|This was submitted today by Bob Bly
Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:
In his reality TV show “Kitchen Nightmares,” celebrity chef
Gordon Ramsey rescues a different failing restaurant each week
from the incompetence of its owner and staff.
One of his techniques for making restaurants successful is to
help the restaurant create a “signature dish.”
Of course, he does lots of other things, from revamping the menu
and teaching the chef how to cook better, to training inept
managers and cleaning up filthy kitchens.
But the signature dish – a single food item the restaurant
becomes known for — is one of his favorite techniques for
reviving a failing restaurant. The signature dish, more often than not, is something simple.
For one restaurant it was a salad … another, a burger … a third,
meatballs … a fourth, home-made mozzarella.
In each case, the restaurant not only got back on its feet; it
became known in the neighborhood for its signature dish.
So what does this have to do with your business?
In most industries today, there is more competition than ever:
more companies competing with each other for business.
And in an age of choice, it’s difficult to compete by being all
things to all people.
A much better strategy is to specialize: in an industry, a
product, a service, a method, a system, a task.
In other words, to have a “signature dish.”
My colleague MS is a good example.
A very successful copywriter, MS can – and does – write many
different kinds of copy for his clients.
But his specialty … his signature dish … is writing white papers.
Early on, he saw an opportunity for copywriting created by the
huge volume of white papers being published.
He cleverly moved in to position himself as the preeminent white
He did this by creating a separate Web site on white papers.
He also published and gave away a free white paper on how to
write white papers.
Today, MS has more business than he could ever hope to handle –
writing white papers and other marketing materials for his
Now, many other copywriters … including yours truly … can write
good white papers.
But all else being equal, wouldn’t you rather go to the
copywriter who is known as “the white paper guy”?
Your prospects want to deal with experts – people whom they
perceive as knowing what they are doing.
Since you can’t know everything … nor is it credible to claim
you do … the only way to be a recognized expert is to specialize.
If you are a lawyer, you can specialize in forming offshore
If you are a dentist, you can specialize in sedation dentistry.
If you are a contractor, you can specialize in decks and sun
How do you choose your specialty?
Here are some of the deciding factors:
>> What’s in demand? What does the market need? What will they
pay a premium price for?
>> What market niches are underserved? In what specialties is
there a crying need for more vendors?
>> What education and knowledge do you possess or can you
realistically acquire in a short time frame at reasonable cost
>> What niches do you already have experience and successful
>> What do you enjoy doing? What do you have an aptitude for?
What skills do you possess? What are you best at?
One word of warning: don’t pick a specialty you loathe or have
no talent for simply because it looks lucrative or has little
Remember the words of Aristotle who said: “Where your talents
and the needs of the marketplace intersect, therein lies your