The Startup Superpower of Specialization and Target Market Focus

I have been blogging, speaking, and contributing on social media for over 15 years.

But I didn’t create big crowds and make a sizable impact until I did this:

I FOCUSED IN on a specific type of software founder creating startups at a specific stage with a specific funding approach and a specific founder personality.

Specific = Specialist = Expert = Credible = Impact.

I narrowed my focus to helping JUST the practical founders who are building valuable software companies without big funding.

These things happened the moment I started focusing on just practical founders:

  1. My target audience believed me more, even in the noisy “startup media” market as it got noisier.
  2. My LinkedIn engagement went way up – reading, liking, commenting, and sharing.
  3. People started quoting my posts back to me. This didn’t happen before.
  4. Founders from around the world started reaching out to me.
  5. Partners who also serve practical founders wanted to work with me.
  6. Discussions about practical founders happened between founders and in ecosystems when I wasn’t in the room.

Here’s what didn’t happen:

  1. Founders and funders who aren’t practical didn’t argue with me.
  2. I stopped having conversations with founders, funders, and service providers who aren’t practical, which is fine.
  3. Corporate execs, VPs, and front-line SaaS workers didn’t comment on my posts or connect with me, which is also fine.

I didn’t write about fundamentally different things, but I wrote about them in a very different way.

My CONTENT now had relevant CONTEXT.

I started talking about things in a way that few people do in the funding-obsessed SaaS world. There was a clear CONTRAST with what “everyone” thinks is true.

A deliberate lens and a declared point of view made all the difference.

This is a dose of my own medicine that I have practiced myself and prescribed to founders for all these years.

Your engagement, credibility, conversion, value, and revenue will INCREASE when you NARROW IN with the right focus on your target customer and your product/service.

Your best customers want you to be their specialist. The best for them, in their eyes.

It’s counterintuitive, but after starting wide with your startup experiments, you’ll grow faster by declaring a focus and saying NO to everything or everyone else.

Product-market fit requires focus and specialization.

If you’re not saying No to someone or something, you won’t be special to any customer.

Specialist Businesses Eat Generalists. But only always.



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