In this part of the series ‘7 different ways to scale your business,’ you’ll learn how to switch from a generalist or admin to a specialist. Here a quick overview of the other posts:
If you’d rather listen to this than reading it please check out the podcast below.
The VA industry is changing!
Clients are looking for skilled professionals who are specialists, not generalists.
What’s A Generalist?
Well to me, a generalist is someone who does a lot of different things well but is not great at anything.
Now, that may sound harsh but it’s the perception many people have, including potential clients.
When you offer everything under the sun and the kitchen sink it’s hard to understand what you’re really good at.
People look at your website or LinkedIn profile and are confused.
They don’t know what you do because of the number of different skills or services listed.
I know when I first started my VA business almost 11 years ago, I offered absolutely everything I was capable of doing because I thought that is what I was supposed to do.
I didn’t fully grasp that I got to choose what I wanted to offer.
That I didn’t have to offer services I didn’t like or want to.
What’s A Specialist?
I remember I had potential clients ask me what I was really good at and I couldn’t quite understand why they were asking.
That was until I had one that said they wanted a “WordPress Specialist” and not someone who dabbled in it from time to time.
The thing is I really was a WordPress Specialist, I just wasn’t presenting myself that way to the world.
To this person, I was a generalist because of the sheer number of services I offered.
Needless to say, that conversation was an eye-opener for me. I went back to the drawing board and removed ALL the services I didn’t enjoy or was just “dabbling” in.
I dwindled my list down to only 4 services. The ones that I was great at and loved doing.
Those 4 services were:
- Project Management
You don’t have to specialize in just one thing – you can specialize in as many as want.
Just as long as it’s clear you’re a “specialist”.
If you’re offering a ton of admin services, such as:
- Data entry
- Inbox Management
- Calendar Management
- Customer Service
- Resume Writing
Then you’re considered a “generalist”.
Right or wrong, that is the perception.
Now… if you were to specialize in one or two of the above-listed services, you would be a specialist.
If you’re looking to build a long term successful business you need to specialize – simple as that.
You can choose what you specialize in – as I did.
Benefits From Becoming A Specialist
There are several, including:
- earning more money.
- multiple revenue streams.
- being the go-to person in your market.
The first one is simple.
Specialists make more money than generalists or assistants.
People believe right or wrong that generalists or assistants are paid less than a specialist or consultant. It’s all in their perception.
The second one is my absolute favorite benefit!
Let me explain what I mean.
Let’s say you’re a WordPress Specialist (I was and still am). You can take your WordPress expertise and offer it in a variety of different ways to create multiple offerings.
Here are the different WordPress services I offered in my VA business:
- Website Design
- Website Audits
- Monthly Management
For website design packages I offered a one-page website, a full professional website, a membership site and an e-commerce site. Four different website design packages – four different revenue streams.
I took one skill set (WordPress) and divided it in multiple different ways to appeal to multiple different customers and created multiple revenue streams.
With my WordPress knowledge, I’m able to demand a higher rate, create multiple revenue streams and set myself up for recurring revenue!
Woot! I love that!
So… what expertise can you specialize in to create multiple revenue streams in your business? I’d love to know – please comment and share!
The third benefit is all about being the “go-to” person in your market.
For example, one of your client’s colleagues could say “I need a WordPress website.” And, your client will say “Oh, you’ve got to go see Susan. She built my website and it’s great. She even manages it for me.”
You got a referral from a client just like that!
This also works if you share value with your market on a consistent basis.
What do I mean by share value?
Show up on Facebook or LinkedIn groups full of your dream clients and answer their questions. Share your expertise.
People will remember how you helped them and reach out when they need your help.
How exciting is that!
You start attracting clients instead of chasing after them.
And… one more benefit for those of you that specialize in back-end skills such as systems and techie tools.
You gain the freedom and flexibility you wanted when you left your soul-sucking job. You’re no longer tied to your computer during so-called business hours.
Back-end skills let you work when and where you want!
So… bottom line is you need to specialize if you want to earn more $$ and attract your dream clients.
The first step is deciding what you want to specialize in.
Is it something you already know?
Or… maybe it’s something you want to learn.
Either work, just make a decision and start letting the world know you’re a specialist.
Remove all the things you don’t enjoy or don’t want to do from your services.
Keep it simple and trust me things will start to shift in your business.
Once you have clarity, everything seems to fall into place.
Now… if you’re someone who is interested in specializing in back-end skills I invite you to take a look at my Techie VA Training. It’s an affordable alternative to those monster courses that cost hundreds of dollars and leave you hanging after a few months to figure things out on your own. When you join you get access to all the Techie Training programs including WordPress and Mail Chimp.
I teach you not only the skills but what to do with them. Many courses teach you the how of the program but not the next step. In other words how to implement what you’ve learned and how to start working with clients. I focus on the skills and the implementation of them.
Give the Techie VA Training a try if you want to specialize
in the skills that give you the freedom to work when and where you want.
Also, if you’re interested in learning how to become an Online Business Project Manager please check out my FREE training: VA to PM – Where to begin and how to transition. It’s on-demand, automated, and starts every 5 minutes. So you can watch it at your convenience.
Specialization is the way to go to earn more $$ and attract clients. What are you waiting for?
Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to become a specialist.
Thanks for reading – Susan
P.S. If you want to learn more about why it’s time to move away from admin services or why offering Digital Marketing services from the beginning is beneficial, please have a peek at my post The Ultimate VA Success Guide: 4 Truths About The Most In Demand Virtual Assistant Services.