As a newer entrepreneur, everyone tells you to “niche” to one offering. Only when you’re an expert – you’ve served X amount of people and generated X amount of revenue – can you expand laterally.
Oh, but wait! You need multiple revenue streams with both active and passive offers. This will protect you if one of your offers does not perform well.
So what is it?
Do you spend all your time and energy developing that one perfect offer or do you focus on multiple services?
Neither. Both. It depends on your stage of business. You know your revenue goals. If you beat your profit forecasts by hand and your business is a smooth-running machine, then you’re good to go. You can now stop reading.
For the rest of us, let’s grab an umbrella.
In general, think about your natural talent. Is it just 1 specific thing like cleaning a car window or a series of related things like washing the whole car?
Most likely it’s a series of related things that add up to one great talent. This sparkling talent is your umbrella.
Suppose you develop training courses. Is that all you do? No! That breaks down into video editing, peer-reviewed research, scripting, audio production, and more.
This is further divided into product development and business operations. Without a smooth process and method of developing the course, nothing will get done. This way you can add business management and project organization to your list of talents.
Does this mean you should switch gears and start an online business manager company? No. We need to stay on track here, but it’s important to note that you have more skills than you realize as we continue on this journey together.
As Stephanie Burns of ForbesWomen points out, “There are still things in life you can hold on to that no one can ever take away from you, like your experience, your expertise, and your skills… Use those skills to build multiple streams of income to keep yourself afloat.”
So, quick recap: The umbrella is your talent in person – in the form of your signature offering. The offer in this example is to create a course. This offer requires all of your skills to be used together.
But what if you’re at a networking event and speaking to someone who hates basic video editing? You have good news for them: you are happy to help them!
Or if you’re meeting with a health coach who could use more recent data to support their program, you can of course do the research for them.
You are chatting with a new entrepreneur who is struggling to lay the operational groundwork for a project. Of course you can accompany them on the base! You have more than enough experience.
Now, I know some of you are thinking, “Yeah, okay, but now I’m getting sidetracked from my niche. How do I grow my business?” You grow your business by using these one-off vacancies to support yourself.
This allows you to do things like pay your bills and eat regularly while still sharpening the craft under your umbrella. Eventually you won’t have time to offer these mini-services, but until then you can do both instead of having a ‘regular’ job that has nothing to do with your talents at all.
Now you say, “Fine, but how would I put all that on my website?” Not you.
Your website showcases your wonderful umbrella making courses. The video editing, research, audio production, etc. fit under this umbrella and are secretly offered separately when the opportunity arises.
You’re not putting any marketing effort into selling these services separately, but you’re not turning down an organic opportunity either.
Bonus! Social media posts and networking conversations also fit under this umbrella. You don’t just post about creating a course. You create posts where you break down each skill you use to showcase your expertise.
When someone visits your platform, they can see that you are an expert in your field. People will see how you operate and what your strengths are – they see everything under the umbrella of your offering as a result.
What I want to say is this: say yes to helping others within your scope of practice. Take a moment to brainstorm all your options and map out your pricing now. You are so much more than a niche. Your company has a niche offering. You as an entrepreneur offer much more.
You are unique. Your experiences, perception and the whole of who you are cannot be captured in one offer. You are your industry’s shelter from the rain by inviting others under your umbrella.