinding it out swimming in a bloody ocean along with your competitors. (And definitely pick up the book, worth a quick read to get your head around this concept.)

When it comes to products or offerings, you’ve likely nailed your Blue Ocean. But what about when it comes to your target audience?  Out of fear we tend to go too broad and say our audience is “creatives” or “entrepreneurs”.  It’s safe. It’s easy. And when you are starting out, you sure as sh*t don’t want to turn away a possible client.

And yes, yet again, I’m guilty as charged. I’m writing this post as I’ve been digging deep on this one over the past two weeks.

Be the Best Damn {Fill in the Blank}

Brace yourself for my harsh reality check. You’re welcome.

Staying in the echo chamber is going to stunt your long-term growth potential. Do you want to grind it out to fight for clients or have a line up of clients dying to work with you?

Wouldn’t you rather work in a niche where you are the best damn {fill in the blank} in the history of the industry?

Raises hand. Me, pick me! I’m in!

For me, this means it’s time to sit down and define those niches where I have expertise and can show up and rock their work with sweet content and communications. Less competition, more market opportunity and guess what, even more media and speaking opportunities. Win-win-win.  I’m willing to bet, the Association of Legal Administrators isn’t getting a lot of proposals on building your personal brand or Social Media 101 for legal administrators for their annual conference.

If you want to see this strategy in action, check out Sophie Bujold (travel industry) and Carrie Smith (financial services). Thanks to both of them for inspiring me and helping me realize what I already knew – stop trying to be everything to everyone already.  File under rookie mistake.

Who’s with me?

Are you ready to dig deeper and do better for your biz?  Hit me up in the comments below.

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