Most of us hear the idea of a “sweet spot” as it relates to sports, which have some type of implement – tennis racquet, golf club, baseball bat, etc. The “sweet spot” is defined as the place where a combination of factors results in maximum response for a given amount of effort. For athletes, repeatedly hitting this area helps them to excel and often win in their sport. However, for consultants and small businesses, it really means finding the key area in which you can differentiate yourself from others that is uniquely you. Generally, we think of a professional sweet spot as the intersection of 3 areas: interests, skills, and opportunity.
- Interests – are what fascinates you and makes you interested enough to discuss. In many cases it is something you love so much, that it trumps economic concerns. For example, I love to play tennis. And despite the fact that I live in New England, I am willing to pay the money for indoor tennis because I enjoy it so much. When in reality, if I just moved south, I could play year around on outdoor courts.
- Skills – are your natural skills and abilities. You need to understand what you know and can do well. In addition, these can be areas that you can easily learn. For example, I enjoy teaching, but since it is not my vocation, I have used presenting at conferences and other events as a way to express my skill at teaching.
- Opportunity – includes the actions or experienced that brings you closer to your genuine interests. Just because you have and interest and a skill doesn’t mean you have opportunity to showcase this. Using the prior two examples, I have actually combined my love of tennis with teaching by running a tennis program for a week in the summer. Because our church has summer sports Bible camp, I was presented the opportunity to bring my skills together.
Once you’ve identified the areas, you need to develop your platform or “concept” for your business or consulting practice. Similar to a positioning concept, you need to identify your primary target audience as well as the primary benefit that you can offer a buyer. While I’ve oversimplified this, it is an excellent way to focus your business and make sure you get the clients you desire.
For example, The Rite Concept is all about writing and creating better concepts. I’ve identified my target audience as big brand companies with little expertise and/or people resources to develop concepts. I specifically like the “little” part of this equation because it always me to bring maximum value to the potential client. My benefit is all about helping marketing and market research professional have better success when they test and ultimately launch new products and service in the market. And, of course, if you are receiving this eNewsletter, you recognized that I’ve been very consistent in this message for the past 6 years that I have created it. As a result, folks know what I stand for.
You can do it, too. Start with the basics I’ve outlined and you’ll likely be surprised how much easier it is to message and find the right clients.