Know Your Expertise and Stick to It. Don’t Be the “I do that too” guy! ~ Lissa Duty
In today’s economy it is very easy to be tempted to take on projects that are not your expertise to pay the bills. (And, yes, I have been there. Being a small business owner is not always easy.)
When you work, speak or write out of your realm of expertise no matter what the reason, it has an affect on you, your brand, your clients and even others.
Risks to Your Brand
- Brand messaging gets cloudy. What do you do again?
- Strategic partners are no longer strategic partners. You are now their competitor
- Loss of respect from industry peers when you misspeak on your supposed expertise
Risks to the Client
- Foundation not laid out for success
- Essential paperwork, processes and setup skipped or not done effectively
- Lost opportunities and business for client
Risks to Others
- They implement something you misspoke about
- They do something against the terms of service and have accounts suspended or worse
- They tell others and now a viral misbelief is spreading (& your name is attached to it)
Do you want to be seen and known as a Jack of all trades, master of none?
According to Wikipedia a “Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be identified with that statement.
Let’s face it, we all have some level of experience in many tasks and roles we can share about, however you cannot be an expert at everything.
Share what you know, but be transparent about your level of experience and if you are just quoting something learned from someone else be honest about it and say so. You will garner more respect with honesty and your star will shine even greater on your true area of expertise.
I will use myself as an example:
- I know quite a bit about SEO and talk about the importance of integrating it within your website on a regular basis with others. But I would not provide SEO consulting, nor would I speak on the topic as an expert to a group.
- I have multiple WordPress websites and have built several websites for myself, however I would not let anyone hirer me to build them a website.
Knowing what I do well and positioning myself as an authority in my niche has given me much greater success and made me far more money than a side project taken to make a quick buck.
My point is do what YOU do best and leave the rest. You’ll shine in your field, have respect from your peers, some grateful strategic partners and you will get the business and referrals you want.
Have you taken on a project you wish you hadn’t before? What did you learn about the experience and if you could do it over, what would you change?