When I work with my clients to help them establish their presences as independent contractors, one of the first things we do is create a killer LinkedIn profile that stands out from the crowd.
To do this, we start by identifying each client’s unique selling points (USPs). Your USPs are the reasons why a prospective client would hire you above another contractor. I always ensure my clients’ USPs highlight the problems their potential customers may face and the ways in which my clients have solved similar problems in the past.
To have convincing USPs, you need a niche. Try to be good at everything, and you’ll end up average at everything. Whoever coined the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” was right! Instead of dabbling many areas, aim to be the master of a single niche.
Time and time again, I see people adding everything but the kitchen sink to their LinkedIn profiles. Take this for example:
See what I mean? This freelance writer focuses on business to business writing, business to client writing, tech writing, medical writing, nonprofit writing, and executive branding. When I see such a wide focus, I have to wonder – is this real? Is this person making any money?
Most people resist narrowing in on a niche. They worry that having a niche will discourage clients. Too small a niche means fewer customers, right?
Wrong! Having a niche means you can provide more value to your clients because you have honed your expertise in a relevant area. Moreover, having a small niche means you will face less competition.
Finally, not having a niche can confuse your target audience. Prospective clients may not hire you because they are unsure whether you have the necessary skills to solve their specific problems.
How to Dominate Your Chosen Niche
1. Offer a Unique Product or Service
Identify the pain points your clients face on a daily basis, and offer a clear solution to these pain points through your products and services.
2. It’s All About Your Marketing
Don’t leave it up to your customers to decide whether they need you. Market yourself so your clients understand they can’t do without you! Target each type of client differently. Successful marketing is more about how you communicate than what you actually offer.
3. Don’t Try to Juggle Too Much at Once
Many entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks, but if you can delegate the mundane and focus on what’s really important in your business, you can avoid burnout and maintain the quality of your service. Outsource your admin, your social media management – anything to allow yourself the time to focus on solving your client’s problems.
4. Get Visible
Remember the know/like/trust factor? Shout about your successes, the awards you’ve won, and the major problems you’ve solved. Share your wisdom in blogs and articles, on LinkedIn, and on other social media platforms. Put yourself out there in videos, webinars, or public speaking opportunities.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Taking on too much or trying to master everything can lead to a total loss of focus. Your goal is to become a thought leader in your industry. Focus on the niche you have chosen above all else.
6. Don’t Think It Will Happen Overnight
Every influencer or master in every field has worked hard and long to get where they are. To reach the top, you must be consistent, do your best work, exceed the expectations of your clients, and maintain excellence.
When your potential clients encounter problems, they look for experts to solve them. If you can position yourself as a master in one particular niche, you will gain followers who believe in you and look to you for advice. This will lead inevitably to a queue of clients chasing you!
Focus on what you’re good at and find your niche. When you focus on one area, you get better and better at it. Eventually, you will become the go-to person in your industry.