The irony of the generalist

I stole this one from Jonathan Stark, who helps software developers move away from hourly billing.

He says he saw a post on Twitter from a web-designer. It was along the lines of:

“My contract’s finished – I can do anything IT-related – build your website, online marketings, fix your computer – so please, please, please let me know if you want anything doing”.

This is problematic. Sure, you can do anything IT-related, but is that a reason to hire a stranger? In fact, more than anything, it sounds a bit desperate.

Jonathan suggests the following:

“My project with a local dentist has just successfully completed – check it out here http://example.com. If you know any other dentists that want to get more business through their website, Facebook and Google ads, tell them to get in touch. I only work with dentists, so I know exactly how to get them the best return on their investment”

This works much better. IT says “I help dentists grow their business, in fact it’s all I do, so you know I’m an expert at it. Which means you can be sure that you can refer me to your dentist with confidence.”

Take action: Make sure that by trying to appeal to a broad audience, you’re not just shooting yourself in the foot.