Captain’s log, stardate 20161016
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Specialization allows you to rapidly create a body of work
Sent by Jonathan Stark on October 16th, 2016
Specializing down to a laser focused market position has an unexpected side benefit:
Specialization allows you to rapidly create a body of work.
Having a cohesive body of work is a valuable asset and a huge trust builder. It implicitly positions you as an authority in your area of expertise.
The Wall Of Confusion
Years ago, I used to haphazardly blog about whatever subject grabbed happened to my attention. Some posts were about obscure user agent strings on Windows phone, other posts were about programming smartwatches, and still others about mobile strategy in the enterprise.
There was no obvious central thread that held everything together. To an outsider, I’m sure my blog looked like a schizophrenic mish-mash of seemingly random thoughts. A wall of confusion, if ever there was one.
A little over a year ago, I launched my business coaching program for software developers. At that time, I decided to focus 100% of my publishing efforts toward topics that would help software developers improve their business. Over time, I’ve even gone a step farther by adding a particular sub-focus on how we price our work. Like a focus within a focus.
In the 18 months that followed, I have generated probably 100x more material than I ever did in my “wall of confusion” years.
Here’s a sampling:
- Hourly Billing is Nuts
- The Independent Consulting Manual (two chapters)
- Close More Sales Through Effective Pricing (one chapter)
- How To Increase Your Income Without Hiring Junior Developers
- How To Price Your Services Without Leaving Money On The Table
- How To Write Proposals That Close Without Lowering Your Prices
- How To Prevent Scope Creep Without Writing Massive Spec Documents
- How To Handle Deadlines Without Agreeing To Them
- The Hourly Trap
- Freelancers Show: Setting Value-based Prices When The Value is Hard to Determine
- Freelancers Show: How to Attract Clients Without Doing Sales with Jonathan Stark
- Freelancers Show: How and Why to Ditch Hourly Billing with Jonathan Stark
- Freelancers Show: Don’t Agree to Project Deadlines
- Side Hustle Nation: How to Start a Consulting Business - Your First $5k
- The First Million Podcast: Go from $0 to $5000 a month consulting with Jonathan Stark
- Boagworld: Break the time barrier with value based pricing
- The Business of Freelancing: Jonathan Stark on Risk Mitigation through Fixed Bid Pricing
- Consulting Pipeline Podcast: Jonathan Stark on the Paradox of Choice
- Art of Value: Do Not Assume in a Value Conversation with Jonathan Stark
- Pricing Power: Positioning eliminates the billable hour with Jonathan Stark
- Web Agency Podcast: Hourly Billing is a Cancer With Jonathan Stark
- High-Income Business Writing: Three Simple Ways to Transition to a Value Pricing Model
- 100% Up-Front
- How I Realized that Hourly Billing is Nuts
- The Moral Dilemma of Hourly Billing
- How Hourly Billing Hurts Software Projects
- How To Prevent Scope Creep
- Hourly Billing Prevents Growth
- 7 Thoughts on Value Pricing for Software Projects
- The Benefits of Pigeonholing
Virtually all of this output is from the last year and a half. I haven’t actually counted, but I betcha this new material contains literally hundreds of thousands of words, both written and spoken. And in spite of the volume of content it all hangs together as a cohesive body of work because there is a thread that runs through it - a topic focus, a defined audience, a desired outcome... a mission, if you will.
People ask me all the time how I’m able to keep up this level of output and the answer is that I picked a focus. I specialized. I choose a passion and I committed to it. I staked out a claim and started digging.
- Am I bored? Heck no!
- Will I run out of material? Heck no! (I’m drowning in material, actually)
- Am I afraid I won’t find enough work? Heck no! (people email me with ideas for products that they’d like me to launch!)
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of specialization.
Now, let’s tie this back to our current conversation:
Having a massive body of work increases the likelihood that prospects will:
- Seek you out
- Trust you implicitly
- Consider you an expert
- Pay for your advice
- Not be price sensitive
- Not try to compare you to “the competition”
In other words, having a body of work increases the likelihood that prospects will hire you, which in turn will increase your confidence when having a Why Conversation with prospects - i.e., it’ll be harder to talk them out of hiring you.
P.S. Tomorrow’s the day! The Ditching Hourly podcast will launch at 9am ET will five episodes ready for your earholes :) Be the first to know by signing up here (and please let your friends know, too!): https://jonathanstark.com/podcast
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