Specialization School

An online masterclass for self-employed software developers who are ready to climb beyond the generalist plateau

No matter how much faculty of idle seeing a man has, the step from knowing to doing is rarely taken. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Specialization School is a Sequence of 3 Workshops, followed by 1 open-ended coaching program

Part 1: Decision Making

A 4-week process for identifying your best specialization option.

  • Structured process to reduce analysis paralysis
  • Validation of market size and your level of insight into the market

Part 2: Deepening Market Insight (optional)

A 12-week process for learning more about your market so you can connect and build trust with them more effectively. This workshop is recommended only if you finish the previous workshop thinking that you need deeper insight into your target market. If you don't need this, you can skip on ahead to the Basic Lead Generation workshop.

Part 3: Basic Lead Generation

Bootstrap your first lead generation practice in 4 weeks.

  • Outbound focused
  • Finally figure out how to get LinkedIn and cold email working for you

Part 4: Advanced Marketing: Inbound Lead Generation, Thought Leadership, and Intellectual Property (ongoing coaching)

This open-ended coaching program is open to graduates of the Decision Making and Basic Lead Generation workshops (or newcomers with mastery of those skills).

  • Monthly accountability meetings
  • Private forum community
mayank

When I started this workshop, I had a lot of ideas about specialization and marketing swirling around in mind but my headspace wasn't focused. Now I am starting to think more specifically in terms of outcomes and value that I can help my ideal customer realize and this has made all the difference in my thinking! I feel more focused, relaxed, and hopeful! Thank you for helping bring about this change in mindset. -- Mayank Patel

alessandro

I found especially helpful the practical steps and exercises you prepared for us, since I knew most of the "theory" but had no idea how to put it into practice. -- Alessandro Menduni

352-medium

I've been sold on the need to specialize ever since I read "The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms", but I was never able to turn the concepts into anything tangible until this course.  The combination of video instruction, practical application, and weekly Q&A sessions are what allowed me to finally go from theory to implementation, from "wanting to" to actually accomplishing it.

Going through the course with a group of other people was especially useful. Watching you walk group members through the questions and thought process of selecting a specialization was like private coaching, only multiplied.  I remember one session when one of the group members was sharing a particular challenge...and almost every other member was noding their head in acknowledgment. Knowing that others share, and are overcoming, the same difficulties is very heartening. -- Lee Carter

Schedule of Upcoming Workshops

Workshop
Early Bird Registration Deadline ($200 discount)
Regular Registration Deadline
Workshop Meeting Times
W1, March cohortFebruary 21, 2018February 28, 2018Wednesdays, 9am Pacific, March 7, 14, 21, and 28
W2, May cohortApril 28May 5, 2018Mondays, 9am Pacific, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, and 23
W3, May cohortApril 28May 5, 2018Fridays, 9am Pacific, May 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8, and 15
W1, May cohortApril 28May 5, 2018Wednesdays, 9am Pacific, May 9, 16, 23, and 30
W1, July cohortJune 27, 2018July 4, 2018Wednesdays, 9am Pacific, July 11, 18, 25, and August 1
W1, October cohortSeptember 23, 2018September 28, 2018Wednesdays, 9:30am Pacific, October 10, 17, 24, and 31
W2, October cohortSeptember 23, 2018September 28, 2018Wednesdays, 11am Pacific, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, 28, December 5, 12, 19, and January 9

Who is Specialization School for?

Generalist self-employed software developers face a revenue ceiling at around $200k/year. You can use several optimization and scaling strategies to move past that ceiling:

  • Working harder
  • Increasing your rate arbitrarily until you get pushback
  • Building a team so you can win larger, more profitable projects

There is another way, though, to move past that $200k revenue ceiling. It is the path of developing deeper, more valuable expertise. This path unlocks the following possibilities:

  • Pricing based on value delivered rather than hours worked
  • Cultivating expertise that increases your profitability
  • Creating products, like books or digital training products, that both produce revenue while you sleep and generate leads for your services

Specialization School is for self-employed software developers who want to develop deeper, more valuable expertise by specializing.

The most successful Specialization School students share the following attributes:

  • You get excited about seeing your business improve while also having the patience to execute on multi-year growth plans that involve some delayed gratification
  • You are generating at least $90k USD (or your local equivalent if not in the USA) in gross revenue
  • You have one day per week you can spend working on this program and if client "emergencies" interfere with this day you are able to make it up on your own time within a few days
  • You are willing to operate outside your comfort zone in order to discover new growth options for your business

Perhaps the most important ingredient of success for specialists is a desire to use deeper, more valuable expertise (rather than flexibility, "work ethic", or hustle) to drive your business's success.

If that describes you and you've already figured out how to specialize in a way that gets leads flowing into your inbox and clients happily paying a premium rate to work with you, then 1) you probably don't need Specialization School 2) drop me a line because I'd love to feature your success story by interviewing you on my podcast, The Consulting Pipeline Podcast. 🙂

But if you're still running a generalist software development business and you're wondering how to specialize in a low-risk, sustainable way, Specialization School might just be the experience you need.

How do I know which workshop is for me?

If you have not decided what market vertical you want to focus on, then Workshop 1: Decision Making is the right one for you.

If you have decided which market vertical you want to focus on but you would have difficulty listing the top 3 to 5 problems that market struggles with, then Workshop 2: Deepening Market Insight is the right one for you.

If you have decided which market vertical you want to focus on and you know what problems they struggle with, then Workshop 3: Basic Lead Generation is the right one for you.

If you have decided which market vertical you want to focus on and you know what problems they struggle with and you are able to generate leads in that market using outreach, then the Advanced Marketing coaching program is right for you.

Specialization School Structure.001

Proof

Specialization School itself is a new offering, but I've been working with self-employed software developers on specializing for years now. Here's what my clients have to say about this work: https://philipmorganconsulting.com/what-my-clients-say/