Proof train car #9: Specialization

The caboose on the proof train is in view!

Play up your specialization. Make it obvious that you are 100% focused on the market vertical/audience/problem you are trying to get traction with.

Being very specific (proof train car #5) is a proof element, and beingvery specialized is a similar form of proof.

Specificity has more to do with the kind of claims you make and the supporting evidence you provide. Making that evidence very specific is a form of proof.

Specialization has to do more with expertise.

If you’re making a bold claim about the results you can achieve for your clients (I hope you are), then you need to demonstrate that you have the expertise to pull it off. That’s where playing up your specialization comes in.

When I first started freelancing, I was terrible at the business aspects of self-employment and I think I made something like $30k in revenue during my first year.

I also got behind on my taxes. My thinking at that time went like this: “I’m barely scraping by here, so there’s no way I could accrue a tax bill larger than $99.97 at this low level of revenue. I’ll just figure that quarterly tax pre-payment thing out later.”

This was my reaction when I did that year’s tax filing:


A year or two later when I realized that the IRS really did want that money, I didn’t hire a CPA.

I hired a TAX. ATTORNEY.

A specialist.

And I paid every penny of his bill on time as he helped me straighten things out with the IRS.

I found his claims that we could work something out with the IRS very believable because he played up his specialization. He was credibly able to say stuff like “I deal with cases like this all the time and most of the we’re able to get the IRS to accept xx% of what you owe as a settlement.” This guy also teaches a class on tax law at the local university, which further reinforced the idea that he was a credible specialist.

There are 3 basic ways you can specialize:

  1. You can specialize in a market vertical or audience. Ex: I build websites for  performing arts organizations.
  2. You can specialize in a problem domain. Ex: I help manufacturers reduce waste by 37.5% or more.
  3. You can combine both of the above into a more narrow specialization.

Of course, I lay all of this out for you in great detail in if you want to learn more.

If you have any kind of specialization, don’t water that stuff down in your marketing! Instead, accentuate it to provide more proof of your claim(s)!

I wanted to mention that I’ve put together a new informational resource for you. Check it out here:

Talk to you soon,

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