Yes. Remember the days when fax was a big deal? If you didn’t have a fax machine or access to one, you were cooked. You were not just cooked, but really done for if your clients communicated by fax and you were still resisting that new fangled, sometimes expensive device.
Then, out of the blue came email. “Who needs email? I prefer to hear a person’s voice.” Heard that one before? Maybe it was the same person resisting fax. Actually, that person was probably out of business for lack of effectively communicating with his/her clients. The world moves on. Some people just stay in the same place. It doesn’t work personally and it definitely doesn’t work if you want to grow a serious, profitable business.
Today, of course, it’s not just email but a near dizzying array of social media tools we get to choose from. Our same change-averse friend can probably be heard smugly saying, “Who needs all that stuff? I have email.” And guess what? For a change, I actually agree, sort of. No one actually needs every conceivable social media tool out there. The issue is choosing the right ones – tools that are strategically chosen and will advance your company’s needs. Today, without those right ones, you’re going to be clobbered by competitors who see a proverbial sitting duck waiting to be eliminated from the scene.
So let’s assume you’ve narrowed your social media choices and you think you’re ready to roll. Actually, you’re not ready for takeoff yet. That’s because all the tools in the world by themselves won’t get you to the top without a solid focus. A solid focus can make you a household word. It can generate multiple revenue centers or cause people to ask for your service or product first and concern themselves with price second or even third. It can thrive in any economy and make you perceived as the only game in town. You already know I’m talking about the life-force of your business: your niche. The thing you own and that no one can take from you. At least, not legally.
The fact is, all the social media tools in the world – even those you’ve carefully chosen – won’t do the full job for you without a great niche. The reason? As we’ve already observed, everyone including your most aggressive competitor has access to the same tools you have on your own dashboard. You still need a way of setting your business apart from the rest of the pack. That way is called niche. So, what’s yours?
Dr. Lynda Falkenstein is a business consultant and author of NICHECRAFT: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market, and Make Customers Seek You Out. To contact her with questions or comments, email DrNiche@vbjusa.com or call 503.781.0966. Please note that the Vancouver Business Journal and reserves the right to publish your letter or an edited version in all print and electronic media.