Today I trekked through the Google offices on 9th ave in NYC for a special, invitation only, Google Engage event. Although most people would sleep through an internet conference like this, I found it fascinating (nerd alert)! I learned a ton of valuable information from fellow NYC Internet Marketing experts, and from the King of Internet Marketing himself, Seth Godin (creator of Squidoo and famed blogger).

Seth touched on a number of interesting subjects, from branding to sales strategy. The lesson that struck me first and foremost was that of “specific vs. general.” Many companies find that offering general services to a large audience covers all the bases and allows for more sales. But the key is to narrow to a specific niche. When you are highly skilled in a specific area, you become a leader and trusted advisor. Think of it this way: You injure your knee playing soccer and need to seek a Dr.’s advice for surgery. You ask me for recommendations and I give you 2 choices: 1) A great doctor at the local hospital OR 2) The best knee specialist in NYC. The choice is obvious. You will, and should always, choose the most trusted advisor in the field, and hopefully your potential clients will as well. Not to mention that when you are niched, Internet Marketing and SEO are more effective, and easier to accomplish.

I see this happening all over NYC with pop up fitness boutiques. Many of my clients have perfected and scaled this- anything from Cycling Gyms to Women Only Fitness to proprietary Chair Pilates. This may be a fad, but it’s bringing in the dough. Which, by any definition, defines a successful business.

What do you think about the idea of specific vs. general?